Viewing Looks in Looker

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

Choosing to View or Explore from a Look

When you find a Look that you want to view there are 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. Check out 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 here.

  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 timezone of the data you’re viewing, if your administrator has enabled user-specific timezones.
  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 anyone else.
  2. The chart associated with the Look’s data.
  3. 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 any 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.

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

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 Timezones

If your Looker admin has enabled user-specific timezones Looker will provide a menu for choosing your timezone.

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

The timezone setting affects the data returned when filtering for “today”, “yesterday”, and so forth. You can learn more here.

Copying Values from a Look

Looker lets you copy all the data from a table column with a single click. To do so, hover over a column label, click the gear icon, and then choose Copy Values:

This data can then be easily pasted into a document or a tool like Excel.

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 User Count where the Gender is Female and the Traffic Source is Display:

Looker then displays a Details window about those 595 females who visited the site via the “displays” traffic source:

For data sets 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 this page.

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, you are given the 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, you are given the option to perform a Google search for that brand name.

Using Actions

New in release 5.4 is the ability to send data to services integrated with Looker.

Your Looker admin and developers can set up integrated services and tag certain fields to be used by those services. If so, when you click on the link for one of those fields, you will see one or more additional options. You can click on the option for a service to send your data to the 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 Space by using the drop-down in the upper left.


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 page.

Otherwise, in the next section you can learn how to share information that you find in Looker.

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