What is Google BigQuery Sandbox and how to use it

The Google BigQuery Sandbox lets you use the Google cloud console for free forever, without creating your billing account or enabling billing for your BigQuery project.

However, the sandbox comes with certain limitations related to data storage and processing query data.

To overcome these limitations, you should upgrade your BigQuery Sandbox account by setting up your billing.

When you set up your billing, Google gives you $300 of free credit to explore any of the Google cloud products including BigQuery.

Don’t worry Google will not charge your credit card until you manually upgrade to the paid account.

Whether or not you enable billing, you can use Google BigQuery for free as long as your account remains within the free usage limits and you are not using a paid connection to connect your GA account with a BigQuery account.

How to access the BigQuery Sandbox?

In order to access the BigQuery Sandbox follow the steps below:

Step-1: While logged into your Google account, navigate to your Google Cloud Platform account at https://console.cloud.google.com/

Step-2: Select your country, read and accept the ‘Terms of Service‘ (by selecting the checkbox) and then click on the ‘AGREE AND CONTINUE‘ button:

Note: Here I am assuming that you are using the Google Cloud Platform for the first time.

You should now see a screen like the one below:

Step-3: Type ‘bigquery’ in the search box:

Step-4: Click on the first search result:

You should now see a screen like the one below:

Step-5: Click on the ‘CREATE PROJECT’ button:

Step-6: Name your project (say ‘Google Analytics’):

Step-7: Click on the ‘EDIT’ button to change the project ID:

You should now see a screen like the one below:

Step-8: Change the project ID to something which is easier to recognize:

Note: Finding a meaningful project id is not going to be easy. As many IDs have already been taken. And once you changed the ID, you can not change it later.

Step-9: Click on the ‘Create’ button.

You should now see a screen like the one below:

Congratulations! You now have access to the BigQuery sandbox.

How to upgrade your BigQuery sandbox account

You can upgrade your BigQuery sandbox account by setting up your billing. 

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your BigQuery account: https://console.cloud.google.com/bigquery

Step-2: Click on the ‘Upgrade’ button at the top right-hand side:

Step-3: Click on the ‘CREATE BILLING ACCOUNT’ button:

Step-4: Select your billing country from the ‘Country’ drop-down menu and then read and accept the terms of service by clicking on the checkbox:

Step-5: Click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Step-6: Set your account type, enter tax information,  name, address and credit card details and then click on the ‘START MY FREE TRIAL’ button:

To learn about Google Big Query for Google Analytics, check out this article: Google Analytics Bigquery Tutorial

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