Importing SA360 WebQuery reports to BigQuery

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


Search Ads 360 (SA360) is an enterprise-class search campaign management platform used by marketers to manage global ad campaigns across multiple engines. It offers powerful reporting capability through WebQuery reports, API, BiqQuery and Datastudio connectors.

Effective Ad campaign management requires multi-dimensional analysis of campaign data along with customers’ first-party data by building custom reports with dimensions combined from paid-search reports and business data.

Customers’ business data resides in a data-warehouse, which is designed for analysis, insights and reporting. To integrate ads data into the data-warehouse, the usual approach is to bring/ load the campaign data into the warehouse; to achieve this, SA360 offers various options to retrieve paid-search data, each of these methods provide a unique capabilities.
Comparison AreaWebQueryBQ ConnectorDatastudio ConnectorAPI
Technical complexityLow
Ease of report customizationHigh
Reporting DetailsCompleteLimited
Reports not supported on API are not available
Location targets
Remarketing targets
Audience reports
Possible Data WarehouseAny
The report is generic and needs to be loaded into the data-warehouse using DWs custom loading methods.
BigQuery ONLYNoneAny
Comparing these approaches, in terms of technical knowledge required, as well as, support for data warehousing solution, the easiest one is WebQuery report for which a marketer can build a report by choosing the dimensions/metrics they want on the SA360 User Interface.

BigQuery data-transfer service is limited to importing data in BigQuery and Datastudio connector does not allow retrieving data.

WebQuery offers a simpler and customizable method than other alternatives and also offers more options for the kind of data (vs. BQ transfer service which does not bring Business Data from SA360 to BigQuery). It was originally designed for Microsoft Excel to provide an updatable view of a report. In the era of cloud computing, a need was felt for a tool which would help consume the report and make it available on an analytical platform or a cloud data warehouse like BigQuery.

Solution Approach

This tool showcases how to bridge this gap of bringing SA360 data to a data warehouse, in generic fashion, where the report from SA360 is fetched in XML format and converted it into a CSV file using SAX parsers. This CSV file is then transferred to staging storage to be finally ETLed into the Data Warehouse.

As a concrete example, we chose to showcase a solution with BigQuery as the destination (cloud) data warehouse, though the solution architecture is flexible for any other system.


The tool helps marketers bring advertising data closer to their analytical systems helping them derive better insights. In case you use BigQuery as your Data Warehouse, you can use this tool as-is. You can also adopt by adding components for analytical/data-warehousing systems you use and improve it for the larger community.

To get started, follow our step-by-step guide.
Notable Features of the tool are as following:
  • Modular Authorization module
  • Handle arbitrarily large web-query reports
  • Batch mode to process multiple reports in a single call
  • Can be used as part of ETL workflow (Airflow compatible)
By Anant Damle, Solutions Architect and Meera Youn, Technical Partnership Lead