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Looker vs Periscope: What are the differences?


Both Looker and Periscope are popular business intelligence tools that enable users to visually analyze data and gain valuable insights. However, there are several key differences between the two platforms. In this article, we will highlight six significant distinctions that set Looker apart from Periscope.

  1. Data Modeling Approach: Looker adopts a "semantic layer" approach, which means it creates an abstraction layer between the raw data and end users. This allows users to easily access and analyze data without needing to understand the underlying data structure. In contrast, Periscope relies on SQL queries to directly access and transform data, requiring users to have a strong understanding of SQL.

  2. Data Exploration Capabilities: Looker offers robust data exploration features, including drill-down, pivoting, and filtering options. These capabilities allow users to dynamically interact with data and uncover hidden patterns or insights. While Periscope also provides similar exploration capabilities, Looker's interface is often touted as more intuitive and user-friendly.

  3. Customization and Extension: Looker offers extensive customization options, allowing users to build customized visualizations, dashboards, and reports using LookML (Looker Modeling Language). Furthermore, Looker can be seamlessly integrated with external applications and platforms using API and SDKs, enabling users to extend its functionality. On the other hand, Periscope has more limited customization options and does not have native support for LookML or similar customization frameworks.

  4. Collaboration and Sharing: Looker is well-regarded for its collaborative features, enabling users to easily share reports, dashboards, and insights with colleagues or external stakeholders. Looker's permissions and access control mechanisms provide flexibility in managing user access and privileges. Periscope, while offering collaboration features, does not provide the same level of granularity and flexibility when it comes to user access and sharing options.

  5. Pricing Structure: Looker's pricing model typically involves an annual subscription fee based on the number of users and data volume. This structure allows for scalability and predictable costs as the organization grows. In contrast, Periscope offers tiered pricing based on factors like user count, usage, and added features. Depending on the organization's needs, one pricing model may be more favorable than the other.

  6. Ease of Implementation and Maintenance: Looker's implementation process is often praised for its ease and speed, with a strong focus on user-friendliness and self-service configuration. Additionally, Looker efficiently manages maintenance and updates through scheduled releases and automatic background updates. Periscope may require more technical expertise during the implementation process and ongoing maintenance.

In Summary, Looker and Periscope have distinct differences including their data modeling approach, data exploration capabilities, customization options, collaboration features, pricing structure, and ease of implementation/maintenance. Understanding these differences is crucial in selecting the BI tool that best aligns with an organization's specific needs and requirements.

Advice on Looker and Periscope
Mohan Ramanujam
Needs advice
AmplitudeAmplitudeData StudioData Studio

We are a consumer mobile app IOS/Android startup. The app is instrumented with branch and Firebase. We use Google BigQuery. We are looking at tools that can support engagement and cohort analysis at an early stage price which we can grow with. Data Studio is the default but it would seem Looker provides more power. We don't have much insight into Amplitude other than the fact it is a popular PM tool. Please provide some insight.

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Replies (1)
Ruben Lozano
Growth Marketing Specialist at Ruben Lozano Me | 4 upvotes 路 22.1K views

Hello Mohan,

To be honest, I don't have experience working with analytics on apps and also I don't have experience with Looker, so I cannot say I will suggest that one. I know that Amplitude is a known product analytics tool for apps. I know that in the #GoPractice course, Oleg (CEO GoPractice) was using Amplitude in all his experience with mobile game apps, so I guess apps could work well too. I have experience using Amplitude for SaaS solutions and it is great to create all kinds of analytics for the product. Then Google Datastudio is the classic solution to create dashboards and reports connect it with any data source. Also, some people, instead of Amplitude are using the new Google Analytics, @GoogleAnalytics #GA4 or Mixpanel. However, my suggestion is to use Amplitude and if there are reports that you cannot answer with Amplitude, use Google Data Studio.

I hope that could help you.


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Decisions about Looker and Periscope

Looking for an environment to help with exploring behavioral data, and creating dashboards for an account-based marketing approach. As we dug into options, I learned of Looker Actions, which enabled us to send the results of queries to the Segment Track and Identify api's. This enabled me to easily send CRM data to marketing tools integrated via the Segment CDP. At the time, no other BI environment provided a similar capability to automatically activate data, rather than just visualize it.

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Very easy-to-use UI. Good way to make data available inside the company for analysis.

Has some built-in visualizations and can be easily integrated with other JS visualization libraries such as D3.

Can be embedded into product to provide reporting functions.

Support team are helpful.

The only complain I have is lack of API support. Hard to track changes as codes and automate report deployment.

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Vojtech Kopal
Head of Data at Mews Systems | 3 upvotes 路 308.1K views

Power BI is really easy to start with. If you have just several Excel sheets or CSV files, or you build your first automated pipeline, it is actually quite intuitive to build your first reports.

And as we have kept growing, all the additional features and tools were just there within the Azure platform and/or Office 365.

Since we started building Mews, we have already passed several milestones in becoming start up, later also a scale up company and now getting ready to grow even further, and during all these phases Power BI was just the right tool for us.

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Pros of Looker
Pros of Periscope
  • 4
    Real time in app customer chat support
  • 4
    GitHub integration
  • 1
    Reduces the barrier of entry to utilizing data
  • 6
    Great for learning and teaching people SQL
  • 4
    Gorgeous "share-able" and "embeddable" dashboards

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Cons of Looker
Cons of Periscope
  • 3
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What is Looker?

    We've built a unique data modeling language, connections to today's fastest analytical databases, and a service that you can deploy on any infrastructure, and explore on any device. Plus, we'll help you every step of the way.

    What is Periscope?

    Periscope is a data analysis tool that uses pre-emptive in-memory caching and statistical sampling to run data analyses really, really fast.

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