Looker Blog : Data Matters

3 API Tools to Delight Your Embed Customers

Jill Hardy, Content Strategist, Customer Education at Looker

Aug 15, 2019

In this post, I’m going to show you three API tools to make an interface that will wow your customers—while also being fun to use.

I probably don’t need to tell you that great user experience can dramatically grow your business and solidify your position as a trustworthy brand.

In fact, according to this Forrester study1, implementing a better user experience has the potential to raise conversion rates by 400%.

That’s an inspirational metric.

And since inspiration is what this post is all about, I gathered some truly awesome examples of what you can do with the Looker API. Whether they shine a light on the exact “oomph” you want to add to your Looker experience or simply illuminate possibilities, I hope you enjoy them.

Custom Filter Bar

The dashboard below uses icons to put a picturesque spin on filtering.

How’d we do it? The filter icons aren’t a part of the dashboard; they’re part of the website where it’s embedded. The iframe that houses the dashboard “listens” to the filter bar and automatically updates when someone clicks a filter icon.

You can get the code here to try it out yourself.

Report Selector for Embed Users

This example allows embedded users to switch between different reports easily.

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The “Select Report” section is set up with an API call to Looker that grabs a list of reports from a designated folder. Adding or removing anything from that folder automatically updates what the user sees. No extra development work is required to push new content out to customers.

Put the report in the right place, et voila!

Gotta have it for yourself? The resources in our GitHub repo will get you started.

Create a Living Data Dictionary

Why build a data dictionary? For context.

Context makes the difference between something you quickly throw in the trash (a simple stick figure portrait) and something you treasure (a simple stick figure portrait...that your kid drew).

In the world of data analysis, it’s the difference between your customer glossing over a report they don’t understand and finding an insight that helps their business grow so much they start recommending your product.

But maybe your dictionary “customer” is internal.

In that case, context is the difference between your colleague coming to you for help picking fields for the report they’re building and knowing they can check a reference whenever needed—leaving you time to work on some of those stunning visuals we covered in the previous section.

The definitions are dynamically pulled from your LookML model and include the data type, description of the metric, and the associated SQL parameter.

You can even style it as you please with CSS and HTML. That’s right, your dictionary will always be fresh and looking great—and all you have to do is set it up once.

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Interested? Get the code here.

Bonus Eye Candy: Gorgeous API-powered Visualizations

What’s more enticing in a dashboard than sleek, highly interactive visualizations? Tacos.

But also—finding those visualizations in a page boasting seamless tab navigation with a one-click dark mode! Yep, all of this beauty is possible with the API.

Which is almost as good as street tacos. Almost.

There’s more to the “how” of this gorgeous website than I can divulge in a blog post, but you can register for an interactive demo of the website on this page to check it out for yourself.

Conclusion

Which tool are you going to try first? Let us know how it goes in the Community API discussion.

Until next time,

Jill Hardy
Content Strategist, Customer Education


1 The Six Steps For Justifying Better UX Business Case: The Digital Customer Experience Improvement Playbook, Forrester Research, Inc., December 28, 2016

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