One of Firebase Analytics' most powerful features is the ability for you to view
and analyze your Analytics data directly in BigQuery. By linking your Firebase
apps with BigQuery, all of your raw, unsampled, app data is exported into
BigQuery on a daily basis. This gives you the ability to run powerful ad-hoc
queries on your data, combine your Firebase Analytics data with that from other
analytics libraries, or run your own custom reporting tools directly on top of
And while this feature is quite popular with developers, it comes with one
occasionally-frustrating limitation: You typically have to wait about 24 hours
for your daily analytics data to be collected and exported into a BigQuery
table. This was often inconvenient from a development-and-testing standpoint.
But it also meant that app developers were a little less nimble than they could
have been. After all, if your latest A/B test was causing people to abandon your
app, wouldn't it be nice to find that out in 20 minutes, rather than 24 hours?
So starting this week, we're happy to announce that you will now be able to see
your Firebase Analytics data in BigQuery in near real-time!
Here's how it works: If you've gone ahead and linked up BigQuery with your
Firebase project, then Firebase Analytics will, by default, send all of its data
to BigQuery as soon as it receives it. In addition to your usual
appevents_ tables, there's now a
special appevents_intraday_ table
that will collect all of your incoming data for that day.
You're welcome to analyze and run queries against this
intraday table to your heart's content. It looks
just like your other BigQuery analytics tables; the only data you won't find
there is lifetime value data and campaign information (the
traffic_source record). At the end of the day ,
this data will be moved into its permanent appevents_
home, and the old intraday table will be automatically cleaned
up for you.
Of course, BigQuery usage and storage charges still apply. Which
does mean that you'll need to upgrade your Firebase project to the Blaze plan in
order to receive these benefits. But considering that BigQuery exporting is a
feature analytics customers typically had to pay quite a bit of money for in the
past, I still think it's a pretty good deal.
If you're new to BigQuery, you can find out more here and start playing around
with it. It's fun! Or, as fun as running fast queries against large sets of data
gets, I suppose.
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