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Connect to Google Cloud Storage

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, Looker 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.

To connect

  1. Sign in to Looker Studio.
  2. On the Looker Studio home page, in the top left, click The Create icon. Create and then select Data Source.
  3. Select the Google Cloud Storage connector from the list
  4. If prompted, AUTHORIZE access to your data.
  5. 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
  6. In the upper right, click CONNECT.
    1. The data source fields panel appears.
    2. The data source is now connected to your data set.

Configure the data source

The data source fields panel is where you configure the data source by renaming fields and adding descriptions, adding calculated fields, and changing data types and aggregations. Learn more about working with data source fields.

Control who sees the data

At the top of the fields panel, you can change the data credentials. Credentials control who can see the data provided by this data source.

OWNER'S CREDENTIALS lets other people view or create reports that use this data without requiring them to have their own access to the data set.

VIEWER'S CREDENTIALS, on the other hand, requires each user of the data source to provide their own credentials to access the data set.

Learn more about data credentials.

Create a new report from the data source

  1. In the upper right, click CREATE REPORT.
    1. The report editor appears.
  2. Click ADD TO REPORT.
    1. This adds the data source to report.
    2. You can now create charts and controls that get their data from this data source.

New to Looker Studio?

Take the Create a report tutorial. Or learn more about the report editor.

Update the data

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 properly named and formatted. Otherwise, errors might occur, or your data may not look right in your reports.

Learn more about Cloud Storage Objects.

Probably the most common cause of content errors is improper use of separators, quote marks and line break characters in the data. Understanding how Looker 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.)


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 Looker Studio how to name your fields. Field names must be unique, so you can't have duplicate values in your header row. 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:

  • 100MB file size limit per data source

Google Cloud Storage

About data sources

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