Why our customers say they chose Looker over MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy customers depend on centralized metadata, but building the data model is a long, drawn-out process. With MicroStrategy, only one user can make changes to the data model at a time, forcing other users to wait their turn. This limitation delays the development process.

Looker, on the other hand, automatically generates a basic model based on the relationships between tables in the schema. This feature lets multiple users work in an agile and collaborative way to expand and refine the central model in a version-controlled environment. The resulting data model is fast and flexible, so data consumers can get their questions answered instantly for rapid time-to-value.

Customers tell us that Looker’s robust foundation is their key to delivering actionable insights to internal and external customers. These customers most frequently cite the following differences of the Looker Platform when comparing to Microstrategy:

Agile version-controlled data model

Modern data transformation at runtime

Pre-built reusable data experiences

Flexible in-database performance optimization

Transformative enterprise-class architecture

In-product live support with Looker experts

Agile version-controlled data model

Unlike MicroStrategy, the Looker platform is uniquely designed to make changes to the business logic within the modeling layer itself. Since data is always changing, the business requirements change as well.

A trusted, centrally-defined, version-controlled, and collaborative data model supports the Looker data platform.

Business analysts already familiar with SQL can make changes to Looker’s git version-controlled data model and define or maintain business rules for their organization — instead of getting IT involved.

Each data analyst gets their own dev environment to try out new analyses without affecting everyone else. Every change to the data model can be audited, examined, and rolled back (if necessary).

Looker’s business logic layer is separate from underlying data and shared across all downstream content. This separation enables immediate changes to the data model and instant propagation of downstream updates as business rules evolve and change over time.

Modern data transformation at runtime

Historically, data was transferred from disparate source systems to an integrated data warehouse via an extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) process. This process loads into the staging environment (where transformations take place) and then into the target data warehouse, making it an extremely time-consuming.

MicroStrategy’s ETL approach is outdated, inflexible, and best suited for smaller datasets. With modern data requirements changing rapidly, every transformation change is costly. Changes made in the ETL tool lead to longer wait times. ETL worked fine when on-prem data storage was expensive, but since cloud-based data storage is relatively inexpensive, there’s no need to follow ETL processes.

Alternatively, Looker’s unique and innovative modeling layer allows anyone to perform the transformation at the time of query (ELT) so users can load the data before deciding what insights they want to generate. This method offers the flexibility to transform the data on the fly to generate different kinds of metrics, forecasts, and reports. ELT is more cost-effective and requires less time.

Pre-built reusable data experiences

Looker’s pre-built applications provide unique experiences and deliver operational insights to meet the needs of any business. These applications are plug-and-play, purpose-built, and designed for scale, removing upfront user effort.

MicroStrategy does not offer any out-of-the-box pre-built applications, forcing companies to rely on skilled resources to build them.

With Looker’s pre-built applications, companies can take advantage of reusable metrics with an out-of-the-box data model for each department. These models accelerate time to value for analysts and business users (who no longer have to define and create redundant types of analyses).

Flexible in-database performance optimization

Looker ensures fresh data thanks to its direct connectivity to any SQL database – unlike MicroStrategy, which is architected for data extraction. With Looker, there’s no need for inflexible physical schemas or in-memory cubes. No need to wait for IT to make modeling changes. No more stale data residing in MicroStrategy waiting to be updated.

Looker is a real-time data and analytics platform powered by a modern in-database architecture that gives organizations unconstrained access to all their data. Looker connects directly to any SQL compliant database for a real-time view of the business — unlike MicroStrategy’s pre-built dashboards that cannot answer questions in real-time.

Looker empowers users to drill into their reports down to row-level, create new queries, and explore the entire business in real-time, without running after data teams and waiting for the ETL process to finish.

Transformative enterprise-class architecture

Looker is 100% web-based and designed specifically for new-age data engines using modern technology. Looker supports today’s ever-evolving data ecosystem. With Looker, organizations can build their own data stack with confidence, knowing that they’ll have the flexibility to make modifications as their business needs change.

Looker’s unique architecture empowers organizations to take advantage of public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments (and the features and benefits each provides). Looker’s multi-cloud capability future-proofs your data strategy.

You can easily change where you choose to deploy Looker – and which underlying cloud database(s) you use – with no downstream impact to your end users.

In-product live support with Looker experts

Looker prioritizes customer feedback and relationships above all else. Instead of placing customers in a technical support queue where they're forced to wait days for a response (like MicroStrategy and other competitors do), we connect customers with a person who cares about solving their issue.

Looker’s support team earned the title of Department of Customer Love because of their outstanding service. The DCL elevates Looker beyond the competition and beyond MicroStrategy.

Customers consistently rate Looker support as one of the most appreciated features of our product.

Looker customers can have an in-product, live chat with a DCL support engineer any time they need help with a particular feature, or have a question about the product — without leaving the platform.

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