Looker Blog : Data Matters

Building a Data Platform

Jen Grant, Chief Marketing Officer

Sep 22, 2015

In today’s world, businesses live with one of two data experiences. The first is a world where all the data is locked up and only accessible for the data team. Business users that want to make decisions using data have to wait and the Data team gets inundated with requests and can’t do the complex and fascinating analysis that drove them to become data people in the first place. The second world is one of chaos. Business users grab chunks of data - maybe from only one data source or maybe given to them by the data team - and do their analysis on only that small set. Like the parable of the blind men and the elephant where each man touches only a part of the elephant (it’s a wall, it’s a rope, it’s a snake), no one can see the complete picture of the business and end up arguing whose data is right instead of discussing the business insights that should be driving their business forward.

At Looker, our goal is to build a data platform that gives everyone in your business a totally different experience with data. For the data team, we make it easy to describe the data and create agreed-upon business logic like what an Active Customer looks like. With this new data platform, business teams can then access and analyze the complete business picture - all the data and the business logic.

Today we are really excited to introduce an extension of our data platform - accurately named Looker Blocks - which are like mini-apps that sit on the Looker Data Platform. They are the building blocks or components of analysis that every business needs to get started faster with any function of their business. We are launching with Blocks that help with Sales Analytics, Marketing Analytics, Customer Health, and Web Analytics - and the Blocks themselves are either Source Blocks which connect to familiar data sources like Salesforce.com, Marketo, Zendesk, Segment and Snowplow or Analytic Blocks like Life-time, Funnel, Session, and Cohorting.

Looker Blocks have been in development as long as Looker has existed. Since day one, Looker analysts have been developing and sharing bits of their best and most highly vetted code. This reduced implementation time and errors, while at the same time spread best practices and quality analysis. Looker customers and internal analysts alike have contributed optimized design patterns in our community forum and through word of mouth. With Looker Blocks, we are making the best, most impactful of these design templates available to everyone. We plan to continue expand by regularly adding new blocks. So if you don’t see what you are looking for, let us know and we’ll get right on it.

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