Getting Started Developing in Looker

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To unlock the magic of Looker, data experts at each organization describe their data in a lightweight modeling language called “LookML”. This tells Looker how to query the data, so everyone in the organization can create reports without needing to understand the behind-the-scenes details. This page will show you how to get started writing LookML.

Where To

Please note that the menu items you see depend on the permissions that have been assigned to you. Business users often have the Browse, Explore, and Help menus. Technical users might also have the Develop and Admin menus.

The Basics

To get started developing, follow these steps:

  1. Select Develop.
  2. Turn on development mode if you wish to make changes. If you only wish to browse the LookML you can avoid accidental changes by leaving development mode off.
  3. In the list of projects, select the project you want to work on.
  4. Select the LookML file you want to edit.
  5. Make any LookML changes or additions you wish.
  6. Use Quick Help as a guide to LookML modeling.
  7. Save your changes.

These steps are very simplified, just to show the basics. Continue reading for instructions about how to create these items in the first place, how to write LookML, and how to publish your edits to the rest of your organization.


If your job is to model your company’s data in Looker you’re in the right place. The following sections will bring you up to speed developing with Looker and LookML:

  • Getting Started Modeling — A high-level introduction to Looker data modeling concepts.
  • Writing LookML — A sequence of pages and lessons designed to teach you the basics of data models in LookML.
  • LookML Functional Reference — A guide to the function of all LookML parameters, with links for learning how to use them and what to watch out for.
  • Looker Blocks — A series of LookML design patterns for common types of analysis and data sources.
  • Other Tutorials — Check the Docs menus for tutorials on creating LookML projects, creating dashboards, embedding, and using the API.

You can experiment and develop your LookML skills using Looker’s learning environment, (request a login from You can also consider attending a Looker training, which you can read about here.

Still have questions?
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