Google Looker – First steps

So, I am trying to learn Looker for a new project, and, as usual, I will share here all materials I am using to better understand this new tool.

Let me first start saying that, start to learn a new tool from scratch, with no help from anyone, is really hard, you will usually get lost – and I am, but fear not. Let’s do it together and find a structured way to deal with all that.

Here is what, so far, I figured out that it is needed to learn if you want get to be a good Looker developer:

  • How views works
  • How explores works
  • How models works
  • How views, models and explores interacts in order to create a new visualization

Looker Connect

Self-paced enablement platform. I am taking the Looker connect learning paths. Here:

Very boring at start, but I had my first lab yesterday. If labs keep coming this might get very interesting.

Book – Data Storytelling with Google Looker Studio

I first started reading this book thinking it would be about Looker, but it is not. Looker and Looker Studio are two different thing. I still need to figure out the exact difference, but they are not the same thing.

Still, this is a very good book for get you going with data storytelling. Worth reading, for sure.

This book can be found here*MTY3MDk3Mjc3Ni41LjAuMTY3MDk3MjgwMy4zMy4wLjA.

Key Features

  • Gain a solid understanding of data visualization principles and learn to apply them effectively
  • Get to grips with the concepts and features of Looker Studio to create powerful data stories
  • Explore the end-to-end process of building dashboards with the help of practical examples

I am always supportive of books, I think we should read more book, and by we I mean me, lol. So, I will definitely read this one. Will let you know what I found worth here.

Looker paradigm

This, the Looker paradigm, is about that I wrote in the start of this post, on “How views, models and explores interacts in order to create a new visualization”.

In the image above you can see that Database is in fact your data source, and that “LookML code files” is a macro view for a set of views/models, like here:

Looker Develop mode

And the result of what you see in the image above, can then be found on Explore mode, like this:

In this Explore we are inside the training_ecommerce.model, and on this model we have 2 explores: order_items and events.

Inside each explore we have a set of dimensions and facts. Follow the images below, read the caption, you will understand.

model showing explore events
explore showing the events from model
putting together models and explore

LookML (Looker modeling language)

LookML is not Look Machine Learning, it is terrible that they choose this acronym to represent the Looker modeling language. So, I would say that LookML is like Dax or M for Power BI.

What can be done with LookML? What can you use LookML for?

  • Restructure data: pre-aggregate values, apply window functions, etc.
  • Apply smart caching to conserve database resources/bandwidth
  • Configure row and column-level security on the underlying data
  • Create dynamic logic for aggregations, filters, joins, etc
  • Apply conditional formatting of colors, styles, etc
  • Link to other areas within or outside of Looker
  • Modularize code for easy reuse and expansion

Looker how to master

In order to really master Looker, Google suggests that we:

  • Master the science of LookerML code.
  • Master the art of designing explorer that are both performant and user friendly

More resources

Videos on Looker: (haven’t watch any, but I’ve been told there are some goods there)

Looker youtube channel, I did not like it, watch at your own risk, lol:

Learning badges, get recognized as a Looker person: This is hot, I am working here, kinda messy UI/UX and structure if compared to Microsoft, but it is what it is.

Talking about cloud skill boost from google, this one has been specifically suggested:

The documentation, the docs, never forget: I particularly do not like the way the docs are structured, but that’s what we have for now.

The udemy course I’m taking that looks good so far:

Published by Pedro Carvalho

Apaixonado por análise de dados e Power BI

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