The internet has become a staple part of daily life, meaning the amount of data we generate has never been higher. This unstructured data is challenging to analyze at-a-glance, and can significantly increase database storage requirements, driving up costs. By categorizing and cleansing your data, you can make information more accessible, which is great for employees, end-users, and overall enterprise compliance.
Processing and analyzing these massive quantities of data is commonly referred to as big data analytics. The Looker platform offers business intelligence and big data analytics, and comes with a unanimous recommendation from over 3000 respondents in BARC’s BI Survey 2019. Specifically, respondents highlighted the innovative capacity and flexibility of the platform. It all sounds great but let’s explore the features on offer with Looker so we can understand why.
Traditionally, database querying would be done by a dedicated business intelligence (BI) team. An employee would request information, and BI analysts would then write a line of code to extract the required data. This creates a high barrier of entry to data analysis and insight, limiting data access to a tiny proportion of your workforce. With this extra step in the data access chain, actionable insight generation was inhibited, meaning corporate strategy was often misaligned with the reality of market and customer needs.
Looker aims to bridge this gap by automatically generating structured query language (SQL) code queries through a graphical user interface (GUI). The user doesn’t need to have any SQL coding knowledge; they simply use pre-defined SQL code structures, with malleable query parameters using a GUI. Your IT team can make these structures, and save them in the Looker dashboard for simple, easy access to data and insight.
These pre-defined queries are created using Looker’s proprietary LookML SQL abstraction framework. Rather than writing and re-writing queries each time you execute them, your staff can change what they want to query and automatically insert these parameters between pre-defined SQL codesets.
This is called abstraction, and has several benefits for big data companies:
LookML’s Reusability Saves Time – Rather than waiting for a dedicated team to query, extract, and deliver data to other departments, you can eliminate those steps with Looker and LookML.
Programmers follow the mantra “Don’t Repeat Yourself”, which refers to the automation of low-level tasks so that you can focus on more important things. By pre-defining these SQL structures, you eliminate the possibility of incorrectly typing code and save all the time it would have taken to write the code in the first place. You also eliminate the need for masses of back-and-forth communication between your BI team and departments with query requests, reducing workloads across the board.
LookML Is Easy to Learn – Even though LookML is a new programming language, it heavily refers and relies upon the existing SQL codebase.
This is good for data analysts, as it would only take them a few hours to become familiar with LookML. With the lower barrier of entry, it may even be possible for other staff to learn and compile their own LookML SQL query structures, increasing IT literacy and collaboration across your business.
Simple Debugging – Other coding languages have benefitted for years from fully-fledged debugging solutions that simplify the debugging process. They can even analyze code as you write it in real-time, highlighting, and remediating syntax errors that would prevent the code from executing correctly.
LookML brings this functionality to the data programming industry, analyzing your SQL code and intelligently suggesting changes to optimize your SQL queries. This helps you avoid query errors, reducing service requests, and minimizes database processing overhead by only querying relevant data fields, saving you money on infrastructure costs.
Trianz is a leading business intelligence and data analytics consulting firm, with decades of experience assessing and implementing new database infrastructure for our clients. We’ve partnered with Looker to offer simplified, accessible data analytics capabilities for your business. Our belief is that insight should be available to anyone in your business, which is why we work with you to create a tailored implementation strategy for the Looker platform so that you can maximize the value of your data.
Get in touch with our business intelligence and data analytics teams and start using LookML to streamline data access across your business today.
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