Bing Ads to Redshift

This page provides you with instructions on how to extract data from Bing Ads and load it into Redshift. (If this manual process sounds onerous, check out Stitch, which can do all the heavy lifting for you in just a few clicks.)

Pulling Data Out of Bing Ads

For starters, you need to get your data out of Bing Ads.  This can be done by making calls to Bing Ads’s API. The full documentation for the API can be found here.

The Bing Ads API uses Simple Object Access Protocol (or SOAP). Your script will call data objects by making a SOAP request message. You can write your script useing a language that supports web services. Python is a great example, but C# java and PHP are also on the table. The Bing Ads API returns XML objects.

Bing Ads’s API offers access to service operations like GetBidLandscapeByAdGroupIds and GetBidOpportunities. Using methods outlined in the API documentation, you can retrieve the data you’d like to move to Redshift.

Sample Bing Ads Data

Below is an example XML Envelope response from the GetBidOpportunities service.

<s:Envelope xmlns:s="">
  <s:Header xmlns="Microsoft.Advertiser.AdInsight.Api.Service.V11">
    <TrackingId p4:nil="false" xmlns:p4=""></TrackingId>
    <GetBidOpportunitiesResponse xmlns="Microsoft.Advertiser.AdInsight.Api.Service.V11">
      <Opportunities xmlns:e6="" p5:nil="false" xmlns:p5="">
          <e6:MatchType p5:nil="false"></e6:MatchType>

Preparing Bing Ads Data for Redshift

With the XML in hand, you now need to map all those data fields into a schema that can be inserted into your Redshift database. This means that, for each value in the response, you need to identify a predefined data type (i.e. INTEGER, DATETIME, etc.) and build a table that can receive them.

Once you have identified all of the columns you will want to insert, use the CREATE TABLE statement in Redshift to build a table that will receive all of this data.

Inserting Bing Ads Data into Redshift

It may seem like the easiest way to add your data is to build tried-and-true INSERT statements that add data to your Redshift table row-by-row. If you have any experience with SQL, this will be your gut reaction.  It will work, but isn’t the most efficient way to get the job done.

Redshift has some good documentation for how to best bulk insert data into new tables. The COPY command is particularly useful for this task, as it allows you to insert multiple rows without needing to build individual INSERT statements for each row.

If you cannot use COPY, it might help to use PREPARE to create a an INSERT statement, and then use EXECUTE as many times as required. This avoids some of the overhead of repeatedly parsing and planning INSERT.

Keeping Data Up-To-Date

So what’s next? You’ve built a script that requests data from Bing Ads and moves it into Redshift.  What happens when Bing Ads sends a data type that your script doesn’t recognize?  It’s also important to consider the situation where an entry in Redshift needs to be updated to a new value. Once you’ve buil in that functionality, you can set your script up as a cron job or continuous loop to keep pulling new data as it appears.

Other Data Warehouse Options

Redshift is totally awesome, but sometimes you need to start smaller or optimize for different things. In this case, many people choose to get started with Postgres, which is an open source RDBMS that uses nearly identical SQL syntax to Redshift. If you’re interested in seeing the relevant steps for loading this data into Postgres, check out Bing Ads to Postgres

Easier and Faster Alternatives

If you have all the skills necessary to go through this process, you  might have other projects that you need to be focusing on.

Luckily, powerful tools like Stitch were built to solve this problem automatically. With just a few clicks, Stitch starts extracting your Bing Ads data via the API, structuring it in a way that is optimized for analysis, and inserting that data into your Redshift data warehouse.