Hey, good lookin’, what ya got cookin’?
Nov 8th 2017
At TotallyMoney, we face a set of challenges that I am certain are not unique to our company. Data is not easily accessible to everyone because our data infrastructure is complex, which means that complex queries have to be written even for the simplest of analyses. Because most people do not have the technical skills needed to write those queries and get the data they need, teams are dependent on the analysts to provide reports and carry out ad-hoc analyses for every department. Open data, open ideas In the data team, we were all aware that this situation was not ideal and we decided to change it. We wanted to get to a position where we had a reporting infrastructure that provided a single source of truth, which speeded up processes and helped us iterate around the build-measure-learn cycle even faster. We also wanted everyone to have easy access to data, so they could find the reports and dashboards they wanted and do their own explorations of the data. We believed this would translate in everyone using the data, which at the same time meant that anyone in the company – and not just the data team – could find the next big insight. As a result, data analysts and data scientists would not have to spend as much time writing complex ad-hoc queries and could instead spend more time in more valuable tasks such as analysing the data in depth and building machine learning models. Putting these two things together could be a game changer. Get the Look This is why we chose Looker. Looker is an entirely SQL based data discovery platform that uses business intelligence to make data accessible to organizations. We believed it was the right tool to get us where we wanted to be. Looker is capable of automatically writing complex SQL queries by using the Look ML (Looker’s own language) infrastructure previously defined by the data team. This makes it easy for everyone to visually explore the data in our database and create their own Looks (tables and charts) and Dashboards (collections of Looks), which basically means that everyone can build their own reports and create unique metrics that are tailored to their needs. We’re smarter together Last, but not least, I believe everyone at TotallyMoney would completely agree with Looker’s mission, which makes it even clearer that this is the right path for us. Inspiring curiosity: “Data is no longer just a place to find answers. It’s the place where ideas originate. And when everyone in your company is looking at the same numbers, sharing the same truth, they’ll be able to collectively make smarter, more informed decisions. This is the core of our mission at Looker: To inspire everyone to embrace their curiosity, dig deeper and keep asking questions.”