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This article is about Looker Studio. For Looker documentation, visit https://cloud.google.com/looker/docs/intro.

Manage data freshness

Understand how Looker 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 it helps reduce the number of queries sent, decreasing costs to your organization.

Data freshness refers to how up-to-date the data in a data source is. Different types of data sources 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 that are based on social media analytics, on the other hand, may need their data updated multiple times a day. This article explains how to set up data freshness rates for your data sources.

Report freshness refers to how up-to-date the data in a report is. Usually the report freshness will match the data freshness. In some cases, you may want to refresh data for a single report more frequently than your overall data refresh rates. This page discusses options for both manually refreshing report data and automatically refreshing report data while a report is open.

In this article:

Set data freshness for a data source

Looker 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 shown in the following table. 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
Amazon Redshift
  • Minutes: Every 1 to 50 minutes
  • Hours: Every 1 to 12 hours*
BigQuery
  • Minutes: Every 1 to 50 minutes
  • Hours: Every 1 to 12 hours*
Cloud Spanner
  • Minutes: Every 1 to 50 minutes
  • Hours: 1 to 12 hours*
Community connectors

Varies

Google Analytics
  • Every 1 hour
  • Every 4 hours
  • Every 12 hours*
Google Cloud Storage
  • Minutes: Every 1 to 50 minutes
  • Hours: Every 1 to 12 hours*
Google Sheets
  • Every 15 minutes*
  • Every 1 hour
  • Every 4 hours
  • Every 12 hours
MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server, CloudSQL for MySQL
  • Minutes: Every 1 to 50 minutes
  • Hours: Every 1 to 12 hours*
Other connectors

Varies

Other Google ad and measurement products

Every 12 hours

* Default refresh rate

Report editors can also manually refresh the cache. See the following section, How the cache works, for more details.

How the cache works

Every component in a Looker Studio report has its own cache, which contains only the data that is needed to create that component's default visualization. For example, the cache for a table that has 2 dimensions and 3 metrics and a default date range of the last 28 days, filtered by some value (country = Belgium, for instance), will contain only the data that is 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 to 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, Looker Studio requests the data from the underlying data set. For example, if a viewer changes the date range or filters the table described previously by a new country, then Looker 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 Looker Studio remembers the new query for future use.

When the cache refreshes, all the old cached data and remembered queries are discarded. New queries that are 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: Be aware that the usual query costs apply whenever Looker 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 by following these steps:

  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 that is 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. You'll see the time and date of the last update. If that date is prior to your making changes to the current report view, for example, by changing a date range or adding a filter, then all the charts on the page are being served from the cache.

Blending and cached data

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

For example, if you blend a Sheets data source that has a refresh time of 15 minutes with a BigQuery data source that has 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.)

Data freshness and auto refresh

The auto refresh settings on a report do not affect the data freshness of a data source. If a report triggers an auto refresh more frequently than the data source triggers a data refresh, the report returns cached results.

Report settings

Manage auto refresh for a report

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