Google Cloud Delivers Enhancements To Looker That Optimize Performance And Accelerate Application Development

Looker, the business intelligence (BI) and analytics platform that is now part of Google Cloud, is helping customers augment their data experiences with enhancements in three key areas: modern business intelligence (BI), foundational optimization and performance improvements, and updated data and development tools. Included in this release is support for the complete Google Marketing Platform, significant upgrades for application builders, and an update to Marketplace where customers can access and share newly built data experiences.

“Looker is continuously evolving to meet the unique and ever growing needs of every business in the way that is best for them,” said Colin Zima, Head of Looker Analytics and Strategy at Google Cloud. “Whether we’re providing multiple choices of cloud providers, the ability to customize data experiences, or the unique solutions coming from our deeper integration with Google Cloud, Looker continues to focus on delivering solutions that have maximum impact on the day-to-day business outcomes of our customers.”

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The new Looker Blocks for Google Marketing Platform were crafted to provide a foundation of robust and shareable analytics for Google Marketing Platform advertising and web data. The fully-customizable experiences offer interactive data exploration, new slices of data with light machine learning (ML) predictions baked in, direct links back to Google Marketing Platform to adjust campaigns, and paths for pushing insights back into Google Marketing Platform. Created in partnership with experts at Google, the following Looker Blocks are available to deploy today on the Looker Marketplace or from the Looker Blocks Directory: Google Analytics 360, Campaign Manager + Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, plus a refreshed version of the Google Ads Block.
Cross-filtering allows users to quickly 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 nearly endless opportunities for users to self-serve and surface new data points and insights.
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Foundational enhancements optimize performance to make spend more efficient and help customers maximize data infrastructure investments.

The 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.
Several enhancements are also being released for Looker system administrators that provide more fine grained controls to manage roles and groups across larger enterprises. 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.
“Data is essential to our mission of delivering an innovative talent acquisition suite that empowers our customers to grow their companies and help people find jobs,” said Zach Linder, VP Machine Learning & Data Analytics at Jobvite. “As such, we have internal and external users at Jobvite using Looker. The only way this continues to be sustainable and scalable is because Looker provides tools such as the elite systems activity manager that allows us to manage content, improve adoption, and audit user data over time.”

This announcement demonstrates how Looker continues to unlock 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 rapidly 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.
Available in Looker Marketplace, 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, announced in November as part of Looker 7 and now generally available, lets developers customize data experiences within Looker and embed those experiences into existing enterprise applications and workflows.
“The National Response Portal was developed to help U.S. healthcare organizations, governments and the public to understand and respond to the impact of COVID-19. Looker’s ability to quickly integrate disparate data sources and rapidly iterate on visualizations was essential in our ability to launch the portal in the midst of a crisis,” said Michael Ames, Sr. Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at SADA, a Google Cloud Premier Partner. “Looker’s unique extension framework gave us the ability to quickly build, integrate disparate data sources and rapidly iterate on visualizations was essential in our ability to launch the portal in the midst of a crisis.”

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