For decades organizations have been using data to better understand trends or events that are happening in and around their business. Today, business systems are generating far more actionable data than ever before – data that becomes even more valuable when intelligently integrated together. But the explosion of SaaS applications has made things far more complex. Organizations that previously had under 100 applications often have 10x that number today. Having a SaaS solution for every problem is great, but each of those solutions brings more data. It’s time to rethink how data projects get done. On one hand, we have a wealth of valuable business data being generated by every application and system in our companies. On the other hand, we have no common way to create value out of that data. We’re constantly starting from scratch. What’s required is a common surface for that data that can be quickly shaped into more specific data applications that meet our core data needs.
The Looker Platform for Data delivers insights to user workflows, allowing organizations to extract value from their data. Over 1,600 industry-leading and innovative companies such as Sony, Amazon, The Economist, IBM, Spotify, Etsy, Lyft and Kickstarter have trusted Looker to power their data-driven cultures. The company is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, with offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Boulder, London, Dublin, and Tokyo, Japan. Investors include CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital, Sapphire Ventures and Goldman Sachs. Looker aspires to be a workplace that is not only free from discrimination, but one that fosters inclusion and belonging. The company says, “We strongly believe that diversity of experience, perspective, and background lead to a better environment for our employees and a better product for our users. We encourage you to join us in changing the way businesses use data.”
Multi-cloud and the Power of Choice
Databases are the lifeblood of many organizations, holding massive amounts of critical business data and carrying out hundreds of thousands of transactions per day. From early on, Looker’s vision was that not only would databases get faster and cheaper due to improvements in technology, but that more vendors would also enter the market. Due to this evolving landscape, companies would be able to choose the databases that best suited their needs. This early vision led Looker to invest heavily in supporting a wide variety of databases as quickly as possible. Looker was one of the first BI tools to support Snowflake, Amazon Athena, Amazon Redshift Spectrum, and Google BigQuery. A core part of the platform’s value is its ability to give our customers the freedom of choice—something Looker remains committed to. Google Cloud embraces a multi-cloud strategy because they also understand how important it is for customers to have freedom in their technology stack. In April 2019, they announced Anthos at their annual Next conference. Anthos gives companies the freedom to deploy, run, and manage applications on the cloud of their choice, including GCP, AWS, or Azure.
As the technology around data collection, storage and reporting continues to get cheaper and more efficient, the value in your business data grows. When analytics are applied to an organization’s decision making process, it has the potential to unlock massive value and improve both the top and bottom lines.
The 5 Pillars of Analytics
-Data Strategy & Vision
-Analytics in Use
Creating a holistic analytics strategy around these pillars and setting attainable goals makes for a successful data organization. While it is not necessary to be a leader in every area of analytical maturity for a company to be data driven, ignoring any one pillar will limit a company’s analytical potential. Organizations should determine how far they want to progress in each area of analytical maturity. Then they must set a plan to achieve those goals. Your company’s data is an asset - but it’s only valuable if the people in your company can access and use the data reliably. Creating a team within your organization that supports your data platform is key to leveraging the vast value in your company’s data. The time of individual departments managing all their own data is behind Looker. BI tools are now too powerful and access to clean; reliable data is too valuable for data management to be a part-time project for a business or IT team. When data warehouses are not set up to scale and data pipelines are convoluted and unauditible, business reports are unreliable and requests for new reports cannot be processed fast enough. The result: people stop using data because they cannot get access to it quickly or cannot trust it. With an effective data team, your company can avoid those problems. A data team supports the reporting needs of the people in your organization, strategically and proactively.
Frank Bien, CEO of Looker
With over 20 years growing and leading technology companies, Frank Bien built his career on nurturing strong corporate culture and highly efficient teams. Prior to Looker, Frank was SVP of Strategy for storage vendor Virsto (acquired by VMware) and VP of Strategic Alliances at big-data pioneer Greenplum, leading their acquisition by EMC (now Pivotal). He led Product Marketing and Strategy at early scale-out data warehousing company Sensage and was VP of Solution Sales at Vignette/OpenText. Earlier in his career he held executive roles at Dell and the Federal Reserve.
“Use data-driven insights from your customers to improve experience and increase sales.”