Looker is a Business Intelligence tool that is available as a completely managed service or as an on-premise deployable solution. It helps organizations to explore their data, unearth hidden insights and build beautiful reports and dashboards.
The Embedded Analytics offering from Looker allows organizations to bundle Looker’s features in their custom web applications. This helps an organization to create a combined user experience and integrate Looker with the other aspects of their operational flow. This post is about the steps required in establishing Looker Slack Integration. It also covers the basics of Looker and Slack and the benefits and importance of Looker Slack Integration.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Looker
- Introduction to Slack
- Understanding the Importance of Looker Slack Integration
- Setting Up Looker Slack Integration
Introduction to Looker
Looker can connect to most on-premise data sources as well as could-based data sources. In the case of on-premise data sources, it can create a secure data channel through the organization’s private network. Data exploration and analysis in Looker are done through a proprietary domain-specific language called LookML.
The latest version of Looker ushered in a plethora of useful features as follows:
- Looker reduced the database consumption and increased the query performance with the help of Aggregate Awareness capability.
- It allows you to experience better performance at scale, across multiple clouds. This is built on a Kubernetes-powered foundation for Looker-hosted customers.
- You can now accelerate data application development to help product builders ship new kinds of data experiences quickly. Looker also solves valuable data use cases with its Extension framework.
- You can infuse every project and collaboration with insights using the closed-loop Looker Slack Integration.
- Looker also allows you to install new blocks for Google Ads and Google Marketing platform from the Looker Marketplace.
Introduction to Slack
Slack is a very popular team-based communication platform typically used for managing projects. Slack has led from the front to redefine how teams interact with each other in the workplace. With over 4 million active users, Slack has come a long way since its inception. Office managers can leverage Slack to create more efficient and cleaner workflows. Here is a list of Slack’s most important features:
- Private Channels: Slack allows your teams to use private channels to share files and engage in direct and smaller conversations. It also allows the users to use personal channels to keep notes and draft messages.
- Sophisticated Search Function: An integral feature of Slack is its search function. Using the search bar, your team can easily locate files stored in the app and past messages. The searches can be filtered by specifying the team member, channel, or the date associated with the message or file. Slack also allows users to search the contents of uploaded documents, with search terms highlighted for a better view.
- App Integrations: While Slack is primarily sought after for its chat function, but putting its integrations with other apps to use can transform Slack into an engine of productivity that serves various business operations. This also allows your team to seamlessly toggle between different tasks.
- Open Communities: Slack distinguishes itself as an open platform. Users who don’t work together can use the app for networking purposes as a part of open communities. These communities can include groups with specialized knowledge and expansive networks.
- Customized Bots: Slack allows teams to develop their own custom bots. Bots are defined as artificially intelligent entities that you can have a conversation with issue instructions to within Slack’s chat function. You can program these bots to perform various tasks like track expenses, send meeting reminders, record complaints, embed videos, or even play video games. You can also add existing bots to Slack to simplify communication. Managers can use this to update employees on policy changes or brief the team about upcoming work events.
Understanding the Importance of Looker Slack Integration
In most organizations that use Slack, it is the default communication channel for inter-team communication and is even preferred over emails. So it is natural that the team members expect even the looker reports to be delivered via Slack rather than the traditional channel. Hence the need for Looker to Slack integration. Beyond delivering reports, Looker also allows interacting with it through slack messages. This blog deals with how to set up such integrations.
Another need for integration is when organizations want to explore and analyze their Slack data itself. This integration will be in the opposite direction of what is discussed above. In this case, there should be some way of bringing all the data from Slack from Looker. Unfortunately, as of now, neither Looker nor Slack provides a graceful way of doing this. As of now, the only option is to use a cloud-based ETL tool like Hevo to accomplish this kind of integration.
- A Looker admin account in a Looker cloud instance with version 6.24 or above.
- A Slack account.
- The basic idea of Business Intelligence tools.
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Setting up Looker Slack Integration
- Step 1: The first step of setting up Looker Slack Integration is to head to the Admin panel and then under Platform, click Actions. Look for Slack integration and click Enable.
- Step 2: Clicking enable will lead to a confirmation page. Confirm your intention by toggling the ‘Disabled’ button and then click Connect to Slack Workspaces.
- Step 3: Looker will take you to the permission acceptance page. Click Allow to complete the enabling process.
- Step 4: The next step is to authenticate to your slack account from inside Looker. This will allow Looker to start delivering your reports to the Slack channels. For this, head to the account page and then to the Integration section. Click ‘Sign in’ under the Slack section.
- Step 5: Looker will ask for your credentials and then again ask you for permissions to the specific workspace. Click Allow for the permission request.
- Step 6: The next step is to choose Slack for delivering content. This can be done using the ‘Send or Schedule window’. All you need to do is select Slack from the options below.
That completes the step involved in setting up the Looker Slack Integration. The point to note here is that this mechanism only allows you to deliver your Looker content via Slack. If you use case is to get Slack data to Looker for analysis. You are out of luck. That can only be accomplished by custom application development using Slack APIs. Another choice is to use Hevo for all your data transfer needs. Hevo can connect most of the cloud-based data sources including Slack to the most popular data destinations like Looker, Power BI, Google Data Studio, etc.
Looker Slack Integration provides a graceful mechanism to route your Looker reports through Slack. A more involved Slack user can even set up custom messages to interact with Looker through Slack using Looker Bot. These integrations help organizations to make Looker part of their daily communication workflow and decision-making process. In case, you are looking for integration in the other direction, that is from Slack to Looker, you should explore Hevo and its brilliant data loading capabilities.
In this article, you learned about the basics of Looker and Slack, the benefits and importance of establishing Looker Slack Integration, and the steps involved in the process of setting up Looker Slack Integration.
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