Comparing user-defined and LookML dashboards

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A Looker dashboard is a collection of queries displayed as visualizations on a screen. Users can alter filters on dashboards, apply alerts to tiles, set up dashboard delivery schedules, and download a dashboard's data, among other things.

There are two types of Looker dashboards: user-defined dashboards and LookML dashboards.

Each type of dashboard has different benefits and constraints:

Characteristic User-Defined Dashboard LookML Dashboard
Generally created and edited by Business users and Looker developers. A select group of LookML developers.
Defined By adding query tiles, Look-linked tiles, or text in the user interface; arranging them using drag-and-drop operations; and adding and formatting dashboard filters and other options (as described on the Creating user-defined dashboards documentation page). Written and edited in a YAML-based dashboard file, as described in the Creating a LookML dashboard file section of the Building LookML dashboards documentation page.
Updated When the dashboard is edited or the corresponding saved Looks are updated. When the LookML file for the dashboard is edited.
Stored In a user's personal folder or in a shared folder for easy collaboration across a wider group of users. As version-controlled files that are associated with the project in a Git repository. By default, LookML dashboards are accessible for viewing in the LookML dashboards folder located in the All folders top-level folder. They can also be moved to other folders as desired.
Convertible To LookML dashboards, as described in the Creating a LookML copy of a user-defined dashboard section of the Building LookML dashboards documentation page. To user-defined dashboards, as explained on the Converting from LookML to user-defined dashboards documentation page.