How to Combine BigQuery, TensorFlow, and AI Platform for Complete Machine Learning Processes

How to Combine BigQuery, TensorFlow, and AI Platform for Complete Machine Learning Processes


3 min read

Integrating BigQuery with TensorFlow and AI Platform for building and deploying machine learning models involves a combination of data management, model training, and deployment strategies that utilize the strengths of each platform. Below, I’ll illustrate this integration through practical examples and common use cases.

Practical Workflow Overview

Data Preparation in BigQuery

  • Use Case Example: You have a dataset of online retail transactions stored in BigQuery. The objective is to predict customer churn based on their transaction history, frequency, and purchase amounts.

  • Practical Step: Start with querying your BigQuery dataset to select relevant features for churn prediction, such as transaction frequency, average purchase amount, and recent activity. Use SQL queries to clean and prepare your data, creating a new table or view that will serve as the input for your TensorFlow model.

      SELECT user_id, COUNT(transaction_id) AS transaction_count, AVG(amount) AS average_purchase, MAX(transaction_date) AS last_purchase_date
      FROM `project.dataset.transactions`
      GROUP BY user_id

Model Development with TensorFlow

  • Export Data for TensorFlow: Export the prepared dataset from BigQuery to Google Cloud Storage (GCS) in CSV or TFRecord format, making it accessible for TensorFlow.

  • Build and Train the Model: Using TensorFlow, define a neural network model suitable for binary classification to predict churn. The model might include layers for input normalization, dense layers for learning non-linear relationships, and a sigmoid output layer for churn probability.

    • Data Loading: Load the data into TensorFlow using the API, applying necessary preprocessing steps like normalization.
    import tensorflow as tf

    feature_description = {
        'transaction_count':[], tf.int64),
        'average_purchase':[], tf.float32),
        'days_since_last_purchase':[], tf.int64),

    def _parse_function(example_proto):
      return, feature_description)

    dataset =["gs://your-bucket/prepared_data.tfrecord"]).map(_parse_function)
  • Model Definition and Training: Define your TensorFlow model and train it with the prepared dataset.
    model = tf.keras.Sequential([
        tf.keras.layers.Dense(128, activation='relu'),
        tf.keras.layers.Dense(1, activation='sigmoid')

                  metrics=['accuracy']), epochs=10)

Deployment and Serving with AI Platform

  • Save and Deploy the Model: After training, save your TensorFlow model using the SavedModel format and deploy it to AI Platform for serving."my_model")
      gcloud ai-platform models create "churn_model" --regions us-central1
      gcloud ai-platform versions create "v1" --model "churn_model" --origin "gs://your-bucket/my_model"
  • Use Case for Online Prediction: An e-commerce platform wants to dynamically offer discounts to users at risk of churn. Once the model is deployed, it can predict churn probability in real time, allowing for targeted discounts through the website or app.

  • Batch Prediction: For a marketing campaign targeting inactive users, batch prediction can identify users who haven’t made a purchase recently and are predicted to churn. Batch prediction processes users in bulk, generating a list for marketing outreach.

      gcloud ai-platform jobs submit prediction my_batch_prediction_job \\\\
          --model churn_model \\\\
          --version v1 \\\\
          --data-format TEXT \\\\
          --input-paths gs://your-bucket/users_to_predict.csv \\\\
          --output-path gs://your-bucket/predictions/

Best Practices and Integration Benefits

  • Ensure Data Quality: Good data preparation in BigQuery is crucial. Ensure the data is clean and relevant features are selected for the model.

  • Iterative Model Improvement: Use AI Platform’s versioning to test different versions of your model, enabling you to iteratively improve the model’s performance.

  • Monitoring: Utilize AI Platform’s monitoring tools to track the model’s performance and data drift over time, allowing for timely updates and maintenance.

This workflow showcases the synergy between BigQuery’s data processing capabilities, TensorFlow’s modeling power, and AI Platform’s deployment and monitoring services, providing a comprehensive solution from data to deployment.