A wise friend once said to me, “It’s always a good day when you get to talk about the Looker Community.”
I couldn’t agree more, which is why it’s with great joy that I present The Podium, a new official blog series focused exclusively on the Looker Community.
What to Expect
Fun and informative, this bi-weekly update will feature highlights and must-read moments curated from the Looker Community Forums. Also, I’ll think you’ll enjoy our Spotlight pieces, where we focus squarely on a “lucky" community member and drill into their personal data to see what makes them tick.
Thanks for being part of the Looker Community, and welcome to the maiden voyage of The Podium!
Community Manager, Looker
Questions and Answers
Combining an IF and LIST Function
@Wayne_Henry was having trouble writing an if() statement in a table calc that accepted a list of possible options — “if tutor ID appears in list, yes, otherwise no.” Wayne, ask and you shall receive!
He got not one, not two, but THREE different methods for achieving this kind of function (Ok, I may have written one of them, but the other two were completely homegrown community answers). See the solutions here:
@Hisham_Elhadidi needed to distribute some durations across a date range, having only the number of hours worked, start date, and end date to work with. Check out the solution here — make sure you scroll all the way down.
Our very first special guest is @powellandy.
Note: I know I said you - the Community - would get to pick the questions, but since this is our first time, I went ahead and chose some to start us off.
What’s your name?
Andy Powell - bet you couldn’t guess that from my username
What do you do, and where do you do it?
I’m the Head of Analytics at Datatonic. We’re a team of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who bring together expertise across data engineering, business intelligence, and machine learning to build bespoke solutions for our clients to help them innovate.
We are a Looker service partner based in London, UK. We’ve been a partner of Looker for about two years, and done numerous engagements with the Looker team.
What do you love about Looker?
I’ve written in the past about some of the great features of Looker, particularly about how it makes your SQL reusable, blocks, and how it can lead to a high level of governance, not just of data, but also of definitions, which is crucially important for businesses.
But what I’m really excited about is the vision of Looker as a ‘platform’ on top of your data, not just a business intelligence or visualization tool. Looker should be thought of as a platform to build solutions on top of your data - this could be as simple as building reports and interactive dashboards, or it could be integrating Looker into your Data Science workflows and solutions (something we do a lot at Datatonic), or using the Powered by Looker feature and either through embedding or the API, truly build an application out of your data.
What do you like to do when you’re NOT using Looker?
Helping our other clients unlock value through their data. When I’m not doing that, I’ll be going for a run, looking after my six-month-old son, or more recently, taking him for a run in his running buggy
What’s your favorite kitchen utensil, and why? Bonus points for detail.
My garlic crusher - I find nothing brings out the flavor of garlic better than crushing it, chopping just doesn’t have the same effect. Did I mention I love garlic? If a recipe calls for one clove then you should be putting at least four in.
What’s a fun fact the Looker Community doesn’t know about you?
I have a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford. Hopefully, there are lots of other ex-physicists out there in the Looker community!
Community Knowledge Share
Markdown Document Navigation
@haleyb shared an awesome tip on building a navigation sidebar within a markdown document. I’ve personally never seen this before, and it blew me away. So cool - thanks for sharing with the Community, Haley!
SQL Runner Memory Booster
I sometimes experiment with one-off queries in SQL Runner that I ultimately close out of and lose to the sands of time. They often end up being not as one-off as I initially thought, leaving me to rebuild them, lose them again, and repeat the process. @menashe shared a genius tip to keep track of your loose SQL runner queries - check it out below.
HubSpot Action Hub Integration
Our very own Ryan Grojean’s shared a great example of an Action Hub integration that lets you update records in HubSpot from within Looker.
Join the Conversation
I’m excited to hear what you thought of the first Podium, so leave your thoughts and comments below! Be sure to say hi to Andy, share any specific discussions and tips that have helped you along the way and, most importantly, send in your questions for the next Spotlight feature.