Looker Architecture: Your Ultimate Guide to Understanding the Foundation of Looker BI

Looker is a powerful cloud-based business intelligence tool that allows organizations to analyze, visualize, and share their data in a meaningful way. It is a modern data platform that provides businesses with a comprehensive data modeling language (LookML) that can adapt to their evolving needs.

In this blog post, we will delve into the foundation of Looker BI architecture and provide you with an in-depth understanding of its features, functionalities, and pricing options. Additionally, we will compare Looker to its main competitor, Tableau, and discuss the differences between Looker and LookML.

We will start by answering some fundamental questions like “What is Looker used for?” and “Is Looker cloud-based?”. We will also explore the various facets of Looker BI, including its hosted solutions, learning resources, documentation, and tutorials.

So whether you’re a business owner, data analyst, or an IT professional, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and resources necessary to leverage Looker to make informed decisions and drive business growth. So get comfortable and prepare to experience the power of Looker BI!

Looker Architecture: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re new to Looker, or even if you’re experienced with it, understanding the Looker architecture can be daunting. In this section, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Looker’s architecture.

What is Looker architecture

Looker is a robust business intelligence (BI) tool used to help organizations make data-driven decisions. It’s built on a modern technology stack that integrates many features, such as data modeling, exploring data, reporting and dashboarding, and embedding analytics into existing applications.

Looker’s Architecture Components

Looker architecture consists of five main components:

1. Looker’s Application Layers

The application layer is the topmost layer in the looker architecture, where users interact with the Looker application. The application layer manages the interaction between the users and the other layers.

2. Looker’s API Layers

The second layer in the Looker architecture is the API layer, where Looker API communicates with the application layer through a secure HTTPS connection.

3. Looker’s Data Access Layers

The third layer, the data access layer, hosts the data source connected to the Looker application. Looker uses various data access layers, like SQL dialects and NoSQL databases, to provide efficient analytics.

4. LookML Model Layers

The fourth layer in Looker architecture is the LookML model layer. LookML is a syntax used to model the data inside the Looker, which helps to create an abstracted representation of data structures.

5. Looker’s Persistence Layers

The persistence layer of Looker architecture is where all the user data, session data and connections are stored. The persistence layer consists of two databases, primary and replica.

Understanding the Looker architecture is essential for organizations seeking to leverage this robust business intelligence tool. Each component has an integral role in the Looker mechanism, making it seamless and efficient that improves decision-making capabilities. By having a comprehensive understanding of Looker’s architecture, you can improve your analytics experience and unlock valuable insights.

Looker Hosted

When it comes to business intelligence solutions, Looker Architecture is one of the most popular. And one of the biggest draws of Looker is the ability to host it yourself. But for those who prefer not to handle hosting, Looker also offers a hosting option.

What is Looker Hosted

Looker Hosted is Looker’s cloud deployment option. Essentially, instead of hosting Looker on your own servers, Looker will host it for you on their own servers. This means that you don’t have to worry about hosting, scaling, or upgrading Looker yourself.

Why Choose Looker Hosted

There are several reasons why you might choose Looker Hosted over hosting Looker yourself:

  1. Less Maintenance: With Looker Hosted, you don’t have to worry about maintaining your own servers or performing upgrades. Looker will take care of all of that for you.
  2. Easier Scaling: If your organization grows and you need to scale Looker, Looker Hosted may be an easier option since Looker will be able to quickly scale up your infrastructure as needed.
  3. Saves Time and Money: By not having to devote resources to maintaining your own servers, you can save time and money that can be better spent on other areas of your business.

How Does Looker Hosted Work

With Looker Hosted, Looker will provide the necessary infrastructure to host Looker. This includes servers, storage, and networking infrastructure. Looker will also handle all maintenance and upgrades.

To use Looker Hosted, you’ll simply need to create an account with Looker and choose the hosted deployment option. Looker will provide you with everything you need to get started.

While Looker’s self-hosting option is popular, Looker Hosted is a great option for those who want to avoid the hassle of hosting and maintaining their own Looker infrastructure. With Looker Hosted, you can focus on using Looker to gain insights into your business without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.

Looker Pricing

When it comes to Looker, pricing can be a bit complicated. Unlike some of its competitors, Looker doesn’t have a set pricing structure. Instead, the cost varies depending on a few different factors.

The number of users

For Looker, pricing is based on the number of users. This means that the more people who use Looker within your organization, the higher the cost will be. However, the pricing is tiered, so the cost per user decreases as you add more users.

Features needed

Another factor that affects Looker’s pricing is the features you need. Looker offers a range of features, from basic data visualization to advanced analytics and machine learning. Naturally, the more advanced the feature, the higher the cost.


One of the strengths of Looker is its customization options. You can tailor Looker to fit your specific needs, which can be a huge advantage. However, this level of customization does come at a cost. If you need a lot of customization, you can expect to pay more for Looker.

Contact for pricing

Due to the customizable nature of Looker’s pricing, there’s no easy way to estimate the cost. Instead, you’ll need to get in touch with Looker directly for a quote. This can be frustrating for some users who prefer a more transparent pricing structure, but it does mean that you’re only paying for what you need.

Overall, Looker’s pricing can be a bit tricky to navigate, but it’s not out of reach for most organizations. If you’re interested in using Looker, it’s worth reaching out to get a quote tailored to your needs.

Looker vs Tableau

When it comes to business intelligence tools, Looker and Tableau are two of the most popular options. Both tools are designed to help organizations make sense of their data and provide insights that can be used to drive business decisions. However, there are some key differences between the two that are worth exploring.

User Interfaces

One of the most noticeable differences between Looker and Tableau is their user interfaces. Looker has a minimalist, text-based UI that is designed to be easy for users to navigate. In contrast, Tableau has a more visually-focused interface that relies heavily on graphs and charts.


Both Looker and Tableau offer a wide range of functionality when it comes to data analysis and visualization. Looker is particularly strong when it comes to data modeling and offers robust filtering and drilling capabilities. Tableau, on the other hand, offers more advanced visualization options and has an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.


Pricing is another key area where Looker and Tableau differ. Looker offers a subscription-based pricing model that is based on the number of users and data sources. Tableau, on the other hand, offers both a subscription-based and perpetual licensing model. The perpetual license allows organizations to purchase the software outright and use it indefinitely, while the subscription-based model can be more cost-effective for smaller organizations.


Both Looker and Tableau offer integrations with a wide range of data sources, including popular databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Amazon Redshift. However, Looker offers a more seamless integration experience thanks to its in-house dialect that allows it to connect to virtually any data source.

Overall, Looker and Tableau are both excellent tools for data analysis and visualization, and the choice between the two will largely depend on individual preference and organizational needs. Looker is well-suited for organizations that prioritize data modeling and flexibility, while Tableau is a better fit for those that need advanced visualization capabilities. Ultimately, both tools can help organizations extract insights from their data and take their business to the next level.

What is Looker BI

Looker is a popular business intelligence (BI) tool that enables users to explore, analyze, and share data in real-time. It is a cloud-based platform that helps organizations make data-driven decisions by providing a flexible and scalable solution to manage and visualize data.

Understanding Looker BI

Looker BI makes it easy for businesses to create and share reports, dashboards, and visualizations. It provides a user-friendly interface that enables users to query data using natural language and get instant insights. With Looker BI, users can easily connect to various data sources, including databases, spreadsheets, and data warehouses, among others.

Features of Looker BI

Looker BI offers a wide range of features that make it an ideal choice for organizations looking to streamline their data management processes. Some of the key features of Looker BI include:

  • Data Modeling: Looker BI comes with a powerful data modeling layer that enables users to create custom data models to suit their business needs.

  • Data Visualization: The tool provides a range of visualization options, including charts, graphs, and tables, that make it easy for users to explore and understand their data.

  • Collaboration: Looker makes it easy for teams to collaborate and share data. Users can easily share reports, dashboards, and visualizations with their colleagues.

  • looker architecture

    Data Exploration: With Looker BI, users can easily slice and dice their data to explore trends and patterns. Users can also drill down to get more detailed insights.

Benefits of Looker BI

Looker BI offers several benefits to organizations, including:

    looker architecture

  • Real-time Insights: With Looker BI, users can get real-time insights into their data, enabling them to make data-driven decisions quickly.

  • Customizable Dashboards: Looker BI allows users to create customizable dashboards that can be tailored to their specific needs.

  • Data Security: The tool offers robust security features that ensure the privacy and security of data.

  • Cost-effective: Looker BI is a cost-effective data management solution that offers a range of features at an affordable price.

In conclusion, Looker BI is a powerful and user-friendly business intelligence tool that enables organizations to make data-driven decisions. With its customizable dashboards, real-time insights, and robust security features, Looker BI is an ideal choice for organizations looking to streamline their data management processes.

Looker Tutorial PDF

If you’re looking to learn how to use Looker for analytics and data exploration, you’re in luck! Looker offers a comprehensive tutorial PDF that covers everything you need to know to get started.

What is Looker

Before diving into the tutorial PDF, it’s essential to understand what Looker is. Looker is a business intelligence and analytics platform that allows you to analyze and explore your data in a visual and intuitive way. It is designed for anyone in a company, from executives to business analysts, to make data-driven decisions quickly and effectively.

What Does the Tutorial Cover

The Looker tutorial PDF is a step-by-step guide that covers everything you need to know to get started with Looker. It starts with the basics, such as navigating the Looker interface, creating a project, and building a dashboard. It then moves on to more advanced topics, such as creating custom metrics and dimensions, setting up permissions, and working with LookML.

How Do I Access the Tutorial

The Looker tutorial PDF is available for free on the Looker website. All you need to do is sign up for a Looker account and download the PDF. Alternatively, if you’re already a Looker user, you can access the tutorial from the Looker documentation.

Why Should I Use Looker

Looker is an excellent tool for anyone who wants to make data-driven decisions quickly and effectively. It allows you to explore your data in a visual and intuitive way, without the need for SQL knowledge or coding skills. Looker also offers a wide range of customization options, allowing you to create dashboards and reports that are tailored to your specific needs.

In conclusion, the Looker tutorial PDF is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn how to use Looker effectively. It covers everything you need to know to get started, from the basics to more advanced topics. Whether you’re a business analyst or an executive, Looker can help you make data-driven decisions quickly and effectively. So why not give it a try?

Looker Documentation

One of the essential parts of Looker architecture is the documentation. Looker provides detailed documentation for every aspect of the product, making it easy for users to understand and use Looker efficiently.

User Guide

The user guide is an excellent starting point for new Looker users. It provides a step-by-step guide on how to get started and use Looker. It covers various topics, including how to create and run a query, how to explore data, how to create and customize visualizations, and much more. The guide is constant, and Looker updates it regularly to ensure that it stays current with the latest Looker features and functionality.

API reference

Looker provides an API reference that allows developers to integrate Looker with other applications seamlessly. The API reference provides detailed documentation for every endpoint, including information on how to authenticate API requests and how to make API requests using various programming languages.

Knowledge Base

The knowledge base is a repository of articles that provides answers to frequently asked questions about Looker. It covers various topics, including troubleshooting, best practices, and advanced functionality. If you encounter an issue while using Looker, the knowledge base is an excellent resource to check first.

Looker Community

The Looker community is a forum where users can seek help from other Looker users. It’s an excellent resource for troubleshooting issues and finding solutions to problems. The community also provides a platform for users to share tips and best practices.

In conclusion, Looker has excellent documentation resources that make it easy for users to understand and use the product. From the user guide to the API reference to the knowledge base and Looker community, users have access to comprehensive and accurate information that can help them get the most out of Looker.

Is Looker Cloud-Based

Looker is a business intelligence platform that provides data insights to companies. It is in high demand because of its user-friendly interface, easy-to-use dashboard, and customized analytics. When it comes to the accessibility of Looker, it is important to answer the question: is Looker cloud-based?

Looker’s Infrastructure

Before we dive into the cloud-based question, it’s important to understand Looker’s infrastructure. Looker, while a cloud-based tool, is unique in that it does not store data. Instead of storing data within the platform, it connects to a variety of data sources, from on-premises databases to cloud-based services like AWS Redshift or Google BigQuery. This way, Looker can support data from a variety of sources.

Looker’s Deployment Options

Looker offers several deployment options, including on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid implementation. Whether a user wants to use Looker as a standalone tool or integrate it into their existing data ecosystem, Looker provides flexible options.

Cloud-Based Deployment

Now, to the question: is Looker cloud-based? The answer is yes. Looker can be deployed in the cloud via its SaaS (Software as a Service) offering, LookerCloud. With this option, Looker handles the infrastructure, manages the platform, and ensures that the software is up-to-date.

Furthermore, LookerCloud offers powerful scaling capabilities, allowing businesses to grow their data needs on-demand. It also provides robust security, including SOC 2 Type 2 compliance, ensuring that customer data is safe.

In conclusion, Looker is a cloud-based business intelligence tool that offers flexible deployment options and powerful insights. LookerCloud is a SaaS offering that provides customers with powerful features, scalability, and security. By offering a cloud-based solution, Looker can continue to provide top-of-the-line features that anticipate and meet its customers’ needs.

What Can Looker Do for You

Looker is used primarily for analytics, business intelligence, and data visualization. It is a web-based platform that allows businesses or individuals to easily access meaningful insights from their data. Here are some of the main features of Looker that make it an attractive option for analytics:

Centralized Data

Looker allows you to bring all your data together in one centralized location, making it easy to access, manipulate and analyze. You can connect to various data sources, including Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, and Snowflake, and transform raw data into clean, organized data sets. This ensures everyone in your organization is on the same page when it comes to using data to make decisions.

Customizable Dashboard

Looker’s dashboard is completely customizable, providing you with pertinent information about your data, and allowing you flexibility in how you wish to organize it. You can create multiple dashboard pages with different data visualizations to suit your needs, and every dashboard in Looker is interactive, making it simple to explore and analyze data quickly.

Collaborative Features

Looker encourages collaboration, allowing different users across the organization to share access and insights. This ensures everyone in the organization is working together and moving toward the same goal. Looker dashboards can be shared with other users across the organization, and Looker’s co-authoring feature allows multiple users to work on queries simultaneously.

Integrated Workflow

Looker integrates seamlessly with other tools in the data analysis pipeline. You can export data to Excel or CSV or connect to Looker’s API to perform more in-depth analyses.

Looker’s versatility and intuitive, user-friendly interface make it an exceptional tool for data analysis, business intelligence, and collaboration. By providing easy access to meaningful insights and data visualization, Looker empowers businesses and individuals to make data-driven decisions.

looker architecture

What is the difference between Looker and LookML

If you are new to Looker, you might be wondering what Looker and LookML are. In the simplest terms, Looker is a data visualization and exploration tool, while LookML is the language used to define data models in Looker. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.


Looker is a web-based data discovery and analysis platform that allows you to explore and visualize data from multiple sources. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating dashboards, reports, and visualizations. With Looker, you can easily connect to your data sources, build custom SQL queries, and extract insights from your data.

One of the key features of Looker is its ability to model complex data structures in a simple and intuitive way. It allows you to create customized data models that can be reused throughout your organization. Looker also offers a wide range of integrations with other tools and services, such as Google Analytics, Salesforce, and Slack.


looker architecture

LookML is the proprietary language used to define data models in Looker. It is a declarative language that allows you to define your data schema, create virtual views, and specify metadata about your data. LookML is designed to be easy to learn and use, even for non-technical users.

With LookML, you can create reusable data models that can be easily shared and maintained throughout your organization. Looker provides a modeling layer that allows you to abstract away the complexity of your data sources and focus on the business logic of your data.

The Difference

So what is the difference between Looker and LookML? Looker is the application that allows you to visualize and explore your data, while LookML is the language used to define your data models within Looker. Looker provides a powerful and intuitive interface for data analysis, while LookML provides a flexible and scalable way to model your data.

In other words, Looker is the front-end tool that allows you to interact with your data, while LookML is the back-end language that allows you to define and organize your data structures. While they are closely related, they each serve a distinct function in the Looker ecosystem.

To sum it up, Looker and LookML work together to provide a powerful and flexible data analysis platform. Looker provides a user-friendly interface for exploring and visualizing your data, while LookML provides a flexible and scalable way to define your data structures. Together, they allow you to extract meaningful insights from your data and make data-driven decisions for your business.

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