How Looker is hoping to cure your business’ data chaos


As businesses of all sizes create ever-increasing amounts of data, the need to carry out proper analysis to deduce useful findings is clearer than ever.

However many companies often find their analytics efforts hamstrung by having a mixture of different platforms in place, ensuring that they fail to get the full potential out of their data.

That’s where Looker comes in - the US analytics giant is positioning itself as the key to conquering the chaos caused by mountains of data bombarding businesses each day.

"A lot of people have been talking about data and the value businesses will get out of it for a long time - but there's not a lot of proof points,” Looker CEO Frank Bien told ITProPortal at the company’s recent JOIN:London event recently.

“We keep going on to the next shiny thing...but meanwhile companies haven't solved their basic needs."

(Image: © Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo)

Bien is hoping that Looker can bring control to what he calls, “the sprawl and chaos” affecting many businesses today when it comes to analytics, ushering in a new age of smart data.

He notes that many companies suffer from “data breadlines and data chaos”, where the teams responsible for analytics are constantly under pressure to deliver insights to an ever-growing queue of of co-workers - or there is a lack of cooperation on even the most basic metrics, which results in chaos.

“We want to tie all of this together...we're redefining and rebuilding the data platform,” Bien says. “People thought we were crazy when we started that, but you can see now that this is what people need - they don't need more individual pieces to the puzzle, they need the full thing to deliver data solutions to the people in their company in a reliable way."

“If you think about data and data companies...there has not been a breakout data company in 20 years. Our vision is to be that breakout vendor in this space."

(Image: © Michael Moore)

The looming spectre of GDPR has also pushed data to the forefront of many businesses’ minds, as the need for greater control and compliance reaches peak importance.

Bien describes GDPR as “a huge opportunity” for Looker, noting that the company was one of the few companies talking about the need for increased security and privacy.

“If you think of the world before Looker, it was very decentralised and siloed,” he notes. “We've now moved to centralised environment to provide easy access for business users to do their work, but also audit it, and have the power of underlying database security tools in place."

Bien says that every customer he speaks to in the EU is concerned with GDPR - and this concern is spreading to the US too. But GDPR offers the chance for companies to fully rethink their approach to data security and compliance, allowing the implementation of real controls from a privacy perspective.

"The pain of this defragmented, decentralised world has been growing, and this is just another thing on top of realising how inefficient the old world was looking at data," says Bien.

So it seems that Looker is well placed to take advantage of the new data-hungry age, and Bien notes that the company’s consistency and passion has greatly helped put it in a prime position going forward.

"Looker has been a unique experience, in that we have not had to change direction multiple times,” he says. “Our mission, and it's a grand one, is to create a full data platform that gets rid of all these little problems, so that you can start solving the bigger problems.”