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Cost Management

Unlock cloud savings with new Looker Studio Dashboard and Terraform scripts

March 22, 2024
Ben Good

Solutions Architect

Garron “Crash” Haun

Solutions Engineer

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Cloud spending can be a big concern for financial operations (FinOps) teams. Google Cloud’s Active Assist tooling can help, generating cost savings recommendations for optimizing Google Cloud resources. Then there are tools like Recommendation Hub and FinOps Hub, which offer consolidated views into recommendations for project owners and billing administrators. These tools are a big step forward in making recommendations more actionable and accessible for teams. However, using them requires granting higher permissions in the console — something that could give more access than security teams are comfortable with. Also, some organizations require more flexibility to tailor the views and reports using information stored in customer-persisted labels or tags. 

To make these views easier to develop, we are pleased to announce an OSS Recommendations Dashboard, a Looker Studio dashboard powered by open-source infrastructure scripts

The main goal of the dashboard is to pinpoint savings opportunities organization-wide, and to enable default dashboards with filters for folders and projects, helping users focus on key savings areas. This setup simplifies team collaboration and allows organizations to take advantage of potential savings. Additionally, these filters let you customize dashboards for your unique organizational requirements.


This release of the OSS Recommendations Dashboard focuses on four primary features:

1. Visibility across the organization
Understanding the challenge administrators face in overseeing numerous projects, the dashboard offers a comprehensive view that encapsulates all savings opportunities throughout the organization.

2. Built-in filters for folders and projects
By highlighting the organizational structure, built-in filters facilitate easier interaction with relevant teams, making it easier to identify and act upon savings opportunities.

3. Looker Studio for extendability
Building on Looker Studio delivers  customizable analytics and reporting tools so that administrators can tailor their dashboard to meet their unique needs.

4. Gamification
Gamification elements help to enhance user engagement and motivation, making routine project management a more interactive and rewarding experience.

The OSS Recommendations Dashboard also includes a week-by-week line chart that  showcases projects that have successfully reduced their number of recommendations, and grouping recommendations by projects and folders is another feature that simplifies things for FinOps teams. The tool also ensures easy information access by allowing users to share dashboards and relevant data to a wider audience without having to navigate through excessive permissions.


Architecturally, the OSS Recommendations Dashboard is built on Google Cloud and integrated with Active Assist. The solution taps into a mix of tools:

  • Cloud Scheduler

  • Cloud Workflows

  • Cloud Asset Inventory

  • Active Assist Recommendations

  • BigQuery

  • Looker Studio

  • Terraform


Cloud Asset Inventory and Active Assist Recommendations are the dashboard’s foundational data sources. Cloud Scheduler and Workflows serve as the orchestration mechanisms, ensuring timely and consistent extraction of data into BigQuery. BigQuery manages and processes this data, setting the stage for Looker Studio to present and visualize these insights. To streamline the deployment process, we've encapsulated this design within a convenient Terraform module. For more on deploying this solution, refer to this guide.

Google Cloud's Active Assist can help you optimize your cloud resource operations. Combined with the OSS Recommendations Dashboard can have a profound impact on  your FinOps team. By providing project-level visibility and an organization-wide perspective, the OSS Recommendations Dashboard helps FinOps teams have better control over cloud spending. Moreover, because it’s built on Terraform, you can implement this solution promptly, to start getting visibility into your cloud spending fast.

If you’re eager for more insight into your Google Cloud spending and want to optimize your resources, the OSS Recommendations Dashboard provides not just clarity, but actionable intelligence. Dive in, explore, and let your organization bask in the newfound savings!

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