JOIN 2021: Sharing our product vision with the Looker community
Director of Looker Outbound Product Management, Google Cloud
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Welcome to JOIN 2021! We’re so excited to kick off Looker’s annual user conference. It’s an event we look forward to each year as it's a terrific opportunity to connect with the Looker community, interact with our partners and customers, showcase our product capabilities, and share our product vision and strategy for the year ahead.
This is the second year in a row that we’re hosting our conference virtually. Even though we were hoping to see you all in person this year, we’re delighted to connect with the Looker community in a virtual setting. This year we have some great content prepared that we hope you will find insightful and educational. JOIN 2021 brings you 3 days of content that includes 5 keynotes, 33 breakouts, 12 How-tos, 27 Data Circles of Success (live!), and our popular Hackathon.
One of the most exciting parts of this event is the highly anticipated product keynote session, where you’ll learn about our product vision, key investments, new product features, and the roadmap ahead. It’s also our opportunity to share with you all the cool and exciting projects the team has been working on. Here is a sneak preview of some of the things you will hear in the product keynote:
The idea that different people in different roles need to work with data in different ways is a conviction that guides Looker’s product direction. Composable analytics is about enabling organizations to deliver these bespoke data experiences tailored to the different ways people work, in a way that transcends conventional business intelligence (BI). We at Looker see a world where people can assemble different data experiences, quickly and easily, with reusable components with low code deployment options, without requiring any specialized technical skills.
Looker's investment in the Extension Framework and Looker Components lays the foundation for our developers building composable analytics applications. Looker’s Extension Framework is an accelerator and makes it significantly easier and faster for developers to build a variety of experiences on Looker without having to worry about things like hosting, authentication, authorization, and local API access.
“It took one developer one day to stand up an application using the Extension Framework! I've seen a lot of great Looker features built over the years. This has the potential to be the most ground-breaking.” —Jawad Laraqui, CEO, Data Driven (Don’t miss Jawad’s session “Building and Monetizing Custom Data Experiences with Looker”)
Looker Components lower the barrier to developing beautiful data experiences that utilize native Looker functionality through extension templates, componentized Looker functionality, a library of foundational components, and theming. In July we released Filter components, which allow developers to bring the filters they declare on any Looker dashboard into any embedded application or extension. Today, we announce Visualization components (screenshot below), which is an open-source toolkit that makes it easy to connect your visualization to Looker, customize its presentation, and easily add it to your external application.
In addition, we are also announcing the new Looker public marketplace, where developers can explore Beyond BI content like applications, blocks, and plug-ins.
Augmented analytics is fundamentally changing the way that people interact with data. We see tremendous opportunity to help organizations take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to deliver a better and more intuitive experience with Looker. We are delivering augmented analytics capabilities via two Solutions - Contact Center AI (CCAI) and Healthcare NLP.
Looker’s Solution for Contact Center AI (CCAI), helps businesses gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of their customers’ full journey by unlocking insights from all their company’s first-party data. We’ve partnered with the product teams at CCAI to build Looker's Block for CCAI Insights, which sets you on the path to integrating the advanced insights into your first-party data in Looker, overlaying business data with the customer experience.
Looker's Block for Healthcare NLP API serves as a critical bridge between existing care systems and applications hosted on Google Cloud providing a managed solution for storing and accessing healthcare data in Google Cloud. Healthcare providers, payers, and pharma companies can quickly understand the context and relationships of medical concepts within the text, such as medications, procedures, conditions, clinical history, and begin to link this to other clinical data sources for downstream AI/ML.
We are also investing in the way you can interact with data in Looker. With Ask Looker, you can explore and visualize data using natural language queries. By combining Google’s expertise in AI with Looker’s modern semantic layer, Ask Looker will deliver a uniquely valuable experience to our users that dramatically lowers the barrier to interacting with data (this feature is currently available in preview and we expect to roll it out more broadly in 2022).
For more information on the newest Looker solutions, click here.
Universal Semantic Model
A core differentiator since the beginning has been Looker’s semantic model. Our LookML modeling language enables developers to describe their organization’s business rules and calculations using centralized and reusable semantic definitions. This means everyone across the organization can trust that they’re working with consistent and reliable interpretations of the data, allowing them to make more confident business decisions. Soon, different front-end applications like Tableau, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and more will be able to connect to Looker’s semantic model.
With Looker’s universal semantic model, organizations can deliver trusted and governed data to every user across heterogeneous tools. This eliminates the risk of people relying on stale and unsecured data that increases the risk of data exfiltration. The universal semantic model gives companies a way to tie disparate data sets together in a central repository that provides a complete understanding of their business.
Data Studio is now part of Looker
We are also excited to announce that Data Studio is now a part of the Looker team. Data Studio has built a strong product enabling reporting and ad-hoc analysis on top of Google Ads and other data sources. This is a distinct and complementary use case to Looker’s enterprise BI and analytics platform. Bringing Data Studio and Looker together opens up exciting opportunities to combine the strengths of both products to reimagine the way organizations work with data.
As we reach the end of 2021, we feel proud of the product capabilities we shipped this year and we’re excited about the investments we’ll make in 2022. We’re grateful for the continued support of our customers and partners, and our work is inspired every day by the innovative applications you build and use cases you support . We hope you enjoy JOIN 2021 and all the amazing content we have available for you in this digital format. Make sure to register to access all the event sessions. We hope to see you all in person in 2022.