Sending data from Google Analytics to BigQuery without 360

Last Updated: August 18, 2022

Google Announced on March 16, 2022, that it will discontinue Universal Analytics (GA3) on July 1st, 2023. If you want to save your historical GA3 (Universal Analytics) data from being deleted, then take backup (import) of it in BigQuery.

Note: If you are looking to send GA4 data to BigQuery, then check out the following two articles:

  1. GA4 BigQuery – Connect Google Analytics 4 with BigQuery
  2. BigQuery GA4 schema – Send Custom GA4 Data to BigQuery

Prerequisites for sending data from GA3 (Universal Analytics) to BigQuery without using GA 360

#1 You would need a Google Cloud Platform account with billing enabled.

#2 You would need a BigQuery project with billing enabled where you are going to store the GA3 data.

#3 You would need a third-party solution (connector) for sending GA3 data to BigQuery.

#4 You would need a good working knowledge of SQL so that you can query GA3 (Universal Analytics ) data in BigQuery.

Overview of sending data from Google Analytics to BigQuery without 360

Following is the 10,000-foot view of sending GA3 data to BigQuery without using Google Analytics 360:

#1 Create a Google Cloud Platform account (if you already don’t have one) with billing enabled.

#2 Create a new BigQuery project or use an existing project to take a backup of the GA3 data in BigQuery. We would create a new BigQuery project.

#3 Create a new data set where you are going to store the GA3 data in BigQuery.

#4 Use a third-party solution (connector) for sending GA3 data to BigQuery.

With the help of a third-party solution/connector, it is possible to send data from Google Analytics to BigQuery without 360.

#5 Create, configure and save your data transfer in BigQuery.

We create data transfer in order to automatically send GA3 (Universal Analytics) data to our BigQuery project on a regular basis.

#6 Backfill GA3 data in BigQuery.

#1 Create a Google Cloud Platform account (if you already don’t have one) with billing enabled.

To create a new Google Cloud Platform account with billing enabled, check out this article: How to create a new Google Cloud Platform account

#2 Create a new BigQuery project

Create a new BigQuery project and name it ‘Universal Analytics’:

universal analytics project

We would use this new project to take a backup of the Universal Analytics (GA3) data in BigQuery.

For step by step instructions on how to create a new BigQuery project, checkout this article: How to create a new BigQuery project

#3 Create a new data set where you are going to store the GA3 data in BigQuery.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Click on the three dots menu next to your project ID (this ID could be different in your case):

three dots menu

Step-2:Click on ‘Create Dataset’:

create data set

You should now see an overlay on the right-hand side:

overlay

Step-3: Name your dataset (say UA_data_set)

name your data set

Step-4: Select the data location nearest to you from the drop-down menu and then click on the ‘Create dataset’ button at the bottom:

data location

You should now see a screen like the one below, which confirms that your new data set has been created:

go to data set button 2

We are going to use this new data set for storing data from GA3.

#4 Use a third-party solution (connector) for sending GA3 data to BigQuery.

You would now need to use a third-party solution for sending Google Analytics data to BigQuery. This is going to cost you based on your account usage.

Regardless of how much it costs you, it would most likely still be cheaper than paying $150k per year to Google for using the GA360 (which comes with the free connection to BigQuery).

You can either search for such third-party solutions online or use the one that I use which is ‘Supermetrics for BigQuery‘. They provide a free 14 days trial of their solution. No credit card required.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to the ‘Supermetrics for BigQuery‘ page.

Step-2: Click on the ‘Start a free trial‘ button:

Start a free trial bigquery connector

Step-3: Scroll down the page, fill out the form and then click on the ‘Send‘ button:

fill out the form

You should now be redirected to the ‘Google Cloud Marketplace’ page in your Google Cloud platform account:

google cloud marketplace

The URL of this page is likely to be: https://console.cloud.google.com/marketplace/browse?q=supermetrics

Step-4: Click on the ‘Select a project‘ drop-down menu:

select a project

Step-5: Click on the ‘Universal Analytics‘ project:

click on universal analytics

You should now see a screen like the one below:

marketplace

Step-6: Type ‘supermetrics google analytics‘ in the search box and then press the enter key:

supermetrics google analytics

Step-7: Click on ‘Google Analytics by Supermetrics‘:

Google Analytics by Supermetrics

Step-8: Click on the ‘Enroll‘ button:

enrol

You should now see a screen like the one below, which is about creating a data transfer:

creating a data transfer

Step-9: Keep the data source (‘Google Analytics by Supermetrics‘) intact and move on to the next step:

data source intact

Step-10: Type a meaningful name for the ‘Transfer config name‘ field:

transfer config name 1

Step-11: Keep the schedule options (which specify when the transfer will run) to ‘Daily’ and ‘Start now’ (unless you want to change it) and move on to the next step:

schedule options

Note(1): The ‘Repeats’ setting to ‘Daily’ means to have new data added once a day.

Note(2): The ‘Start date and run time’ setting is locked for editing when ‘Start now’ setting is selected.

Step-12: Scroll down and then select the data set you created earlier from the drop-down menu:

select data set
loaded data set

We are going to use this data set for storing GA3 data in BigQuery.

Step-13: Click on the ‘CONNECT SOURCE‘ button:

connect source button 1

Step-14: Click on the ‘Accept Agreement‘ button:

accept agreement 1

Step-15: Click on the ‘Authorize with Google Analytics‘ button:

authorize with google analytics

Step-16: Click on the name of the Google account which is associated with both your Google Analytics account and BigQuery project:

choose an account 1

Step-17: Click on the ‘Allow‘ button:

allow

Step-18: Click on the ‘Continue‘ button:

continue

You should now see a screen like the one below:

transfer settings for google analytics

Step-19: Select the Google Analytics reporting view (from which you want to send data to BigQuery) from the ‘Accounts’ drop-down menu:

select reporting view

Step-20: Scroll down and then click on the ‘Submit‘ button:

submit

You should now see the ‘Source Connected‘ message below ‘Third party connection‘:

source connected 1

Step-21: Scroll down and then click on the ‘SAVE‘ button to save the data transfer and also start the initial data transfer:

save data transfer

You should now see a screen like the one below:

transfer ga3 data to bigquery

Note: If you don’t see such a screen, then refresh your browser window.

Through the ‘Run History‘ section, you can monitor the current progress of all of your data transfers.

run history

When the data transfer is in progress, you see the message ‘The transfer run is in progress‘:

the transfer run is in progress

When the data transfer is complete, you see the message ‘The transfer run has completed successfully‘:

The transfer run has completed successfully

Step-22: Click on the ‘SQL WORKSPACE‘ link from the left-hand side navigation:

SQL WORKSPACE

Step-23: Navigate to the data set named ‘UA_data_set(which we created earlier):

UA data set

This data set lists all the data tables automatically created by supermetrics:

UA data set data tables

Step-24: Click on the data tables one by one to see what data it contains.

For example, GA_CONTENT_ data table contains the GA3 content data:

ga content data table

Step-25: Click on the ‘PREVIEW‘ tab to preview the data table:

ga content data table preview

At this point, you can query a particular set of data by clicking on the ‘QUERY’ button:

ga content data table query

That’s how you can send GA3 data to BigQuery without using Google Analytics 360.

Sending Google Analytics 4 data to BigQuery

Google Analytics 4 provides a free connection to BigQuery. So you don’t need to use a third-party solution for that.

This makes sending GA4 data to BigQuery a bit different.

To send Google Analytics 4 data to Google BigQuery, check out this article: How to connect GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with BigQuery

Other articles on Google Analytics BigQuery

  1. Advantages of using Google BigQuery for Google Analytics
  2. Cost of using BigQuery for Google Analytics
  3. Guide to BigQuery Cost optimization
  4. What is Google BigQuery Sandbox and how to use it
  5. Understanding the BigQuery User Interface
  6. events_& events_intraday_ tables in BigQuery for GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  7. Using Google Cloud pricing calculator for BigQuery
  8. How to access BigQuery Public Data Sets
  9. How to use Google Analytics sample dataset for BigQuery
  10. Connect and transfer data from Google Sheets to BigQuery
  11. How to query Google Analytics data in BigQuery
  12. How to send data from Google Ads to BigQuery
  13. What is BigQuery Data Transfer Service & how it works.
  14. How to send data from Facebook ads to BigQuery
  15. How to send data from Google Search Console to BigQuery
  16. How to pull custom data from Google Analytics to BigQuery
  17. Best Supermetrics Alternative – Dataddo
  18. Google Analytics BigQuery Tutorial
  19. How to backfill Google Analytics data in BigQuery
  20. How to connect and export data from GA4 to BigQuery

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