Looker is a web-based platform dedicated to providing a managed, standardized and trusted view of business data. This consistency can be achieved by using a data description language (LookML) to create a metadata layer on the required data source. Looker is particularly powerful in embedding solutions and creating interactive visualizations and dashboards. In addition, the product also provides functions for business users, who can use the LookML metadata layer to query different data sources.

Looker was founded in 2011 in Santa Cruz, CA, and has grown rapidly since then. In 2015, the vendor had about 200 employees but now employs about 800 people across eight locations. With the opening of the UK office in 2015, Looker started to grow its business in Europe.

In 2020, Google acquired Looker for $2.6 billion in order to complete its Smart Analytics Platform. Since then, Looker has been part of the Google Cloud portfolio. Despite the new affiliation, the vendor aims to remain open towards deployment types and data sources. Therefore, Looker plans to deliver an on-premises platform as well as making the product available in other non-Google cloud environments including Microsoft and Amazon. Support for other databases such as Snowflake and Azure Synapse Analytics is also in the pipeline.

Looker has always had a strong emphasis on data and has started to position its product as a data platform. As the product was designed as an open platform that can be embedded in other applications, Looker now uses this strength to help customers build and distribute data experiences that range beyond their own enterprise.

Looker offers off-the-shelf, purpose-built applications to speed up implementations and shorten time-to-value. These applications are not necessarily tied to a particular data source as they aim to support a particular business process. Apps for Sales Analytics, Marketing Analytics and Event Analytics are currently available. With this strategy, the vendor is emphasizing that Looker does not target any specific customer profile.

User & Use Cases

An eyecatching median of 35 percent of employees (and a mean of 46 percent) use Looker. This figure is almost double the overall survey average and clearly correlates with the concept of the data-driven enterprise and Looker’s desire to provide its customers with data experiences.

71 percent of customers said they performed a competitive evaluation with multiple products before buying Looker. Its most regular competitors reflect the desire of prospects to purchase a business user-oriented solution. This is backed up by the finding that 83 percent use the product in self-service analytics and BI scenarios. The product is also heavily used for embedding, but this does not seem to have been the decisive reason for the software purchase in so many cases.

56 percent of the Looker customers responding to this survey are based in Europe, while one quarter come from North America and the rest from other parts of the world. 19 percent come from the services industry (including healthcare) and 16 percent from the retail sector. Customers are predominantly mid-sized companies with a median of 72 users but with large amounts of data. Over the past few years, Looker customers have reported using the solution with the largest amounts of data in the whole BI & Analytics Survey.

Current vs. planned use

N=32

5 products most often evaluated in competition with Looker

N=27

Percentage of employees using Looker

N=32

Number of users using Looker

N=32

Tasks carried out with Looker by business users

N=32

Company size (number of employees)

N=32

Summary of Looker highlights

In line with previous years, Looker once again received positive feedback from its customers this year, with 11 top rankings and a further 45 leading positions across its four peer groups. Looker is the second-best product in the whole BI & Analytics Survey in terms of providing customers with Business Benefits: the most important KPI in this survey. Its modern architecture gives the product the versatility to be used in various different scenarios. Users have adopted the product for a broad range of tasks, mainly in operational BI and embedding scenarios.

Business Value – Top-ranked

Peer group: Embedded Analytics-focused Products

Business Value – Top-ranked

Peer group: Business Software Generalists

Cloud BI – Top-ranked

Peer group: Embedded Analytics-focused Products

Cloud BI – Top-ranked

Peer group: Business Software Generalists

Self-Service – Top-ranked

Peer group: Business Software Generalists

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BI & Analytics Survey 22 Awards

Looker

Peer Groups Ad Hoc Reporting-focused Products, Business Software Generalists (BI), Embedded Analytics-focused Products, Midsize/Departmental Implementations (BI)
VendorLooker (Google)
Number of responses32
ProductLooker
OfficesSanta Cruz, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Boulder, Dublin, London, Tokyo
Employees800+
Customers2,000+
Websitewww.looker.com

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Product Video

Quotes from the BI & Analytics Survey 22

It‘s the market leader and has radically transformed analytics impact at multiple companies I have worked at who leverage the tool.
Head of BI & Analytics Competence Center, gaming, 100-2,500 employees
Looker is a great platform and meets the promise of making analytics easy to develop and use.
CTO, IT, 100-2,500 employees
Looker‘s LookML modeling makes it easy and intuitive to repurpose code and maintain a single source of truth. It is very user friendly, empowering our company to easily explore, search for, interrogate, and report data. It is the most flexible and scalable BI tool on the market.
Head of business department, retail/wholesale/trade, less than 100 employees
Cloud native. High performance. In-database processing. Innovative semantic layer.
Person responsible/Project manager for departmental BI/analytics , retail/wholesale/trade, more than 2,500 employees
Self-service function, easy development with SQL-like development language, vendor support, flexibility, did I say selfservice function?
Data analyst, transportation and logistics, 100-2,500 employees