Key Takeaways:  

  1. Looker offers powerful dashboards to track and monitor real-time data. It offers integrated insights within the platform, making it easy for business users to make data-driven decisions.  
  1. Looker is intuitive to setup. It offers a seamless three-step approach: Choose your database; Choose your cloud; Choose your data workflow. Your database could be on Redshift, BigQuery, or Snowflake. It supports GCP, AWS, multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments.  
  1. With Looker Blocks, one can setup a customised data workflow as needed by business and data analysts.
  2. Merit Data and Technology uses Looker because it isn’t a processing-heavy platform and therefore doesn’t require desktop versions for run-time.

Moderna is one of the world’s most popular pharma companies that has been at the forefront of the Covid-19 vaccine wave.  

In 2016, the company embarked on a data transformation program to track, monitor and act on key metrics. It wanted to implement a secure, scalable and flexible solution to track real-time data related to the launch, approval and distribution of vaccines and therapeutics.  

The company opted for Looker’s data application platform primarily because it was the most efficient in terms of time-to-insights. The tool’s ability to offer integrated insights within the dashboard was a deal clincher.  

Overall, Looker’s Data Platform has been designed to break all data silos. The platform offers unified metrics, version control, data governance & security, and the best-in-class APIs. Looker Blocks – of which there are over 100 that are available off the shelf – are ideal for data modeling.  

Looker is also well-suited for Collaborative BI. Once you have the intelligence, the next step is to take action based on this data. With Looker’s Data Actions capabilities, you waste no time when it comes to decision-making.  

For Moderna, Looker made life way easier for both the executive management and data teams. The whole process of going from data to insights became streamlined and automated. A high level of data visibility played a key role in driving a swifter decision-making process.  

Key Features of Looker 

Our own delivery team at Merit believe that Looker’s modular pre-set templates and customizable solutions helps make it intuitive and as an alternative to where Online analytical processing (OLAPs) are required. It is optimised to deliver data experiences to various stakeholders and some of its key features include: 

Looker Blocks and Actions: Prebuilt pieces of code, Looker Blocks and Actions consist of optimised SQL patterns, customised analytics, pre-modeled external data, data source connections, interactive visualisations, and embedding capabilities. These can help to speed up the development of workflows, analytics, insights, and apps. 

Looker Extension Framework: The Looker extension framework, a fully hosted development platform, enables building a data-powered application, workflow, or tool in Looker without additional host infrastructure. It also helps speed up development by eliminating the need for certain steps in the building of web applications such as access control, authentication, and API access. 

Looker Alerts: Schedule data checks at periodic intervals to ensure that it meets the conditions of the administrator or the authorised user. The system sends alerts via email or Slack notifications to the relevant team member. 

Looker Governance: Improve compliance with regulatory requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, SOC, and more with Looker’s data governance, authentication, and access control capabilities. It uses AES 256-bit encryption to make the cached data stored at rest and the database connection credentials secure. Network traffic between users’ browsers and Looker is encrypted using TLS 1.2. Access to databases, rows and/or columns can also be controlled. 

Looker Components: Looker’s user interface code components enable developers to build intuitive applications and extensions. Developers can use its filter components in applications and embedded dashboards to provide Looker filter controls, including radio buttons, sliders, and tag lists. 

Persistent Derived Tables (PDTs): Looker writes Standard PDTs to the scratch schema of a database for enabling intelligent querying of the smallest dataset to decrease the load on the database and improve query performance. It also leverages Incremental PDTs for large data sets, where data teams can append fresh data to the PDT without the table being rebuilt.  

These features translate to: 

  • Dashboards and Visualisations: Real-time dashboards using reliable data provide in-depth and consistent analysis. 
  • Integrated insights: Looker provides a unified view of enterprise-wide data to enable data-backed decisions for greater effectiveness. 
  • Data-Driven Workflows: Looker provides access to fresh, reliable data for improving outcomes. 
  • Customised Applications: Deliver enhanced data experiences by creating custom apps using Looker’s embedded analytics solutions. 

Advantage Looker  

Some of the key areas where Looker can empower businesses and help them with meeting their vision for accelerated growth include: 

Self-Service: While improving the efficiency with data-backed insights, Looker also empowers the business user or the non-technical team to generate their own reports and run analytics without depending on IT support.  

Breaking Siloes: Often different teams invest in different BI tools though the data may be all in the cloud. If these tools do not integrate or talk to each other, silos get formed, defeating the purpose of migrating to the cloud. Looker helps overcome this challenge by providing a unified view of data with appropriate data access controls.  

Generate New Revenue Streams: With analytics embedded in apps and sites, businesses can generate new revenue streams while empowering users to get the information they need, whenever, wherever. This also helps to improve collaboration.  

Improve RoI: Looker is platform-agnostic, so you can work with any cloud or database that offers you value. It allows you to create a flexible multi-cloud strategy based on cloud usage and costs.  

Merit Group’s expertise in BI  

At Merit Group, we work with some of the world’s leading B2B intelligence companies like Wilmington, Dow Jones, Glenigan, and Haymarket. Our data and engineering teams work closely with our clients to build data products and business intelligence tools. Our work directly impacts business growth by helping our clients to identify high-growth opportunities. 

Our specific services include high-volume data collection, data transformation using AI and ML, web watching, BI, and customized application development. 

The Merit team also brings to the table deep expertise in building real-time data streaming and data processing applications. Our expertise in data engineering is especially useful in this context. Our data engineering team brings to fore specific expertise in a wide range of data tools including Airflow, Kafka, Python, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Apache Spark, Snowflake, Tableau, Redshift, Athena, Looker, and BigQuery. 

If you’d like to learn more about our service offerings or speak to Looker expert, please contact us here: https://www.meritdata-tech.com/contact-us 

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