Santa Cruz, CA – Looker, an innovative software company with a next-generation approach to business analytics, today introduced a new version of its data exploration platform featuring powerful capabilities that allow anyone in an organization to more effectively access, explore and visualize data in real time. Looker now enables analysts to create curated experiences over massive and complex data, so that business decision-makers can explore the right data while drastically slashing time to insight. A new Looker visualization framework makes it easy for them to create beautiful custom charts, graphs and maps that showcase meaningful data insights in an interactive and engaging way.
"Looker is revolutionizing a new kind of self-service data experience. As business users wait for requested 'data pulls' or operate on unreliable data for business-critical decisions, the BI bottleneck is being pushed downstream," said Frank Bien, CEO, Looker. "With Looker, data analysts can create self-service discovery experiences that empower business users to explore and manipulate large, complex datasets and be assured the data they're accessing is accurate. As a result, employees can create their own views of data for further visualization and discovery in real time."
Massive Disconnect Between Big Data and Business Value
Despite advances in the way companies collect, store and analyze data, success stories of organizations deriving true value from BI are few and far between. Even with an increasingly tech-savvy workforce, organizations continue to dumb-down BI and spoon-feed users with summarized datasets, instead of gratifying them with creative analytic tools that leverage their interest and capacity to manipulate data in interesting ways.
Looker has pioneered a new approach to data discovery, one that enables a flexible and exploratory end-user experience. The new features of the Looker platform include: in-browser application development that makes it easier for users to discover business insights; a visualization framework based on the D3 visualization library; and support for high-availability analytic environments.
In-Browser Application Development
Traditional BI solutions require data analysts to create parameterized datasets for business users, limiting the user's ability to truly explore detailed data. New discovery tools have completely missed on governance and standardization, creating confusion around the organization on how to share key business metrics. Looker turns this model on its head. With Looker's in-browser application development, analysts create a self-service BI environment that's customized to their business, with a modeling layer as the single source of truth. Business users can work within this environment, with the freedom to drill into datasets and move between dynamic dashboards as easily as clicking a link in a browser—knowing that data is defined accurately and consistently. In this way, analysts act as the curators of the company's datasets, managing the data environment rather than guessing at the information business users will require.
For example, a data analyst could build a customer profile application, in minutes, to support the entire customer service team. The customer service reps would then be able to access order history, demographic data and even links to external CRM applications, in real time, while drilling into the data and collaborating on insights. The data could also be integrated into applications like Google Spreadsheets, all within the browser, to drive customer success.
New Visualization Framework
Once users model data in Looker, the new visualization framework gives them multiple ways to display and explore the information. The Looker platform comes with a suite of preset charts and graphs based on the D3 visualization library. In addition, users can define their own charts and import visualizations from other open sources. Richer, more detailed graphs and charts make it easier for users to understand the data and to communicate their insights to others, while retaining the ability to drill into visualizations and reframe data on the fly—all with a view toward steering the business in the right direction.
Enterprise Platform Technologies
Looker now supports enterprise-ready databases such as HP Vertica, Teradata & Aster, and Oracle, while a high-availability architecture guarantees uptime. Support for LDAP and two-factor authentication allows database administrators to manage and control data access, ensuring control over the BI environment without getting in the way of end-user analytics.
"At Turo, we pride ourselves on our data-driven operating culture. Looker makes it simple for our employees to access and explore the data necessary to do our jobs better," said Andrew Mok, Director of Analytics & Marketing, Turo. "Without having to write a single line of SQL, our customer service can access key data and use that information to provide tailored support to each customer. Looker empowers us to become an even more data-driven organization."