Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with BigQuery Data

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Use CData Connect Cloud to connect to live BigQuery data and create an interactive dashboard in Metabase from BigQuery data.

Metabase is an open source data visualization tool that allows users to create interactive dashboards. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, users can easily create visualizations and dashboards linked to live BigQuery data. This article describes how to connect to BigQuery and build a simple visualization using BigQuery data.

CData Connect provides a pure cloud-to-cloud interface for BigQuery, allowing you to easily integrate with live BigQuery data in Metabase — without replicating the data. Connect looks exactly like a SQL Server database to Metabase and uses optimized data processing out of the box to push all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to BigQuery, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return BigQuery data.

Connect to BigQuery in Connect Cloud

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "BigQuery" from the Add Connection panel
  3. BigQuery uses OAuth to authenticate. Click "Sign in" to authenticate with BigQuery.
  4. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add BigQuery Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

With the connection configured, you are ready to connect to BigQuery data from Metabase.

Connect to CData Connect from Metabase

After creating the virtual database, navigate to your Metabase instance. Use the SQL Server interface to connect to Connect Cloud.

  1. Navigate to the administration screen (Settings -> Admin) and click "Add Database" from the "Databases" tab
  2. Configure the connection to Connect Cloud and click "Save"
    • Database type: Select "SQL Server"
    • Name: Name the connection (e.g. "BigQuery (Connect Cloud)")
    • Host: tds.cdata.com
    • Port: 14333
    • Database name: The name of the connection you just created (e.g. GoogleBigQuery1)
    • Username: A Connect Cloud username (e.g. user@mydomain.com)
    • Password: The PAT for the above Connect Cloud user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Execute BigQuery Data with Metabase

Once you configure the connection to Connect Cloud, you can query BigQuery and build visualizations.

  1. Use the "Write SQL" tool to retrieve the BigQuery data
  2. Write a SQL query based on the BigQuery connection in CData Connect Cloud, e.g.

    SELECT OrderName, Freight FROM Orders
  3. Navigate to the "Visualization" screen, choose a visualization, and configure the visualization

More Information & Free Trial

At this point, you have built a simple visualization from BigQuery data in Metabase. You can continue to work with live BigQuery data in Metabase just like you would any SQL Server database. For more information on creating a live connection to BigQuery (and more than 100 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live BigQuery data in Metabase today.