Looker Enhances Data Manipulation Capabilities Within Analytics Apps


Business executives of all types have made it exceedingly clear they don’t want to have to work across multiple silos to analyze data. Business intelligence (BI) and analytics software needs to enable business users to analyze data regardless of what platform that data happens to be stored in at any given time.

At a JOIN 2017 conference today, Looker is moving to drive that point home with the release of Looker 5, an update to its analytics software that makes it simpler to merge data from disparate sources in addition to providing access to more pre-built applications. Looker in this release is also providing support for a Druid columnar data store and an enhanced version of a tool for visualizing SQL queries.

Jamie Davidson, vice president of product for Looker, says the first three applications spanning marketing, IT operations and events were developed using the Looker Blocks functionality that Looker created to make it simpler to build custom analytics applications. In this latest release, Looker is also adding support for additional Looker Blocks spanning visualizations, data curation and pre-modeled data sets.

Looker is also making available an Action Hub though which end users can initiate a task such exporting a data or a dashboard to Google Drive.

“We want people to be able to share data without having to start an ETL process,” says Davidson.


In general, end users are taking more control over what type of data they want to be able to analyze and access. The days when they were content to sift through canned reports created by the IT department managing a data warehouse are pretty much over. The task in front of IT is finding and deploying analytics applications that require as little ongoing intervention on the part of the IT department as possible.