Effective Google Cloud Platform (GCP) cost management is essential to cloud administration,  and utilizing BigQuery for GCP cost analysis offers a comprehensive solution to control your cloud expenses. 

Integrating GCP billing data into BigQuery allows for real-time analysis and detailed insights into your cloud spend. Benefits include unveiling opportunities for cost optimization, such as pinpointing underutilized resources or forecasting future expenses with predictive analytics.

That’s a simple overview, but don’t worry; this blog offers a deep dive into GCP and BigQuery so you can make the most of this combination regarding effective cost management and optimization.

Setting the Stage: GCP and BigQuery Basics

Before embarking on the journey of cost analysis within the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), let’s review the fundamental components of GCP and its powerful data analysis tool, BigQuery.

What is GCP?

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a cloud service suite that operates on the same infrastructure as Google’s products, like Search and YouTube. GCP offers computing power, data storage, and data analytics capabilities.

What is BigQuery?

BigQuery, a key feature of GCP, is a fully managed, serverless data warehouse that enables scalable and cost-effective analysis of large datasets using SQL-like queries.

By integrating BigQuery with cost analysis, users can gain insights into GCP usage and expenses, identify trends, and optimize costs. It’s an indispensable tool for FinOps professionals managing cloud spend.

Unleashing the Power of BigQuery for Cost Analysis

BigQuery’s ability to process large volumes of data in seconds allows for the examination of detailed billing data exported automatically by GCP. Users can write SQL queries to dissect billing data across various dimensions, such as project, service, or usage time. Additionally, the integration of BigQuery ML enables the prediction of future costs, facilitating informed budgeting decisions.

Additional benefits

– Platform scalability for analysis and comprehension of growing data and costs.
– Custom dashboards and reports visualize spending over time.
– Empowers stakeholders to make data-driven decisions for optimizing cloud resources.
– Serves as a data analysis tool and a vital instrument for financial governance.
– Seamless integration with other GCP services.
– Integration with Data Studio for visualizations and Pub/Sub for real-time data ingestion.


BigQuery SQL Queries for Cost Management

SQL capabilities are a must to track and manage your GCP costs. Crafting specific SQL queries, you can gain insights into your spending patterns, identify areas of inefficiency, and make data-driven decisions for cost optimization.

Example SQL queries that can be useful for managing GCP costs:

Cost by Service: SELECT service.description AS service, SUM(cost) AS total_cost FROM `project.dataset.table` GROUP BY service ORDER BY total_cost DESC
Cost by Project: SELECT project.name AS project, SUM(cost) AS total_cost FROM `project.dataset.table` GROUP BY project ORDER BY total_cost DESC
Daily Cost Trends: SELECT DATE(usage_start_time) as date, SUM(cost) AS daily_cost FROM `project.dataset.table` GROUP BY date ORDER BY date ASC


KEEP IN MIND: When creating these queries, replacing the project.dataset.table with your actual project ID, dataset, and billing export table name is important.

Moreover, incorporating filters and conditions into your queries will refine the results, enabling you to focus on specific services, projects, or time frames.

By analyzing, reviewing, and adjusting your SQL queries, you can implement strategies to reduce waste, improve budget forecasting, and enhance resource allocation to continue to extract meaningful and actionable insights from your cloud cost data.


Optimizing GCP Costs with Data-Driven Insights

Converting raw data into actionable insights greatly impacts cost optimization on GCP, and utilizing BigQuery can help analyze GCP spending in detail.

But how do you begin? The first step is to spot patterns and anomalies in the analysis results (Anodot can help with anomaly detection!). By looking at time-based usage patterns, you can schedule resources cost-effectively and shut them down during low-traffic periods.

Here’s where BigQuery comes in. Its machine-learning capabilities can forecast future usage and spending, enabling proactive budget adjustments. It’s integration’s analytical power with financial planning, businesses can reduce GCP costs and enhance cloud operations.

Written by David Drai

David is CEO and co-founder of Anodot, where he is committed to helping data-driven companies illuminate business blind spots with AI analytics. He previously was CTO at Gett, an app-based transportation service used in hundreds of cities worldwide. Prior to Gett, he co-founded Cotendo, a content delivery network and site acceleration services provider that was acquired by Akamai Technologies, where he also served as CTO. He graduated from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology with a BSc in computer science.

You'll believe it when you see it