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BigQuery Date Formatting Functions

SQL Date Formatting Examples in BigQuery

Mastering date formatting in BigQuery is essential for a wide array of data processing tasks. From generating clear and comprehensible reports to performing complex time-based analyses, these functions enable data professionals to turn raw date and time data into insightful, actionable information.

Combining Date and Time Components:
SELECT FORMAT_TIMESTAMP('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S', current_timestamp()) FROM table;

This query provides a complete timestamp including year, month, day, and time, valuable for precise time-stamping in logs or transaction records.

Formatting with Time Zone Information:
SELECT FORMAT_TIMESTAMP('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S %Z', current_timestamp(), 'America/Los_Angeles') FROM table;

Essential for datasets involving multiple time zones, ensuring clarity in timing across different geographical locations.

Extracting Specific Date Parts:
SELECT FORMAT_DATE('%A, %d %B %Y', DATE '2023-12-01') FROM table;

Useful for reports or visualizations where a more descriptive date format is needed.

Additional Date and Time Functions in BigQuery


These functions are used to add or subtract a specific interval from a date and to calculate the difference between two dates.

SELECT DATE_ADD(current_date, INTERVAL 1 DAY) FROM table;
SELECT DATE_DIFF(current_date, '2023-01-01', DAY) FROM table;

Extracts specific parts from a date or timestamp, like the day, month, or year.

SELECT EXTRACT(YEAR FROM current_date) FROM table;

Converts a string to a date or timestamp in a specified format.

SELECT PARSE_DATE('%Y-%m-%d', '2023-12-01') FROM table;

Practical Applications for Advanced Date Functions in BigQuery

  1. Time Series Analysis: When analyzing trends over time, the ability to precisely format and manipulate dates and times is crucial for accurate and meaningful insights.
  2. Data Cleaning and Standardization: Functions like PARSE_DATE and PARSE_TIMESTAMP are vital for converting and standardizing date formats from various sources, ensuring consistency in datasets.
  3. Event Scheduling and Reporting: For datasets involving events or scheduling, precise date and time formatting helps in planning and reporting activities, especially across different time zones.

Power Up Date Formatting with CoginitiScript

Built into Coginiti, CoginitiScript excels in optimizing and standardizing SQL processes, especially when dealing with complex date formatting in BigQuery. By employing macros in CoginitiScript, you can create dynamic, reusable code pieces that ensure uniformity and efficiency across your data operations.

Streamlining BigQuery Date Formatting with a CoginitiScript Macro

#+macro BigQueryDateFormatter(timestamp)
  FORMAT_TIMESTAMP('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S', {{ timestamp }}, 'America/Los_Angeles')

SELECT {{ BigQueryDateFormatter(current_timestamp()) }} as formatted_timestamp FROM table;


Leveraging CoginitiScript for date formatting in BigQuery exemplifies how Coginiti can significantly enhance your data analytics workflows. By embracing these advanced features, you can streamline your SQL operations, ensuring consistency and efficiency across your projects. Discover the full potential of Coginiti’s powerful SQL IDE – try Coginiti for free and experience the transformation in your data management and analysis processes.