Looker Blog : Data Matters

Looker 7: Making Data Experiences a Reality

Pedro Arellano, VP Product Marketing at Looker

Nov 6, 2019

The explosion of data generated by SaaS applications is fundamentally changing the data and analytics industry. IDC1 predicts that the collective sum of the world’s data will grow to 175 ZB by 2025. To put this in perspective, if each gigabyte in a zettabyte were a brick, we could build the Great Wall of China (made of 3,873,000,000 bricks)... 258 times!

This data volume and complexity is something we would not have envisioned just a few years ago, and it has been a driving force behind advancements in data and analytics technologies in recent years. Data is no longer isolated in a single monolithic software suite. It is spread out across multiple applications in the cloud. Modern databases are more powerful, faster and cheaper. The traditional ETL paradigm is giving way to data transformation on demand.

But it’s not just tools and technologies that have evolved. We’re also seeing a profound change in the way companies use data. The first generation of the digital and internet native workforce has an expectation to leverage data in their day to day work. Forward-looking organizations no longer see data simply as something that’s displayed on a screen to be analyzed. These companies and their workforces want data integrated into everyday business workflows.

According to Gartner2, “spending and focus on traditional query and reporting BI environments will shift dramatically to analytics integrated into business operations and digital solutions.” In other words, unlocking the full potential of data consists of broadening its use from informational to operational.

This doesn’t mean that our beloved BI dashboards will disappear. These tools are and will always be essential to inform our understanding of our business. What it does mean is that traditional BI is becoming just one of many ways to interact with data.

Today, there are already many other ways in which companies use data beyond traditional BI.

  • Marketing departments are using data to automatically adjust bids on ads up or down depending on their performance.
  • Some organizations are acting as a data supplier to deliver a data pipeline to feed their customers’ data science workflows.
  • Solutions providers are creating new revenue streams by bringing a data product to market (DaaS — Data as a Service).

These are just some examples of companies whose use of data is not limited to reports and dashboards. They are transcending traditional BI by infusing what we call “data experiences” into day-to-day tools and workflows, using the abundance of available data for closing the gap between discovering insights and taking action.

Forrester3 writes “insights-driven businesses harness and implement digital insights strategically and at scale to drive growth and create differentiating experiences, products, and services.” This is the vision behind our next major product release. To better support the new era in data and analytics by building a platform where companies can create any number of data experiences imaginable. Looker 7 is that platform.

Looker 7 delivers new and enhanced capabilities in three key areas:

  • A rich development framework to power custom data experiences across the organization. Looker 7 includes an in-product Marketplace for customers to deploy and developers to monetize pre-built models, applications, integrations, plug-ins, data sources, and custom visualizations. With Looker, companies can jumpstart their development efforts with updated SDKs, new UI components, and rich developer resources.
  • A reimagined BI experience out-of-the-box. Looker 7 delivers dashboard capabilities in a modern interface that makes them more interactive, more intuitive, easier to edit and customize. A new closed-loop Slack integration delivers data insights from Looker directly into Slack conversations for seamless collaboration. A new SQL runner visualizations give data analysts the ability to understand raw data on the fly.
  • Built for enterprise-grade workflows. A new managed data integration and database solution connects to 45+ data sources and allows customers to unify data in disparate systems seamlessly. Looker 7 offers a range of multi-cloud hosting choices powered by kubernetes, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, or Azure clouds. New system activity analytics give administrators the ability to analyze user behavior, adoption of data products, or performance issues.

We are excited to announce this new major release of our platform and to continue furthering the vision of data experiences.

Learn more about Looker 7 or join in for our Looker 7-launch webinar with our Looker Chief Product Officer, Nick Caldwell, on November 20th.


1 IDC: Expect 175 zettabytes of data worldwide by 2025, Andy Patrizio, December 3, 2018

2 Gartner 100 Data and Analytics Predictions Through 2022, Douglas Laney, Guido De Simoni, Rick Greenwald, Cindi Howson, Ankush Jain, Valerie Logan, Alan D. Duncan, May 21, 2018

3 "Insights-Driven Businesses Set The Pace For Global Growth,” Forrester Research, Inc., December 14, 2018

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