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How to select different fields as the date in Looker Studio, using Google's Extract Data connector
How to select different fields as the date in Looker Studio, using Google's Extract Data connector

Google's Extract Data, Custom dimension as Date

Ishan Shekhar avatar
Written by Ishan Shekhar
Updated over a week ago

What is Google's Extract Data connector?

If you have encountered slow Looker Studio dashboards you might have heard about the Extract Data connector which can be used for preloading your data, so instead of fetching a large amount of data from Funnel for each widget.

Using Google’s Extract Data connector you can extract data from Funnel and store it in Looker Studio before using them in your reports, which not only increases performance but also adds a flexible Date period when working with Data Sources that offer more than one date dimension.

How does it work?

When you extract data from Funnel, you select an existing Data Source, then select the specific fields you want to include in the extracted Data Source. You can apply filters and date ranges to reduce the amount of data even further. You can then use the extracted Data Source in your reports and explorations, just as you would a standard, live connection Data Source.

Limitations of Extract Data connector

  • Extracted Data Sources can contain up to 100MB of data. Usually, that is enough for standard daily reporting, but might be a problem when you need to have more granular data. In those cases, we recommend using a data warehouse.

  • Extracted Data Sources are not live data but refreshed at set intervals: available intervals are daily, weekly, and monthly.

  • Data extract lets you only explore a subset of your data: contains preselected fields and a limited date range, which can be updated to add more fields or date range.

When to use Extract Data connector?

Extract Data connector is primarily used for making your reports and explorations load faster and be more responsive when applying filters and date ranges than when working with a live connection to your data. But they offer more flexibility when working with your data which has multiple date fields which you want to use in your analysis. In this section we are going to look at few of these cases.

When attributing data by date within Funnel, the ‘Date’ dimension enables you to pull all date values from your different input Data Sources, enabling you to aggregate data by date under a single common dimension. This ‘Date’ dimension is made up of set date parameters which Funnel attributes to each Data Source type. Therefore, if a particular Data Source offers more than one date dimension, it may be the case that you wish to attribute the date value differently.

Some examples of this include:

  • CRM data - Typically within CRM systems there are a range of date fields available for selection. When importing CRM sources to Funnel, typically only the “Creation Date” of the object in question is used as part of the common Funnel ‘Date’ dimension.

  • Social Organic data - For some social organic report types, date values are attributed to the activity date, for example, the date on which the click or impression occurred, not the creation date of the content.

[Expert tip] You can combine standard connectors like Funnel, and Extract Data in the same reporting, adding performance and flexibility in your reporting

How to configure and use Extract Data Connector with Funnel Data Source

1. Set up a Data Source in Looker Studio from Funnel

The first step would be to create a Data Source in Looker Studio using a Looker Studio Data Share from your Funnel Workspace. More information on how to work with Funnel Looker Studio Data Shares can be found in this article.

If you want to use a custom dimension as a date period in Looker Studio, you have to convert that field to a date type. This can be done by :

  • Select your Data Source by going to your Data Source page

  • Click on 'ADD A FIELD' to open a formula box

  • Provide an appropriate name

  • In the formula section use PARSE_DATE('%Y-%m-%d', custom_date) if your date is like 'YYYY-MM-DD' for other formats refer here

  • Save and close

2. Add a new Data Source (Extract Data) to your report

After setting up the Funnel Data Source in Looker Studio, you will start the process of adding an 'Extract Data' source to your report:

3. Link Funnel's Data Source with the Extract Data

During the 'Extract Data' source setup, you will use the Funnel Data Source you set up above in step 1:

4. Choose fields and update interval

Within the extract configuration, you will be able to define the Dimensions and Metrics, Date ranges, and any desired filters. You will also be able to define the scheduling at which the extract updates.

Finally, hit 'Save and extract' and you'll be able to start using your newly created 'Extract Data' source in your reporting! You can always change this by going to your Extract Data connection and editing it.

5. Now you are ready to use this connector in your reports

Once you have set up your Extract Data connector and added a custom dimension as Date, you are ready to select a different Date Range Dimension than the default.

Happy reporting!

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