Google Adds Community Connectors Feature to Data Studio

Posted on by Jamie McGibbon in Cloud Computing, and Google Cloud Platform

When it comes to collecting and managing data and providing visualizations of that data to users, there are a variety of ways to go about doing so. And depending on the data sources, collecting this data and sharing it with others can sometimes be quite the challenge. However, Google recently introduced a new feature to their Data Studio service called Community Connectors, which is designed to make this process a bit easier.

This new feature enables users to build “connectors” to any Internet-accessible data source using Google’s Apps Script, the firm’s JavaScript-based cloud scripting language. The data can then be used to create a variety of custom visualizations within Google’s Data Studio.

Users can pull data into their connectors from a variety of sources, including Google’s BigQuery or CloudSQL services, as well as a number of third-party services via their respective APIs, so long as they can be accessed using Google’s App Script. A full list of supported services and available connectors can be found on the Google Data Studio website, which also shows the level of interest that both developers and users have for each service.

Depending on user preference, connectors either be private, shared with only certain users, or made available to the general public by publishing the connector to Google’s Community Connector Gallery.

This new service even enables users to monetize the connectors that they create, with users able to use whichever monetization approach they desire (such as offering a free and premium version, having a “freemium” model, etc.). However, the user themselves is required to manage the payment, authentication, and access rights for their connectors, should they decide to monetize them.

In the Google blog post announcing Community Connectors, the firm actually shared an example connector that they created (along with its source code), which was designed to collect data from StackOverflow.com, a popular question and answer website for software developers, and present it within Data Studio in an intuitive manner.

The example shows the data in an organized and interactive fashion, which could certainly prove useful for those in business, education, research, or a variety of other fields. For example, a business could monitor social networks to see how often users mention their name, a product they sell, or any other parameter. In fact, a connector could even be written to pull in data from multiple sources, should one wish to do so.

While there are a variety of tools available to collect, monitor, and analyze data, not all tools provide support for such a wide variety of data sources. With Google’s new Community Connectors, users can now tap into a variety of data sources in order to provide themselves, their customers, and even the general public with a great deal of insight into the data they collect, which is something that could be beneficial in many ways.

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