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The Martech 5000 supergraphic highlights the big challenge facing marketers. As more products, tools, and platforms arise, so too does the amount of data marketers need to gather, monitor, and analyze.
To further compound this challenge, Scott Brinker, the man behind marketing’s most famous infographic, recently said that, “In some ways, forget about martech 5,000. Welcome to martech 50,000.”
So, what’s the next option marketers have when it comes to gathering big data in a large repository?
The answer is a data warehouse.What Is BigQuery & Why Should I Care?
Google BigQuery is a fast, scalable, and fully managed data warehouse that enables large-scale analytics.
There are multiple reasons why marketers should store their data in Google BigQuery.Limitless Data
But in BigQuery, you can store an unlimited amount of data, which means you can transfer literally all your marketing data from every platform into one centralized place.Access All Your Historical Data
Many native platforms limit the amount of historical data you can access. For example, Google Search Console offers six months of historical data within its native interface.
And while applications built on top of its API increases that figure to 16 months, you still don’t have a full overview of your past performance.
But with BigQuery you can use it to store all your past data, giving a complete overview of your historical performance.Data From Different Platforms
As we saw in Brinker’s supergraphic, marketers have a lot of data on a lot of platforms.
Gathering all that together in one centralized repository is the only way to create a single source of truth for your marketing performance.Analyze on a Granular Level
Within each marketing platform, you have a number of metrics and dimensions you can dig into.
However, when exporting your data into BigQuery you’ll often be able to have your data at a higher granularity than what is possible within these native interfaces.
For example, when transferring data from Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics into BigQuery, you be able to get granularity on an event or user level.
So say you run an ecommerce site, this lets you perform a deep path analysis to identify which are the most common page paths of your website visitors and how those paths differ between those who purchased and those who were just browsing.
This analysis would not be possible within native UIs as they don’t provide raw events data.
With BigQuery, it provides a whole new opportunity to really dig into your data and achieve levels of granularity not offered within native interfaces.How Can I Easily Pull My Data Into BigQuery?
So how can you actually get your data in BigQuery?
Well, that’s exactly why we built Supermetrics for BigQuery.
Quite simply, it’s the first native BigQuery Data Transfer Service app that lets you move data from all your non-Google marketing platforms (including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing, and more) into BigQuery.
In addition, you can also move data from Google platforms that haven’t been integrated with BigQuery, such as Google Search Console and Google My Business, whilst also getting Google Analytics without the needing to pay for GA 360.
At Supermetrics, our mission is pure and simple: to let marketers easily move their data from wherever it is to wherever they want.
All our products are made by marketers, for marketers, and that’s why we wanted to make it super simple to transfer your data into BigQuery.
We eliminated the need to know the technical details of how to move your data and understand the basics of SQL. Instead, you just select what data you’d like to move into BigQuery and Supermetrics takes care of the rest.
Being able to extract the depth of data from your marketing platforms is also a vital component of conducting sophisticated analyses.
That’s why we spent a lot of time and effort to ensure our connectors provide marketers with more metrics and dimensions than any other BigQuery application available.
Furthermore, the data is also pre-transformed by our predefined schemas. This basically means that once your data is in BigQuery, you don’t need to do anything to it and it will be presented in the format marketers need.How Can I Visualize My Data That’s in BigQuery?
Once you have your data in BigQuery, then comes the fun part: exporting it to visualization and BI tools.
Products like Tableau, Looker, and PowerBI provide robust platforms to turn your data into charts so you can monitor, analyze, and report on your marketing performance.
And in order to create a full end-to-end solution for marketers, we also built a dedicated connector to Google Data Studio so you can take all your data through BigQuery and into Data Studio using Supermetrics.
There are several benefits to the Data Studio connector that comes baked into Supermetrics for BigQuery, as it:
Automatically merges data from multiple sources without needing to write SQL.
Sets data types for all your fields with friendly naming structures (For example, “Account name” instead of “account_name”).
Adds calculated metrics like CTR, eliminating the need to manually define formulas.
Automatically includes time fields like week, month and year, which you would normally need to configure.BigQuery: Common Use Cases for Marketers
There are endless scenarios for which marketers can use BigQuery, but here are three common ones to help get you started.Cross-Channel PPC Analysis
Gather data from your PPC campaigns that run across multiple channels to identify which platforms are performing best for each campaign.
With Supermetrics for BigQuery, you can now pull data from heavily used paid marketing platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Bing Ads into BigQuery so you’re able to do this.
This means you’ll have all of your data in a central location and can create all-inclusive visual reports of your blended data.
This, in turn, will ensure smarter allocation of your performance marketing budgets and improved ROI.Web Analytics + CRM
It’s vital that digital marketers understand visitor behavior before and after conversion. Prospects often interact with several pages and content pieces across multiple visits before they do convert.
Pre-conversion, all this user data will be tied into a unique and anonymous cookie ID, which can be sent to Google BigQuery.
Once a prospect converts, they’d then have a CRM record ID, which in turn can be associated with their anonymous cookie ID by sending the cookie ID to the CRM upon conversion.
With Supermetrics for BigQuery, you can track both pre- and post-conversion on-site activity from Google Analytics and combine it with enriched data from your CRM to generate an in-depth understanding of your prospective customers.Attribution Analysis
Modern buying behavior makes attribution challenging.
As we discussed in the previous use case, it’s difficult to attribute every conversion to just one specific channel or touchpoint.
So gathering all the touchpoints someone has with you, across different channels, via multiple sources, and both pre- and post-conversion lets you not only gain a better understanding of your marketing funnel, but also – and more importantly – your customer journey.How Can I Get Started?
It’s easy to get started with Supermetrics for BigQuery.
Supermetrics for BigQuery is democratizing BigQuery for marketers. If you’d like to try it out you can start a free trial or book a demo with a member of the Supermetrics team.
You're reading How To Turn Google Bigquery Into A Powerful Marketing Data Warehouse
Cultivating partnerships is nothing new for Hewitt Associates LLC, a $1 billion company that makes its living running the human resources and benefits operations of its customers. Much like the company prioritizes relationship building with its outsourcing clients, Hewitt expects nothing less than the same hands-on treatment when it pairs up with data warehousing vendors.
Given that data warehousing projects often fall short of expectations, Hewitt, like other companies pursuing the technology, believes a long-term support commitment from a vendor is one of the keys to ensuring a project’s success. That means on the presales side, customers want vendors to come in and evaluate their business needs by helping to model a potential data warehouse architecture and reporting structure that will deliver the best analytical information to executives–before they close the deal. In addition, customers appear most satisfied with data warehousing vendors that–along with providing the standard 24×7 help desk and global support capabilities–have longstanding partnerships with consultants, giving them the benefit of best-practice experience, as well as with third-party tool makers, ensuring minimal integration issues with front-end analytical packages.
Data warehouse customers say: “This is not a one-time sale–we want the vendor to work with us through implementation of products at our site and be readily available on a customer-support basis.”
“We are very committed to being successful with our warehouse projects, so we want our vendor to have a stake in our success,” explains Meg Feldner, director of data warehousing and business intelligence solutions at Hewitt, in Lincolnshire, Ill. “This is not a one-time sale–we want the vendor to work with us through implementation of products at our site and be readily available on a customer-support basis.” For Hewitt, that meant spending weeks with potential data warehouse candidates building pilot applications in various business groups, before finally settling on the UNIX database from Informix Corp., in Menlo Park, Calif., as its warehouse platform and front-end analytical tools from Information Advantage Inc., in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Customers’ requirement of long-standing partnerships is not going unheeded in the vendor community, according to Wayne Eckerson, a senior consultant with the Patricia Seybold Group, in Boston. Many of the major players are aligning with or acquiring consulting partners, he says, citing, for example, the acquisition last year by Sagent Technology Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., of Talus Inc., a data warehouse consulting firm specializing in scalable datamarts. Partnering with or buying a consulting company makes sense, says Eckerson, because, “If things start getting bogged down, customers have a tendency to blame the product, when it’s really the methodology and process that’s awry.” Consultants, he explains, can help alleviate that problem.
A sampling of data warehouse vendors
Note: This list is not all-inclusive.
Having access to vendor consulting horse-power prior to deployment is one of the main ways Xerox Corp. is able to promote data warehousing on a global basis throughout the $18.2 billion company and at the same time maintain a small staff of six to oversee data-access issues, according to Jim Stranz, information access technology manager for Xerox Information Management, the IT arm of Xerox in Rochester, N.Y. “We require an educational component from our vendors where they match up their feature set with [a business unit’s] requirements,” Stranz says. On the back end, Xerox data warehouses are built on DB2 from IBM Corp., in Armonk, N.Y., or on RDBMS from Oracle Corp., in Redwood Shores, Calif. On the front end, a growing majority of Xerox groups are working with business intelligence tools from Viador Inc., of San Mateo, Calif.
Selling solutions is another way data warehousing vendors are satiating customers’ support requirements. Instead of marketing proprietary systems that require extensive programming, most vendors are augmenting their data warehouse lines with packaged applications that solve particular business problems. “Vendors are now selling solutions,” says Scott Lundstrom, a vice president at AMR Research Inc., in Boston. “They’re selling around the business value, not the strength of technology.” This, Lundstrom explains, plays into the industrywide trend among companies to buy packaged software rather than build applications from scratch.
In fact, says Hewitt’s Feldner, when it comes to data warehousing, technology is almost secondary to the business need. “Lots of [data warehouse] projects take a while to get there and some of that is because there’s not a good marriage all the time between what the business wants to achieve with the warehouse and what the technologists want to do.”
While turning a website into the desktop wallpaper on your Mac has been possible, you now have a way to turn your favorite website into the screen saver. That way you can see your favorite website on your Mac’s screen when the screen saver gets activated.
There are various reasons why you would like to have a website as your screen saver. The good thing is setting up a website as a screen saver is easier than you think.Turning a Website into a Screen Saver
In order to accomplish the task you are going to need a free app called WebViewScreenSaver. As the name implies, it lets you have the view of the web in place of your regular screen saver.
4. On the following screen you can enter a list of the URLs that you want to be displayed as the screen saver.
5. By default, it will add Google’s homepage as the URL. To edit it to your chosen URL, select it and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
Enter the new URL, and press the Enter key to save it.Conclusion
If you have always wanted to set that beautiful-looking website as the screen saver for your Mac, you now have a way to do so with the help of this free app.
Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who’s written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He’s been into the field for last eight years and hasn’t spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.
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Your PC already plays music, and your hard drive holds every digital photo you’ve ever taken. And you probably watch hours of video on Hulu, Veoh, or YouTube.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could corral all that stuff within one attractive, easy-to-use interface? One that’s large enough for you to see (and control) from the couch? And, hey, while we’re at it, how about adding TV and DVR features to the mix?
You can do all that and more by transforming your PC into a self-contained media center. All you need is the right software, and possibly some extra hardware, to give your machine new life as a jukebox, a high-def digital photo frame, a movie theater, and a TiVo clone.
You don’t necessarily need to buy new hardware, and the software part of this upgrade could be easier than you think. In fact, if you’re running Windows Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate, you’re set: Microsoft baked Windows Media Center right into the OS. Mac OS X Leopard users already have basic media-center software in the form of Apple’s Front Row, though third-party alternatives are also available. And Linux users have several free options, including Freevo and LinuxMCE.
All of those applications scan your PC for photos, music, videos, and the like, and then present them inside an oversize, TV-friendly interface (commonly known as a 10-foot interface, meaning it’s easily viewable from the couch). So when we talk about turning your PC into a media center, we mean installing software that finds, catalogs, and plays your media files–and looks good while doing it.
Note: In this guide, I’ll focus exclusively on ways that you can turn your existing computer into a media center. For a complete guide to assembling a media center PC from the ground up, see Zack Stern’s excellent “Build Your Own High-Def PC.”Center of Attention
Step one is to choose a media-center program–though as noted previously, you may already have one.
The most obvious choice is Windows Media Center (WMC), which–despite being a Vista-bundled freebie–offers a rich feature set and a dazzling interface. With it you can view photo slide shows (complete with Ken Burns-style pan and zoom effects), watch DVDs and videos, browse your music library by cover art, and connect to various online services (including movie-download stores CinemaNow and Movielink).
WMC also supports up to four TV tuners for DVR-like viewing and recording, and it can archive recorded shows to DVD. Of course, not everyone has Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate, and even folks who do might want to check out the alternatives.
The $80 SageTV Media Center for Windows offers a more TV-centric experience than Windows Media Center, including an integrated Google Video viewer and instant commercial-skipping. Pair it with the $30 SageTV Placeshifter add-on, and you can stream all your media (including live and recorded TV) to any PC with a broadband Internet connection.
If you’d rather dip a toe in the media-center waters without spending any money, check out MediaPortal, a free application that’s every bit as powerful as WMC. It can timeshift and record TV, play videos and music, run fancy slide shows, tune in radio stations (both FM and Internet), and even play games such as Tetris. It’s compatible with Windows XP and Vista.
Macintosh users have choices as well, though they’re a bit limited in TV and DVR features. The OS X-bundled, remote-controllable Front Row serves up music, videos, photos, and DVDs, all couched in a dazzling turntable-style interface. But it doesn’t support TV programming, even if you add a tuner. For that, look to MediaCentral, a $30 program that performs all the best media-center tricks and can play/pause live TV too. (Unfortunately, it can’t record shows for later viewing.) Don’t have 30 bucks to spare? CenterStage is a community-developed program that, among other things, can play recorded TV shows now and promises more TV features (including an electronic program guide) in the future.
There’s an abundance of perfectly good note-taking software available for organization addicts, with tools like Evernote and OneNote typically topping the list. The field gets even more crowded if you expand to mobile app stores, which are loaded with specialized tools that promise to save all your ideas from those lengthy brainstorming sessions, meetings, or classroom lectures.
First of all, all of your docs (or notes in this case) are saved in Google Drive, which has the best search capabilities around, hands-down. That makes it easy to find the note your looking for in a flash. Evernote’s search is good, but not as good as Google’s.
You also can use Drive’s excellent collaboration feature to write and share notes with others in real-time—an especially useful scenario if you’re doing a group project with colleagues or classmates.
Finally, using Docs as your note-taking tool of choice prevents that oh-so-annoying scenario when you’re trying to remember exactly where you saved a key file. There’s no more “Oh, I put that note in Evernote, but the related Word document is in Dropbox, and the image is in OneDrive,” et cetera. If you go all-in with Drive, it’s all there.
If those sound like capabilities you need, Google Docs could very well scratch your note-taking itch. Transforming Docs into a note-taking powerhouse takes a wee bit of upfront work, however—not much, but some. Here’s how to get started.Set up an organizational structure
The first step is to create a folder for all your notes—even though Drive’s search capabilities are excellent, it still helps to have some kind of organizational plan for your notes and other files.
Create a folder, or several, for all your notes or other items you’d like to keep organized.
You could just set up one blanket folder called Notes that you stuff all of these into, or you could get more specific with folders for meeting notes, agendas, recipes, or perhaps even individual classes if you’re a student. Drive also lets you nest folders if you want to further subdivide your organizational system.Collaborative note-taking
If you’re working on a project with others, you still can’t find a better real-time collaboration app than Google Docs.
Share a file and edit in real-time with another Google Drive user.
Use those tables
For some notes you may want more than just the usual blank slate. Fortunately, you can tweak documents to make them function better for notes.
Making a table is a good way to organize a page for note-taking.
There isn’t a native capability for splitting your doc up into columns, so a table works best for this kind of situation. You can also add in a horizontal line from the Insert menu if you want to split off one section from another.Search smarter in Google Drive
Google’s search is usually best in class, but sometimes you’ll need some additional tools to hone in on what you’re trying to find. Drive has several parameters that can refine your search, which is especially useful if the only thing coming to mind is a common term that could be in a large number of files you have saved.
Use search parameters to hone in on what you’re trying to find.
You can specify what type of file you’re trying to find—perhaps you want an image you scanned or a doc. If someone else started the file, you can look for one where they’re the owner, saving you from too many search results that point you in the wrong direction.
Drive also supports powerful search modifiers similar to the ones you can use in the Google Search, which can help you narrow your queries down to incredibly granular levels. Check out the “Advanced Search Options” section of Google Drive’s search help page for a full list.Put your camera to work
It’s easy to add images to Drive; just snap a picture with the Drive iOS or Android app or use your computer’s webcam on the desktop. From there you can add the picture to a specific file or anywhere else in your Google Drive.
Take a snapshot of your handwritten notes and upload them to Drive.
Like Evernote, Google Drive employs optical character recognition to let you search for text inside of the first 100 pages of a text-based PDF, the first 10 pages of an image-based PDF, or JPG, PNG, or GIF images up to 2MB in size. Be sure to orient pictures left-to-right (like you were reading a book) and take photos with as high a resolution as possible to get the best results.Power up with the Research Tool
The Google Docs Research Tool is excellent for use with articles or research papers—and note-taking, as it turns out. For example, if there’s a phrase you want to know more about, just highlight it and select the research tool.
The Research Tool can be an excellent resource for writing in Google Docs.
Docs will then pull up relevant links. If you want to keep those links around or if they’re useful for a collaborative note-taking session, then you can make the selected text a link. This can prove especially handy if you have a set of notes that are going to get worked into a report.When it may not be right
Docs works well for the use cases we covered here. But it still may not be right for you, depending on your personal note-taking style. For example, if you like to mark up your notes on a tablet with your finger or stylus, Docs isn’t the right choice for you.
Both OneNote and Evernote offer some in-depth tricks for note-taking power users, as well—tricks that Google Docs can’t match.Keep an eye on Google Keep
Google Keep is is Google’s take on a quick note-taking tool. It syncs across the web and Android (sorry iOS users) and is generally a great way to save quick notes or check-box lists—its Sticky Note-style layout doesn’t really lend itself to more detailed files, however.
Yet you never know if Google will one day announce some bigger plans, perhaps more deeply integrating Keep with the rest of Drive. So watch for how Keep develops over time. Either way, Google doesn’t look to be letting Evernote or Microsoft run away with the productivity prize.
Many of these experiments also have the potential to be very messy – but where’s the fun in tidy experiments?Grow and eat sugar crystal sticks
Not only can you grow these sugar crystals but you can eat them afterwards. That’s the ideal experiment as far as I’m concerned. You can also grow sugar crystals on a string but chewing on string is considerably less appetising, so invest in a skewer or two, if possible.
To make one sugar crystal stick, you’ll need:
A wooden skewer
A glass or jar
A clothes peg
One cup of water
Three cups of sugar
Boil up your cup of water and add three cups of sugar.
Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. This will give you sugar syrup.
If you want to make sugar sticks in different colours, add a couple of drops of food colouring to the mixture.
Let the mixture cool for a while, so you don’t crack your glass when you pour it in.
Okay, now you can pour it in.
Take your wooden skewer, dip it into the mixture and then roll it in a little bit of granulated sugar. This will encourage sugar crystals to form on its surface.
Clip the clothes peg onto the skewer, and then lower the skewer into the glass, so that the peg lies flat across the top of the glass and the skewer is suspended, pointing downwards, and about halfway into your sugar syrup. Make sure that the skewer does not touch the side of the glass.
Put the glass somewhere it won’t be disturbed and leave it for a few days to allow the sugar crystals to build.
Check back so your children can see the crystals forming.
When the sugar stick is ready, eat it and tell your children that the experiment didn’t work and that you need to try it again.
Just kidding.Make a rainbow in a bottle
There are two ways to try this experiment, depending on what you have in your kitchen. You can either use liquids of various densities, or you can use sugar solutions of different strengths.
The taller and thinner the jar or bottle you use, the better the final result.
For the first version of the experiment, you’ll need:
A tall, thin jar or bottle (a small olive oil or balsamic vinegar bottle is ideal)
100ml of honey
100ml of washing-up liquid
100ml of water
100ml of olive oil
100ml of rubbing alcohol
Food colouring to create five different colours
Use your food colouring to give each of the liquids a different colour.
The pouring requires a steady hand.
Very carefully, pour the coloured honey into your jar and let it settle.
Next, add the washing up liquid.
Then the water.
Add the olive oil.
Finally, add the rubbing alcohol and you have created a rainbow in a jar.
If you don’t have all of the above ingredients, you can use sugar and water to create liquids of varying densities.
Get five cups and pour 100ml of hot water into each one.
Add two sugar cubes to the first cup, three to the second, four to the third and so on.
Add food colouring to each cup to make one pink, one blue, one green etc.
Pour the water with the most sugar dissolved in it into the jar first.
Add the next cup (with the second highest volume of sugar) with a very steady hand.
Continue with the next cup.
Behold the rainbow.Stay in and see the water fireworks
Food colouring in different colours
Fill your jar almost to the top with water.
Pour three tablespoons of oil into a bowl.
Drop small spots of food colouring in various shades into the oil.
Mix it with a fork.
Pour the oil mixture into the jar of water.
Watch the fireworks appear.
Don’t leave the jar full of food colouring, oil and water unattended unless you are interested in a spontaneous, Jackson Pollock-style home makeover.Make a bouncy egg
A drinking glass or jar
Place your egg in the jar and cover it with vinegar. Put it somewhere it won’t be disturbed.
Check on the egg the following morning and top up the vinegar if necessary. You’ll see bubbles forming around it as the shell is dissolving in the acid. You may also see that bits of shell have floated to the top of the vinegar.
Keep the egg covered in vinegar and check it after two days.
When it’s ready, it’ll feel rubbery.
Take it out of the vinegar and carefully wash away any remaining shell.
You now have a bouncy egg.
A word of caution on this one: there is a raw egg underneath the membrane and if you bounce it too hard, it’ll pop and you’ll end up with raw egg everywhere.
It’s basically human nature to keep bouncing the egg until it does pop, so my feeling is that if you make the bouncy egg, you’re going find yourself cleaning up raw egg at some stage.Write a letter in invisible ink
A paint brush or cotton bud
An iron, candle or hob
Get your child to write a secret message on the paper with a cotton bud or brush dipped in lemon juice. (It doesn’t have to be a secret but I think that getting your kid to write a shopping list is a bit lame.)
Let the paper dry.
Choose your heating method: you can use an iron, the hob or a candle and your message will magically appear. If your child has not chosen to write something delightfully observant about your personal appearance, I’ll be surprised.
Now it’s your turn to write a message back. Remember that you’re the adult.
For extra credit, you can use the secret letter trick towards the end of an Easter Egg or treasure hunt. Heat up the paper to reveal the final location of the treasure.Blow up a balloon with baking soda
First, stretch the balloon so it’s easier to blow up.
Fix the funnel into the end of the balloon and spoon several teaspoons of baking soda through the funnel into the balloon.
Fill the bottle halfway with vinegar.
Keeping the end of the balloon turned over so that the baking soda is enveloped, fit the lip of the balloon over the top of the bottle.
Lift the balloon to empty the baking soda into the vinegar.
Swirl the bottle around a bit to get it fizzing.
You may have to experiment a bit with quantities depending on the size of the bottle you’re using. Just to clear up a common online misconception that could leave some children (and apparently some adults) very disappointed – this will only inflate a balloon, not make it magically float into the air as though filled with helium.
With thanks to super-scientists Angela and Maxwell Burton for their ideas and practical know-how.
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