Google Tweaks BigQuery Analytics Service

Google updates its BigQuery analytics service to make it easier to use and more powerful for companies of various sizes.

Google has updated its BigQuery analytics engine with new features including a new graphical user interface, new APIs and more.

Google introduced BigQuery at its 2010 Google I/O developer conference to enable users to do large-scale internal data analytics. At Google I/O 2010, Google launched a preview of the service to a limited number of enterprises and developers. Now Google has delivered a series of improvements to the technology and is putting one of Google's most powerful data-analysis systems into the hands of more companies of all sizes, Ju-kay Kwek, product manager for BigQuery at Google, wrote in a recent blog post.

Describing the need for greater analytics capability, Kwek wrote:

"Rapidly crunching terabytes of big data can lead to better business decisions, but this has traditionally required tremendous IT investments. Imagine a large online retailer that wants to provide better product recommendations by analyzing Website usage and purchase patterns from millions of Website visits. Or consider a car manufacturer that wants to maximize its advertising impact by learning how its last global campaign performed across billions of multimedia impressions. Fortune 500 companies struggle to unlock the potential of data, so it's no surprise that it's been even harder for smaller businesses."

A Google Code Labs effort, Google BigQuery is a SQL-like tool for analyzing massive datasets. Google BigQuery Service is a Web service that enables you to do interactive analysis of massively large datasets-up to billions of rows. Scalable and easy to use, BigQuery lets developers and businesses tap into powerful data analytics on demand.

Kwek said Google has added a graphical user interface for analysts and developers to rapidly explore massive data through a Web application. And the company also has "made big improvements for customers accessing the service programmatically through the API," he said. "The new REST API lets you run multiple jobs in the background and manage tables and permissions with more granularity."

Kwek added: "Whether you use the BigQuery Web application or API, you can now write even more powerful queries with JOIN statements. This lets you run queries across multiple data tables, linked by data that tables have in common. It's also now easy to manage, secure and share access to your data tables in BigQuery, and export query results to the desktop or to Google Cloud Storage."

Kwek cited Michael J. Franklin, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, as saying BigQuery (internally known as Dremel) leverages "thousands of machines to process data at a scale that is simply jaw-dropping, given the current state of the art."

Meanwhile, "BigQuery is available free of charge for now, and we'll let customers know at least 30 days before the free period ends," Kwek said. "We're bringing on a new batch of pilot customers, so let us know if your business wants to test drive BigQuery Service."