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Viewing Looks in Looker

Now that you’ve learned how to view and use dashboards, this tutorial will show you how to view and use saved Looks.

You can view and click on Looks as much as you want without impacting other users! The only way to affect anyone else is if you click the Edit button and make changes (see the Saving and editing Looks documentation page to learn more). Once you’ve mastered viewing Looks, learn more about exploring and creating visualizations.

Choosing to view or explore from a Look

When you find a Look that you want to view, you have two options:

  1. You can choose to view the Look simply, if you just need to see its underlying data.
  2. You can choose to explore the Look, if you want to use it as a starting point for further data exploration.

This tutorial focuses on simply viewing the data. Look at our Exploring Data in Looker page if you’d like to learn about exploring.

Making sense of a Look

When you view a Look, you’ll see the following items:

For Looks with the Run on Load option disabled, the data will not load automatically. Click the Run button in the upper right to load the data. You can learn more on the Saving and editing Looks documentation page.

  1. The title of the Look.
  2. Information about how long the report took to run and how old the data is.
  3. How long ago the data was queried (to display the date and time, hover over the relative time information).
  4. The time zone of the data you’re viewing, if your admin has enabled user-specific time zones.
  5. Details about the report. This might include a description if one has been added, a list of scheduled deliveries the Look is a part of, and which dashboards the Look is a part of.

The remaining items can be expanded or hidden as desired:

  1. A list of filters that have been applied to the report, if any. If the Look was created with adjustable filters, you can temporarily change them to limit the report to the information that you’re interested in. Just remember to hit the Run button in the upper right after making any changes. Unless you click Edit and make the change in edit mode, changes to the filters are temporary and do not affect other users.
  2. The chart associated with the Look’s data.
  3. Additional details about each data point, which are revealed by hovering over that point on the chart.
  4. The underlying numbers of the Look’s data. You can also adjust the report’s:

    • Sort order. Click on a column heading (or several using the shift key) to sort the values in the column. Looker will adjust the results and automatically rerun the query if necessary.
    • Row and column limits. After making changes to the limits, be sure to hit the Run button in the upper right to run the query with the new limits.

    Unless you click Edit and make the change in edit mode, changes to the sorting or limits are temporary and do not affect anyone else.

  5. If the field has a description defined in its LookML, hovering over the table column header will display the description.

  6. Depending on your permissions, next to each dimension or measure label you may see a purple icon that provides a Go to LookML link directing Looker developers to view the data modeling language.

If you make any changes while viewing a Look, such as changing filters, sorting a column, or changing row limits, you can return to the Look’s original settings by clicking Reset Look.

As you gain familiarity with Looker you’ll begin to use saved Looks as a launchpad for further exploration. You can start with one set of data and then begin exploring the answers to related questions by changing the filters, changing the visualization, sorting the data differently, or making other changes. You can learn about these exciting possibilities in our exploring data tutorial.

Choosing time zones

If your Looker admin has enabled user-specific time zones, Looker will provide a menu for choosing your time zone.

The current time zone displays in the upper right of the Look. Click it to select a new time zone:

The time zone setting affects the data returned when filtering for “today”, “yesterday”, and so on. You can learn more on the Using time zone settings documentation page.

Drilling into a Look

If your Looker developers have enabled it, you may be able to drill into a value on your report.

For example, you could click on the Users Count where the Gender is Female and the Traffic Source is Display:

Looker then displays a Details window about those 595 female customers who visited the site via the Display traffic source:

For datasets where the row limit is reached in the Details window, Looker provides a link for downloading the complete set of results. Click the link to download the data, using the same options as shown on the Downloading content documentation page.

If your Looker admin has enabled the Visual Drilling Labs feature, drill visualizations will not always default to a data table. Instead, Looker will select the best visualization type to show for each drill. When the visualization from a drill is not a table, buttons allow you to switch between the default visualization type and a data table:

Drilling into a Look’s visualization

Looker also makes it possible to get more specific information about a data point by drilling into a Look’s visualization. To do so, simply click on the part of the visualization about which you’d like more information.

If your Looker developer has included any custom visualization types, it may not be possible to drill into those visualizations.

You can choose which type of drill to perform when you click on the item of interest. In the example below, we’re clicking on the Search slice of the Female donut chart on the left. Doing so gives you two different options. You can choose to see row level data for all 1,438 female customers who found us via search, or you can choose to filter the visualization to females only.

If you chose the Filter on “Female” option, you’d arrive at a visualization like this one:

The options that appear to you will change depending upon the data and visualization you’re using.

Using links and actions

The presence of links or actions are indicated by three periods following the data in a field.

Using links

In some cases, your Looker developers may have added clickable links to your data:

When you click on the data in the field, Looker provides an option to open the destination of the link. In the example above, the developers added a link to the Brand column. When you click on a brand listing, Looker provides an option to perform a Google search for that brand name.

Using actions

Your Looker admin and developers can set up an integrated service and tag a field to provide access to that service. Then, when you click that field, you can choose to send your data to that service:

In the example above, the Phone field has a link to the Twilio service. When you click the phone number and select the Twilio action, Twilio prompts you to enter a message. Then Twilio then sends that message to the phone number.

Navigation shortcuts

When exploring a Look, you can navigate to other items within the same folder by using the drop-down in the upper left.

Viewing visualizations on mobile devices

When viewing a Look visualization on a mobile device, Looker has the following touch options to make it easier to view information about your data:


You now know how to view and understand existing Looks. If you’d like to learn how to create your own reports, check out our Exploring data in Looker documentation page.

Otherwise, in the next section you can learn how to organize content with folders.