Scheduling reports in BigQuery

A common use case for the GA360 BigQuery export is to schedule a job to create a series of (flat) aggregate tables. These tables are often easier for users to consume due to their smaller size and complexity relative to the main table.

This guide provides an example method to regularly schedule a query and create a table with the output in Google BigQuery. This document describes the process for setting up a solution using a GCP Virtual Machine. In practice, it would also be possible to implement a solution on a local machine if desired.

Note that creating a Virtual Machine will incur costs in Google Cloud Platform. Any scheduled queries and saved tables will also incur BigQuery costs. If you are a GA360 customer, you may have a coupon to cover some Cloud costs. Note that this coupon will cover BigQuery query and storage costs up to $500 per month, but it does not apply to Virtual Machine costs. You may wish to select a small VM to minimize costs.

Setup the Virtual Machine

During the process of creating a Virtual Machine, ensure that you select the Allow full access to all Cloud APIs checkbox.

Setup basic libraries

Get pip and install some basic libraries

username@project-vm-us:~$ sudo easy_install pip
username@project-vm-us:~$ sudo pip install --upgrade requests
username@project-vm-us:~$ sudo pip install --upgrade httplib2
username@project-vm-us:~$ sudo pip install --upgrade google-api-python-client --ignore-installed six
username@project-vm-us:~$ sudo pip install --upgrade google-cloud-bigquery

Create Folders

SSH into your Virtual Machine and create a directory to work in.
username@project-vm-us:~$ mkdir schedule-query


In all cases, you will need to ensure that the service account for the project has access to any datasets that you plan to query.
The steps below are optional if you have enabled Allow full access to all Cloud APIs during API creation. Nevertheless, they demonstrate how manual authentication can be accomplished.
  1. Create an auth file for the APIs 
    username@project-vm-us:~$ nano

    The contents of the file should be as follows:
    '''Handles credentials and authorization.
    This module is used by the sample scripts to handle credentials and
    generating authorized clients. The module can also be run directly
    to print out the HTTP authorization header for use in curl commands.
    will print the header to stdout.
    import httplib2
    import google.auth
    from google.auth.transport.requests import AuthorizedSession
    def get_creds():
      credentials, project = google.auth.default()
      if not credentials.token:
        authed_session = AuthorizedSession(credentials)
      return credentials
    def print_creds(credentials):
      '''Prints the authorization header to use in HTTP requests.'''
      print 'Authorization: Bearer %s' % (credentials.token,)
    def main():
    if __name__ == "__main__":
  2. Run the auth script
    username@project-vm-us:~$ python

Create Query Script

Create the following python script called to execute the query and save it to a permanent table.
from import bigquery
import time
def wait_for_job(job):
    while True:
        job.reload()  # Refreshes the state via a GET request.
        if job.state == 'DONE':
            if job.error_result:
                raise RuntimeError(job.error_result)
def example_query():
  query_id = str(int(time.time()))
  print 'Starting example query query with ID: ' + query_id
  client = bigquery.Client()
  query = """\
  dataset = client.dataset('datasetName')
  table = dataset.table(name='destination_table_name')
  job = client.run_async_query('your-job-name-' + query_id, query)
  job.destination = table
  job.write_disposition = 'WRITE_TRUNCATE'
if __name__ == '__main__':

Create script to execute query

Create a shell script called to run the query and output errors/logs to a file.
python /home/username/schedule-query/ >> /home/username/schedule-query/log.txt 2>&1

Schedule the query

Open crontab to set up a cron job to execute the shell script at the desired time:
username@project-vm-us:~$ crontab -e

Here is a sample crontab to execute a script at 19.05 each day.

# m h  dom mon dow   command
05 19 * * * sh /home/username/schedule-query/


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