Why We Love Google BigQuery

One of the challenges of running an analytics company like ours, where we’re dealing with terabytes of big data, is managing  the horsepower required to crunch such enormous volumes of data in real-time and deliver it in a simple and easy to use  interface  that makes business sense to our users.

To help, we’ve partnered with Google as one of the early users of Google BigQuery, a web service that enables us to do interactive analysis of massively large datasets. The service enables us  to process billions of rows of social and mobile game events data in mere seconds.

BigQuerywas initially developed as an internal tool to help the company process its own data more efficiently, and it was launched at last year’s Google I/O conference after they realized it would be useful for other companies in need of big data analytics as well. The premise is that using SQL-like commands via a RESTful API, you can do things like quickly explore and understand massive historical datasets, analyze network logs, identify seasonal sales trends, or, as in our case, analyze billions  of social app events taking place every minute.

Earlier this week, Google announced some big improvements to the BigQuery service, making it even more powerful and easier to use. As posted on the Google Developer blog, they’ve made updates such as:

  • We’ve made big improvements for customers accessing the service programmatically through the API. The new REST API lets you run multiple jobs in the background and manage tables and permissions with more granularity.
  • Whether you use the BigQuery web application or API, you can now write even more powerful queries with JOIN statements. This lets you run queries across multiple data tables, linked by data that tables have in common.
  • It’s also now easy to manage, secure, and share access to your data tables in BigQuery, and export query results to the desktop or to Google Cloud Storage.

A few of the above changes are very important for us to address some really advanced use cases around real time campaign, ads and user engagement analytics – that further contribute to near immediate closed loop actionability for social and mobile games. Extremely important for all those publishers who want to be the next Zynga in the mobile space!

BigQuery is currently available by invitation-only to a limited number of enterprises and developers, and we are honored to be among those testing it out. We can unequivocally say that we’ve been very impressed, and that the service has been integral in helping us deliver the real-time data and actionable insights that our customers have come to expect from us.


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