Looker – Complete Guide to Google Looker – LookML Developer


Master Looker and LookML to create views, dashboards, and databases with the beginner to expert Looker and LookML guide


  • It is recommend that your first take the User / Analyst course to understand how Looker is used by consumers


Learn from more than 7 hours of relevant instructional video content, with the only complete beginner to expert guide on Google Looker Developer (LookML). Master the concepts of LookML and apply them to real-life settings.

Explore, analyze, visualize, and access your data with Google Looker. Looker is used as a sophisticated business intelligence (BI) and visualization software similar to Power BI and Tableau. Companies deploy Looker to their employees so that they can make trusted decisions and actions based on their data.

More than 2,000 organizations use Looker. Looker is named as a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

Looker is officially part of Google Cloud Platform. Google bought Looker in 2020 for more than $2.6 billion. This demonstrates Google’s investment that Looker will be the top tier BI and visualization software of choice for companies across the world.

This is the only complete guide to Google Looker and LookML for the Developer, from beginner to expert. This course is not only comprehensive (it covers everything you need to know right from the start / beginner level with LookML) but is also instructional in nature, meaning that as we learn new concepts, we are also integrating them in the application. Don’t just learn concepts, learn how to actually apply them. This is especially important with LookML. That also means that whether you are a beginner or expert, there’s something for you in this course.

This course is structured in a way that helps you learn all the concepts. For each concept, we first cover it in theory and then apply it using a real life example. We also progressively learn more and more advanced concepts, so that you never feel overwhelmed and can achieve your goals. By the end of this course, you will be writing LookML to create Explores, Looks, Reports, and Dashboards.

Note: this is the Developer series. In this course, we learn everything that a developer of Google Looker would need to know. In particular, we focus on writing LookML to create Explores that a consumer (User / Analyst) would use. We cover topics such as connecting data, defining dimensions and measures, developing views, joining two views together, coding dashboards, etc.

If you instead want to learn the consumer view of Looker (analyzing data, creating reports, creating Looks, creating dashboards, organizing and sharing reports, creating custom fields, etc.), then please take the User / Analyst course instead. Feel free to watch the free preview of the Course Overview, or message me, if you have any questions.

Again, this is the complete guide to Google Looker and LookML for the Developer – you won’t ever need another course.

This course is the Developer series. If you have not already, I highly recommend taking the User / Analyst series course first to explain how a consumer would use Looker.

What is Looker?

Looker is a business intelligence software and big data analytics platform that organizations use to empower their employees to explore, analyze, and share real-time business analytics and insights. It is part of the Google Cloud Platform after Google acquired Looker for over $2.6 billion.

What makes Looker different?

Looker is regarded as more than an alternative to Power BI or Tableau. It operates 100% on the cloud and is browser-based, which means that no desktop software is required or needs to be managed. It contains a trusted data model, and a language called LookML that allows users to compile data and assign business logic across the organization. It also contains powerful APIs and third-party connectors that are used to create workflows and apps from your data.

What is LookML?

LookML is a structured language used as an alternative to your ETL layer. Simply put, LookML is code for creating views, dimensions, measures, aggregations, calculations, and data relationships to transform your raw data into an Explore. Specifically, the purpose of LookML is to translate structured language (that’s easy for users to write and manage) into SQL queries (which are hard to write and manage). Additionally, it can be used as code to create sophisticated dashboards.

What is the Developer Series?

Looker is used by two groups of people:

  • User / Analyst – these are individuals who would use Looker to analyze data, build and consume reports / dashboards, create report workflows, and manage folders and boards. It is also for those people who are knew to Looker who want to understand how Looker works on the front-end before they start developing it. These are people like data analysts, business analysts, data scientists, product managers, department heads, and executives.
  • Developer – these are individuals who would be responsible for setting up Looker, and have it connect and access the underlying SQL data. These people are the ones responsible for creating the underlying data model in LookML that is used by Users and Analysts. These are people like software developers, IT administrators, and data engineers.

This course is the Developer series.

What are the main features of Looker?

  • LookML – structured model language that is used to construct SQL queries against a particular database; allows you to do complex operations such as joins, aggregations, and filters; and standardize business logic for common variables across your organization
  • Cloud-based – Looker is 100% on the cloud, which has massive benefits like not needing to manage a desktop software, ease of deployment, and streamlined standardized user experiences
  • Reports and dashboards – perform sophisticated analysis on your raw data and create related reports and dashboards to save and replay your work, with the ability to add custom filters
  • Curative and user-friendly – Looker is easy to use with its no-code features and helper tools
  • Data model – Looker lets you create a full data model in LookML that sits atop your raw data, which allows you to define relationships between all your data and standardize metrics
  • Standardize, unified, and governed business logic – Because of the integrated data model, users always have the most up-to-date definition of business logic
  • Real-time – Looker connects to your raw data directly; no need to create ETLs on a timely basis and as a result, reports and dashboard are always 100% up-to-date
  • Workflows, actions and custom application – create workflows that schedule data emails based on time or based on a condition; complex workflows with custom UI can also be made
  • Partner network – Looker has a wide third-party network allowing you to connect external apps to your reports and dashboards, like Slack or Outlook
  • Multi-DB support – Looker can be used on any underlying SQL Server (Microsoft SQL server, AWS, BigQuery, etc.), supporting a huge range of SQL dialects
  • Google – Looker is part of Google Cloud Platform, and has the full backing and investment of a trillion dollar company behind it

Why learn Looker?

  • Create structure queries – LookML allows you to manage and structure your ETL queries in a professional and easy way. You define the relationships, aggregations, and dimensions, and the Looker takes care of the rest when constructing the relevant SQL queries.
  • Standardize business logic – LoookML is used to standardize common variables across your organization, making it easy for it to perform its tasks in a consistent way. Your users will no longer fight over the exact definition and calculation of “net margin” for example, because of LookML
  • Get full access to your data – since Looker is connected directly to your raw data, there is no more information lost in the ETL layer – data as granular as transaction data can be used within Looker
  • Drive more insights – Looker is used to drive smarter outcomes for your organization from better and quicker access to data. It enables users to perform their own analysis, with the flexibility of using any dimension and measures as they see fit.
  • Create reports and dashboards – easily create sophisticated reports and dashboards with impactful visualizations, and save them for future use. These reports also have drill-down features, allowing users to get more granular data if they need to dig deeper.
  • Get hired / increase your employability – Looker is used by more than 2,000 top data-driven organizations for a reason; it enables powerful decision making – learning how to consume and create reports and dashboards is an invaluable skill to boost your pay rate and deliver value
  • Improve your toolkit – add this to your list of data analyst skills – this is very powerful in conjunction with other data analytic and business intelligence skills

Why choose this course?

  • Complete guide – this is the 100% start to finish, zero to hero, basic to advanced guide on Looker and LookML for the Developer. There is no other course like it that teaches you everything from start to finish. It contains over 8 hours of instructional content!
  • Fully instructional – we not only go through important concepts, but also apply them as we are building our reports and dashboards so that we can solidify them. This is not only a walkthrough of the Looker features, but a course that actually builds with you, so we encourage you to follow along.
  • Step by step – we go through every single concept in a sequential order (from beginner to expert). This improves your probabilities of learning Looker rather than going haphazardly through each feature.
  • Learn to learn – during the latter parts of the course, we go through situations where we encounter new features or errors, and work through how we would use the documentation to resolve them. In this way, you not only learn about Looker inside and out, but learn how to resolve your own issues as they come up
  • Teacher response – if there’s anything else you would like to learn, or if there’s something you cannot figure out, I’m here for you! Just shoot me a message.
  • Reference material – follow along! I provide all reference material directly to you so you can follow along in your learning journey

Course overview – Developer

  • Introduction – learn about Looker, its features, its history with Google, the course overview, and how to succeed in the course
  • Environment – create a sandbox account, create a LookML project, import data, learn how to load the sample data into Looker, and get familiar with some Looker terminology
  • Beginner – connect to database, load data, create dimensions and measures, apply filters, format fields, applying labeling, create views, create location-related fields
  • Moderate – join several views together, create groups of fields, apply advanced formatting, create explore actions, modify view settings
  • Expert – modify Explore settings, create parameters, code extensions, apply variables, work with Liquid variables, create dashboards elements and complete dashboards
  • Conclusion – earn your Looker Online certification, and read about next steps

If you want to learn Google Looker and LookML as a Developer , then this is the course for you. We’re looking forward to having you in the course and hope you earn the certificate.

Music: Bensound

Who this course is for:

  • Users of any analytics, business intelligence, or visualization tools
  • Data engineers who want to simplify their manual ETL process
  • Data engineers, analysts, and administrators who want a better way to manage data, reports, and dashboards
  • Teams who are currently deploying Looker in their organization
  • Analysts who build dashboards for senior audiences, and want to automate that process
  • Managers who currently use Excel to build reports and dashboards and want a better way
  • Data analysts, data scientists, and managers who want to quickly find insights in their data

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