On October 11, 2022, something unexpected happened during the Google Next 2022 virtual user conference that caught my attention. Google made an announcement that changed the tool I rely on daily: Google Data Studio. They decided to rebrand it as Looker Studio. As someone who has been using Google Data Studio extensively, I wanted to share my thoughts on this rebranding and its implications for me.
Google Data Studio, now Looker Studio, is a data visualisation platform that I have come to rely on for creating custom reports and dashboards. It has been a valuable tool in helping me analyse and present data to make informed business decisions. Its user-friendly interface and interactive features have made it a go-to solution for me.
The decision to rebrand Google Data Studio as Looker Studio raised a few questions for me. Why did Google choose to make this change? What does it mean for me as a user? After some research and reflection, here’s what I’ve gathered:
Looker Studio introduces several changes and advantages. Google’s motivation behind the rebranding seems to be a desire to unify their Business Intelligence tools under the Looker brand. Looker, a modern Business Intelligence and big data analytics tool, was acquired by Google in 2019. By bringing Looker into the Google Cloud ecosystem, they aim to create a more cohesive and comprehensive BI platform.
Looker Studio doesn’t stop at rebranding and integration; it brings several exciting features and improvements to the table. Let’s take a closer look:
Looker Studio introduces a Looker connector, allowing users to experience the power of Looker within the platform. This connector provides access to governed data from Looker, enabling self-serve capabilities directly within Looker Studio.
Changes in Looker model representation
With Looker’s integration into Google Data Studio, the way Looker models are represented undergoes some changes. One notable improvement is the introduction of field hierarchies, which help organize data and support Views, Group Labels, and Dimension Groups. Furthermore, Looker Studio enhances the visibility of field descriptions, making it easier for users to access description information across the platform.
Looker Studio Pro
Google introduces Looker Studio Pro, a paid version that brings enhanced enterprise capabilities. With Looker Studio Pro, users gain access to features that cater to the specific needs of larger organisations. This includes team workspaces for efficient collaboration, Google Cloud project linking for seamless management of reports and data sources at scale, and scalable customer support services to address any concerns or issues.
Stricter Governance Measures
To ensure data security, Looker Studio now requires user credentials to access data reports. This additional layer of authentication helps maintain control over sensitive information and provides peace of mind.
Google Account Linking
Looker Studio allows users to link their Looker instances to their Google Accounts. This integration provides a convenient way to manage linked accounts within Looker Studio, streamlining the user experience and making account management more intuitive.
Report Consistency and Reliable Metrics
Looker Studio places a strong emphasis on report consistency and reliable metrics. With Looker’s semantic modeling service, you can expect accurate and up-to-date metrics that provide trustworthy data for informed decision-making. By centralising data definitions in a Git version-controlled model, Looker Studio ensures data freshness and consistency across all your Business Intelligence needs.
Integration with Google Chat and Gmail
Looker Studio integrates with Google Chat and spaces, fostering data-driven collaboration and communication within teams. This integration enables the seamless delivery of data insights to team members, facilitating informed decision-making.
Looker will soon be available on Gmail, making it effortless to share Looker reports with just a click, further enhancing communication and report sharing capabilities.
One aspect that remains unchanged is the core functionality of the tool itself. Although the rebranding introduces Looker’s branding and some behind-the-scenes changes, the user experience in Looker Studio is expected to be similar to what I’m already familiar with in Google Data Studio. This consistency is reassuring, as I can continue leveraging my existing knowledge and skills in the transition.
With these exciting features and improvements, Looker Studio goes beyond a simple rebranding. It aims to provide users with a comprehensive and powerful analytics platform that combines the strengths of both Looker and Google Data Studio. I’m thrilled about the possibilities Looker Studio brings and look forward to exploring its capabilities further.