Looker with Google

Enhancements optimize performance and accelerate app development.



I had the opportunity to speak with Pedro Arellano, Head of Product Marketing at Looker to discuss their first product launch since being acquired by Google.


One of the things they’ve seen is many more use cases for Looker beyond BI dashboards. Data is an underrated asset and people and companies are trying to get more insights from their data.


Looker is helping breakdown barriers to insights with Google teams and BI experience, pushing the performance envelope, and improving the data experience for developers.


Looker Blocks for the Google Marketing Platform (GMP) and Google Ads provides incremental insights into customer behavior. Data connectivity, APIs, and analytics with Google ad data help users understand how their campaigns influence consumer behavior. They are accelerating analysis and activation of GMP with Big Query machine learning (ML) predictions feeding insight back into GMP to make predictions and build new market segments.


Cross-filtering enables users to uncover new customer insights and patterns not readily evident in a dashboard. By accessing underlying data in Looker dashboards, customers can slice any metric on one tile by any dimension surfaced in another with a single click. This offers myriad opportunities for users to self-serve and surface new data points and insights.


Performance enhancements include aggregate awareness to make queries faster and less expensive; parallel persistent derived tables (PDT) builds for customers to increase how many PDTs can be built at a time per connection; faster data downloads when streaming query results; and pooled database connections to reduce query latency.


Looker also improved the overall experience for model developers: a newly redesigned Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that makes workflows intuitive with more advanced controls; an object browser that simplifies product navigation and easily tracks and reuses available objects; a single repository that can be shared across instances to share model development; and folders that improve project organization and collaboration.


There are enhancements being released for Looker system administrators that provide more fine-grained controls to manage roles and groups across larger enterprises as scale. These include the ability to understand, analyze, and control system activity, manage users and groups, and to merge Looker-based permissions with those of corporate systems.


Looker continues to provide new types of data experiences and accelerate development workflows for builders with new Data Products that allow for building better data solutions, faster.


Looker Marketplace, now generally available, provides the ability to access and share newly built data experiences. Custom applications built by the Looker community can be deployed within their own organization and made available to the entire Looker customer base. The Marketplace is home to all Looker Blocks including the recently launched COVID-19 Data Block.


The new Data Dictionary allows developers to quickly build an application using Looker’s extension framework. It provides a dedicated and purpose-built UI to help business users find the field and metrics they need for analysis. It also provides the ability to quickly audit all LookML fields for visualizing the relationship between datasets and explorers to understand what data sets are used the most and what explores are duplicative.


The development framework lets developers customize data experiences within Looker and embed those experiences into existing enterprise applications and workflows.


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