Today at JOIN, Looker’s annual conference for data pros, the company announced Looker 5 – its next generation data platform. Looker 5 delivers dozens of innovations, upgrades and game-changing features that transform the way users experience and interact with their data, including: simplifying daily workflows by letting anyone interact with Zendesk, Salesforce, Adwords and more with the Action Hub; empowering departments with purpose-built Applications by Looker; and dramatically improving the user experience with new Viz Blocks for nearly limitless visualizations and Data Blocks to add valuable public data to any analysis.
Finally, Looker’s flagship business intelligence tool gains powerful features like Data Merge to easily combine data from different databases, 57 new statistical functions, a new SQL runner with visualizations, and many more.
“We believe that the notion of just using a standalone BI tool is antiquated, limiting and inefficient,” said Frank Bien, CEO of Looker. “Forward-thinking data-driven companies want a complete data platform to help operationalize their business using data. Looker 4 made that possible; Looker 5 makes it easy. It is our most complete and flexible platform – a comprehensive, secure and integrated data stack that is agile and expandable. It is the platform on which companies are building the next-generation of data-driven business applications.”
Looker 5 makes the power of the platform markedly more accessible. Looker’s most tech-enabled developers are already building amazing tools and applications on the platform, but not every organization has deep development resources. Looker 5 smooths that path so that everyone can benefit from new Looker Blocks, tools and applications to get exactly what they need.
Action Hub – With the Action Hub, taking action on insights directly from within Looker is just a click away, making workflows more efficient. Integrations in the Hub allow users to quickly and securely take all kinds of actions like changing the status on Zendesk support tickets, shipping reports and dashboards to Google Drive or Box, or pausing an underperforming Adwords campaign. The Action Hub will launch with direct built-in connections to these services as well as hundreds more through middleware tools like Zapier and Segment.
New Looker Blocks – Looker 5 makes building on the data platform easier than ever before. New Looker Block types include: Viz Blocks which instantly provide 10 beautiful new visualization types (with more coming soon) and the ability to create any other custom visualization users can dream up; Data Tools that give end users highly curated analytic experiences (e.g. a Google Analytics-like Web Analytics tool); and Data Blocks that make it simple for customers to join their data with pre-modeled external datasets like weather data or demographic data.
Applications – Applications by Looker are powerful, new end-to-end solutions for users to dig into data that’s important to specific departments. Built on the Looker Data Platform, they leverage all Looker’s capabilities to access, analyze and take action with data. The first three offerings will be Marketing Analytics by Looker, IT Operations Analytics by Looker and Event Analytics by Looker. These department-specific, plug-in-play solutions give people the data and analysis they need, as well as the ability to take real action, all in a simple interface and built on the same platform as Looker’s best-in-class BI tool.
“We’ve long been interested in having weather data that is in a useable form, but the cost-benefit was never clear enough to make it a top priority,” said Steve Ritter, VP Data Science at SeatGeek. “We beta-tested Looker’s Data Block and in two days we were able to see clear relationships between tickets posted for outdoor events and inclement weather. Not only are the Data Blocks reducing barriers to exploring new datasets, they’re already yielding valuable insights.”
Additional Features in Looker 5
• Data Merge: Intuitively merge results from two or more disparate datasets, even if that data lives in different databases. This will help customers examine time-series data, geographic data, and other summary data from multiple sources in a single interface.
• Druid Support: Looker now supports Druid, the high-performance, column-oriented, distributed data store. Quickly ingest massive quantities of event data in Druid and use Looker to run low-latency queries on top of the data.
• Statistical Functions: 57 new functions that support statistical procedures have been added Looker’s extensive library of functions and operators. These new functions make it easy for Looker users to run statistical tests, compare distributions with their data and reshape their data as needed.
• SQL Runner Visualizations: Looker’s SQL Runner has gained significant new functionality to better enable Looker’s most technical users. Analysts can now search, sort, save, and visualize their data directly in Looker’s SQL Runner.