You may have seen in the recent tech news that Google has finalized its acquisition of the business intelligence (BI) tool, Looker.
What is Looker?
If you haven’t heard of it, Looker is a data visualization and analytics SAAS product that sits on top of your data warehouse, or other data sources, allowing anybody in your organization to work directly with the data relevant to their positions - no SQL or programming knowledge required.
What Makes Looker Different than other BI Tools like Tableau or Power BI?
What sets Looker apart from other BI products like Microsoft’s Power BI or longstanding market leader Tableau is the sophistication with which it approaches what it calls the “data modeling layer” or the connections between the BI tool and the underlying databases.
Looker's Modeling Layer
Looker’s modeling layer is codified via LookML, a proprietary scripting language that allows your analysts to programmatically define how your data is presented to end-users. You can hard-code KPIs and metrics, join tables, standardized field names, apply filters, and even parameterize inputs like database or table name, user name, geographic region and more.
By defining the modeling layer in this way, Looker creates a central source of truth for a company-wide data analytics implementation – which means no more rogue calculations informing bad decisions or arguments over what constitutes the “correct” way to calculate important business metrics.
What Else Sets Looker Apart?
It isn’t just having a centralized control system for calculations that makes Looker’s modeling layer powerful. Once implemented, Looker never imports bulk data from the data sources it’s connected to. This means it takes advantage of the underlying data engine of your data sources to process data. So if you’ve connected Looker to Google BigQuery, Google Cloud’s petabyte-scale data warehousing service, you still get all of the advantages of having a massively parallel cloud data warehouse.
For these reasons (and more) analysts at Cloudbakers love working with Looker. There are undoubtedly positive changes that will come about as a result of this new partnership. We’re excited for all the challenges we can help solve with Looker and to see what happens next!