Looker recently unveiled version 5 of their flagship Business Intelligence and analytics platform. The announcement was made at JOIN 2017, the vendor’s multi-day customer data conference. Looker 5 features a multitude of capabilities enhancements, upgrades, and UI tweaks that that bring a fresh experience for user interaction with data. Chief among them may be the new Data Merge feature, which allows users to combine data from different databases. Additionally, the update includes nearly 60 new statistical functions, a new SQL runner with visualizations, and Data Blocks to add value to public data in-analysis.
Looker made user accessibility a hallmark with this newest release, focusing in on non-technical people. The inclusion of Action Hub, workflows become more efficient. Integrations in the Hub allow users to hasten actions like changing the status on Zendesk support tickets, shipping reports and dashboards to Google Drive or Box, or pausing an underperforming Adwords campaign. The Action Hub will launch with direct built-in connections to those services, as well as “hundreds more” through middleware tools like Zapier and Segment.
Building on the platform figures to get easier as well, as Looker’s new block types, which include Viz Blocks and Data Blocks, make it possible for customers to join their data with pre-modeled external databases like weather or demographic data. Applications by Looker also make their first appearance. The first three will include Marketing Analytics, IT Operations Analytics, and Event Analytics. These are department-specific solutions to supply individuals with the data they need. These tools are built-in to the Looker interface alongside the flagship BI solution.
In a statement, the company’s CEO Frank Bien added: “We believe that the notion of just using a standalone BI tool is antiquated, limiting and inefficient. Forward-thinking data-driven companies want a complete data platform to help operationalize their business using data. Looker 4 made that possible; Looker 5 makes it easy. It is our most complete and flexible platform – a comprehensive, secure and integrated data stack that is agile and expandable. It is the platform on which companies are building the next-generation of data-driven business applications.”
Looker 5 will be available in October.