Looker Joins Forces with IBM Cloud Data Services

Business intelligence and analytics platform Looker recently announced a partnership with IBM Cloud Data Services, formalizing a collaboration the two companies have had for some time, starting with the launch of IBM's cloud analytical database dashDB. The arrangement is an effort, the company says, to more effectively deliver services to customers.

"The alliance was a culmination of us saying, 'This is a great joint solution, how can we go to market more effectively together, and start showing customers a lot more value, quickly?'" says Keenan Rice, vice president of alliances at Looker.

"We decided, 'Let's use a Looker Block and start creating workflows for Looker plus IBM Cloud Data Services technologies to solve problems for customers quickly,'" Rice says. Looker Blocks are templates of common analytic functions that can be used to build customized data models on Looker's data platforms. According to Rice, Looker Blocks "create out-of-the-box experiences with data for customers." He adds that a Looker Block in a non-partner scenario might simply be a data source, such as a Salesforce Looker Block.

 "The real concept here is that we're taking these best-of-breed modern technologies, and we formalized this alliance to say, as we get more customer demand, as we get more internal input from product teams, we'll be doing more of these workflows and using these best-of-breed technologies to put them together in interesting ways to solve customer problems."

According to Rice, the core features of the partnership are ease of deployment and time-to-value on data. He emphasizes that both dashDB and Looker can be deployed in a matter of seconds, and because the system is entirely cloud-based, it is accessible on any device. He also points out that using Looker Blocks requires very little coding and data manipulation.

Rice provides the example of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) customer to illustrate how the joint solution works. "If you're an SaaS business, the number one bane of your existence is really understanding how your users interact with your product, and how that actually drives revenue—your customer life cycle, your customer funnel within your product," he says.

"The joint customer that we have today on this use case is using all the IBM services to store event data: They're using the IBM Cloud and NoSQL Database, they're using the Simple Data Pipe's ETL and data movement solution to take that data and put it into a structure which can be adjusted by the dashDB database, they're pulling Salesforce data in also with the Simple Data Pipe, and then they're using Looker on top of it. They're doing all of this together, in a very simple way, rather than having to build that all from scratch.”

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