Using Looker in a Custom Integration
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 18, 2018

Using Looker in a Custom Integration

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Looker

We built a custom integration with Looker that auto-generates dashboards and visualizations from data that our platform accumulates. Because of this custom integration, we are often limited in our options on how we use the platform and what cool Looker tools we can use as well. Additionally, this integration has our clients interacting with Looker and they are often unimpressed and frustrated by how technical the platform is as well as the speed. Our integration and what we allow them to do and see could be a contributing factor in this so please keep that in mind as you read the rest of my review.
  • Incredibly advanced analytics tool that is even more capable if you learn how to use LookML which is Looker's custom programming language.
  • Quick access to the raw data that is being visualized allows you to spot check for data integrity.
  • My usage with Looker is limited because of our integration but, having seen their updates over time, the integrations with Slack, Salesforce, and other tools appear to greatly improve organizations' workflows.
  • The time it takes to load data has been INCREDIBLY frustrating to our clients. How much of this is the fault of our developers, I don't know. What I do know is that it's the slowest time to see a visualization of any BI tool I've used. By far.
  • There is A LOT of exerting setup required for custom dashboards. When adding our custom integration into the mix it's been nearly impossible to get things done.
  • The calculation field can be incredibly useful but, again, requires technical expertise which not all of our users have.
Unfortunately, I was not in charge of the decision to select Looker as it was before my time. I can see why the decision was made as I do see the potential. We have felt the need to supplement Looker with another free tool and, if our integrations weren't so deep and our development resources so limited, we'd likely look at replacing it or at least spending that significant amount of time required getting it to run how you'd like.
As I didn't do the initial setup and, as far as I can tell, without a fair amount of technical expertise it would be difficult to point to another data source, merged any data from various sources. or, because of TrustRadius' word requirement, I am eating tacos while using Looker, I haven't ever tried this.
We often use some of the sharing options to get data in the hands of clients, visualizations in front of users, etc. Doing these things are relatively simple for someone with basic tech understanding; but some of the terminology and ways data is shared could be confusing to some of our less experienced employees/clients.
When you've had a technical expert spend the significant time required to customize your Looker experience, then it could very well be one of the top contenders in its space. You are able to log in, see what you need immediately, dig deeper quickly, and integrate smoothly with your other tools. This one caveat, however, is a big one; and thus the lower score.

Looker Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
6
Customizable dashboards
5
Report Formatting Templates
Not Rated
Drill-down analysis
7
Formatting capabilities
5
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Not Rated
Report sharing and collaboration
7
Publish to Web
8
Publish to PDF
6
Report Versioning
Not Rated
Report Delivery Scheduling
7
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
7
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
6
Multi-User Support (named login)
Not Rated
Role-Based Security Model
Not Rated
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Not Rated
Responsive Design for Web Access
Not Rated
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Not Rated