Looker Blog : Data Matters

The Podium - April 18th, 2019

Izzy Miller, Community Manager at Looker

Apr 18, 2019

Hey, Good Lookers!

I’m freshly back from JOIN London and still feeling the buzz from meeting so many awesome Looker users. While I’ve been gone, there’s been lots of great activity on the Community that I’m eager to share with you all. And bonus note — Office Hours is back next week! If you’re in San Francisco or New York City, swing by our offices on April 25th at 3:30pm local time to do some spring cleaning of your Looker instance! Sign up here for the event.

PS: It’s Game of Thrones season, which means it’s also #DataofThrones season! Check out our interactive Game of Thrones data and make sure to share your findings with the Community here.

With that, let’s hit it! Scroll down to read the latest edition of The Podium.

Izzy Miller
Community Manager, Looker


Questions and Answers

Displaying h:mm correctly across 24 hours

DGS wanted to add two timestamps together but kept getting results under 24:00 due to formatting. Paul_Wadsworth jumped in with the magic value format key that fixed it.
Looker Community Discussion — Displaying h:mm correctly across 24 hours

Making default parameter values dependent on Liquid logic

This is a tough one! Menashe wanted to dynamically set the default value of a parameter. He got a few suggestions from bens and IanT, ranging from the simple to the “wacky”. Read on —
Looker Community Discussion — Making default parameter values dependent on Liquid logic

Changing the color of one column in a chart

Jmay wanted to call out one specific column in a chart with a single color. She figured out a clever way to do it but was missing the last step, which powellandy shared. This is a neat trick that I use quite a bit myself — check it out here.
Looker Community Discussion — Changing the color of one column in a chart


Community Spotlight — Haley Baldwin

Our guest this week is @haleyb. Welcome, Haley!

Where are you from and where do you call home now?

I’m from Northern Virginia and still call it home!

What do you do with Looker?

I’m a Senior Data Visualization Consultant at Excella, currently using Looker to develop dashboards for one of our customers. We’re bringing together multiple data sources that were previously separate and time-consuming to search, giving our customer easy access to data, and making it easier for them to spot anomalies and possible fraud.

What do you do for fun (when you’re not using Looker)?

Baking and music! I love baking bread/desserts and I also drum for a cover band and a marching band in the DC area.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a kid, I was anxious about not having an answer to this question and arbitrarily picked photographer as my answer... so I’ll go with that.

What’s the coolest Looker project you’ve worked on?

I’m really enjoying the current project I’m on. It’s my second Looker-based project and I’ve learned a lot about setting up explores and joins, creating derived tables, and using HTML to customize our dashboards. Beyond that, my team is also doing some cool data science work with text mining and network analysis, so it’s a fun challenge to figure out the best way to visualize that data in Looker, possibly using custom visuals.

If you could ask anyone at Looker a question, who would you pick and what would you ask?

Haley: To the product development team — are there plans to continue supporting and improving LookML dashboards? We only develop LookML dashboards for our customer, but it seems like more focus goes to the user-defined dashboards (easier to track usage, supported on the Overview page, easier to organize in Spaces, etc.)

Arielle, Product Manager at Looker: Our ultimate plan is that our users shouldn’t have to worry about the difference between UDD and LookML dashboards. We’d like to combine the two concepts where you can build a WYSIWYG dashboard, but still have the version-controlled LookML backend, resulting in one dashboard concept used across the product so that it does show up in Spaces*, etc. We don’t have any specific timelines for it yet, but it’s something we are researching.

Izzy, butting in: You should also check out the sync_lookml_dashboard beta API endpoint, which lets you keep a User Defined Dashboard synced to a LookML dashboard.


Community Knowledge Share

The Community knowledge share is on the technical side this week! Below are some super cool projects that are too interesting to not highlight — take a look!

Ro's LookML Autogeneration System

As Ro scaled up their model, they took the time to build out yet another layer on top of LookML, and now they manually write “less than 10% of the number of lines in the LookML that is generated”. Really ingenious stuff, thanks for sharing Sami_Yabroudi!
Looker Community Discussion — Ro's LookML Autogeneration System

Automating Looker user feedback collection

Josh_Temple from Milk Bar created an awesome script for automatically gathering Looker feedback from his business users. The philosophy behind that idea brings tears of joy to my eyes, and the implementation is the cherry on top. Keep crushing it, Josh.
Looker Community Discussion — Automating Looker user feedback collection

Totally accurate Game of Thrones predictions based on data

Looker’s very own Tom_Yeager, who has never watched Game of Thrones, used our #DataofThrones explores to come up with some educated guesses about the series. This is a must-read.
Looker Community Discussion — Totally accurate Game of Thrones predictions based on data


Join the Conversation

That’s all, folks! Head over to the Community to post your thoughts or to say hey to Haley. Also, be sure to share your comments about any specific discussions and tips that have helped you out lately. And of course, send in your questions for the next Spotlight feature.


*As of August 2019, Spaces are now called folders

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