How BigQuery is Your Answer to Your Issues With Looker Studio

by | Apr 30, 2024 | Analytics

Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) is a playground for marketers. It lets you easily build stunning dashboards and reports packed with colorful charts and graphs that tell stories about your data. It’s flexible, powerful, and (best of all) free to use. But sometimes, this playground can feel more like an obstacle course filled with frustrations.

You start adding complex calculations, blending data sources together, trying to make the most of Looker Studio, and everything grinds to a halt. Reports take ages to load, errors pop up out of nowhere, and your patience starts to wear thin.

This is where BigQuery enters the picture. Imagine BigQuery as a supercharged data powerhouse built to handle massive amounts of information with lightning speed. By teaming up BigQuery with Looker Studio, you can overcome these frustrations and create a reporting experience that’s smooth, fast, and reliable.

Why are Looker Studio Reports So Slow and Frustrating?

At the heart of Looker Studio’s slowdown lies one major culprit: the sheer size and complexity of your datasets. Think of it like trying to stuff a huge suitcase into a tiny locker. Every time you try to load a report, Looker Studio is scrambling to process all that raw data on the spot.

Making matters worse is when you start connecting multiple data sources (like your website analytics, ad platforms, and CRM) directly within Looker Studio and then blending them together. It’s like adding more luggage to a suitcase bursting at the seams.

But that’s not all. Here’s a rundown of other factors that can turn your Looker Studio experience into a waiting game:

  • Query Complication: The more complicated the questions you ask of your data, the longer it takes to get answers.
  • Performance of the Data Set Itself: Poorly organized or unoptimized data sources can put a strain on Looker Studio.
  • Data Freshness Update Frequency: Trying to refresh data too often forces Looker Studio to work even harder.
  • Excessive Users: Too many people accessing reports simultaneously can slow things down for everyone.
  • Inefficient Connectors: Some connectors, like those for Google Sheets, aren’t designed for handling large amounts of data.

All these factors add to a reporting experience that can feel more like a headache than a help. But there’s a way out of this mess. It’s time to introduce BigQuery, your secret weapon for getting Looker Studio back on track.

BigQuery to the Rescue

Forget battling sluggish reports—it’s time to unleash the power of BigQuery. BigQuery works as a supercharged data engine built for speed and efficiency. Unlike Looker Studio, which is primarily intended for visualization, BigQuery is a true data warehouse designed to handle massive amounts of information easily.

Here’s how BigQuery takes your Looker Studio experience to the next level:

  • Blazing-fast Data Processing: BigQuery can crunch through complex calculations and data transformations in the blink of an eye. This means those frustrating bottlenecks vanish, and your reports load in a flash.
  • Data Manipulation Made Easy: Need to clean up messy data, combine information from different sources, or perform intricate calculations? BigQuery can handle it all with precision, taking the heavy lifting off of Looker Studio.
  • Reliability You Can Count On: With BigQuery powering your data, reports become far more accurate and reliable. Say goodbye to frustrating errors and inconsistencies.

In short, moving your data preparation and processing to BigQuery gives Looker Studio a much-needed performance boost. It lets Looker Studio focus on what it does best—creating beautiful, insightful visualizations.

Real-World Benefits of Using BigQuery with Looker Studio

Let’s ditch the abstract talk and see how BigQuery and Looker Studio streamline those everyday marketing agency tasks:

Lightning-fast Website Audits

Accessing a client’s website analytics, identifying performance issues, and uncovering optimization opportunities within minutes—not hours? With BigQuery pre-processing the data, it’s made possible.

You could create Looker Studio dashboards that deliver these insights at lightning speed—no more waiting for reports to load while your brilliant ideas gather dust.

Keyword Analysis that Keeps Pace with Your Thinking

Understanding keyword performance across various channels and campaigns can be a real drag. But when BigQuery handles the heavy data lifting, Looker Studio transforms into a dynamic exploration tool. Identify top-performing keywords, spot emerging trends, and adjust your strategy with remarkable agility.

Real-time Data Visualizations

BigQuery can continuously feed fresh data into your Looker Studio reports. This unlocks near real-time monitoring of campaigns, allowing for timely adjustments and proactive decision-making. You stay ahead of the curve, not behind it.

And here’s the best part: most small to medium-sized businesses can experience these incredible benefits without breaking the bank! BigQuery and Looker Studio offer very generous free tiers, meaning you can optimize your reporting setup at minimal cost.[1] Of course, as your data needs grow, these platforms scale seamlessly with you.

Overcoming the Common Obstacles to Looker Studio Success

If you’ve ever felt like Looker Studio is holding you back, chances are you’ve hit one of the common roadblocks. Whether it’s slow data blending, limitations with common data sources, or concerns over data control, BigQuery offers solutions to get you back on track.

Obstacle 1: Slow Data Blending

Blending data sources directly within Looker Studio is like trying to do advanced calculations with a simple pocket calculator. It’s possible but inefficient and frustrating. BigQuery eliminates this bottleneck by pre-processing and blending your data with blazing speed. This allows Looker Studio to focus on what it does best—stunning visualizations.

Obstacle 2: Google Sheets Bottlenecks

While incredibly versatile, Google Sheets struggles when handling large amounts of data. BigQuery thrives in this environment. It’s designed for scalability and speed, ensuring your reports never become victims of sluggish spreadsheets.

Obstacle 3: Concerns About Data Control

Fears about losing control of your data are understandable, but with BigQuery, you remain the owner. Consider BigQuery as a powerful engine that supercharges your existing data setup. Permissions and access all remain firmly within your grasp.

BigQuery: The Key to Data-Driven Decision Making

BigQuery isn’t just about making Looker Studio reports faster; it’s about transforming how your team works with data. By streamlining processes, empowering team members, and gaining a competitive edge, BigQuery unlocks a whole new level of success.

Efficiency Boost

No more wasting precious time waiting for reports to load. BigQuery’s speed frees your team to focus on analysis and strategic action, maximizing the value of your data.

Unlocking Team Potential

With a bit of SQL training, team members can start tapping directly into the power of BigQuery and uncover insights independently. Coupled with Looker Studio’s intuitive visualizations, your team becomes a data-driven powerhouse.

Seizing the Advantage

The speed and depth of insights made possible by BigQuery and Looker Studio give you a competitive edge. Make informed decisions with agility while competitors remain bogged down by inefficient reporting.

Let’s Talk

Ready to break free from reporting frustrations? Our team can help you implement BigQuery, optimize your workflows, and achieve data-driven success. Contact Full Circle SEM today to learn more!

Getting Started and the Importance of Expertise

Ready to give BigQuery and Looker Studio a try? The process is relatively straightforward:

  1. Set Up a BigQuery Account: Head to the Google Cloud Platform and create a BigQuery project.
  2. Import Your Data: Connect your various data sources (Google Analytics, ad platforms, CRM, etc.) to BigQuery. This can be done using native connectors or more advanced data pipelines.
  3. Prepare Your Data: Use BigQuery’s powerful SQL-like language to clean, transform, and structure your data for optimal reporting in Looker Studio.[2]
  4. Connect Looker Studio: Link your BigQuery project to Looker Studio and start building those faster, more reliable dashboards!

While the basic steps may seem simple, getting the most out of BigQuery requires technical know-how. Understanding SQL, optimizing data models, and ensuring efficient data flows are all crucial for maximizing performance and avoiding potential pitfalls.

That’s where our team of experts comes in. At Full Circle SEM, we’re not just familiar with BigQuery and Looker Studio—we live and breathe this kind of thing! We can help you manage setup, optimize data flows, and create custom dashboards tailored to your needs. It’s like having your own data superhero squad on call.

Let’s discuss how we can take your reporting to the next level. Contact us today to explore how the power of BigQuery and Looker Studio can transform your business!

Connect with Full Circle SEM Today

Slow, error-prone, and frustrating—if these words describe your current Looker Studio experience, it’s time for a change. BigQuery is a powerful solution that transforms your reporting, bringing speed, accuracy, and actionable insights to the forefront.

But setup and optimization take expertise. That’s where Full Circle SEM steps in. We’ll handle all the technical details of setting up BigQuery and fine-tuning your Looker Studio dashboards. Unleash the full power of your data—contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can revolutionize your reporting!





Justin Ober

Justin built his first website and eBay store while in high school (circa 1999) and has had a hand in internet marketing ever since. After graduating from Penn State University he headed for warmer weather in sunny South Florida, where he worked on both the client and agency side of digital marketing. Yada, yada, yada, he's since managed over $30 million in digital ad spend and is an expert in all things PPC.

If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, call 888-757-2714 or contact us here today.