Google Docs can access data from BigQuery

I don’t know how I missed this news from last week (luckily I saw it relayed here), but this is important: Google have announced that you’ll be able to access data stored in BigQuery direct from Google Docs:

I’ve been following BigQuery and Google’s BI efforts for a while, and it looks like it’s only a matter of time before they have something resembling a pivot table built into a Google Docs spreadsheet – and that would be a very significant development in the world of web-based BI. Think about it: vast amounts of data stored in BigQuery, accessible through a SQL-like interface and able to be queried very quickly; a spreadsheet on the front; all that’s needed is some kind of OLAP-like-layer in between to make it easy for end users to build their own queries. And Google have done similar things to what’s necessary here with Fusion Tables and their collaboration with Panorama

Microsoft really need an answer to this. We know SSAS in the cloud is coming, and we have the Excel web app, but again we need pivot table support in the web app to complete the picture (see here and here for more discussion on this topic). I hope it comes soon!

5 responses

  1. Hi Chris,

    Any idea how you get large volumes of data up to the Google cloud in the first place? Also, any ideas on how secure you can make that for skeptical IT Corporates.

    Genuinely interested to hear your thoughts.



    • Well, those would be the other big questions that Google would need to answer before it had a viable cloud-based BI option and we’re clearly a long way from that.

      But you could argue that if the data was already in the cloud anyway, then doing the cloud would be the obvious place to do BI on it; I also think that if you have terabytes of data to analyse and the choice is between uploading it to Google, or spending several million dollars on buying a MPP data warehouse appliance, or just not being able to analyse it, then uploading the data to Google (possibly in a continuous stream as the data is generated rather than in several TB chunks) looks like an attractive idea.

  2. Hi Chris,
    How quickly do you think a user would be able to analyze the data with BigQuery? I have a few large spreadsheets and very long docs on my personal google apps, and the larger they get, the longer opening them takes–currently I have to push the scripts several times to be able to access the largest spreadsheet.

    • Based on what Google says, BigQuery should be able to handle billions of rows of data very quickly – much faster than any spreadsheet. But that’s what Google says, I’ve not tried it myself.

  3. Pingback: A Look At Google BigQuery « Chris Webb's BI Blog

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