Wrapping up the summer: A host of new stories and announcements from Data AnalyticsWrapping up the summer: A host of new stories and announcements from Data AnalyticsDirector of Product Management, Data Analytics

August is the time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the last of the summer. Or, for those in the southern hemisphere, August is the month you start looking at your swimsuits and sunglasses with interest as the weather warms. But regardless of where you live, August also seems to be when Google produces a lot of interesting Data Analytics reading.

In this monthly recap, I’ll divide last month’s most interesting articles into three groups: New Features and Announcements, Customer Stories, and  How-Tos. You can read through in order or skip to the section that’s most interesting to you.

Features and announcements

Datasets and Demo Queries – Recursion is a powerful topic, but it’s also a marvelous metaphor.  During August, we launched our most self-referential dataset yet; Google Cloud Release Notes are now in BigQuery. Find the product and feature announcements you need and do it fast using the new Google Cloud Release Notes Dataset. Additionally, we also launched the Top 25 topics in Google Trends (Looker Dashboard).

Save Messages, money and time with Pub/Sub topic retention. When you enable topic retention, all messages sent to the topic within the chosen retention window are accessible to all the topic’s subscriptions —without increasing your storage costs when you add subscriptions. Additionally, messages will be retained and available for replay even if there are no subscriptions attached to the topic at the time the messages are published, allowing subscribers to see the entire history of messages sent to the topic.

Extend your Dataflow templates with UDFs. Google provides a set of Dataflow templates that customers commonly use for frequent data tasks but also as reference data pipelines that developers can extend. But what if you want to customize a Dataflow template without modifying or maintaining the Dataflow template code itself? With JavaScript user-defined functions (UDFs), customers can now extend certain Dataflow templates with custom logic to transform records on the fly. This is especially helpful for users who want to customize a pipeline’s output format without having to re-compile or maintain the template code itself.

The diagram below shows the process flow for UDF enabled Dataflow Templates

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