Analyze data with BI Engine Looker Studio

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This tutorial helps a data analyst explore BigQuery data using Looker Studio. Looker Studio is a free, self-service business intelligence platform that lets users build and consume data visualizations, dashboards, and reports. With Looker Studio, you can connect to your data, create visualizations, and share your insights with others.

In this tutorial, you use Looker Studio to visualize data in the BigQuery austin_bikeshare dataset. For more information about public data sets, see BigQuery public datasets.


  • Create a query in BigQuery.
  • View a table schema in BigQuery.
  • Explore and visualize the query results and table data in a Looker Studio report.


This tutorial uses a dataset available through the Google Cloud Public Dataset Program. Google pays for the storage of these datasets and provides public access to the data. You pay only for the queries that you perform on the data. BigQuery provides 1 GB of reservation capacity without charge to accelerate Looker Studio queries. For details about BigQuery analysis pricing, see Overview of BigQuery pricing.

Before you begin

  1. In the Google Cloud console, on the project selector page, select or create a Google Cloud project.

    Go to project selector

  2. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Cloud project. Learn how to check if billing is enabled on a project.

  3. Enable the BigQuery API.

    Enable the API

    For new projects, BigQuery is automatically enabled.

Explore BigQuery data in Looker Studio

You can explore data in BigQuery with Looker Studio using the following options:

Explore query results

This option lets you construct an arbitrary SQL query and visualize the data in Looker Studio. This is useful if you want to modify the data in BigQuery before working with it in Looker Studio, or if you only need a subset of the fields in the table.

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the BigQuery page.

    Go to BigQuery

  2. Select your billing project.

  3. In the Explorer pane, enter bikeshare_trips in the Type to search field.

  4. Go to bigquery-public-data > austin_bikeshare > bikeshare_trips.

  5. Click View actions, and then click Query.

  6. In the query editor, construct your query. For example:

  7. Click Run.

  8. In the Query results section, click Explore data, and then click Explore with Looker Studio.


  9. On the Welcome to Looker Studio page, click Get Started if you agree to the Google Looker Studio and Google Terms of Service.

  10. On the Authorize Looker Studio access page, click Authorize to authorize the connection if you agree to the terms of service, and then select your marketing preferences. Only you can view data in your report unless you grant others permission to view the data.

    The report editor displays your query results as Looker Studio charts.

The following image shows some features of a Looker Studio report:



  1. Looker Studio logo and report name.
    • To go to the Looker Studio page, click the logo.
    • To edit the report name, click the name.
  2. Looker Studio toolbar. The Add a chart tool is highlighted.
  3. Report title. To edit the text, click the text box.
  4. Table (selected). You can interact with a selected chart by using the options in the chart header.
  5. Bar chart (not selected).
  6. Chart properties pane. For a selected table, you can configure its data properities and appearance on the Setup and Style tabs.
  7. Data pane. In this pane, you can access the fields and data sources to use in your report.
    • To add data to a chart, drag fields from the Data pane onto the chart.
    • To create a chart, drag a field from the Data pane onto the canvas.
  8. Save and share. Save this report so you can view, edit, and share it with others later. Before you save the report, review the data source settings and the credentials that the data sources use.

Interact with charts

Looker Studio charts are interactive. Now that your data is displayed in Looker Studio, here are some things to try:

  • Scroll and page through the table.
  • In the Bar chart, hold the pointer over a bar to see details about the data.
  • Select a bar in the bar chart to cross-filter the table by that dimension.

Add charts

Looker Studio supports many different visualization types. To add more charts to the report, follow these steps:

  1. In the toolbar, click Add a chart.
  2. Select the chart you want to add.
  3. Click the canvas to add the chart to the report.
  4. Use the Chart properties pane to configure the chart.

For more information about adding charts to a report, see Add charts to your report.

Explore table schema

You can export table schema to see the metadata of your data in Looker Studio. This is useful if you don't want to modify the data in BigQuery before working with it in Looker Studio.

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the BigQuery page.

    Go to BigQuery

  2. Select your billing project.

  3. In the Explorer pane, enter bigquery-public-data in the Type to search field.

  4. Go to bigquery-public-data > austin_bikeshare > bikeshare_trips.

  5. In the toolbar, click Export. If Export is not visible, select More actions, and then click Export.

  6. Click Explore with Looker Studio.


Share reports

You can share reports with others by sending them an email invitation to visit Looker Studio. You can invite specific people or Google Groups. To share more broadly, you can also create a link that lets anyone access your Looker Studio reports.

To share a report with another person, follow these steps:

  1. In the Looker Studio page header, click Share.
  2. In the Sharing with others dialog, type the recipient's email address. You can enter multiple email addresses or Google Group addresses.
  3. Specify whether recipients can view or edit the report.
  4. Click Send.

Learn more about sharing reports.

Clean up

To avoid incurring charges to your Google Cloud account for the resources used in this tutorial, either delete the project that contains the resources, or keep the project and delete the individual resources.

Delete the project

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the Manage resources page.

    Go to Manage resources

  2. In the project list, select the project that you want to delete, and then click Delete.
  3. In the dialog, type the project ID, and then click Shut down to delete the project.

Deleting your project prevents Looker Studio from querying the data because the data source is associated with your project. If you do not want to delete your Google Cloud project, you can delete the Looker Studio report and data source.

Delete the resources

To delete the Looker Studio resources, follow these steps:

  1. Open Looker Studio.

  2. On the Reports page, hold the pointer over the report that you want to delete, then click the vertical dots .

  3. Click Remove.

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