This video covers what Looker is and what key features it offers.
- [Instructor] So for this first look at the new Looker BI and analytics platform, I want to start just by talking about what Looker really is. And on their website here, Looker.com, you can find some good information about that. And the basic premise is that they are a tool that will let you look at your company's data, and kind of centralize that access and provide it to your business users so they can make decisions. So this is the common theme among all BI and analytics platforms, but let's take a look at their overview here that kind of explains for us, in a little bit more detail, what exactly is different about Looker.
So, with Looker, you have what they call a Complete Platform and that's because everything you do inside of Looker is self-contained. It's not the type of system that would integrate necessarily with many different databases, or many different other BI platforms. So this is something where, when you set up Looker, it is going to be self-contained. It's going to have everything in there from connecting to your data, analyzing your data, and sharing your data. Now Looker's platform does connect to a lot of different databases.
However, there are some tricks if you want to combine different data sources, which is a common theme amongst many modern enterprises. So, if you're a smaller company, just getting started, Looker is a great answer because it can pull in all your data probably, and then give you a singular place to look at it. And this is kind of the crux behind their LookML platform, which I'll show you in a little bit more detail here coming up. So the way Looker works is, you create these models, these data definitions using LookML.
That's their modeling language, not machine learning as you hear it in other vernaculars. But you define it there, and then you can use it, when you explore the data, and this is nice, it's something that many other BI platforms have done for many years. And the idea is that if you're a business user, and you want to look at say, active users, or some business metric. Well there's probably some thought, or hopefully there's been some thought, that went into defining, in this case, what an active user is. Is it when they first visit the website? Do they sign up? Do they do a free trial? Are they a paying customer? Whatever you define that as, it's important that when your decision makers, the people using the data to improve the business, when they use that data to make those decisions, then they're actually using the correct definitions, because if not, the numbers could be wrong.
And so with Looker, what you can do, is you define those metrics in this LookML model. And again, we'll take a look at that in more detail coming up. Now inside of the platform, you can create data visualizations, and this is pretty easy to do. You set up your query essentially, what data you want to analyze, and then they just have some built in options. Now, I will say compared to other platforms, this is a bit limited, but honestly, you can get by with probably 80% of your analysis, using simple bar charts and line charts.
So, it does a good enough job, but I won't say that it is the best one out there, if you're looking to make really beautiful amazing visualizations. Then the third thing that Looker brings is this idea of a Data Culture, and this really is the Holy Grail, where everybody in the company is using data to make decisions and improving it, and helping each other learn and just grow the business. So, here what they do is they have a way to share that information and have conversations all built in. And they also have other integrations with communication tools like Slack, so that way, your data isn't necessarily siloed off into separate product.
It's something that can integrate with the rest of your operations of your business.
- What's Looker?
- Taking Looker for a test drive
- Exploring data in Looker
- Creating expressions
- Visualizing data in Looker
- Building dashboards
- Scheduling data deliveries and alerting