Manage data freshness

Understand how Data Studio improves performance and reduces query costs by temporarily storing data.

A cache is a temporary data storage system. Fetching cached data can be much faster than fetching it directly from the underlying data set, and helps reduce the number of queries sent, minimizing costs for paid data access.

Data freshness refers to how up-to-date the data in a report is. Different types of reports have different requirements or expectations for data freshness. If you are measuring ad performance on your site or app, for example, daily updates might be sufficient. Reports based on social media analytics, on the other hand, may want their data updated multiple times in a day.

Report performance is a measure of how quickly the report loads. Fetching data directly from the underlying data set can be slow, which in turn makes your reports sluggish to load and respond to viewer changes, like applying filters and date ranges. In addition, for some data sources, such as BigQuery, fetching data directly can cost you money.

In this article:

Set data freshness for a data source

Data Studio automatically refreshes all the cached data for each data source used by your report at certain intervals. To change the default data refresh rate:

  1. Edit the data source. You can do this from within a report, or from the Data Sources home page.
  2. At the top, click Data freshness.
  3. Under "Check for fresh data," select a new refresh option, if available.
  4. Click SET DATA FRESHNESS.
Data refresh rates by connector

Different connectors support different data refresh rates, as follows. Note that Google marketing and measurement products, such as Google Ads, Google Analytics, Campaign Manager 360, Search Console, YouTube Analytics, and others, refresh every 12 hours. That rate can't be changed.

Connector Freshness options
Google Analytics Every 1 hour
Every 4 hours
Every 12 hours*

Other Google ad and measurement products

Every 12 hours
Google Sheets

Every 15 minutes*
Every 1 hour
Every 4 hours
Every 12 hours

BigQuery

Every 15 minutes
Every 1 hour
Every 4 hours
Every 12 hours*

Cloud and SQL connectors Every 15 minutes
Every 1 hour*
Every 4 hours
Every 12 hours
Community connectors Varies
Other connectors Varies

* Default refresh rate

Report editors can also manually refresh the cache (see below).

How the cache works

Every component in a Data Studio report has its own individual cache. That cache contains only the data needed to create that component's default visualization. For example, the cache for a table with 2 dimensions and 3 metrics, having a default date range of the last 28 days, and filtered by some value (country = Belgium, for instance) will contain only the data needed to display that table.

Here's another example:

Let's say your data source connects to a custom SQL query: SELECT * FROM tableName. The results of this query are not cached, since the cache applies to charts and components, not the data source as a whole.

Now, in your report, you add a scorecard with the metric Sum(revenue). The underlying query for the scorecard would be something like SELECT Sum(revenue) FROM (SELECT * from tableName)). The results of this query are cached for this particular scorecard.

When a component in your report requests data, if that query matches a previously received query, then the new data request is served from the cache.

If the request can't be served from the cache, Data Studio requests the data from the underlying data set. For example, if a viewer changes the date range or filters the table described above by a new country, then Data Studio requests the new data from the underlying data set. The results of that new query are then added to the table's cache, and Data Studio remembers the new query for future use.

When the cache refreshes, all the old cached data and remembered queries are discarded. New queries generated by components on the report go directly to the underlying platform and the responses are added to the cache for those components.

BigQuery users: please be aware that the usual query costs will apply whenever Data Studio queries the underlying project. This includes queries that bypass the cache, as well as manual and automatic cache refreshes.

Refresh report data manually

Report editors can refresh the cache at any time:

  1. View or edit the report.
  2. In the top right, click More options. and then click RefreshRefresh data .

This refreshes the cache for every data source added to the report.

How to tell if report data is cached

You can see if data is coming from the cache by viewing the report and looking in the bottom left corner. When all the charts on the current page are being served from the cache, you'll see a lightning bolt icon along with the time and date of the last update cache icon.

Blending and cached data

For a blended data source, the cache will use the setting that satisfies the desired refresh times for all of the data sources included in the blend.

For example, if you blend a Sheets data source having a refresh time of 15 minutes, with a BigQuery data source having a refresh time of 4 hours, the resulting blended data source will have a refresh time of 15 minutes.

Data freshness and embedded reports

Viewers can't refresh the data in an embedded report. (The data will refresh as usual when the cache expires.)

Report settings

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