BigQuery is getting bigger. On Wednesday, Google announced that it has added two new features to its BigQuery functionality, which provides the ability to analyze Big Data in the cloud.
A new BigQuery Connector for Excel simplifies the ability to conduct queries using Microsoft’s Excel. With the connector, Excel’s standard web query feature is utilized, so that users can eliminate the extra step of having to manually import data and then run their queries inside Excel.
In 2011, Google enabled the ability for BigQuery users to conduct queries inside Google spreadsheets, via Google Apps Script.
Data Importing, Dashboards
In addition to the Excel query feature, BigQuery now allows users to indicate that a query is a batch query, which will then be run within several hours. This ability is designed for nightly reports and other non-interactive queries.
The two new features follow additions Google has made in recent months to BigQuery. One of them added the ability to import data from a variety of sources, a result of partnerships with data integration companies Informatica, Pervasive Software, Talend and SQLstream.
The technology giant had also partnered with data visualization providers QlikTech, Jaspersoft, Bime Analytics and Metric Insights, so that users could create interactive dashboards.
‘Fully-Managed’ Analysis Service
BigQuery allows cloud-based Big Data to be analyzed via SQL, with results almost immediately. This ability, the company said, provides “a fully-managed data analysis service with no servers to install or maintain.”
The service is accessible through a UI or REST interface, and pricing is based on what is used. The queries can be run on datasets with billions of rows, and it can be one’s own data, or data that has been made available.
Google points to such use cases as ad hoc reporting on hundreds of millions of sales transactions, in order to understand changes in demand, or segmentation analysis on millions of customers to find specific targets for marketing.
Other examples include dashboards that monitor operations management, with the ability to drill-down into the data of problem areas, or a mash-up of bookings with regional marketing costs in order to discover correlations.