Taking advantage of the CURRENT_DATETIME function in Looker Studio

Taking advantage of the CURRENT_DATETIME function in Looker Studio

Syntax of CURRENT_DATETIME Function

The syntax for this function is quite simple and leads to its minimalistic utilization. The syntax is as follows:


CURRENT_DATETIME([time_zone])

Please note, 'time_zone' which is essentially a text field or expression representing the timezone is an optional parameter. The default timezone if not specified is UTC.

Using the CURRENT_DATETIME Function

Here's how to use the CURRENT_DATETIME function:

  1. Create or edit an existing Google Data Studio report.
  2. Click on the 'Add a Field' option.
  3. In the formula tab, add CURRENT_DATETIME(). If you want to specify a time zone, amend your formula like so: CURRENT_DATETIME("America/Los_Angeles").

Examples of CURRENT_DATETIME Function

The application of the CURRENT_DATETIME function can be illustrated with a sales metrics example. In a hypothetical e-commerce platform's sales report, we can track the server invoking time for each region to evaluate server performance.

For instance:

Today's Date in UTC: February 15, 2023 09:38 PM


CURRENT_DATETIME()

Example result: 2023-2-15 09:38

Today's Date in LA: February 15, 2023 09:38 PM


CURRENT_DATETIME("America/Los_Angeles")

Example result: 2023-2-15 02:38

Limitations of CURRENT_DATETIME Function

The only noticeable limitation of this function is that it isn't available for compatibility-mode data types. Meaning, it cannot be used when the data source is in compatibility mode.

Pro Tips for CURRENT_DATETIME Function

  1. Make sure to choose the correct timezone as it would dramatically affect the output and your data analysis.
  2. Remember, if the time_zone parameter evaluates to NULL, this function also returns NULL. Therefore, ensure your time zone entries are both valid and accurate to avoid such scenarios.

Using the CURRENT_DATETIME function in Google Data Studio, you can access real-time data for improved analysis and decision-making. The versatility of this function allows you to adapt to different time zones making it a universal solution for all your data needs.

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