How to and why use the extract data connector in Google Data Studio

How to and why use the extract data connector in Google Data Studio

In Looker Studio, you must use a data connector to create a data source for your report.

There is 2 type of data connectors:

  • The official: created by Google for Google tools, they are free to use.
  • The partner: created by the community, they can be free to use, but most require a subscription.

You must use a Partner connector to use data for a non-google tool (such as Facebook Ads). But Partner connectors have limits that officials haven't:

  • Reports take longer to load: you depend on three services: Looker Studio, your connector provider, and the platform API. If one of these points fails, you cannot access your data.
  • You are limited to 30 requests: you can only use 30 components on your page before getting an error message. Officials can use 50.

But there is a way to use an official connector with a non-Google tool. You have to use the Extract Data connector

What is the Extract Data connector?

It's a simple connector developed by Google that allows you to connect to another data source and create a copy of the chosen dimensions and metrics. This copy is stored in a table on Looker Studio's sides and can be refreshed daily.

 What are the advantages and inconveniences?

It has two significant advantages: 

  1. You only depend on Looker Studio when you check on your report. Looker Studio updates the extracted data at best daily, so you rely on all the services only once a day. When you load your dashboard, you request the database on Looker Studio's side.
  2. An extracted data source can be much faster, so you might accelerate your report.

And one inconvenient: 

  1. You lose your data freshness. This is because almost all connectors are live. When you refresh your report, you get the last information in real-time. With the extract data connector, your data are updated once a day at best.

How to create an extracted data source?

You can start creating an extracted data source precisely like a normal one. Just be sure to have a classic data source already. It will become the entry point for your extracted data source.

From the home page of Looker Studio : 

  • Clicks on Create, then Data Source. In the connector list, select Extract Data.
Use the Extract Data connector - Looker Studio
Use the Extract Data connector - Looker Studio
  • Choose the data source you want to extract the data.
Select your data source.
Select your data source.
  • Select metrics and dimensions.
Select the metrics and dimensions
Select the metrics and dimensions
  • Select the time range you wish to extract. For example, you can choose a fixed start date and a dynamic end date, so you always have your data up to date.
Set up time range to extract.
Set up time range to extract.
  • Activate the auto-update and select the frequency.
  • Click on save and extract and wait for your data to be extracted.
Save and extract data on your extracted data source.
Save and extract data on your extracted data source.
  • To finish, rename your data source so you can find it in a report.
Rename your new data source
Rename your new data source

The first extract can take several minutes, depending on your volume of data, so just be patient!
If the extract fails, you can reduce your time range to reduce the data volume.

How to add it to a report?

You add an extracted data source to a report precisely like a classic one.

From a report :

  • Click on Add data, then My data sources.
  • Select your newly created extracted data source.
Add your extracted data source to a report.
Add your extracted data source to a report.

Your extracted data source is now in your report and will update daily at 8 am. You can use it like any other classic data source.

More function to use with Looker Studio

WEEK
:
Analyzing and Presenting Your Data by Week: The Essential Guide to Using the WEEK Function in Looker Studio
REPLACE
:
Understanding and Utilizing the REPLACE Function in Looker Studio for Clear, Concise, and Accurate Data Insights
QUARTER
:
Mastering the QUARTER Function in Looker Studio: Syntax, Usage, Examples, and Tips For Detailed Chronological Data Analysis
TRIM
:
Mastering Text Data Manipulation: An In-Depth Guide to the TRIM Function in Looker Studio
LEFT_TEXT 
:
Understanding and Utilizing the LEFT_TEXT Function in Looker Studio for Effective Data Analysis