Creating Looker usage reports with System Activity Explores

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Before enabling System Activity on a customer-hosted Looker deployment with a MySQL backend, verify that you have properly set up the user for the backend database. Specifically, you must perform the step to grant all on looker_tmp.* to '<DB_username>'@'%'; before you enable the System Activity feature. See the procedure on the Migrating the Looker backend database to MySQL documentation page.

Looker admins and users who have been granted the see_system_activity permission have access to Looker's System Activity Explores in the Explore menu.

The System Activity Explores connect to Looker's underlying application database. They show information about your Looker instance, including Looks and dashboards saved on your instance, user information, historical query information, and instance performance statistics. Both the granularity and retention of System Activity data are subject to system constraints. System Activity is designed for collecting high-volume data, and aggregating it can be used to supplement your business logs.

This data can be useful for supplementing monitoring and auditing activities, but is not intended to replace your current compliance strategy.

By default, System Activity data is stored in Looker's internal database. Most tables are truncated on a regular schedule to comply with storage limits. For example, the History table is truncated to the past 90 days of data. Some tables have more stringent data retention policies. To increase data retention, consider using Elite System Activity.

It is not possible to query System Activity data using SQL Runner as permissions for Looker's internal database are limited.

The text in filters run by users is accessible in System Activity and can be viewed by any user who has permission to view the System Activity model.

Take action: Modify who has view access to the System Activity model. Looker admins have access to this model by default. Non-admin users can be granted access to the System Activity model if they are given the see_system_activity permission.

System Activity dashboards and Explores are restricted in the number of concurrent queries that can be run. This restriction may increase loading times for System Activity Explores.

Chat Team Tip: Time-based data in System Activity is stored in the Looker System time zone. See the Using time zone settings documentation page for more information.

System Activity Explores

These are the System Activity Explores:

Explore Name Description
Content Usage Data about Look and dashboard usage, including frequency of views, favoriting, scheduling, embedding, and access via the API. Also includes details about individual Looks and dashboards.
DB Connection Details about database connections. Includes information about users who have access to the database connections.
Dashboard Details about all dashboards and dashboard elements. Includes information about Looks, queries, roles, users, and folders associated with dashboards.
Dashboard Performance Performance and historical data about dashboards.
Event Information about historical events within Looker, including the name, type, and frequency of each event. Includes information about groups and users connected to the events.
Event Attribute Information about the attributes that make up events. Includes the data in the Event Explore, and adds attribute information.
Field Usage LookML fields and the number of times used.
Folder Information about all folders, the content stored in each folder, and the users who have access to each folder.
Group Listing of groups and details about those groups, including parent and child groups, and users and roles that belong to each group.
History Details about all queries run in the previous 90 days.
Look Details about all Looks. Includes information about dashboards, queries, users, and folders associated with Looks.
Merge Query Information about merged queries, including fields and other elements of both the source and the merged queries.
PDT Builds Details about PDT builds, including time taken to finish builds, and the connection and model the PDTs are part of.
PDT Event Log Information about historical events related to PDTs, including PDT rebuilds and errors.

See the Understanding PDT log actions documentation page for more information about viewing and understanding PDT log actions and their corresponding action data.
Query Performance Metrics Detailed breakdowns of queries that are run from your Looker instance.
Role Looker roles and the model and permissions sets that make up the roles.
SQL Query SQL queries that have been run, including how recently and frequently, and details about users who have run them.
Scheduled Plan Information about all scheduled data deliveries, including both previously scheduled jobs and currently scheduled jobs. Includes data about the dashboards, Looks, queries, folders, and users associated with scheduled data deliveries.
User Details about each user, including historical queries run, and the content and folders to which they have access.

See the Using the System Activity Explores section on this page for some examples of common uses for the Content Usage, Dashboard, Event, Event Attribute, History, Look, Merge Query, PDT Builds, SQL Query, Scheduled Plan, and User Explores.

Using the System Activity Explores

Following are some examples of how you can use some of the Explores in System Activity, along with the answers to some common questions. You can access the example Explores in this section by replacing <instance_name.looker.com> in the example URLs with the address of your Looker instance.

API Usage

The API Usage Explore provides a summary of the volume of API calls made to your Looker instance.

You can use the API Usage Explore to answer questions like the following:

How can I get a daily audit of API calls?

You can use the API Usage Explore to retrieve a list of all API calls made on your instance for any given time period. To see which calls were made on a given day:

  1. Select Endpoint from API Usage.
  2. Select Total Usage from API Usage.
  3. Filter on Created Date from API Usage with the desired date.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/api_usage?fields=api_usage.endpoint,api_usage.total_usage&f[api_usage.created_date]=yesterday&sorts=api_usage.total_usage+desc&limit=500&column_limit=50&vis=%7B%7D&filter_config=%7B%22api_usage.created_date%22%3A%5B%7B%22type%22%3A%22advanced%22%2C%22values%22%3A%5B%7B%22constant%22%3A%22yesterday%22%2C%22unit%22%3A%22day%22%7D%2C%7B%7D%5D%2C%22id%22%3A5%2C%22error%22%3Afalse%7D%5D%7D&origin=share-expanded

Check the Looker API Reference or Looker API Explorer for more information about what each API call does.

How many API calls have been made on my instance this year?

You can use the API Usage Explore to aggregate the volume of API calls over any timeframe. For example, you can create a yearly report that shows how many API calls were made each month:

  1. Select Created Month from API Usage.
  2. Select Total Usage from API Usage.
  3. Filter on Created Year from API Usage with the desired year.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/api_usage?fields=api_usage.total_usage,api_usage.created_month&fill_fields=api_usage.created_month&f[api_usage.created_year]=last+year&sorts=api_usage.created_month+desc&limit=500&column_limit=50&vis=%7B%7D&filter_config=%7B%22api_usage.created_year%22%3A%5B%7B%22type%22%3A%22advanced%22%2C%22values%22%3A%5B%7B%22constant%22%3A%22last+year%22%2C%22unit%22%3A%22yr%22%7D%2C%7B%7D%5D%2C%22id%22%3A6%2C%22error%22%3Afalse%7D%5D%7D&origin=share-expanded

Content Usage

The Content Usage Explore in System Activity provides information about Look and dashboard usage, including frequency of views, favoriting, scheduling, and access via the API. It also includes details about individual Looks and dashboards.

Quick Start analyses

The Content Usage Explore includes Quick Start analyses, which you can use to quickly answer questions or as starting points for other queries:

Select a Quick Start analysis tile in a blank Explore, or from the lightning bolt Quick Start menu in an Explore that has run, and Looker will show a query with fields that are preselected and sorted to answer one of the following questions:

  • Which content has been favorited the most times?
  • Which content has been accessed in the previous 3 days?
  • Which content has not been accessed in the past 60 days?
  • Which content has been accessed most frequently using the Looker API?
  • Which dashboards created in the past 7 days are used the most?
  • Which Looks created in the past 7 days are used the most?
  • Which boards have been favorited the most times?
  • Which content has been viewed the most times?

You can use the Content Usage Explore to find the most popular Looks or dashboards on your instance. You can then use the History Explore to identify the filters used by popular Looks or dashboards. To find the most popular Looks or dashboards:

  1. In the Content Usage Explore, select Content ID, Content Title, and Content Type from the Content Usage view.
  2. Add a filter on Content Type from the Content Usage view, and set the filter value to dashboard OR look.
  3. Select View Total from Content Usage. You can also select fields like Favorites Total, Schedule Total, API Total, and Embed Total from the Content Usage view.
  4. Sort the results in descending order on View Total to list the most popular content first.
  5. You can also add a filter on the Days Since Last Accessed field from the Content Usage view to limit the data to a specific length of time. For example, you can limit the data you view to the last 30 days by setting the filter value to is less than 30.

Then, you can use the History Explore to find the filters used in a specific Look or dashboard:

  1. In the History Explore, filter on the ID field from either the Dashboard view or the Look view, and enter the IDs for the dashboards or Looks you identified using the Content Usage Explore.
  2. Select Filters from the Query view to return a list of filters used by the dashboards or Looks you are filtering on.

Dashboard

The Dashboard Explore includes details about dashboards and dashboard elements, including Looks, queries, roles, users, and folders associated with dashboards.

Quick Start analyses

The Dashboard Explore includes Quick Start analyses, which you can use to quickly answer questions or as starting points for other queries:

Select a Quick Start analysis tile in a blank Explore, or from the lightning bolt Quick Start menu in an Explore that has run, and Looker will show a query with fields that are preselected and sorted to answer one of the following questions:

  • Which dashboards use multiple Explores?
  • Which dashboards have short auto-refresh intervals?
  • How many dashboards are set to run on load?
  • Which dashboards have more than 25 tiles?
  • Which dashboards use the most merge queries?
  • Which dashboards use a particular view or field?
  • Which folders contain which dashboards?
  • What tiles make up an individual dashboard?

Event

The Event Explore includes information about historical events within Looker, including the name, type, and frequency of each event. This Explore also includes information about groups and users connected to the events.

Following are some common uses of the Event Explore:

See the Looker events documentation page for more information about viewing events and common event attributes, and for a list of event types.

How can I find and categorize API requests?

You can find all the API requests that have been made and categorize them using the Event Explore:

  1. Select the Name and Category fields from the Event view.
  2. Add a filter on Is API Call (Yes / No), and set the filter value to Yes.
  3. You can also select fields like Created Date from Event, and Name from User, for information about specific API requests.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/event?fields=event.created_date,event.name,event.category,user.name&f[event.is_api_call]=Yes&sorts=event.name&limit=500

Is there a way to investigate content updates?

You can use the Event Explore to investigate content updates by filtering on events that include the word update:

  1. Select the Name from the Event view.
  2. Add a filter on the Name field from the Event view, and set the filter value to contains update.
  3. You can also select other fields to provide more information about each content update, such as Created Time from Event, and ID from User.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/event?fields=event.name,user.id,event.created_time&f[event.name]=%25update%25&sorts=event.created_time+desc&limit=500

How do I view login events?

You can use the Event Explore to determine who has logged in to the system with login events. For example:

  1. Add a filter on the Name field from the Event view, and set the filter value to login.
  2. Select the ID and Name from the User view.
  3. Select Created Time from the Event view.

Event Attribute

The Event Attribute Explore contains the data in the Event Explore and provides additional information about the attributes that make up events.

Following are some common uses of the Event Attribute Explore:

For more information about viewing events, common event attributes, and a list of event types, see the Looker events documentation page.

How do I view permission changes?

You can use the Event Attribute Explore to view permission changes. For example, you can find out when a permission was changed and who changed it:

  1. Select Created Time and Name from the Event view for the time the change was made and the type of event.
  2. Select Name and Value from Event Attribute to return information about the type of change made and either the users whose permissions were changed or the specific permissions that were changed.
  3. Select ID and any other desired fields from User for information about the user who made the change.
  4. Filter on Name in the Event view, setting the value to user_permission_elevation.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/event_attribute?fields=event.created_time,user.id,user.name,event_attribute.name,event_attribute.value&f[event.name]=%22user_permission_elevation%22&sorts=event.created_time+desc&limit=500

How do I track when Labs features are turned on?

You can use the Event Attribute Explore to track when Labs features are turned on. For example, select the following fields:

  1. Select Created Time from the Event field.
  2. Select Name and Value from the Event Attribute field.
  3. Add a filter on Name from Event, and set the filter value to update_labs_feature.
  4. You can also add fields like ID or Name from User to view information about the user who turned on a Labs feature.

In this example, the name of the Labs feature that has been turned on or off is shown in the Value field of Event Attribute when Name from Event Attribute has the value labs_feature_id. When Name from Event Attribute has the value labs_feature_value, the values true and false indicate whether the Labs feature was turned on or off.

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/event_attribute?fields=event.created_time,event_attribute.name,event_attribute.value,user.id&f[event.name]=%22update_labs_feature%22&sorts=event.created_time+desc&limit=500

When was a project name changed?

You can use the Event Attribute Explore to see when the name of a project was changed:

  1. Select Created Time and Name from the Event view.
  2. Select Name and Value from Event Attribute.
  3. Add a filter on Name from the Event view, and set the filter value to rename_project_file.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/event_attribute?fields=event.created_time,event.name,event_attribute.name,event_attribute.value&f[event.name]=%22rename_project_file%22&sorts=event.created_time+desc&limit=500&query_timezone=America%2FLos_Angeles&vis=%7B%7D&filter_config=%7B%22event.name%22%3A%5B%7B%22type%22%3A%22%3D%22%2C%22values%22%3A%5B%7B%22constant%22%3A%22rename_project_file%22%7D%2C%7B%7D%5D%2C%22id%22%3A0%2C%22error%22%3Afalse%7D%5D%7D&origin=share-expanded

History

The History Explore provides a record of individual queries. It can be useful for troubleshooting, as it provides details about all the queries run on your instance in the past 90 days.

Following are some common questions about using the History Explore:

Truncation of the History table

Because the size of the History table can increase rapidly, Looker automatically deletes records that meet any of the following criteria:

  • The history.created_time is more than 90 days in the past.
  • The history.created_time is more than 7 days in the past, and the history.source is scheduled_task.

Quick Start analyses

The History Explore includes Quick Start analyses, which you can use to quickly answer questions or as starting points for other queries:

Select a Quick Start analysis tile in a blank Explore, or from the lightning bolt Quick Start menu in an Explore that has run, and Looker will show a query with fields that are preselected and sorted to answer one of the following questions:

  • What query sources have been the most active over the past day?
  • Which users have been the most active over the past week?
  • Which user's dashboards are the most popular?
  • How many times has a particular dashboard been used over the past 30 days?
  • What are the most recently run queries?
  • How many times has a particular Look been used over the past 30 days?
  • What are the average query runtimes of individual models?
  • What is the recent query activity for a particular user?

What are all the models used by a dashboard?

You can use the History Explore to find all the models used by a dashboard. As an example, this could help identify the models for which a user needs permissions when that user is unable to see the data on a dashboard.

  1. Select ID (Inclusive) from the Dashboard view.
  2. Select Model and Count from the Query view.
  3. Filter on ID (Inclusive), entering the dashboard ID for the dashboard you want to filter on.

In the following URL example, you can replace the dashboard ID 123 in the filter element f[history.real_dash_id]=123 with the ID for the dashboard you want to filter on:

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/history?fields=history.real_dash_id,query.model,query.count&f[history.real_dash_id]=123&sorts=history.real_dash_id+desc&limit=500

How can I identify long-running queries?

Suppose you want to create alerts for long-running queries. You can use the History Explore to, for example, find the queries that take the longest to run:

  1. Select ID and Link from Query.
  2. Select Average Runtime in Seconds and Query Run Count from History to view the average length of time each query ran and how many times the query has been run.
  3. You can add a filter on Completed Date from History, and set the filter value to a timeframe like is in the past 7 days to limit the results that are displayed.
  4. Add a filter on Is Single Query (Yes / No) and set its value to is Yes to exclude merge queries from the results.
  5. You can display only queries with a runtime that is above a certain threshold, such as 5 minutes; to do this, you can filter on Average Runtime in Seconds and set the filter value to is greater than 300.
  6. Sort in descending order on Average Runtime in Seconds from History to list queries with the longest average runtimes first.

You can then save the query as a Look and create an alert to notify you if there are queries with runtimes that exceed the threshold you specify.

In the following URL example, you change the timeframe for which results are displayed by replacing 7+days in the filter element f[history.created_date]=7+days with the desired filter value. You can also change the value of the filter on Average Runtime in Seconds by replacing is greater than 300 with the desired number of seconds in the filter element f[history.average_runtime]=%3E300.

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/history?fields=query.id,history.average_runtime,history.query_run_count,query.link&f[history.is_single_query]=Yes&f[history.created_date]=7+days&f[history.average_runtime]=%3E300&sorts=history.average_runtime+desc&limit=500

When was the last time someone used SQL Runner?

To determine the last time a specific user ran a SQL Runner query using the History Explore:

  1. Select Last Run Time and User ID from the SQL Runner Query view.
  2. Add a filter on User ID from the SQL Runner Query view, and set the filter value to the ID of the user.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/history?fields=sql_query.last_run_time,sql_query.user_id&sorts=sql_query.last_run_time+desc&limit=500&column_limit=50

How can I find queries that were killed by the database?

To find queries that were killed by your database with the History Explore:

  1. Add a filter on Message from History, and set the filter value to contains query killed.
  2. Select Created Date, ID, and Message from History.
  3. Select ID from Query.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/history?fields=history.id,history.created_date,query.id,history.message&f[history.message]=%25query+killed%25&sorts=history.message&limit=500

The Dashboard Explore lists the titles of every dashboard accessed in the last 90 days and includes a count of the number of times each of those dashboards was accessed:

  1. Select Title from Dashboard.
  2. Select Query Run Count from History.
  3. Add a filter on Title from Dashboard, and set the filter value to is not null.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/history?fields=dashboard.title,history.query_run_count&f[dashboard.title]=-NULL&sorts=history.query_run_count+desc&limit=500&column_limit=50

This Explore shows how many times an Explore was run by each role on your instance in the previous 90 days:

  1. Select Explore from Query.
  2. Select and pivot on Name from User Role.
  3. Select Query Run Count from History.
  4. Add a filter on Name from User Role, and set the filter value to is not null.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/history?fields=history.query_run_count,query.view,role.name&pivots=role.name&f[role.name]=-NULL&sorts=history.query_run_count+desc+0,role.name&limit=500&column_limit=50

Has anyone queried a specific Explore in the last 90 days?

You can use the History Explore to determine if a specific Explore was used in the last 90 days:

  1. Select Created Date from History.
  2. Select Explore and Link from Query.
  3. Add a filter on Explore from Query, and enter the name of the Explore.

Has anyone used a field from a specific view in the last 90 days?

You can use the History Explore to determine if any fields from a specific view were used in the last 90 days:

  1. Select Created Date from History.
  2. Select Explore and Link from Query.
  3. Filter on Fields Used from Query, enter the name of the view followed by a period — for example, orders. — and select contains for the filter condition. The period in your filter will ensure that your results return fields from only that view and not fields from similarly named views.

In the following URL example, you can replace order%5E_items. in the filter element f[query.formatted_fields]=%25order%5E_items. with the name of the view you want to filter on, followed by a period:

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/history?fields=history.created_date,query.view,query.link&f[query.formatted_fields]=%25order%5E_items.%25&sorts=history.created_date+desc&limit=500&column_limit=50

Look

The Look Explore includes details about all Looks, including information about dashboards, queries, users, and folders associated with Looks.

Following are some common questions about using the Look Explore:

Which Looks are shared publicly?

You can use the Look Explore to see which Looks are being shared publicly or have a public URL enabled.

  • Filter on Public (Yes / No) from Look, and set the filter value to Yes.
  • Select ID, Name, and Link from Look.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/look?fields=look.id,look.title,look.link&f[look.public]=Yes&limit=500

Who is the author of a specific Look?

To find the author of a specific Look:

  1. Filter on the ID from Look, setting the value to the Look's ID.
  2. Select ID and Name from User.
  3. You can also select fields like Created Date and Title from Look.

Which Looks have been deleted?

To view a list of all deleted Looks:

  1. Select ID, Title, Link, and Deleted Date from Look.
  2. Add a filter on Deleted Date from Look, and set the filter value to is not null.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/look?fields=look.id,look.title,look.link,look.deleted_date&f[look.deleted_date]=NOT+NULL&sorts=look.title&limit=500&column_limit=50

Merge Query

The Merge Query Explore includes information about merged queries, including fields and other elements of both the source and the merged queries.

You can use the Merge Query Explore to answer questions like the following:

Which Explores are merged most frequently?

You can use the Merge Query Explore to find out which Explores are merged the most often and consider joining the tables for better performance and more features.

  1. Select Explore from Query.
  2. Select Count from Merge Query Source Query.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/merge_query?fields=query.view,merge_query_source_query.count&sorts=merge_query_source_query.count+desc&limit=500&query_timezone=America%2FLos_Angeles&vis=%7B%7D&filter_config=%7B%7D&origin=share-expanded

PDT Builds

The PDT Builds Explore includes information about PDT builds, including time taken to finish builds and the connection and model the PDTs are part of.

Following are some common uses of the PDT Builds Explore:

These queries may take longer to run on instances with many PDTs running concurrently.

How can I see PDT build times?

You can use the PDT Builds Explore to view build times for PDTs. For example, to see PDT build times in the past 2 days:

  1. Add a filter on Start Time from the PDT Builds view and set its value to is in the past 2 days.
  2. Select Start Time, View Name, Connection, Model Name, Elapsed Minutes, and Elapsed Seconds from the PDT Builds view.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/pdt_builds?fields=pdt_builds.start_time,pdt_builds.view_name,pdt_builds.connection,pdt_builds.model_name,pdt_builds.elapsed_minutes,pdt_builds.elapsed_seconds&f[pdt_builds.start_time]=2+days&sorts=pdt_builds.start_time+desc&limit=500

How can I identify long-running PDTs to alert on?

You can use the PDT Builds Explore to identify long-running PDTs. Then, you can save the query as a Look and create an alert to notify you if there are PDTs with build times that exceed the threshold you specify.

For example, to see PDTs with an average build time of more than 30 minutes:

  1. Add a filter on Average Build Time Minutes from the PDT Builds view and set its value to is greater than 30.
  2. Select View Name, Connection, and Average Build Time Minutes from the PDT Builds view.

To change the value of the filter on Average Build Time Minutes from PDT Builds, replace 30 in the filter element f[pdt_builds.average_build_time_minutes]=%3E20 with the desired number of minutes:

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/pdt_builds?fields=pdt_builds.view_name,pdt_builds.connection,pdt_builds.average_build_time_minutes&f[pdt_builds.average_build_time_minutes]=%3E30&sorts=pdt_builds.average_build_time_minutes+desc&limit=500

Query Performance Metrics

The Query Performance Metrics Explore provides detailed breakdowns of each query that is run from your Looker instance.

For example, you can use this Explore to investigate which components of a query took longest to load. You can also use this Explore to identify query performance trends and anomalies. For a more detailed breakdown of the query lifecycle and the fields tracked in this Explore, see the Understanding query performance metrics documentation page.

Quick Start analyses

The Query Performance Explore includes Quick Start analyses, which you can use to quickly answer questions or as starting points for other queries.

Select a Quick Start analysis tile in a blank Explore, or from the lightning bolt Quick Start menu in an Explore that has run, and Looker will show a query with fields that are preselected and sorted to answer one of the following questions:

  • How much time did each query stage take?
  • Which Explores have the highest average main query execution time?
  • Which users have the highest average main query execution time?
  • Which times of day have the longest asynchronous worker timings?
  • Which times of day have the longest query initialization timings?
  • Which times of day have the longest connection handling timings?
  • Which times of day have the longest main query timings?
  • Which times of day have the longest post-query timings?

SQL Query

The SQL Query Explore includes information about the SQL queries that have run, including how recently and frequently, and details about users who have run them.

You can use the SQL Query Explore to answer questions like the following:

Which users run the most SQL queries?

You can use the SQL Query Explore to identify the users who run the most SQL Runner queries:

  1. Select ID and Name from User.
  2. Select Count from SQL Runner Query.
  3. Sort in descending order on Count from SQL Runner Query to list users who run the most queries first.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/sql_query?fields=sql_query.count,user.id,user.name&sorts=sql_query.count+desc&limit=500

Scheduled Plan

The Scheduled Plan Explore includes information about all scheduled data deliveries, including both previously scheduled jobs and currently scheduled jobs.

Following are some common questions about using the Scheduled Plan Explore:

How do I view scheduled plans in a consistent time zone?

You can use the Scheduled Plan to view all scheduled plans in a consistent time zone, since System Activity stores time-based data in the System time zone:

  1. Select ID, Name, and Next Runtime from Scheduled Plan to view the next runtime for each scheduled plan in the System time zone.
  2. Select ID and Name from User to see the user who created the schedule.
  3. Filter on Run Once (Yes/No), and set the filter value to No to exclude deliveries that were sent once (for example, for a delivery of a Look) or sent as a one-time test (for example, for the test delivery of a Look).
  4. You can also add fields like Cron Schedule and Timezone from the Scheduled Plan view.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_plan.id,scheduled_plan.name,user.id,scheduled_plan.next_run_time,scheduled_plan.cron_schedule,scheduled_plan.timezone,user.name&f[scheduled_plan.run_once]=No&sorts=scheduled_plan.timezone+desc&limit=500&column_limit=50

At which stage do schedules get stuck?

You can use the Scheduled Plan Explore to identify the stage at which schedules get stuck. For example:

  1. To view the stage at which a specific scheduled job got stuck, filter on ID from Scheduled Job, and set the filter value to the scheduled job's ID. Select Stage, Scheduled Job ID, and Runtime in Seconds from Scheduled Job Stage.
  2. You can also select Started Time and Completed Time from Scheduled Job Stage.

You can then use the ID and Runtime in Seconds fields to troubleshoot the failed job, based on whether the scheduled job was stuck in, for example, the execute stage or the enqueued for delivery stage.

In the following URL example, you can replace the scheduled job ID 12913 in the filter element &f[scheduled_job.id]=12913 with the ID for the scheduled job you want to filter on:

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_job_stage.stage,scheduled_job_stage.scheduled_job_id,scheduled_job_stage.runtime,scheduled_job_stage.started_time,scheduled_job_stage.completed_time&f[scheduled_job.id]=12913&sorts=scheduled_job_stage.scheduled_job_id+desc&limit=500

How do I find schedule owners?

You can use the Scheduled Plan Explore to find schedule owners:

  1. Select ID and Name from Scheduled Plan.
  2. Select ID and Name from User.
  3. Filter on Run Once (Yes/No), and set the filter value to No to exclude deliveries that were sent once (for example, for a delivery of a Look) or sent as a one-time test (for example, for the test delivery of a Look).
  4. To find the owner of a specific schedule, filter on ID from Scheduled Plan, and set the filter value to the ID of that schedule.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_plan.id,scheduled_plan.name,user.id,user.name&f[scheduled_plan.run_once]=No&sorts=scheduled_plan.id&limit=500

Which scheduled plans run at the same time?

You can use the Scheduled Plan Explore to identify plans that are scheduled to run at the same time:

  1. Select ID, Name, Cron Schedule, and Next Run Time from Scheduled Plan.
  2. Filter on Run Once (Yes/No), and set the filter value to No to exclude deliveries that were sent once (for example, for a delivery of a Look) or sent as a one-time test (for example, for the test delivery of a Look).
  3. You can also add a filter on Next Run Time, and set the filter value to is not null to include only existing scheduled deliveries in the results.

You can then change the timing of schedules (for example, for the delivery of a Look) so that multiple schedules will not run at the same time.

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_plan.id,scheduled_plan.name,scheduled_plan.cron_schedule,scheduled_plan.next_run_time&f[scheduled_job.run_once]=No&f[scheduled_plan.next_run_time]=NOT+NULL&sorts=scheduled_plan.id&limit=500

Which schedules are unlimited?

You can use the Scheduled Plan Explore to find unlimited schedules, or schedules with a row limit of -1:

  1. Filter on Send All Results, and set the value to Yes.
  2. Select ID, Created Time, Finalized Time, and Count from Scheduled Job.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_job.id,scheduled_job.created_time,scheduled_job.finalized_time,scheduled_job.count&f[scheduled_plan.send_all_results]=Yes&sorts=scheduled_job.created_time+desc&limit=500

Is it possible to view history for more than 50 schedules?

Using the Scheduled Plan Explore, you can view the histories of more than just the 50 schedules that are available to view on the Schedule History admin page. For example:

  1. Select ID from Scheduled Plan.
  2. Select Name from User to see who created each schedule.
  3. Select Cron Schedule from Scheduled Job to see the scheduled delivery time for each scheduled job as a cron string.
  4. Select Type from Scheduled Plan Destination to see the destination type (for example, for the delivery of a Look).
  5. Select ID, Status, and Status Detail from Scheduled Job to view the status and any error messages for each scheduled job.
  6. Select Created Time and Finalized Time from Scheduled Job.
  7. Select Runtime in Seconds from Scheduled Job Stage.
  8. You can also select Link from either the Look view or the Dashboard view for a link to the Look or dashboard for a schedule.
  9. To limit results to only a specific timeframe, add a filter on Created Date from Scheduled Job, and set the filter value to the desired length of time, such as is in the past 7 days.
  10. Filter on Run Once (Yes/No), and set the filter value to No to exclude deliveries that were sent once (for example, for a delivery of a Look) or sent as a one-time test (for example, for the test delivery of a Look).
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_plan.id,user.name,scheduled_job.cron_schedule,scheduled_plan_destination.type,scheduled_job.id,scheduled_job.status,scheduled_job.status_detail,scheduled_job.created_time,scheduled_job.finalized_time,scheduled_job_stage.runtime,look.link,dashboard.link&f[scheduled_plan.run_once]=No&f[scheduled_job.created_date]=7+days&sorts=scheduled_job.created_time+desc&limit=500

How do I filter results down to a specific set of schedules?

You can use the Scheduled Plan Explore to view only a specific set of schedules by filtering, for example, on specific dashboards, owners, or models. For example, to view a list of schedules based on a specific model, such as thelook:

  1. Add a filter on Model from the Query view, and set the filter value to the name of the model.
  2. Select ID and Name from Scheduled Plan.
  3. Select Name from User to see who created each schedule.
  4. Select Cron Schedule from Scheduled Plan to see the scheduled delivery time for each schedule as a cron string.
  5. You can also select Link from either the Look view or the Dashboard view for a link to the Look or dashboard for a schedule.
  6. Filter on Run Once (Yes/No), and set the filter value to No to exclude deliveries that were sent once (for example, for a delivery of a Look) or sent as a one-time test (for example, for the test delivery of a Look).

In the following URL example, you can replace the model name thelook in the filter element f[query.model]=thelook with the name of the model you want to filter on:

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_plan.id,scheduled_plan.name,user.name,scheduled_plan.cron_schedule,look.link,dashboard.link&f[scheduled_plan.run_once]=No&f[query.model]=thelook&sorts=scheduled_plan.id&limit=500

Another use case for the Scheduled Plan Explore can be to identify error trends across schedules, such as, for example, finding that SFTP schedules are failing with a specific error message:

  1. Select Created Time, Finalized Time, ID, Status, and Status Detail from Scheduled Job to see a list of scheduled jobs and their statuses and error messages.
  2. Select Stage from Scheduled Job Stage.
  3. Select Type and Format from Scheduled Plan Destination to see the destination type (for example, for the delivery of a Look) and data format (for example, for the delivery of a Look).
  4. Filter on Status from Scheduled Job, and set the filter value to failure to include only scheduled jobs that have failed.
  5. To include results for only a specific destination, filter on the Type field from Scheduled Plan Destination, and set the filter value to the desired destination, such as sftp or email.
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_job.created_time,scheduled_job.finalized_time,scheduled_job.id,scheduled_job.status,scheduled_job.status_detail,scheduled_job_stage.stage,scheduled_plan_destination.type,scheduled_plan_destination.format&f[scheduled_job.status]=failure&sorts=scheduled_job.status&limit=500&column_limit=50

How do I view runtime metrics for schedules?

You can use the Scheduled Plan Explore to investigate runtime metrics for schedules. For example, to view the average runtimes for schedules:

  1. Select ID and Name from Scheduled Plan.
  2. Select Name from User.
  3. Select Cron Schedule from Scheduled Plan.
  4. Select Average Runtime in Seconds from Scheduled Job Stage.
  5. Filter on Run Once (Yes/No), and set the filter value to No to exclude deliveries that were sent once (for example, for a delivery of a Look) or sent as a one-time test (for example, for the test delivery of a Look).
https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_plan.id,scheduled_plan.name,user.name,scheduled_plan.cron_schedule,scheduled_job_stage.avg_runtime&f[scheduled_plan.run_once]=No&sorts=scheduled_plan.id&limit=500

To see runtimes for scheduled jobs:

  1. To view runtimes for all the jobs for a specific plan, add a filter on ID from Scheduled Plan, and set the filter value to the desired scheduled plan ID.
  2. Select ID from Scheduled Plan.
  3. Select Name from User.
  4. Select Cron Schedule from Scheduled Plan.
  5. Select ID, Status, Created Time, and Finalized Time from Scheduled Job.
  6. Select Runtime in Seconds from Scheduled Job Stage.
  7. Filter on Run Once (Yes/No), and set the filter value to No to exclude deliveries that were sent once (for example, for a delivery of a Look) or sent as a one-time test (for example, for the test delivery of a Look).

To change the filter on ID from Scheduled Plan in the following URL example, replace 145 in the filter element f[scheduled_plan.id]=145 with the ID of the scheduled plan you want to filter on:

https://<instance_name.looker.com>/explore/system__activity/scheduled_plan?fields=scheduled_plan.id,user.name,scheduled_job.cron_schedule,scheduled_job.id,scheduled_job.status,scheduled_job.created_time,scheduled_job.finalized_time,scheduled_job_stage.runtime&f[scheduled_plan.run_once]=No&f[scheduled_plan.id]=145&sorts=scheduled_job.created_time+desc&limit=500

User

The User Explore includes details about each user, including historical queries run, and the content and folders to which they have access.

Quick Start analyses

The User Explore includes Quick Start analyses, which you can use to quickly answer questions or as starting points for other queries:

Select a Quick Start analysis tile in a blank Explore, or from the lightning bolt Quick Start menu in an Explore that has run, and Looker will show a query with fields that are preselected and sorted to answer one of the following questions:

  • How many enabled users have the viewer permission (access_data)?
  • Which users had greater than 3 scheduled jobs fail over the past 7 days?
  • When was the last time a particular user logged in?
  • Which users are the most active?
  • Which users haven't logged in for over 90 days?
  • Which users have had access disabled?
  • Which users have the developer permission (develop)?
  • How many users are in each role?

How do I view which Google personnel have accessed my instance?

In addition to the Recent Access panel in the Support Access page, you can view information about which Google personnel have accessed your instance. For example, to view which Google personnel accessed your instance, how many minutes they accessed your instance, and how many queries they ran:

  1. Select Name from User.
  2. Select Approximate Web Usage in Minutes and Query Counts > Query Run Count from History.
  3. Filter on Created Date > Date in History, and set the value to the time period for which you want to view access by Google personnel.
  4. Filter on Source > Source in History and set the value to is not equal to scheduled_task to eliminate any scheduled tasks.
  5. Filter on User Permissions > Is Looker Employee (Yes / No) in User Facts and set the value to is Yes to view only Google personnel.
https://<instance_name>/explore/system__activity/user?fields=user.name,history.approximate_usage_in_minutes,history.query_run_count_drill&f[user.is_disabled]=No&f[history.created_date]=70+days&f[history.source]=-%22scheduled_task%22&f[user_facts.is_looker_employee]=Yes

Guided analyses in System Activity Labs feature

Guided analyses let Looker admins and users who have been granted the see_system_activity permission quickly answer key questions about instance usage in the History Explore with a question-and-answer format. For users to be able to access guided analyses, an admin must enable the Guided analyses in System Activity Labs feature.

A guided analysis includes pre-populated fields, values, and options to select from, as well as a visualization displaying the selected metrics:

The visualization type is chosen by Looker to best display the data selected, and it cannot be changed.

Users can currently access several guided analysis options from the History Explore:

  • Which users are most active in your instance? — Understand who's getting the most value out of your instance
  • What content is taxing your instance? — Identify heavily used content
  • User audit — Understand user activity by type and role
  • Instance usage over time — Compare different activity metrics over time

Choosing a guided analysis from a blank Explore

To run a guided analysis, select the analysis option that you want to use. Analysis options are displayed in the Guided Analysis section above the Quick Start analysis options:

Once the guided analysis has run, you can customize the data values to answer key questions, explore further into the analysis, or save the analysis to share with other users who have access. To close the analysis, simply close its browser tab.

Choosing a guided analysis once an Explore has run

If you have already run a System Activity History Explore, you can select a guided analysis by selecting the lightning bolt icon next to the Explore name:

This launches the Quick Start menu:

Select a guided analysis from the Quick Start menu to open and run the guided analysis in a new browser tab.

Once the guided analysis has run, you can customize the data values to answer key questions, explore further into the analysis, or save the analysis to share with other users who have access. To close the analysis, simply close its browser tab.

Customizing a guided analysis

Once you have selected a guided analysis from a blank Explore or an Explore's Quick Start menu, the analysis will automatically open and run in a new browser tab.

When the guided analysis has finished running, you can change and create combinations of pre-populated values by selecting values and conditions from drop-down menus, date menus, or radio button options, depending upon the analysis.

For example, a user selects the What content is taxing your instance? analysis to identify heavily used content on their Looker instance. After the guided analysis has loaded, the user changes the default timeframe value in Over what timeframe? to Last 30 days:

The guided analysis automatically reruns with the updated timeframe value:

At this stage, you can choose whether to make additional insights into the analysis by exploring the data further; you can save the analysis as a Look or to a dashboard to share with other users who have access; or you can close the analysis by closing its browser window.

Guided Analysis three-dot Options menu

The three-dot Options menu in a guided analysis lets users:

Exploring further into a guided analysis

Once you have the initial data from a guided analysis, you may choose to further explore the data. To do so, you can select the three-dot Options menu, and then select Explore from Here:

A new browser tab will open with an Explore that is pre-loaded with the fields and visualization from the guided analysis:

You can make further data insights by adding or removing fields, pivots, or filters, among other customizations. See the Exploring data in Looker for more Explore best practices and tips.

Saving a guided analysis

After customizing a guided analysis, you may want to save the analysis to share with others that have access. You can save a guided analysis in two ways:

Adding a guided analysis visualization to a dashboard

To add a guided analysis visualization to a dashboard, open the Save Guided Analysis to a Dashboard menu by selecting + Add to Dashboard from the three-dot Options menu:

Once the Save Guided Analysis to a Dashboard opens:

  1. Input a title for the guided analysis dashboard tile.
  2. Select a folder where the dashboard to which you would like to add the guided analysis is saved.
  3. Select the desired dashboard.
  4. Select Save.

    A confirmation will pop up to notify you that the guided analysis has been added to the selected dashboard:

  5. Select the link to navigate to the dashboard to view or make edits to the dashboard.

  6. Alternatively, select Done to exit the pop-up.

Saving a guided analysis as a Look

To save a guided analysis as a Look, select the Explore from Here option from the three-dot Options menu:

A new browser tab will open with an Explore that is pre-loaded with the fields and visualization from the guided analysis:

Follow the remaining steps to save the Explore as a Look:

  1. In the upper right of the Explore, select the gear menu.
  2. Choose Save.
  3. Select As a Look to open the Save Look menu.

  4. In the Title field, enter a new title. If you will be saving over an existing Look, leave this field blank.

  5. In the Description field, you can enter a description of the Look. If you will be saving over an existing Look, leave this field blank.

  6. In the Folder field, check whether the current folder is the desired destination. The Folder field shows the name and location of the selected folder, and the right side displays the contents of the selected folder. If you choose a folder in which you are not allowed to save the Look, a warning will be displayed at the bottom of the menu, and the Save & View Look button will be deactivated.

  7. If you want to save to a different folder, navigate to the folder where you want to save your Look. You can navigate to the folder in any of the following ways:

    • In the Folder field, select any parent folders to navigate there.
    • On the left side, select the name of a top-level folder to navigate to it.
    • On the right side, select the name of a subfolder you would like to use or navigate to one of its subfolders.
    • If there are many subfolders, you can enter the subfolder name into the Filter by title field to have the list filtered to just that subfolder.
  8. If you want to save over an existing Look, scroll down or use the Filter by title field to find and select the desired Look. The Look's title and description (if any) appear in the Title and Description fields.

  9. Save your Look.

    • To save your Look and return to the Explore page, select Save.
    • To save and view your Look, select Save & View Look.

You can also select other options from the Explore to save or share the Guided Analysis Explore, such as:

  • Download — To download the Guided Analysis Explore
  • Send — To send the Guided Analysis Explore as a one-off delivery
  • Save and Schedule — To save the Guided Analysis Explore as a Look or dashboard and set a recurring delivery
  • Merge Results — To merge the Guided Analysis Explore results with other Explore results

Reloading a guided analysis

To reload the data in a guided analysis, select the Reload option from the three-dot Options menu:

The guided analysis will refresh and display the latest data.