Google Looker

Google Looker vs Splunk: A Comparative Analysis

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    Comparing Google Looker with Splunk reveals distinct approaches to data analytics and business intelligence. Google Looker focuses on interactive data exploration, while Splunk specializes in operational intelligence and log management.

    Both platforms have their strengths, but organizations often seek more intuitive and flexible solutions for their data needs. This page will dive into the features and use cases of Google Looker and Splunk, clarifying their capabilities.

    We'll also examine how Sourcetable offers a modernized alternative with a spreadsheet-like interface that seamlessly syncs with your data, presenting an efficient option for reporting and analytics tasks.

    Google Looker

    What is Google Looker?

    Google Looker is a business intelligence platform that is part of the Google Cloud product suite. It enables users to access, analyze, and act on their data efficiently. As a self-service and governed BI platform, Looker offers a balance between autonomy and control.

    • Core Features

    • Facilitates data experiences delivery.
    • Provides chat functionalities with business data.
    • Supports generative AI for building data-driven applications.
    • Cloud-based availability for scalable data management.
    • Enables creation of custom applications with reliable metrics.
    • Integrates Looker modeling with existing BI environments.

    What is Splunk?

    Splunk is a unified security and observability platform designed to enhance organizational security and operational efficiency. As an AI platform, it provides tools for monitoring, searching, analyzing, and visualizing machine-generated data.

    • Security and Observability

      Splunk's core capabilities are centered around security and observability, assisting organizations in detecting and responding to threats and ensuring system health.

    • Threat Management

      By leveraging AI, Splunk enables organizations to proactively fend off threat actors, contributing to a more secure digital environment.

    • Operational Efficiency

      With Splunk, downtime is minimized through timely detection and resolution of issues, which translates into improved system availability and performance.

    • Compliance and Resilience

      Organizations use Splunk to ensure adherence to regulatory standards and to maintain digital resilience, preserving business continuity even in the face of disruptions.

    Google Looker

    Key Features of Google Looker

    Real-Time Data Insights

    Looker offers a real-time view of data that is fresh, consistent, and governed, ensuring up-to-date and reliable analytics.

    Integration and Accessibility

    Integrated within the Google Cloud console, Looker provides a seamless experience with the existing Google Cloud portfolio of services and is accessible as a core Google Cloud service.

    Data Management with LookML

    Looker utilizes LookML, a SQL-based modeling language, allowing analysts to define and manage business rules and definitions centrally.

    Collaboration and Reporting

    The tool simplifies the creation of reports and dashboards, enhancing productivity and collaboration within teams.

    Enterprise-Class Business Intelligence

    Looker offers enterprise-class BI capabilities, catering to the complex needs of large organizations.

    Multi-Cloud Data Access

    Users can access data across multiple clouds, providing flexibility in data management and analysis.

    Extended Analysis with Looker Studio

    Looker integrates with Looker Studio, allowing for extended analysis, exploration, and visualization capabilities.

    Development and Version Control

    With a Git version-controlled data model, Looker ensures data integrity and streamlined collaborative development.

    APIs and Integrations

    Robust APIs and prebuilt integrations facilitate customization and enhance the tool's functionality within diverse IT ecosystems.


    Splunk Enterprise Key Features

    Authentication and Security

    Splunk Enterprise integrates with security standards including SAML for single sign-on, enhancing user authentication. It also supports LDAP, Active Directory, and e-Directory for robust authentication mechanisms.

    Machine Learning and Analytics

    With the Machine Learning Toolkit, Splunk Enterprise empowers users to build custom models and leverage pre-packaged algorithms. It facilitates advanced analytics capabilities such as outlier detection, predictive analytics, and clustering.

    Data Integration and Management

    Splunk Enterprise ingests data from diverse sources using standard and custom methods. SmartStore technology optimizes storage costs for historical data, while also allowing for data exportation to Hadoop and Amazon S3 for further processing.

    Operational Intelligence

    The platform supports over 1000 apps and add-ons, enabling extensive customization and integration. Workload Management ensures efficient resource allocation across different workloads.

    Monitoring and Support

    Splunk's Enterprise Monitoring Console offers comprehensive system monitoring for on-premises deployments. Users can access Professional Services for implementation and training, alongside varied support plans to ensure operational efficiency.

    Licensing and Pricing

    Splunk Enterprise is available exclusively on a term license basis, with pricing structured around data volume or compute capacity. This aligns with the overall shift to term-based licensing across all Splunk products and services.

    Reporting and Visualization

    Users can embed Splunk reports into other applications, facilitating seamless data visualization and reporting within business ecosystems.

    Google Looker

    Advantages of Google Looker Studio Pro for Business Intelligence

    Data Exploration and Visualization

    Looker Studio Pro enables users to delve into data and construct visualizations, simplifying the conversion of complex datasets into actionable insights.

    Collaboration and Sharing

    With its strong collaboration features, Looker Studio Pro is highly effective for team-based data analysis and dashboard sharing, fostering an environment of informed decision-making.

    Enterprise-Grade Features

    The platform is tailored for medium to large enterprises, offering the robustness and support required for demanding business environments.

    Content Management

    Users can manage team content efficiently, ensuring that data governance and access control are maintained at an enterprise level.

    Support and Reliability

    Looker Studio Pro provides access to enterprise support, guaranteeing reliability and expert assistance for complex business intelligence tasks.

    Google Looker

    Disadvantages of Using Google Looker for Business Intelligence

    Steep Learning Curve

    Google Looker has a steep learning curve that can be challenging for users, making it less intuitive for those new to business intelligence tools.

    Performance Issues

    The platform has been noted for slow performance, particularly when handling many graphs on a single page. Users experience lag which can hinder efficient data analysis.

    Complex Data Migration

    Migrating data from AWS to BigQuery using Looker has proven to be a painful process for businesses, implying a need for a smoother data transition experience.

    Access and Security Constraints

    Looker's security team often imposes strict access controls, which can complicate data accessibility for users requiring varying levels of data interaction.

    Onboarding and Training Challenges

    New users face expensive onboarding costs and a lack of readily available training materials and documentation, presenting barriers to effective adoption.

    Complicated Sharing Mechanisms

    The complexity of Looker's sharing mechanism poses difficulties for users needing to collaborate and distribute reports within their organization.

    Connectivity and Responsiveness

  • Limited connectivity options can restrict integration with other systems.
  • A slow website impacts user experience negatively, especially when quick data retrieval is essential.
  • Google Looker

    Frequently Asked Questions About Google Looker

    What are the hours for Looker Support in Japanese?

    Looker Support in Japanese is available from 9:00 AM JST to 5:00 PM JST, Monday through Friday, and from 5:00 PM JST to 9:00 AM JST, Monday through Saturday, including weekends and holidays.

    How do I ensure my Looker instance is eligible for Looker Support?

    To be eligible for Looker Support, ensure your Looker instance is running an officially supported version. Instances hosted by Looker update automatically, but customer-hosted instances must be manually updated to supported versions. Additionally, your Google Cloud Project number must be filled in on the Admin General Settings page for Looker (original) instances.

    Who is eligible for Looker Support?

    Looker Support is available to users with the Tech Support EditorIAM role, as well as to administrators and developers on instances using Legacy Support.

    What do I need to do when submitting a support request to Looker?

    When submitting a support request to Looker, you may be prompted to choose from a product area.

    Use Cases for Google Looker

    • Google Looker

      Reducing client report time

    • Google Looker

      Modernizing business intelligence operations

    • Google Looker

      Embedding analytics in a quote-to-revenue platform


    Advantages of Using Splunk for Business Intelligence

    Operational Efficiency

    Splunk reduces downtime by 82%, enhancing operational continuity and efficiency. It also accelerates mean time to remediation by 80%, allowing for rapid response to data insights.

    Transformative Capability

    Splunk is instrumental in driving digital transformation, offering full visibility into the digital environment which is critical for informed decision-making.

    Speed and Innovation

    By increasing the speed of launching new applications by 50%, Splunk fosters innovation and competitiveness in the digital marketplace.

    Security and Reliability

    Splunk ensures the security and reliability of digital systems, which is foundational for trustworthy business intelligence and analytics practices.

    Industry Leadership

    As a recognized industry leader, Splunk delivers proven solutions that are trusted for high-stakes business intelligence tasks.


    Disadvantages of Using Splunk for Business Intelligence

    Complexity and Usability

    Splunk's user interface may be perceived as confusing, contributing to a steep learning curve for new users. This complexity can deter users from fully leveraging the platform's capabilities for reporting and data analytics.

    Cost Considerations

    Implementing Splunk for business intelligence can be a significant financial investment, potentially making it an expensive option for companies monitoring their budgets.

    Architectural Complexity

    The intricate architecture of Splunk can complicate its implementation and mastery, which may lead to a longer time for companies to realize value from their investment.

    Resource Usage

    Compared to other monitoring tools, Splunk may require more CPU resources, which can impact performance and increase operational costs.

    User Limitations

    Splunk Light, a variant of the full platform, imposes a user limit that may not be suitable for growing businesses with expanding teams.


    Frequently Asked Questions About Splunk

    What happens when a Splunk software version reaches end of life (EOL)?

    No further fixes, services, or troubleshooting will be provided once a software version reaches EOL.

    What is the difference between a major release, a minor release, and a maintenance release in Splunk?

    A major release and a minor release both introduce new features, while a maintenance release includes fixes to resolve minor bugs and security issues.

    What are Splunk extensions and where can they be downloaded from?

    Splunk extensions, which include apps and add-ons, are solutions available for download from Splunkbase.

    How long are premium Splunk apps supported after their release?

    Premium apps reach EOL 24 months after their major or minor release.

    Are all Splunk on-premise products subject to the software support policy?

    Yes, all Splunk on-premise products, including Splunk Light, Splunk Universal Forwarder, and Splunk Enterprise, are subject to the software support policy.

    Use Cases for Splunk

    • Splunk

      Data optimization

    • Splunk

      Incident management

    • Splunk

      Log analytics for IT troubleshooting


    Sourcetable as an Alternative to Google Looker and Splunk

    • Streamlined Reporting and Data Analytics

      Sourcetable offers a comprehensive solution for businesses seeking simplicity in reporting and data analytics. Unlike Google Looker and Splunk, Sourcetable centralizes data from various services into an intuitive spreadsheet-like interface, streamlining workflow and enhancing productivity.

    • User-Friendly Interface

      The platform's user-friendly interface surpasses the complexity of Google Looker's embedded analytics and data modeling features, making data analysis accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise.

    • Efficient Data Synchronization

      Sourcetable's efficient data synchronization capabilities enable real-time data consolidation, offering a competitive edge over the self-service and governed BI options of Google Looker.

    • Optimization for Organizational BI

      For organizational business intelligence, Sourcetable provides a straightforward approach, focusing on ease of use and immediate access to actionable insights, whereas Looker's offerings may require more extensive setup and configuration.

    Google Looker

    Comparing Google Looker and Splunk

    Both Google Looker and Splunk are platforms used for data analysis. They provide insights that support business intelligence (BI) by allowing users to access and analyze large datasets. These tools are pivotal for organizations looking to extract valuable information from their data.

    Business Intelligence Capabilities

    Google Looker and Splunk offer robust BI capabilities. They enable organizations to leverage data for decision-making, offering both self-service and governed BI options. This allows for flexibility and control over data analysis processes.

    Data Access and Analysis

    Each platform provides powerful tools for data access and analysis. Users can query, visualize, and act on data, facilitating a data-driven approach to business operations.

    Applications and Workflows

    Both platforms allow for the creation of data-powered applications and workflows. This extends their utility beyond simple data exploration to operationalizing insights within business processes.

    Self-Service Features

    Self-service features are common to both Google Looker and Splunk, enabling users with varying levels of technical expertise to gain insights without heavy reliance on IT departments.

    Embedded Analytics

    Google Looker and Splunk can be employed for embedded analytics, integrating data analysis capabilities directly into business applications for real-time insights.

    Google Looker

    Google Looker vs. Splunk

    Business Intelligence and Data Analysis

    Google Looker is a business intelligence platform that allows for self-service and governed BI, enabling users to access, analyze, and act on data. It is designed for building data-powered applications and delivering trusted data experiences.

    Splunk, on the other hand, focuses primarily on analyzing machine-generated data, especially for security and operational intelligence purposes. It is not primarily marketed as a BI tool but as a platform for monitoring, searching, and analyzing real-time and historical machine data.

    Application Development and Embedded Analytics

    Google Looker supports the development of workflows and embedded analytics applications, as well as embedded data modeling, which facilitates the integration of analytics into other applications.

    In contrast, Splunk is not typically used for embedded analytics or data modeling within external applications. Its use cases are more aligned with security, IT operations, and performance management.

    AI and Interaction with Data

    Google Looker includes a generative AI feature and offers the capability for users to chat with business data, enhancing interactive data exploration.

    While Splunk uses machine learning and AI for predictive analytics and anomaly detection, it does not emphasize generative AI or conversational interaction with data in the same manner as Looker.


    Comparison of Google Looker, Splunk, and Sourcetable

    Google Looker vs. Splunk

    Google Looker is a business intelligence platform that emphasizes self-service and governed BI, enabling users to build data-powered applications and deliver trusted data experiences. Looker's capabilities include embedded analytics and data modeling, organizational and self-service BI, workflow and application development, and interacting with business data through chat. In contrast, Splunk is primarily known for its capabilities in analyzing and visualizing machine-generated data, particularly for security and operational intelligence. While Looker focuses on a broad BI approach, Splunk specializes in big data and log analysis, providing insights primarily into IT operations and security.

    Google Looker vs. Sourcetable

    Sourcetable, a spreadsheet interface aiming to simplify data work, offers a more user-friendly approach for data analysis without needing advanced technical skills. Google Looker, on the other hand, offers a more comprehensive BI solution with advanced features like generative AI, embedded analytics, and data modeling. Looker's platform is designed for scalability and collaboration among data professionals, whereas Sourcetable is optimized for ease of use and accessibility for a broader audience.

    Splunk vs. Sourcetable

    Splunk’s focus on machine data and real-time operational intelligence sets it apart from Sourcetable, which is built around a user-friendly spreadsheet interface designed for general data analysis tasks. Splunk is tailored for IT professionals and security experts dealing with complex data systems, while Sourcetable caters to users needing a simplified data tool for basic analytics and reporting without advanced technical requirements.

    Common Features and Differences

  • Google Looker and Splunk cater to different aspects of business intelligence and data analysis, with Looker providing a more traditional BI experience and Splunk focusing on machine data.
  • Looker and Sourcetable both aim to democratize data access, but Looker offers more advanced BI tools compared to Sourcetable's spreadsheet simplicity.
  • Splunk's specialized focus on operational intelligence and security is not directly comparable to the general data analysis functionality of Sourcetable.
  • sourcetable

    Frequently Asked Questions About Sourcetable

    What is Sourcetable and who typically uses it?

    Sourcetable is a spreadsheet that allows users to access data from most 3rd party applications, query data, and build live models that automatically update. It is typically used by growth teams and business operations teams.

    Does Sourcetable require any coding to use?

    No, Sourcetable does not require coding to use.

    How often does Sourcetable sync data from applications and databases?

    Sourcetable syncs data every 15 minutes on the regular plan and every 5 minutes on the pro plan.

    What are the cost options for Sourcetable?

    Sourcetable costs $50 per month for the starter plan and $250 per month for the pro plan. Additional seats cost $20 per month each.

    Is there a trial period for Sourcetable?

    Yes, all plans have a 14-day free trial.

    Google Looker

    Google Looker Cost Overview

    • Platform Pricing

      Looker platform pricing is a fixed cost for running a Looker instance. It covers platform administration, integrations, and semantic modeling capabilities.

    • User Pricing

      User pricing is variable, dependent on the license type and permissions of individual users accessing the Looker platform.

    • Billing and Editions

      Each Looker instance has a billing account for accruing charges related to instance creation and user licensing. Looker offers Standard, Enterprise, and Embed platform editions, with costs varying by user type and permissions.

    • Subscription Terms

      Looker provides annual subscriptions with options for one, two, or three-year terms.

    • Licensing Types

    • Developer User
    • Standard User
    • Viewer User

    Splunk Pricing Overview

    Splunk provides a range of pricing options tailored to accommodate various types of workloads and data ingestion scenarios. Pricing schemes are crafted to align with the specific needs of diverse Splunk product users.

    • Pricing Plans by Workload

      Different workloads necessitate distinct pricing plans, allowing users to select the most cost-effective option for their particular usage pattern.

    • Data Ingestion Pricing

      Pricing varies based on the types of data ingested into Splunk platforms, offering users the ability to choose a plan that matches their data processing requirements.

    • Host-Based Pricing for Observability

      For Splunk observability products, pricing is determined by the number of hosts, providing a scalable solution for businesses as their monitoring needs grow.

    • Product-Specific Pricing

      Each Splunk product has its own set of pricing options, enabling customers to invest in solutions that are directly relevant to their operational needs.

    • Pricing Predictability and Flexibility

      Splunk ensures pricing predictability, allowing customers to budget and plan their expenses with confidence. Additionally, the flexibility in pricing accommodates changing business requirements and scales accordingly.

    Google Looker

    User Reviews of Google Looker

    • General Sentiment

      Google Looker is recognized as a business intelligence (BI) and analytics platform.

    • Negative Feedback

      Some users have labeled Looker as the worst reporting tool available. Common complaints highlight that the platform is slow, buggy, and not user-friendly.

    • Comparative Analysis

      According to user opinions, alternative solutions, including both free and paid products like Data Studio and Tableau, offer superior functionality compared to Looker.


    In comparing Google Looker and Splunk, it's evident that each platform offers distinct capabilities for business intelligence. Looker focuses on integrating with the Google Cloud Platform, while Splunk excels in analyzing machine-generated data.

    Both tools provide robust analytics and data visualization features, but they cater to different user needs and data processing requirements.

    Sourcetable offers an alternative by allowing users to sync data in real-time across various services into a spreadsheet interface, simplifying the business intelligence process.

    Simplify Your BI Tooling

    Sourcetable is the AI spreadsheet that lets you analyze your data in one place. Get unlimited access free for 14 days.