Standardize your cloud billing data with the new FOCUS BigQuery view
Senior Product Manager, Billing
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Businesses today often rely on multiple cloud providers, making it crucial to have a unified view of their cloud spend. This is where the FinOps Open Cost and Usage Specification (FOCUS) comes in. And today, we’re excited to announce a new BigQuery view that leverages the recent FOCUS (Preview) to help simplify cloud cost management across clouds.
What is FOCUS?
The FinOps Cost and Usage Specification aims to deliver consistency and standardization across cloud billing data, by unifying cloud and usage data into one common data schema. Before FOCUS, there was no industry-standard way to normalize key cloud cost and usage measures across multiple cloud service providers (CSPs), making it challenging to understand how billing costs, credits, usage, and metrics map from one cloud provider to another (see FinOps FAQs for more details).
FOCUS helps FinOps practitioners perform fundamental FinOps capabilities using a generic set of instructions and unified schema, regardless of the origin of the dataset. FOCUS is a living, breathing specification that is constantly being iterated on and improved by the Working Group, which consists of FinOps practitioners, CSP leaders, Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, and more. The FOCUS specification v1.0 Preview was launched in November 2023, paving the way for more efficient and transparent cloud cost management. If you’d like to read more or join the Working Group, here is a link to the FOCUS website.
Introducing a BigQuery view for FOCUS v1.0 Preview
Historically, we’ve offered three ways to export cost and usage-related Cloud Billing data to BigQuery: Standard Billing Export, Detailed Billing Export (resource-level data and price fields to join with Price Export table), and Price Export. Today, we are introducing a new BigQuery view that transforms this data so that it aligns with the data attributes and metrics defined in the FOCUS v1.0 Preview.
A BigQuery view is a virtual table that represents the results of a SQL query. The BigQuery view can be formed off of a base query (see below on how to get access) that maps Google Cloud data into the display names, format, and behavior of the FOCUS Preview dimensions and metrics. BigQuery views are great because the queryable virtual table only contains data from the tables and fields specified in the base query that defines the view. BigQuery views are virtual tables, so incur no additional charges for data storage if you are already using Billing Export to BigQuery.
You should spend time optimizing costs, not mapping billing terminology across Cloud Providers. With the FOCUS BigQuery view, you can now…
- View and query Google Cloud billing data that is adapted towards the FOCUS specification
- Use the BigQuery view as a data source for a visualization tools like Looker Studio
- Analyze your Google Cloud costs alongside data from other providers using the common FOCUS format
How it works
The FOCUS BigQuery view acts as a virtual table that sits on top of your existing Cloud Billing data. To use this feature, you will need Detailed Billing Export and Price Exports enabled. Follow these instructions to set up your billing exports to BigQuery. The FOCUS BigQuery view uses a base SQL query to map your Cloud Billing data into the FOCUS schema, presenting it in the specified format. This allows you to query and analyze your data as if it were native to FOCUS, making it easier to compare costs across different cloud providers.
We've made it easy to leverage the power of FOCUS with a step-by-step guide. To view this sample SQL query and follow the step-by-step guide, sign up here.
Looking ahead: A commitment to open standards and collaboration
At Google Cloud, open standards are part of our DNA. We were a founding member of the FinOps Foundation, the first CSP to join the Open Billing Standards Working group, and a core contributor to the v0.5 and v1.0 specifications. As a strong advocate for open billing standards, we believe customers deserve a glimpse of what’s possible with Google Cloud Billing data considering the latest FOCUS specification.
We look forward to shaping the standards of open billing standards alongside our customers, FinOps practitioners in the industry, the FinOps Foundation, CSPs, SaaS providers, and more. Get a unified view of your cloud costs today with the FOCUS BigQuery view. Sign up here to learn more and get started.