How to Implement Change Data Capture with BigQuery?

Updated January 10th, 2024
BigQuery change data capture

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Combining a change data capture (CDC) tool with BigQuery allows organizations to efficiently process and analyze large, evolving datasets, ensuring real-time data accuracy and improved decision-making capabilities.

BigQuery efficiently analyzes large datasets, while change data capture captures and tracks real-time database changes, together providing dynamic and accurate insights.

The synergy of a change data capture tool with BigQuery delivers seamless real-time data integration, empowering agile decision-making and optimizing analytical precision.


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Table of contents

  1. Why should you use a change data capture tool with BigQuery?
  2. BigQuery overview
  3. What is change data capture?
  4. Steps to implement a change data capture tool with BigQuery
  5. Guidelines for effective implementation
  6. Change data capture for BigQuery: Related reads

Why should you use a change data capture tool with BigQuery?

Here are some of the most important reasons why you should implement a change data capture tool:

  • Enables real-time data integration, keeping systems synchronized and up-to-date.
  • Minimizes the resources needed for data replication, making it more efficient.
  • Reduces the workload on source systems by avoiding full data reloads.
  • Supports better decision-making with timely, accurate data available for analytics.

BigQuery overview

BigQuery is Google’s fully managed, NoOps, low-cost analytics database, allowing querying of massive data without managing infrastructure or needing a database administrator. It uses SQL and offers a pay-as-you-go model.


What is change data capture?

Change data capture (CDC) is a method used in data management to identify and capture changes made to data in a database. This process tracks inserts, updates, and deletes, allowing for real-time or near-real-time data integration and synchronization.

Change data capture is crucial for maintaining up-to-date data across different systems, enabling efficient data warehousing, replication, and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes. It helps in reducing the amount of data transferred, as only the changes are communicated, leading to improved performance and minimized resource usage.

The combination of a change data capture tool and BigQuery benefits organizations by enabling:

  • Improved data accuracy: Ensures only the most recent data changes are analyzed, enhancing data accuracy.
  • Scalability: Facilitates handling large volumes of data efficiently, leveraging BigQuery’s scalable architecture.
  • Enhanced decision making: Allows for quicker, more informed decisions based on the latest data.
  • Resource optimization: Reduces the need for full data reloads, optimizing computing and storage resources.
  • Data synchronization: Ensures consistent data across systems by capturing and reflecting real-time changes.

Steps to implement a change data capture tool with BigQuery

Here are the steps you need to follow for implementing a change data capture tool with BigQuery:

  • Scalability and performance: Assess if the tool scales efficiently with BigQuery’s capability to handle petabytes of data. Check for performance metrics during high-volume data transfers.
  • Integration compatibility: Ensure the tool seamlessly integrates with BigQuery and other Google Cloud services, enhancing data flow and synchronization.
  • Cost efficiency: Compare costs of available tools. Factor in long-term operational costs.
  • Security features: Evaluate the tool’s security measures, especially how it handles data encryption and access controls.
  • Real-time processing: Ensure the tool’s capability for real-time data streaming and processing, allowing for immediate capture and integration of changes into BigQuery.
  • User experience: Consider ease of use and setup, which can be overlooked. A user-friendly interface reduces setup complexities.

Making a business case


  • Highlight how the chosen tool complements BigQuery’s strengths (e.g., handling massive datasets, fast querying) and mitigates identified risks (e.g., data inconsistencies, resource overuse).
  • Demonstrate potential ROI through improved data management and decision-making accuracy.

Guidelines for effective implementation

In the process of implementing a change data capture tool with BigQuery, there’s a possibility of making various mistakes. Let’s now explore some of the most prevalent errors that should be avoided.

  • Underestimating data volume: Not preparing for the sheer volume of data that BigQuery can handle, leading to inefficient CDC processes.
  • Complex setup: Overlooking the complexities in the initial CDC setup with BigQuery’s large datasets.
  • Cost management: Failing to optimize costs related to BigQuery’s usage in high-volume CDC scenarios.
  • Data security: Neglecting robust security measures for sensitive data during CDC processes within BigQuery’s environment.


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