Google announced two new user-friendly features for its popular BigQuery application with an aim to make it easier and cheaper for businesses to analyze huge data-sets.

On the Google enterprise blog today, the search giant unveiled:

  • A processing feature to schedule less time-sensitive batch queries.
  • A tool to connect BigQuery to Microsoft Excel to eliminate the time-consuming work of manually importing data and running queries directly within Excel.

BigQuery specializes in real-time insights, but with the new batch processing, product manager Ju-kay Kwek explains, “We understand that there are important, noninteractive queries, such as nightly reports, that businesses also need to run.”

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As we reported in November, BigQuery makes it easier and cheaper for companies of all sizes to crunch big data sets. It’s a cloud service that lets users run SQL queries against enormous data-sets and get an answer in seconds, or designate a query as a batch query and let it complete in a matter of hours. In the past, it has been a more expensive process for IT than simply spinning up and uploading data to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) program.

BigQuery’s product team has consistently introduced new features to make the product more accessible to business users. This signals a renewed focus from Google on the company’s enterprise division, formerly the neglected sister, and the massive market opportunity for “big data”.

BigQuery is available via a self-service model — it’s cheaper if you don’t require immediate results. Users pay 2 cents per gigabyte processed for batch queries, and 3.5 cents per gigabyte processed for interactive queries.