Looker Business Intelligence Review

Looker Data Platform
Santa Cruz, CA
Deployment Model:
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Cloud, On-Premise
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Looker Data Platform At A Glance

Good: Easy to use, LookML proprietary data modeling language, implementation done in hours rather than days or weeks.
Bad: Fairly young player in BI market, does not support OLAP functionality.
Bottom Line: Looker's web-based platform allows users to explore data in a timely manner to help them make better business decisions.

Product Overview

Looker Data Platform is a data-discovery platform that helps companies make better business decisions through real-time access to data. Data, no matter the size, can be analyzed within Looker’s 100% in-database and 100% browser-based platform. Looker analytics integrate with any SQL database or data warehouse, such as Amazon Athena, Greenplum, and Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

Looker is easy to run. Users do not have to be experienced data analysts and do not need to have SQL knowledge. There is no complicated coding. Users can drill into the data across tables and charts. The platform includes self-service functions such as filtering, pivoting, and the creation of dashboards and visualizations.

Looker allows for collaboration among users. The platform is accessible on any browser as well as on mobile devices  – reports and data can be shared via email or URLs. Data can be integrated into different applications such as Google Docs, Excel, and even customer and third-party applications. It can also be manually exported in .csv or text files.

In late 2016, Looker released its Looker 4 iteration with more advanced data exploration and visualization tools.  Some of the newer features of Looker 4 include:

  • Integrated Development Environment to help data analysts better describe data they’re looking for
  • Delivery of unlimited data sets via the web
  • Ability to customize what data sets are sent to the right people
  • More improvement with visualizations, such as more simpler editing tools and built-in map layers for geographical locations
  • Search, favorites and recommendations to help users find the data they’re looking for
  • Looker Actions feature for acting on data within the Looker platform
  • RESTful API functionality for integrating data systems


We have indicated some standard features of Looker below. However, we want to focus on its data modeling capability. Looker has its own proprietary modeling language called LookML, which enables users to develop custom models within the platform. Users can create new metrics, edit the existing model, and explore a variety of data views, including charts, graphs, and maps.

Looker has recently enhanced its dashboards to make it easier to use and accessible from any device. Also, charts, reports, and graphs are fully customizable.

Target Market

We have listed several customers below who have used Looker. Some examples of what companies use Looker for include supply chain analytics, digital marketing, and customer analytics.

  • Braintree
  • Dollar Shave Club
  • Doctor OnDemand
  • One Kings Lane
  • Quirky
  • Venmo
  • Upworthy
  • Monetate
  • SmugMug
  • First Round Capital

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As the platform is browser-based, deployment is faster than traditional BI models. Instead of waiting weeks or months, Looker customers can have their platform implemented in hours, due to the platform being packaged in a .jar file. The platform can be installed within the customer’s existing infrastructure, and can be hosted on either the customer’s servers or or Looker’s.

Customer Service & Support

Looker does provide training on its platform. Looker analysts assist data teams in creating models of their business data. End users will also be trained on how to explore data.

In terms of customer support, Looker provides access to its Analytics Support sector, where users can submit issues. Analysts are also available via chat. Users will also benefit from unlimited upgrades and maintenance.


Looker does not publicly release their pricing information. Please contact them directly for a price quote.


As it was established in 2011, Looker is still a fairly young player in the BI market. However, it shows promise in adapting to customers’ needs in a timely manner. Also, unlike most other BI vendors, Looker’s software doesn’t support the OLAP functionality – potential users will need to be aware of this if this feature is critical to what they’re looking for in BI software.


Looker Screenshot 1
Looker Screenshot 2
Looker Screenshot 3

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Founded in 2011, Looker is relatively new in the BI market. But it brings a unique view. Looker believes that businesses can thrive when everyone within the company can easily access consistently defined data. Looker’s web-based BI platform is designed to accommodate any business user who wants to explore high-resolution data and get actionable insights. Its customers have used the software to discover insights that have led to increased revenue and improved business decisions.

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User Reviews

  • User Rating
  • Rated 5 stars
    5 / 5 (2 )
  • 100%
  • (2)

Rated 5 stars
5 / 5 (2 )


  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Ease of Implementation
  • Support

Alex Coleman
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 95%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 90%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 100%
  • Support
    User: 100%

Best tool I've ever used

on 2017-05-27 19:30:34

I've worked with Tableau, Qlik, and Microsoft BI and Looker blows them all out of the water. Amazing technology, easy to use, outstanding support, couldn't ask for more.

Ty Wilson
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

  • Features
    User: 95%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 90%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 95%
  • Support
    User: 100%

We used Looker to unlock our data

on 2014-12-09 09:35:11

Looker brought data access to our entire company. Before Looker there were only one or two people on our product team and analytics team who could access our data. Looker gave us drag-and-drop functionality to get at our data, but also a level of complexity that an analyst or engineer could use to get the specificity they need. Constant access to experienced data analyst support made it easy for us to get up to speed.

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