This tutorial describes how to explore and visualize data by using the BigQuery client library for Python and pandas in a managed Jupyter notebook instance on Vertex AI Workbench. Data visualization tools can help you to analyze your BigQuery data interactively, and to identify trends and communicate insights from your data. This tutorial uses data found in the Google Trends BigQuery public dataset.
- Create a managed Jupyter notebook instance using Vertex AI Workbench.
- Query BigQuery data using magic commands in notebooks.
- Query and visualize BigQuery data using the BigQuery Python client library and pandas.
BigQuery is a paid product, so you incur BigQuery usage costs when accessing BigQuery. The first 1 TB of query data processed each month is free. For more information, see the BigQuery pricing page.
Vertex AI Workbench is a paid product, and you incur compute, storage, and management costs when using Vertex AI Workbench instances. For more information, see the Vertex AI Workbench pricing page.
Before you begin
In the Google Cloud console, on the project selector page, select or create a Google Cloud project.
Make sure that billing is enabled for your Google Cloud project. Learn how to check if billing is enabled on a project.
Enable the BigQuery API.
For new projects, BigQuery is automatically enabled.
Enable the Notebooks API.
Overview: Jupyter notebooks
A notebook provides an environment in which to author and execute code. A notebook is essentially a source artifact, saved as an IPYNB file. It can contain descriptive text content, executable code blocks, and output rendered as interactive HTML.
Structurally, a notebook is a sequence of cells. A cell is a block of input text that is evaluated to produce results. Cells can be of three types:
- Code cells contain code to evaluate. The output or results of executed code are rendered in line with the executed code.
- Markdown cells contain Markdown text that is converted to HTML to produce headers, lists, and formatted text.
- Raw cells can be used to render different code formats into HTML or LaTeX.
The following image shows a Markdown cell that's followed by a Python code cell, and then followed by the output:
Each opened notebook is associated with a running session (also known as a kernel in Python). This session executes all the code in the notebook, and it manages the state. The state includes the variables with their values, functions and classes, and any existing Python modules that you load.
In Google Cloud, you can use a Vertex AI Workbench notebook-based environment to query and explore data, develop and train a model, and run your code as part of a pipeline. In this tutorial, you create a managed notebook instance on Vertex AI Workbench and then explore BigQuery data within the JupyterLab interface.
Create a managed notebooks instance
In this section, you set up a JupyterLab instance on Google Cloud so that you can to create managed notebooks.
In the Google Cloud console, go to the Workbench page.
In the Notebook name field, enter a name for your instance.
In the Region list, select a region for your instance.
In the Permission section, select an option to define which users can access the managed notebooks instance:
- Service account: This option gives access to all users who have access to the Compute Engine service account that you link to the runtime. To specify your own service account, clear the Use Compute Engine default service account checkbox, and then enter the service account email address that you want to use. For more information about service accounts, see Types of service accounts.
- Single user only: This option gives access only to a specific user. In the User email field, enter the user account email address of the user who will use the managed notebooks instance.
Optional: To modify your instance's advanced settings, click Advanced settings. For more information, see Create an instance by using advanced settings.
Allow a few minutes for the instance to be created. Vertex AI Workbench automatically starts the instance. When the instance is ready to use, Vertex AI Workbench activates an Open JupyterLab link.
Browse BigQuery resources in JupyterLab
In this section, you open JupyterLab and explore the BigQuery resources that are available in a managed notebooks instance.
On the row for the managed notebooks instance that you created, click Open JupyterLab.
If you're prompted, click Authenticate if you agree to the terms. Your managed notebooks instance opens JupyterLab in a new browser tab.
In the JupyterLab navigation menu, click BigQuery in Notebooks.
The BigQuery pane lists available projects and datasets, where you can perform tasks as follows:
- To view a description of a dataset, double-click the dataset name.
- To show a dataset's tables, views, and models, expand the dataset.
- To open a summary description as a tab in JupyterLab, double-click a table, view, or model.
Note: On the summary description for a table, click the Preview tab to preview a table's data. The following image shows a preview of the
international_top_termstable found in the
google_trendsdataset in the
Query notebook data using the
%%bigquery magic command
In this section, you write SQL directly in notebook cells and read data from BigQuery into the Python notebook.
Magic commands that use a single or double percentage character (
let you use minimal syntax to interact with BigQuery within the
notebook. The BigQuery client library for Python is automatically
installed in a managed notebook. Behind the scenes, the
command uses the BigQuery client library for Python to run the
given query, convert the results to a pandas DataFrame, optionally save the
results to a variable, and then display the results.
Note: As of version 1.26.0 of the
google-cloud-bigquery Python package,
the BigQuery Storage API
is used by default to download results from the
To open a notebook file, select File > New > Notebook.
In the Select Kernel dialog, select Python (Local), and then click Select.
Your new IPYNB file opens.
To get the number of regions by country in the
international_top_termsdataset, enter the following statement:
%%bigquery SELECT country_code, country_name, COUNT(DISTINCT region_code) AS num_regions FROM `bigquery-public-data.google_trends.international_top_terms` WHERE refresh_date = DATE_SUB(CURRENT_DATE, INTERVAL 1 DAY) GROUP BY country_code, country_name ORDER BY num_regions DESC;
The output is similar to the following:
Query complete after 0.07s: 100%|██████████| 4/4 [00:00<00:00, 1440.60query/s] Downloading: 100%|██████████| 41/41 [00:02<00:00, 20.21rows/s] country_code country_name num_regions 0 TR Turkey 81 1 TH Thailand 77 2 VN Vietnam 63 3 JP Japan 47 4 RO Romania 42 5 NG Nigeria 37 6 IN India 36 7 ID Indonesia 34 8 CO Colombia 33 9 MX Mexico 32 10 BR Brazil 27 11 EG Egypt 27 12 UA Ukraine 27 13 CH Switzerland 26 14 AR Argentina 24 15 FR France 22 16 SE Sweden 21 17 HU Hungary 20 18 IT Italy 20 19 PT Portugal 20 20 NO Norway 19 21 FI Finland 18 22 NZ New Zealand 17 23 PH Philippines 17 ...
In the next cell (below the output from the previous cell), enter the following command to run the same query, but this time save the results to a new pandas DataFrame that's named
regions_by_country. You provide that name by using an argument with the
%%bigquery regions_by_country SELECT country_code, country_name, COUNT(DISTINCT region_code) AS num_regions FROM `bigquery-public-data.google_trends.international_top_terms` WHERE refresh_date = DATE_SUB(CURRENT_DATE, INTERVAL 1 DAY) GROUP BY country_code, country_name ORDER BY num_regions DESC;
Note: For more information about available arguments for the
%%bigquerycommand, see the client library magics documentation.
In the next cell, enter the following command to look at the first few rows of the query results that you just read in:
The pandas DataFrame
regions_by_countryis ready to plot.
Query data in a notebook using the BigQuery client library directly
In this section, you use the BigQuery client library for Python directly to read data into the Python notebook.
The client library gives you more control over your queries and lets you use more complex configurations for queries and jobs. The library's integrations with pandas enable you to combine the power of declarative SQL with imperative code (Python) to help you analyze, visualize, and transform your data.
Note: You can use a number of Python data analysis, data wrangling, and
visualization libraries, such as
matplotlib, and many
others. Several of these libraries are built on top of a DataFrame object.
In the next cell, enter the following Python code to import the BigQuery client library for Python and initialize a client:
from google.cloud import bigquery client = bigquery.Client()
The BigQuery client is used to send and receive messages from the BigQuery API.
In the next cell, enter the following code to retrieve the percentage of daily top terms in the US
top_termsthat overlap across time by number of days apart. The idea here is to look at each day's top terms and see what percentage of them overlap with the top terms from the day before, 2 days prior, 3 days prior, and so on (for all pairs of dates over about a month span).
sql = """ WITH TopTermsByDate AS ( SELECT DISTINCT refresh_date AS date, term FROM `bigquery-public-data.google_trends.top_terms` ), DistinctDates AS ( SELECT DISTINCT date FROM TopTermsByDate ) SELECT DATE_DIFF(Dates2.date, Date1Terms.date, DAY) AS days_apart, COUNT(DISTINCT (Dates2.date || Date1Terms.date)) AS num_date_pairs, COUNT(Date1Terms.term) AS num_date1_terms, SUM(IF(Date2Terms.term IS NOT NULL, 1, 0)) AS overlap_terms, SAFE_DIVIDE( SUM(IF(Date2Terms.term IS NOT NULL, 1, 0)), COUNT(Date1Terms.term) ) AS pct_overlap_terms FROM TopTermsByDate AS Date1Terms CROSS JOIN DistinctDates AS Dates2 LEFT JOIN TopTermsByDate AS Date2Terms ON Dates2.date = Date2Terms.date AND Date1Terms.term = Date2Terms.term WHERE Date1Terms.date <= Dates2.date GROUP BY days_apart ORDER BY days_apart; """ pct_overlap_terms_by_days_apart = client.query(sql).to_dataframe() pct_overlap_terms_by_days_apart.head()
The SQL being used is encapsulated in a Python string and then passed to the
query()method to run a query. The
to_dataframemethod waits for the query to finish and downloads the results to a pandas DataFrame by using the BigQuery Storage API.
The first few rows of query results appear below the code cell.
days_apart num_date_pairs num_date1_terms overlap_terms pct_overlap_terms 0 0 32 800 800 1.000000 1 1 31 775 203 0.261935 2 2 30 750 73 0.097333 3 3 29 725 31 0.042759 4 4 28 700 23 0.032857
For more information about using BigQuery client libraries, see the quickstart Using client libraries.
Visualize BigQuery data
In this section, you use plotting capabilities to visualize the results from the queries that you previously ran in your Jupyter notebook.
In the next cell, enter the following code to use the pandas
DataFrame.plot()method to create a bar chart that visualizes the results of the query that returns the number of regions by country:
regions_by_country.plot(kind="bar", x="country_name", y="num_regions", figsize=(15, 10))
The chart is similar to the following:
In the next cell, enter the following code to use the pandas
DataFrame.plot()method to create a scatter plot that visualizes the results from the query for the percentage of overlap in the top search terms by days apart:
pct_overlap_terms_by_days_apart.plot( kind="scatter", x="days_apart", y="pct_overlap_terms", s=pct_overlap_terms_by_days_apart["num_date_pairs"] * 20, figsize=(15, 10) )
The chart is similar to the following. The size of each point reflects the number of date pairs that are that many days apart in the data. For example, there are more pairs that are 1 day apart than 30 days apart because the top search terms are surfaced daily over about a month's time.
For more information about data visualization, see the pandas documentation.
Use the %bigquery_stats magic to get statistics and visualizations for all table columns
In this section, you use a notebook shortcut to get summary statistics and visualizations for all fields of a BigQuery table.
The BigQuery client library provides a magic command,
%bigquery_stats, that you can call with a specific table name to provide an
overview of the table and detailed statistics on each of the table's
In the next cell, enter the following code to run that analysis on the US
After running for some time, an image appears with various statistics on each of the 7 variables in the
top_termstable. The following image shows part of some example output:
View your query history and reuse queries
To view your query history as a tab in JupyterLab, perform the following steps:
In the JupyterLab navigation menu, click BigQuery in Notebooks to open the BigQuery pane.
In the BigQuery pane, scroll down and click Query history.
A list of your queries opens in a new tab, where you can perform tasks such as the following:
- To view the details of a query such as its Job ID, when the query was run, and how long it took, click the query.
- To revise the query, run it again, or copy it into your notebook for future use, click Open query in editor.
Save and download your notebook
In this section, you save your notebook and download it if you want it for future use after cleaning up the resources used in this tutorial.
- Select File > Save Notebook.
- Select File > Download to download a local copy of your notebook as an IPYNB file on your computer.
The easiest way to eliminate billing is to delete the Google Cloud project that you created for this tutorial.
- In the Google Cloud console, go to the Manage resources page.
- In the project list, select the project that you want to delete, and then click Delete.
- In the dialog, type the project ID, and then click Shut down to delete the project.
- To learn more about writing queries for BigQuery, see Running interactive and batch query jobs.
- To learn more about Vertex AI Workbench, see Vertex AI Workbench.