On June 6th, 2019 there was a huge buzz on the BI Realm about Google acquiring an Analytics Startup called “Looker”. They acquired them in an all-cash deal for a whopping $2.6 billion which made all the eyes maneuver towards Looker. With just seven years into the BI space, Looker had already established itself with 1500+ Customers and revenue exceeding $100 million.
Looker is a BI Platform that connects to any relational database. The data can be modeled in LookML, it’s Agile modeling layer which then could be consumed in Looker’s Visualization from where we build Looks and Dashboards. This eases the process of making data-driven decisions faster with more information for various users and business analysts.
Unlike SQL, Looker focuses on Reusability, Collaborative and Querying in an organized manner which led to the development of LookML. LookML simplifies the SQL Code that is written into more readable language so that development is easier. This unique nature of the Looker simplicities the development process by abstracting SQL thereby the users/ business analysts can lay more emphasis on the analysis part than the development. The integration of GIT, a version control mechanism with Looker enables us to automatically track various developments and keep a check on which needs to be moved to production. This makes the development and Visualization process as two different tracks so that one can develop and the other can visualize it without any waiting in between. Once the development is complete and pushed to Prod, all the changes will be automatically captured in the Visualization allowing users to see the recent changes made in development.
Looker Visualization, the front-end of Looker is perfectly suited for Self-Service BI. It incorporates all the necessary features a Self-Service BI should possess right from scheduling emails, sending alerts when certain conditions are met in a KPI, Exploring more insights from existing Looks, etc. They also have custom visualizations options that can be achieved using D3. REST API is provided by Looker as well, which could be consumed in various visualizations and other applications. Looker is fast as it directly queries the Database. Looker can be configured to use read-only connections to access the minimum amount of data required to respond to our queries thus focusing on data availability and not storage.
Now we can guess why Google acquired Looker. It would help them in broadening their portfolio in Business Intelligence. With already Big Query, Google’s inhouse analytical tool in the picture, Looker will make them strong contenders with Amazon and Microsoft who are holding the fort of BI in the cloud.