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Benefits and Insights

Why use Looker?

Key differentiators & advantages of Looker

  • Real-Time Data: Dashboards and other visualizations update in real time to keep users up to date on the most recent numbers.
  • Local Database: This system doesn’t rely on parallel data pipelines or data extracts, but uses an organization’s own proprietary database to collect data.
  • Self-Service BI: Users of all technical levels can explore data through the self-serve function, which allows them to refine the automatically generated visualizations. They can create custom dashboards to reflect specific KPIs based on their business’ specific needs.
  • Virtual Schema: The solution offers a code-based virtual query-time schema with a live connection to over 35 SQL databases. Data visualizations are kept secure and up-to-date by foregoing data pipelines or extracts.
  • Embedded Analytics: This solution can also be embedded via an SSO embeddable version. It can be easily deployed into third-party solutions like a CRM or ERP as an embedded iframe or through Javascript. Embedded analytics empower other software solution with BI capabilities including reliable data, self-service analytics, actionable insights and intuitive dashboards.

Industry Expertise

Some of Looker’s industry specialties are healthcare, the financial sector, technology, software, food and beverage, personnel management, retail, e-commerce and media.

Key Features

  • Automated Modeling: The solution connects to relational databases and automatically generates models from the database schema.
  • Intuitive Visualizations: This system generates visualizations in real time directly from the specified data source. It offers an expansive library of visualization options like bar graphs, pie charts, Sankey diagrams, spider web charts, sunburst graphs, chord diagrams, heatmaps, funnels, treemaps and many more.
  • Time Zone Handling: Regardless of what time zone data is coming from, this platform incorporates it seamlessly into the visualization.
  • LookML Data Modeling Language: The proprietary SQL-based data modeling language LookML lets users create scalable, reusable data models.
  • Pre-Built Analytics Code: The Blocks feature offers customizable code blocks that serve as a starting point for building data analytics models. It includes optimized SQL patterns, custom visualization options, pre-built data models and more.

Looker Suite Support

mail_outlineEmail:Email: To request an email from the support center, users can submit a contact request by clicking the “contact us” button on the help center homepage.
phonePhone: Phone: Users cannot call support directly. There is an in-app chat option for administrators and developers who are currently logged into their instance of the solution.
schoolTraining:Training: Through the Looker University program, users can experience a huge variety of training resources. These range from whitepaper documents, videos, webinars, community forums, classroom training and live virtual training. Most of these resources are free, but some incur a fee.
local_offerTickets:Tickets: There is no external ticketing system, and all issues are resolved through the in-app chat or the “contact us” option on the support page. Support is available 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT, 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET or 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. GMT and is subject to US and UK holiday observance.

Looker Reviews

Average customer reviews & user sentiment summary:

1077 reviews

88%

of users would recommend this product

Synopsis of User Ratings and Reviews

Based on an aggregate of reviews taken from the sources above, the following pros & cons have been curated by a SelectHub Market Analyst.

Pros

  • Reporting: Looker features strong reporting features that offer a degree of granularity and scheduling that 100% of users who mention reporting evaluate as a strong benefit.
  • Support: Of the users who say they’ve contacted customer support, 95% say the team’s quick and informative responses are a plus.
  • Data Accessibility: All users who mention accessibility to data say Looker does this well, distributing insights to employees across departments and teams with ease, with 100% of users mentioning this feature believing it is a benefit.

Cons

  • Learning Curve: About 74% of users who touch on the platform’s ease of use say that the confusing documentation, lack of training opportunities and difficulty of using programming language make Looker a tough tool to pick up as a beginner.
  • Setup: Of the users who mention implementation, 81% say that setting up the platform is difficult, with integrations not being as plug-and-play as competitors and assistance from IT necessary to the setup process.
  • Speed: Approximately 87% of users who comment on the platform’s speed say that it is slow to render certain queries and often takes a while to load.
  • Functionality: About 78% of users who talk about Looker’s features say that they are left wanting many functions and find the ones that it does have limited in customization or too complex to use easily.

Researcher's Summary:

Looker is a forerunner in the business intelligence field for a reason; it generates reports that include easy sharing via link, automatic scheduling and a level of granular detail that allows for deeper analysis below the surface. It excels in its filter and drill-down features and creates unique URLs when users make changes to data, leading to enhanced sharing. However, one of its biggest strengths could also be considered one of its biggest weaknesses: its proprietary programming language, LookML which is used to construct SQL queries in the platform. While a flexible and powerful data querying language, of course, LookML isn’t the most accessible to non-technical users, which means that Looker requires an IT or data team to access its full capabilities and has a steep learning curve. Users also note that its data visualizations, while simple and easy to understand, are quite basic and lacking in customization options, particularly in comparison to competitors. Some users say that it may be more appropriate for internal reporting than presentation to shareholders and end-users because of its bare-bones visualization options. However, Looker truly shines when used by enterprises, with its scalability and data accessibility making it a stellar solution that can align departments and provide thousands of users access to data insights. Its price point reflects this, with its pricing being prohibitive to startups as about 88% of users who comment on its cost remark. Overall, Looker is a solid pick for larger businesses that have a team of power users who can maximize its functionality and set it up to deliver to employees across an entire organization.

User Sentiment i

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