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How to Create Looker Dashboards: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Create Looker Dashboards (Updated 2023): A Comprehensive Guide

Looker dashboards, a product of Google, have become an indispensable tool for businesses aiming to visualize and understand their data. But what exactly is Looker, and why is its dashboards design so crucial? Dive into this guide to uncover the importance of dashboard design, specifically focusing on Looker, and how to optimize it for your business needs.

About Google Looker

Google Looker is a modern platform for data that offers data exploration, creating and sharing reports, and building dashboards. It integrates seamlessly with various data sources, making it a favorite for businesses aiming to derive actionable insights from their data.

Why Should You Use a Looker Dashboard?

In the digital era, with the proliferation of data, efficient visualization methods are paramount. Looker dashboards stand out, offering a visually captivating and interactive solution.

Benefits of Looker Dashboards:


  • Centralization of Information: Looker consolidates business data, allowing for trend monitoring and centralized analysis.
  • Democratizes Management: Visual management is simplified, aligning team efforts towards shared objectives.
  • Accelerates Decision-making: Precise and rapid KPI evaluations are possible, streamlining decisions.
  • Seizes Real-time Opportunities: The agility of Looker dashboards helps in identifying and capitalizing on opportunities as they arise.
  • Customization Freedom: Tailor Looker dashboards to fit your business needs, from data selection to layout choices.

How Do I Start Using Looker?

To begin with Looker:

  • Set Up an Account: Register for a Looker account, choosing the plan that fits your business size and needs.
  • Connect Your Data Sources: Integrate databases or other data sources with Looker.
  • Explore Data Models: Use Looker’s Explore section to delve into your data, creating reports and visualizations.
  • Build Your Dashboard: Customize and design your dashboard, adding relevant visualizations and reports.

Importance of UX Design for Dashboards

User Experience (UX) design is pivotal for dashboards. A well-designed dashboard ensures that users can easily interpret and act on the data presented. It reduces cognitive load, streamlines tasks, and enhances overall user satisfaction. Especially in platforms like Looker, where data can be intricate, a user-centric design ensures that insights are accessible and actionable.

Enhancing Your Looker Dashboard Design

  • Clearly Establish Your Objective: Determine your Looker dashboard’s purpose.
  • Choose the Right Dashboard Type: Operational, tactical, or strategic – select what suits your goal.
  • Filter and Organize Information: Prioritize data relevance and logical organization.
  • Avoid Visual Clutter: Use a clear font, meaningful colors, and eliminate unnecessary elements.
  • Know Your Audience: Ensure the dashboard caters to its primary users.
  • Determine Data Update Frequency: Set the appropriate update frequency.
  • Prioritize User-friendliness: Ensure the dashboard is intuitive and user-centric.

With this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to harness the full potential of Looker dashboards. Implement these strategies and elevate your business’s data visualization capabilities.

Looker vs Qlik Sense

Google Looker and Qlik Sense are both powerful data visualization and analytics platforms, but they have some technical differences:


Google Looker: Looker follows a modern architecture known as “Semantic Layer,” where data models are defined using LookML (Looker Modeling Language). This abstracts the complexities of the underlying data sources and creates a unified view for analysis.

Qlik Sense: Qlik Sense employs an associative data model, allowing users to explore data intuitively without pre-aggregated structures. It connects and associates data from various sources on the fly.

Data Integration:

Google Looker: Looker integrates well with Google Cloud services and other popular data warehouses like BigQuery. It also supports various database connections.

Qlik Sense: Qlik Sense has extensive data integration capabilities and can connect to a wide range of data sources, both cloud-based and on-premises.

Data Exploration:

Google Looker: Looker emphasizes exploration through its dashboards and visualizations. It offers custom fields, table calculations, and derived tables to manipulate data.

Qlik Sense: Qlik Sense’s associative model enables dynamic data exploration. Users can navigate and make selections within visualizations, leading to instant data discovery.


Google Looker: Looker provides a variety of visualization options, and users can customize visualizations using LookML.

Qlik Sense: Qlik Sense offers a wide range of interactive and dynamic visualizations, allowing users to create insightful dashboards.

Governance and Security:

Google Looker: Looker offers a centralized platform with role-based access control and data permissions. It provides data governance features for maintaining data accuracy.

Qlik Sense: Qlik Sense includes robust security features with granular control over data access. It supports data lineage and auditing.


Google Looker: Looker can be deployed on-premises or on the Google Cloud Platform.

Qlik Sense: Qlik Sense offers both cloud-based and on-premises deployment options.

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Looker Dashboards FAQs

What makes Looker different from other dashboard tools?

Looker is a Google product, ensuring robustness and scalability. It offers seamless integration with various data sources and provides a highly customizable platform for data exploration and visualization.

Is Looker suitable for non-tech-savvy users?

Yes, Looker is designed with user-friendliness in mind. While there’s a learning curve, its intuitive interface ensures that even non-tech users can derive insights effectively.

How secure is my data on Looker?

Looker prioritizes data security, offering features like role-based access control, encryption, and regular security audits.

Can I integrate Looker with other tools?

Absolutely. Looker offers integrations with various tools and platforms, enhancing its versatility.

How customizable are Looker dashboards?

Looker dashboards are highly customizable. From data selection, visualization types, to layout choices, you have the freedom to design as per your business needs.


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