Enhancing the data-sharing experience with the latest Looker Slack integration

Ani McDowell, Looker Product Manager, Google Cloud

Oct 13, 2020

Everyone today, regardless of role, department, or technical skill, needs access to data. But perhaps more importantly, they need data in the places they’re already working.

Our product and engineering teams are making it faster and easier for everyone to get value from their data when and where they need it. We’ve approached this with a focus on three main themes:

  • Deliver rich and interactive data experiences
  • Empower users to quickly understand and explore their data
  • Provide seamless access to data where users spend their time

Part of delivering on that third pillar has included reimagining our Slack integration. Since announcing the beta for this integration during our Looker 7 launch, we’ve continued to improve upon it, bringing it out of beta and building out new features. With this release, we’ve added the ability to set custom, threshold-based alerts that notify you directly or a channel in Slack.

As we look forward to further expanding on this integration in 2021, we wanted to take this opportunity to look back on what this new integration has meant for Looker customers this year.

Rising to customers’ changing needs

Released in 2016, our first two Slack integrations changed the game for how Looker customers interacted with and shared data. Over the years, hundreds of customers have used these integrations to send real-time data to the people and channels where relevant conversations were already taking place.

Using these original integrations, Car Next Door sent daily insights to their Customer Support reps in Slack. These insights provided reps with valuable, real-time data about their performance along with tips to help them continue delivering excellent service to their customers as quickly as possible. By integrating data into the channels their teams were already working in, Car Next Door saw their support ticket resolution times decrease by 85%, allowing their teams to continue to improve on delivering excellent customer experiences.

Driven by results like these from the initial integrations, we worked across teams and user groups to decide how to continue delivering on the focus of that third pillar. What we found out was, when it comes to integrations, two is not necessarily better than one. Our customers needed a cohesive Slack integration to support data as the default by making it easy to bring insights into any conversation — so that’s what we’ve delivered.

Integrating the integrations to deliver one solution

The Slack and Looker platforms have both matured a lot since 2016. The latest Slack integration combines the power of real-time, governed data from Looker with the rich interactions of Slack.

Easy to set up

Getting started with the new integration happens in a matter of clicks. We simplified the UI and built OAuth support into the product, shortening the time for customers to go from interest to first insight.

Easy to scale

Many Looker customers have multiple Slack workspaces and/or Looker instances, and we wanted this integration to reflect our support for our customers as they grow and scale. This latest Slack integration delivers on that goal, scaling as your business does without the added complexity of setup and maintenance processes.

Easy to use

In the original Slack integrations, users could send data to Slack from Looker and vice versa, allowing users to pull data from Looker into Slack. However, because the capabilities existed as two separate integrations, the user experience was disjointed and lacked interactivity.

Our latest integration emphasizes the seamless sharing of data between the platforms, as one holistic integration. With this advancement, you can now send data from Looker to Slack as a one-off, on a schedule, or as an alert.

Try it out!

Using the latest version of the Looker Slack integration, you can access your favorite Looker content without added friction, enhance your security of user-level authentication and granular permissions, and because you can always connect to your Looker data from wherever you are, you can discover even more from your data and seamlessly share your findings with others.

Check out our documentation to learn more and start enhancing your daily workflows with data.

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