Unlocking the User Role Universe in Looker Platform

2023-12-19 | Article | Insights

From Insights to Action: How Looker Drives Efficiency and Innovation Across Roles

In the ever-evolving landscape of data analytics, Looker stands out as a powerful and versatile platform that empowers users from various domains to make data-informed decisions. At Digital Cloud, we recognize the immense value that Looker brings to the table to anyone within an organization. Because of this, clients need to understand its different use cases for a wide range of platform users.

For this, we will introduce 6 different types of end users for the platform and its reports. The viewer, investigator, analyst, modeller, IT Administrator, and the software developer.

Overview of potential end users of the Looker platform


Vincent, a COO in the retail industry, operates in a fast-paced environment, and his primary goal is to keep a close eye on the business. He relies on Looker sporadically to quickly access accurate data for making informed decisions. His role demands frequent meetings and on-the-go accessibility to data, often via emails, to resolve urgent issues efficiently.

  • Usage: A few times per month, often via emailed reports.
  • Goal: To gain access to data-driven insights without the need for in-depth technical skills, allowing him to understand problems and resolve issues efficiently.
  • Tasks:
    • Attending meetings.
    • Handling urgent issues.
  • The outcome of using Looker:
    • Can quickly and easily access needed information.
    • Automated reporting delivers essential data to his inbox.
    • Informed decision-making based on easily digestible data.


Isabel, the Revenue Operations Manager in the media and publishing industry, is known for her inquisitiveness and dedication to achieving accurate results. She uses Looker several times a week to investigate and validate critical revenue-related data, ensuring trust and reliability. Her role involves extensive involvement in meetings and working closely with analytics personnel.

  • Usage: Several times per week.
  • Goal: To explore data in a self-service manner for a deeper understanding of trends and patterns and to get quick answers to important questions with data.
  • Tasks:
    • Attending meetings.
    • Pulling data from various systems and combining it in Excel.
    • Building forecasting models in Excel for the executive team.
    • Checking dashboards to see how key metrics are trending for the quarter.
  • The outcome of using Looker:
    • Data shows the key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time, revealing trends.
    • Analysts check her work, ensuring accuracy.
    • Spends less time building models and pulling data.
    • Can discover hidden insights and answer specific business questions independently.


Anna, a Campaign Analyst in the eCommerce industry, is a daily user of Looker, leveraging its capabilities to access a vast amount of data for marketing insights. Her primary goal is to provide her team with reliable, actionable data insights to optimize their campaigns. Anna’s tasks involve creating marketing metrics, data visualization, and constant interaction with colleagues, making Looker her go-to tool for the latest campaign information.

  • Usage: Daily.
  • Goal: To perform in-depth data analysis, and create actionable insights for stakeholders and ensure the marketing team has reliable, actionable answers to their questions to optimize campaigns.
  • Tasks:
    • Building out new marketing metric definitions and dashboards for colleagues.
    • Combining data from multiple sources in Excel manually.
    • Building data visualizations to present analytic findings to colleagues and the Board.
    • Writing advanced queries to extract precise data.
  • The outcome of using Looker:
    • Looker empowers Anna to access a wide range of data without the need for constant support from administrators, enabling her to work independently and promptly.
    • Can discover critical insights for her team in the data.
    • Can create data visualizations and dashboards in Looker to present analytic findings more effectively, ensuring that her colleagues have easily digestible data at their disposal.


Marc, the Senior Business Intelligence Analyst in the B2B software sector, uses Looker constantly to transform raw data into standardized, actionable metrics. His main goal is to make data accessible without compromising accuracy, and he plays a crucial role in maintaining the company's core KPIs. Marc focuses on data preparation, metric definition, and collaboration with stakeholders to plan data projects.

  • Usage: Always.
  • Goal: To structure and maintain data models for the entire organization, systematizing repetitive tasks, building robust data systems, and keeping his analytic request queue manageable.
  • Tasks:
    • Cleaning, reshaping, and prepping data.
    • Building out new metric definitions for use by others.
    • Meeting with key stakeholders to plan upcoming data projects.
    • Defining and maintaining LookML models, ensuring data accuracy and consistency.
  • The outcome of using Looker:
    • Marc's use of Looker allows him to standardize and centralize data, streamlining data management processes and making data more widely available throughout the organization.
    • Colleagues with user access can self-serve data curated by Marc in Looker, reducing their dependence on his assistance and promoting data-driven decision-making across the company.

Software Developer

Sarah, the Software Developer in the payment processing industry, interacts with Looker through the UI occasionally but engages with it daily via the API. Their focus is on integrating Looker with the company's software to provide an easy-to-use, functional tool. Sarah is concerned with maintaining system functionality, minimizing development efforts, and ensuring easy future upgrades while working closely with a collaborative team.

  • Usage: Through the UI, rarely. Through the API, every day.
  • Goal: To build a clean, functional tool that's easy to maintain, allowing improvements and upgrades to the underlying technology while extending Looker's functionality and integrating it with other systems.
  • Tasks:
    • Architecting system structure.
    • Reading documentation.
    • Coding, writing tests, and reviewing others' code.
    • Creating custom data applications and data actions.
    • Developing Looker plugins and extensions.
  • The outcome of using Looker:
    • Sarah can leverage Looker's capabilities to build systems that can evolve and scale alongside the company's changing needs, ensuring long-term efficiency and adaptability.
    • By integrating Looker with other systems, Sarah can offer a seamless experience to users, consolidating data sources and providing a unified platform for insights.

IT Admin

Indra, the IT Specialist in the health insurance field, primarily manages Looker from a security and compliance perspective. Her primary goal is to ensure that the right people have access to the right data, and she uses Looker monthly through the UI and weekly through the API. Her work includes user management, security auditing, and automation to maintain a secure Looker environment.

  • Usage: Through the UI, once a month. Through the API, once a week.
  • Goal: To make sure everyone can access what they need and can't access what they shouldn't and manage and oversee Looker's deployment, ensuring security and scalability while automating tasks to avoid human error.
  • Tasks:
    • Adding and removing users, creating new roles, groups, and access groups.
    • Auditing access and security controls..
    • Responding to requests that only she has access to.
    • Configuring user roles and permissions.
    • Monitoring system performance and troubleshooting issues.
  • The outcome of using Looker:
    • Provides clear, useful reports on how well the tool is working.
    • Looker's automation capabilities help Indira streamline administrative tasks, reducing the margin for human error and ensuring that the Looker environment remains secure and well-maintained.
    • Access to sensitive data is controlled, meeting security and compliance standards and reducing the risk of unauthorized data access.

Access Rights & Roles

In Looker, there are four default user roles, each designed to provide a specific level of access to the platform. These roles are Admin, Developer, User, and Viewer, and they come with distinct default permission sets tailored to their respective functionalities.

The Admin role is the most powerful, with access to all permissions and is responsible for system-wide management and configurations. Unlike other roles, Admin permissions cannot be edited or deleted, and the Admin role cannot be altered or removed.

The Developer role includes a comprehensive set of permissions, which enables users to work on data exploration, development, and deployment tasks. This role is ideal for those who need to create custom data fields, explore data, and work on developing various aspects of Looker.

The User role offers a balance between data exploration and administrative capabilities. Users assigned this role have the permissions to explore data, create forecasts, manage spaces, save content, and more.

The Viewer role is more restricted, focusing on data consumption. Viewers can access and view data, schedule emails with reports, and use the mobile app, making it suitable for those who need insights without the need for extensive data manipulation.

Looker's default permission sets encompass a wide range of specific permissions, from exploring data and scheduling emails to accessing LookML dashboards and more. By assigning roles and their corresponding permission sets, organizations can effectively tailor user access within Looker to align with their specific needs and data governance requirements.

A Looker for Every Role: Redefining Data-Driven Decision-Making

In today's data-driven business landscape, individuals across various roles and departments are harnessing the power of Looker to make informed decisions, streamline their workflow, and drive innovation. From executives like Vincent seeking rapid insights to developers like Sarah aiming to create seamless data integrations, Looker offers tailored solutions for a diverse range of users. As organizations continue to prioritize data-driven decision-making, Looker's multifaceted functionality empowers users to extract, analyze, and visualize data efficiently. With Looker, businesses can not only access and understand their data but also optimize their operations and refine their strategies. The availability of default access roles, such as Admin, Developer, User, and Viewer, ensures that organizations can efficiently assign permissions to users according to their roles and needs. This diverse set of users, each with their unique goals and requirements, underscores the versatility and impact of Looker in shaping the future of data analytics and business intelligence. If you have any questions about Looker or would like to discuss licensing options, don't hesitate to reach out to Digitl Cloud for expert guidance and support.

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