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Google Cloud Storage connector

Google Cloud Storage (GCS) offers world-wide storage and retrieval of any amount of data. GCS combines the performance and scalability of Google's cloud with advanced security and sharing capabilities. The Google Cloud Storage connector lets you create and share reports and dashboards based on your GCS data.

In this article:

How to connect to Google Cloud Storage

A GCS data source can connect to a single text file, in CSV format, or to a folder stored in your Google Cloud Storage bucket. If you connect to a folder, Data Studio will try to connect to all the CSV files it finds to populate the data source.

When connecting to a folder, be sure that all the text files in that folder share the same structure (schema). Trying to connect a data source to files with different structures will cause an error.

Create a GCS data source

  1. Sign in to Data Studio After signing in, you'll see the Home page.
  2. Click the DATA SOURCES tab.
  3. Click Create new report or data source
  4. On the left, select the Google Cloud Storage connector from the list.
    Example of creating a GCS data source
  5. If prompted, AUTHORIZE access to your data.
  6. Enter the path to your data:
    1. Include the bucket name and any parent folders
    2. To select a single file, enter the file name
    3. To select multiple files, enter the final folder name and select Use all files in path option
  7. Click CONNECT. The data source Fields tab will open.
  8. Use the Fields tab to add metrics, change the field types, change the aggregation type , and rename any fields, as needed.
  9. (Optional) Change the data source credentials. This controls who can see the data provided from this data source
  10. (Optional) Click the default data source name to rename it.
  11. Click Create Report.

Updating the data source

If you add new data to the files, or add new files to the folder, that data is automatically available in the data source. This ensures that your reports are always up to date, subject to normal caching rules.

File format

You should be sure that the files you connect to are correctly formatted. Otherwise, errors might occur, or your data may not look right in your reports.

Probably the most common cause of content errors is improper use of separators, quote marks and line break characters in the data. Understanding how Data Studio handles these can save you trouble down the road.

Only tabular data

The GCS connector can only handle files of tabular data in CSV format. This means your files must have a regular structure of properly separated rows and columns. Each row must have the same number of columns, even if data is missing for a particular cell in the table. Trying to connect to a file with merged cells, or an inconsistent structure will fail with an error.

Every file you connect to for a given data source must have exactly the same structure, with the same fields in the same order.

If you need to add or delete fields in an existing data source, you must delete all the previously uploaded files before connecting to files with the new structure. (Or create a new data source using the new file structure.)

Separators

All the fields in your data must be separated from each other by commas.

If there are commas within the actual data in a field, that field must be surrounded by quotes. If your data includes double quotes, you can use a single quote character to surround the field.

Header row

The first line in your file must be a header row. This row will tell Data Studio how to name your fields. Field names must be unique, so you can't have duplicate values in your header row.

Column names must:

  • Contain only letters, numbers, or underscores. Other punctuation or special characters are not allowed.
  • Start with a letter or underscore
  • Be at most 128 characters long

The header row must also follow the rules for separators mentioned above.

Line breaks

Each line in the file must end with a line break. The GCS connector does not support line breaks in your data even if these are escaped by quotes.

Limits of the GCS connector

The Google Cloud Storage connector is subject to the following limits:

  • 2GB total storage per user
  • 100MB file size limit per data source

Google Cloud Storage

About data sources

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