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Load Data from JSON to BigQuery – 3 Methods Explained

Google BigQuery is a powerful data warehouse that enables holistic data analytics. You can connect multiple external data sources to it and query enormous datasets in seconds! These sources often include third-party applications and services that serve data in JSON format.

Loading data from JSON to BigQuery can help you:

  • Efficient data storage and analytics
  • Query and analyze data at scale via SQL
  • Use data in other Google services

This article explores all the methods to load JSON data to BigQuery. You’ll also learn a solid method to connect JSON to BigQuery and automate the connection. Actually, you can watch our video about it right away!

Methods to load JSON data to BigQuery

JavaScript Notation Object (JSON) is a widely used data interchange format. It is easily readable, lightweight, and language-independent. Most apps and services offer an option to export data to JSON format. Here are three main ways to pull JSON data into BigQuery for analysis:

1. (Build & Automate Data Pipeline)

This is the easiest way to import data from JSON to BigQuery dynamically. The connector creates a data pipeline to automate data updates at regular intervals. You can also transform or process the data before importing it to BigQuery.

2. Manual Import (The Most Basic Method)

Google BigQuery supports JSON as one of the data sources for creating tables. You can manually import JSON as a data source to create a new table. This has several drawbacks and may not be suitable for loading dynamic datasets

3. Programmatic Import (Code & Build Your Connector)

Build a custom data connector in programming languages like Python. This method requires a good understanding of Google APIs and coding expertise to load JSON data to BigQuery.

We’ll explore each of the above methods to load JSON to BigQuery.

How to dynamically import JSON data to BigQuery

Most web apps and services serve data in JSON format. These data sources keep changing with time, and thus, you’ll also be required to update the BigQuery dataset with the latest data.
But how do you do this?

You can use third-party connectors, such as, to connect JSON to BigQuery dynamically. is a data integration and analytics platform. It can connect a JSON data source to BigQuery and auto-update data at regular intervals. It also offers advanced features, such as data transformation and stitching, that you can use to process data before loading.

Getting started with is free & straightforward.

Sign up for a account and log into it. Create a new importer with JSON as the source and BigQuery as the destination.

Click Proceed to configure the importer.

Step 1: Extract Data

In the source configuration, you can define the JSON data source.

Enter the JSON URL (often called endpoint URL) from where the importer can retrieve the data. This address can vary according to the data you want to fetch.

Select the appropriate HTTP Method. In most cases, it will be “GET.”
You can refer to the official API docs of the respective app/service for more details.

2 json setup

You can also configure the request headers and URL query parameters if the data source requires it. Optionally, you can configure the source to extract only specific columns and data from a defined path.

Once you’re done with the source configuration, click Finish And Proceed.

Step 2: Transform Data

Although optional, data transformation is the most interesting section of this method. It lets you transform and process the JSON data before you import it into BigQuery.

Once you’re done configuring the data source, click Transform Data. Optionally, you can add other data sources to the connector.

3 review sources

Now, up to 500 rows from the data source will be displayed on the screen.

You can transform and process the data before importing it to BigQuery. The importer lets you shape the data in the following ways:

  • Columns Management – Choose the columns you want to import from JSON to BigQuery. You can hide the unnecessary columns from here.
  • Filter – Set conditions to extract specific data from JSON into BigQuery. You can specify multiple conditions with AND & OR operators.
  • Sort – Arrange the data sorted in an ascending or descending order of a specific column.
  • Add Columns – Create a calculable column with data calculated from existing columns. Learn more about calculable columns in Coupler.

Once you’re done with the data transformation, click the Proceed button at the top-right corner.

4 transform module

Step 3: Manage Data

In this section, you can connect your BigQuery account for the data import.

In the Destination account, click Connect and upload the Google Cloud JSON key file. Learn how to get the JSON key file.

Enter the Dataset name and Table name where you want to import the data. A new dataset/table will be created if the provided destination is not found.

The importer will auto-detect the data schema. However, you can define the table schema manually by switching the option off.

5 save to bigquery

Optionally, you can configure the importer to add a timestamp of the last update and replace or append new data in the BigQuery table.

Once you finish the importer setup, click the Finish & Proceed button.

The best part of using the connector is that it allows you to automatically load JSON data to BigQuery at regular intervals. In the final step, switch on the Automatic data refresh option and configure the following:

  • Interval – Select how often you want to refresh the data. E.g., every hour.
  • Day of week – Choose the days you want to run the importer.
  • Time preferences – Select the preferred time for the importer.
  • Schedule time zone – Select the applicable timezone of the defined date.

Now, click Save and Run.

6 set up schedule

Wait some seconds while your JSON data is loaded to BigQuery.

The screenshot below shows a new table created in BigQuery with all the data from the JSON UR

7 imported dataset

Now, we can sit back and relax! will run automated load jobs at regular intervals as configured and keep the BigQuery data updated. It requires no further intervention. And that’s JSON to BigQuery connection automated!

Manually using JSON to enter data into BigQuery table

You can manually upload the file in JSONL format from your computer or cloud storage and create a table in BigQuery.

But what does this format mean?

In the Newline Delimited JSON (a.k.a NDJSON or JSONL), the JSON objects are separated by a new line.

JSON Syntax Example:[  {“name”: “Alice”, “age”: 25, “city”: “New York”},  {“name”: “Bob”, “age”: 32, “city”: “San Francisco”},  {“name”: “Eve”, “age”: 28, “city”: “Los Angeles”},  {“name”: “Michael”, “age”: 40, “city”: “Chicago”}]

JSONL Syntax Example:{“name”: “Alice”, “age”: 25, “city”: “New York”}{“name”: “Bob”, “age”: 32, “city”: “San Francisco”}{“name”: “Eve”, “age”: 28, “city”: “Los Angeles”}{“name”: “Michael”, “age”: 40, “city”: “Chicago”}

You can use the free JSON to NDJSON Online Converter app for that.

Once you’re ready with the JSON data in newline delimited format, go to Google BigQuery Explorer and select the dataset to import the JSON.

Click the Create Table button on the top-right corner. 

8 create table

Now, the Create table screen will be displayed where you need to configure the following source settings:

  • Create table from – Select the upload to import JSON from your computer. You can select other relevant options, for example, Google Cloud Storage Bucket.
  • Select file – Upload the file here.
  • File format – Select JSONL (Newline delimited JSON).

Fill up the Table name in the destination section.

Tick the Auto detect option to let BigQuery detect the data type of each column and parse data accordingly. Alternatively, you can declare the data schema manually by keeping this option unchecked.

9 create table settings

Click Create Table to import JSON to BigQuery.

Once the import is completed, you can find the table with the JSON data in BigQuery.

10 preview

The manual JSON import method is very basic. It requires correct formatting of data in JSONL format. Furthermore, it is not an efficient way to import dynamic JSON data sources into BigQuery.

How to Solve a Common JSON Parsing Error in BigQuery?

Many users report a JSON parsing error while loading data. It is mainly because of the incompatibility of normal JSON data with BigQuery. The error reads:

“Error while reading data, error message: Failed to parse JSON: Unexpected end of string; Unexpected end of string; Expected key”

You can easily solve this error by converting the data from standard JSON to Newline Delimited JSON format. There are plenty of free online tools to help you with that. Check out JSON to NDJSON Online Converter.

JSON to BigQuery integration using API (programmatic method)

Google offers APIs for its Cloud Platform Services. Application Programming Interface (API) is a standard protocol for exchanging information between applications. It acts like a mediator in the information exchange.

You can use the API to programmatically interact with BigQuery and perform actions such as importing JSON.

But first, you’ll need to enable the BigQuery API in your Google Cloud Console and get the API Key.

Log into your Google Cloud Console and go to Left Menu > APIs and Services > Library.
Search for BigQuery API in the library and enable it.

11 enable bq api

Once the BigQuery API is enabled, download the API JSON Key from the Google Console.

Now, you can use this downloaded API Key to authenticate requests to BigQuery from a program. Let’s understand this further through an example.

Python script to import JSON to BigQuery

The BigQuery API can be used with programs written in Python, Java, C, and other such languages. Here’s an example of how to do this with Python.

To import JSON to BigQuery via API, you’ll need to install the BigQuery Python library.

Run the following command:

pip install google-cloud-bigquery

Once the Google Cloud BigQuery library is installed, you can use its functions to create tables in BigQuery from the JSON. For example:

from import bigquery
from google.oauth2 import service_account

# Replace with your own JSON file path and BigQuery dataset and table details
json_file_path = "path/to/data/source.json"
project_id = "bigquery-project-id"
dataset_id = "bigquery-dataset-id"
table_id = "bigquery-table-id"

# Set up credentials (replace 'path/to/your/credentials.json' with your service account key file)
credentials = service_account.Credentials.from_service_account_file(

# Create a BigQuery client
client = bigquery.Client(project=project_id, credentials=credentials)

# Specify the dataset and table to which you want to upload the data
dataset_ref = client.dataset(dataset_id)
table_ref = dataset_ref.table(table_id)

# Load the JSON file into BigQuery
job_config = bigquery.LoadJobConfig()
job_config.source_format = bigquery.SourceFormat.NEWLINE_DELIMITED_JSON
job_config.autodetect = True  # This allows BigQuery to automatically detect the schema

with open(json_file_path, "rb") as source_file:
    job = client.load_table_from_file(source_file, table_ref, job_config=job_config)

job.result()  # Wait for the job to complete

print(f"Loaded {job.output_rows} rows into {table_id}")

In the above script, replace the required elements and save it as a Python script Run the Python program, and it will convert the JSON string into BigQuery tables.

This program supports Newline Delimited JSON; therefore, you’ll need to convert the source file before exporting. Alternatively, you can create an additional function to convert JSON to JSONL format if you’re a pro coder.

This script is a basic example of loading JSON from a local computer using Python. You can modify it to automate the export process or even access JSON from other servers via API. But it demands high-level programming skills.

You’ll also need a server or cloud environment to execute the program. This can be a costly method in the long run.

What is the most efficient way to load JSON data into BigQuery?

Loading JSON data into BigQuery is an excellent way to extract meaningful insights from large data. BigQuery lets you store data in Arrays and Structs, offering more insights. You can choose multiple options to perform data transfer from JSON to BigQuery.

If you’re working with static data sources, which do not require occasional updates, then the manual option can be the right choice. The programmatic method to load JSON to BigQuery seems suitable for data scientists and developers.

On balance, the connector is the most efficient if you’re working with dynamic data sources. Furthermore, offers advanced features, such as data transformation and stitching, which take data analytics to the next level. Sign up now to get started for free.

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  • Zakhar Yung

    A content manager at whose key responsibility is to ensure that the readers love our content on the blog. With 5 years of experience as a wordsmith in SaaS, I know how to make texts resonate with readers' queries✍🏼

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