How to chat with data
Dec 1, 2016
Big news, the Lookerbot - our chatbot - is live in Slack’s App Directory. We launched the Lookerbot in April and have watched it spread like wildfire among our customers. Since we last wrote about our chatbot, we now have hundreds of organizations using the tool daily. For companies like Buffer, Jet.com, and Docker, Lookerbot lets them slack their data making it easier for everyone in the company to be data driven. The Lookerbot’s inclusion in Slack’s App Directory means more people can now find Lookerbot and see what it can do.
The success of Lookerbot proves how important accessing data wherever you need it - in a slack conversation, on a warehouse floor, or powering an application - is becoming. To make informed decisions based on data, it can’t just be buried deep in some dashboard. This is what we are most excited about here at Looker. Shifting the paradigm away from what is traditionally thought of as BI, to a world where data-driven insights are at the fingertips of any user. Data can be inserted into conversations so decision-making happens more naturally and effectively than ever before. This announcement means we are not only continue to add functionality to Lookerbot, but also that we are giving application and data developers the tools to innovate and bring data to teams in new ways our top priority. You can expect more awesome things like Data Actions to continue developing as we unlock the power of the Looker Platform.
“This is what we are most excited about here at Looker. Shifting the paradigm away from what is traditionally thought of as BI, to a world where data-driven insights are at the fingertips of any user”
While talk of exciting new ways to engage with data is exciting and bots are hot in the press, we like to be transparent, and I know a lot of people still question if chatbots add real business value. Colin, our head of product, put it simply in a recent webinar he did with Slack and Hubspot, “there are some things bots are great at and somethings that they are not great at”. Getting immediate answers to data-based questions is one of those things they’re great at.
Chatbots provide an ideal interface for querying data, because you can ask directly for something that you already know you need. This one-dimensional dialogue reduces the noise and confusion that can arise when dealing with other tools and more complicated interfaces. Lookerbot is particularly useful because you can query anything from your database. Unlike many chatbots which come with a limited number of precanned commands, with Lookerbot, anyone can build a custom command so they can ask and answer any question. With Lookerbot, you effectively give every user in your organization the power to execute their own custom queries, and answer any question for themselves, all from within Slack. Powerful stuff.