How to Use BigQuery in Your Digital Marketing Workflow

Bringing big data into your life as a marketer in small doses.

“Big data” analysis and the insights that come from it can seem untouchable to all but the largest organizations with extensive teams of analysts and data scientists. But there are many ways marketers with some basic understanding of SQL and smaller teams can take advantage of larger data sets without a lot of resources. One of those ways is BigQuery. Let’s dive into a few of the ways anybody can access this technology and build on it.

GA 360 Integration

One of the biggest benefits for shelling out the $150K/year it takes to get a Google Analytics 360 license is being able to liberate your web analytics data from the Analytics UI and perform SQL-style queries on it in BigQuery. There’s also plenty of acceleration to be found in connecting BigQuery tables to Google Data Studio. Visualizing millions of rows becomes lightning fast.

Go to Admin > Property > Product Linking > All Products and choose BigQuery.


Then it allows you to choose which BigQuery project and which GA views to link along with the streaming frequency (i.e., how often you want data sent from GA to BigQuery).


Once the integration is enabled, it can take up to 24 hours to populate the BigQuery tables with all the historical data in your Google Analytics account.


Firebase Integration

If your company has an app or several apps, Firebase has plenty of data you can also ship out to BigQuery for more comprehensive analysis. Firebase’s built-in retention reporting can be limiting, and having that raw data in BigQuery gives app marketers a lot more flexibility.


Go to Admin > Integrations and choose BigQuery to start the connection.


The ensuing settings menu allows you to choose which apps represented in Firebase you want to include in the export. It also lets you decide whether you want to include advertising IDs in your export, which can be really handy for matching up app download ad campaigns with usage.


Once the connection is created, you can find not just the analytics tables in BigQuery, but also a few separate Firebase-specific data sets around crashes and predictive models.


Flat File Integration

Lastly, Google Cloud Storage allows you to upload large .csv files and port them to BigQuery as tables. As marketers, we are often sent large, unwieldy files from vendors or other internal stakeholders that would absolutely melt our laptops if we tried to just open them in Excel, let alone do any meaningful analysis. BigQuery gives us a great way around that by essentially turning these files into a database we can parse through quickly.


Once you upload your flat files to a cloud storage bucket, you can add them to a BigQuery table. Under the advanced options, there’s also a way to tell the uploader if your column headings start several rows down in the file so it can build the schema correctly.


As an example, I’ve uploaded a customer file and want to do some analysis on who checked out as a guest and who created an account.


With the data in BigQuery, I can write a simple SQL query to isolate customers with an account and a domestic address.


After the query runs, I can one-click export that subset of my customer data to Google Data Studio to work on some dashboards or visualizations on that specific, more manageable slice of the data.


BigQuery Resources

You might be reading through this post and are enticed by the prospect of using BigQuery to solve similar problems in your business, but don’t know where to start, or need more learning resources to feel comfortable enabling and working with these integrations. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

GA 360 BigQuery Cookbook

Johan van de Werken from Towards Data Science has a bunch of SQL recipes you can take and repurpose once you get your GA data into BigQuery. This resource was instrumental for me as I was first working with GA 360 data in a database context, and it recreated a lot of the most common reports you would find in the GA UI with some helpful added customizations.


Firebase BigQuery Unnest Function

Todd Kerpelman from the Firebase Developers blog has a great write-up on unpacking Firebase’s nested table structure which will make writing queries into your data a heck of a lot easier once you understand it!


Visualizing BigQuery Tables in Google Data Studio

Shameless plug: I’ve also written a step-by-step walkthrough using flat files with weather data on how to visualize your BigQuery tables. You can find that over on Big Data Made Simple.


Start Querying!

Getting into databases and SQL querying can be really intimidating for marketers, but it’s incredibly empowering not to have to rely on data science and IT teams to get at data sets and start deriving actionable insights out of them. Carve a half-hour of time out of your schedule each week to learn about this technology and find out how you can practically apply it to your business.

The post How to Use BigQuery in Your Digital Marketing Workflow appeared first on Portent.

Are we Living at a Moment When Significant Change is Possible?

“The best way to predict the future is to create it,” said Abraham Lincoln. The future is hard to predict. Yet, that’s not for lack of trying. A thriving trends industry says forecasts are in high demand. Futurists work outward from data and evidence, seeking to identify highly probable events. While unpredictable in scope, pandemics are undesirable parts of our past and highly probable events. But proceed with caution. Labeling an observation about what’s going on “insight” doesn’t make it so. Further, insights are not as useful to understanding changing habits, behaviors and attitudes and what will stick as you’d…

The simple cure for writer’s block


People with writer’s block don’t have a problem typing. They have a problem living with bad writing, imperfect writing, writing that might expose something that they fear.

The best way to address this isn’t to wait to be perfect. Because if you wait, you’ll never get there.

The best way to deal with it is to write, and to realize that your bad writing isn’t fatal.

Like all skills, we improve with practice and with feedback.


[Mark your calendars: The Creative’s Workshop is coming back in August. Check out this page for details and to get updates.]


How will we use our gifts? What difficult choices will we make–when it might be easier to hide?

Will we waste our advantages and insulation?

Will inertia be our guide, or will we follow our passions?

Will we follow dogma, or will we leap forward and be original, generous and helpful?

Will we choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?

Will we wilt under criticism, or will we follow our convictions?

Will we bluff it out when we’re wrong, or will we apologize?

Will we be clever at the expense of others, or will we choose to be kind?

A cynic, or a builder?

And we get to decide again every single day.


[PS please consider this session of The Podcasting Workshop. It’s open now for registration.]

Why Having A Will Is Important?

Will is a legal document where you state all your wished that you want to get completed after your death. Since it is a legal document, it is fully assured that everything that you have mentioned in that document gets completed. An executor is responsible to get everything done that is written in the will. You will get several benefits of having a will. Some of the major advantages that will urge you to get one are listed below: 


1. Property Distribution

All the property, as well as the money that you have, get distributed after your death. If you have not clearly mentioned about the distribution, there might be disputes about the same later. You can also state about the share that you want to give to each of your beneficiaries. Writing about the same in your will can avoid any kind of fight related to money and property distribution. 


2. Upbringing Of Children

You can never be sure about the future. It may be possible that due to any of the reasons, you are no more there to take care of your children. Thus, mentioning the same in you will let the people and executor who should be taking care of your children after your death. This will make sure that the future of your children is in safe hands and with the person that you trust the most. Thus, for the bright future of your children, you must have a will. 


3. Short Probate Process

Before the executor can actually start to implement everything written in the will, they require the permission of the court. This process generally takes too long and it is often delayed. But on the other hand, if you are having a will, then the process of done in a shorter period of time. Also, this probate is proof of the will being valid. If you are still confused about the same, then you must go through what is probate and how long does it take. 


4. Tax Planning

The set on instructions that are provided with the will gives you information about how can you shape your will in order to get several tax benefits. There are a number of exemptions to the taxes that you can benefit from. You will not more have to pay an extra amount of tax. This will contribute in saving your money. Thus, one of the advantages of having a will is it helps with tax planning. 


5. Peace of Mind

Do you often have a fight with your family members regarding distribution of the property? Then it may disturb you mentally. In order to get it resolved, you need to make a firm decision and mention the same in your will. After you have taken all the decisions so that everyone is satisfied, you will no more have to quarrel with your family members about the same. Thus, having a will make your mind peaceful and the later years of life happy with your family. 

Five Tips to Engage Remote Staff During Lockdown

I’m pleased to have co-authored this post with Ben Motteram, aka CXpert. It was previously shared on his site on May 26, 2020.

Customer Experience: Communication in Times of Uncertainty (And Beyond)

I originally wrote today’s post for CCW Digital. It appeared on their site on March 18, 2020. I’ve updated it to reflect some things we’ve seen and learned since then.

How many moons?

How many moons in our solar system? With 8 or so planets, how many moons in total?

My guess, when challenged, was 22. I figured Earth had one, rounded up, etc.

It turns out that it’s more than 200. Saturn alone has more than 80 moons.

That’s a common mistake. We make it all the time. We assume that our neighborhood is like every neighborhood, that our situation and experience is universal.

That’s rarely true.

Embracing that on the path to empathy is a competitive advantage.

Top 8 Reasons That Show Why Insurance Is Important For You

You insure your vehicle and your home. Be that as it may, nothing is a higher priority than your life and your capacity to get by. So it bodes well to safeguard your most prominent resource – you!  

As you travel through life, discover an accomplice, raise a family, and perhaps start a business, the significance of insurance in drawn-out plans increments. That is on the grounds that insurance is tied in with giving a money related wellbeing net that causes you to deal with yourself and those you love when you need it the most.  

For what reason is insurance significant? How about taking a gander at the eight key reasons.  


Provides safety and security to individuals and businesses 

Insurance offers monetary help and decreases vulnerabilities that people and organizations face at each progression of their life cycles. It gives a perfect hazard moderation component against occasions that can conceivably make money related misery to people and organizations).  

On account of business insurance, budgetary remuneration is given against monetary misfortune because of fire, burglary, disasters identified with marine exercises, different mishaps, and so forth.  


Secures your future goals

Your present may be steady with your consistent progression of salary that is sufficient to meet your family’s way of life needs. In any case, what will occur, on the off chance that you unexpectedly need to confront an amazing finish? Will your family have the option to meet their future needs without you?  

This is the place a term life insurance plan proves to be useful. Secure the fate of your family and purchase a term insurance policy that will support your candidate or ward get a singular amount or regularly scheduled payout to assist them with managing their budgetary necessities. Term protection is one of the extra security designs that offer life inclusion to the person for a predetermined term with a moderate premium expense.  


Insurance is mandatory in certain states

Insurance is significant in light of the fact that occasionally it’s the law! An extraordinary case of this is an accident. Accident insurance mitigates the danger of life out and about (of which there are many!). A specialist’s pay is a type of necessary insurance that is required in many states.  


Provides significant serenity

Having insurance offers you money related security and furthermore true serenity. No measure of cash can supplant your genuine feelings of serenity. Along these lines, when you have the insurance you realize that you are made sure against any unanticipated occasions throughout everyday life, and this gives you complete serenity.  

No one knows what will happen in the next few seconds. Therefore, It is imperative for you to get an insurance plan at an early stage. Nowadays, you can get a critical illness insurance quote from different companies or agents. Though you should ensure that you buy one that matches your requirements and future goals.  


Supplement your retirement

Perpetual life coverage plan collects money esteem over the life of the approach that can be obtained against tax-exempt. These plans can be utilized to enhance your retirement if your different ventures miss the mark. These approaches regularly accompany genuinely high charges, so make certain to contrast the expenses with those of other speculation vehicles.  


It keeps you pushing ahead

In the event that you have to bring in your protection for a mishap or crisis, being insured permits you to get the pieces and continue pushing ahead.  


Settle the debts

During your dynamic working life, you may benefit from a loan to buy a home, a vehicle, finance your kid’s education, or even to reimburse obligations. In any case, on the off chance that you die before taking care of the credit, the obligation will legitimately fall onto your relatives. Regardless of whether the wards are utilized, dealing with the credit can be hard for them. This is the reason life coverage is required on the off chance that you have an extra security spread; the family can take care of the obligation with the entirety guaranteed and carry on with a monetarily autonomous life.  


A tool for forced savings

In the event that you pick a conventional plan, you pay a premium every month, which is higher than what it expenses to protect you. This bit of additional cash is put away and it collects money esteem. This money would then be able to be acquired against the approach or you can decide to sell it or draw a salary from it.  


To sum up, these are the top reasons that better show why insurance is important for you. Hopefully, this piece of information may help you in your future endeavors.  

The stolen address book

I used to ask, “If you stole Steven Spielberg’s address book, would it help you get a movie made?”

The point was that even if you had the phone numbers and names, calling them up and saying you’d stolen them wasn’t worth very much. The data has no value without trust and connection.

Now, twenty years later, all the address books have been stolen. Everyone has all the data. Identifying the right people (or spamming everyone) is easy and cheap.

Which makes the point even more urgent than ever: Without trust and connection, access to data is worthless.