Interview: Daniel Mintz, Chief Data Evangelist at Looker

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I recently caught up with Daniel Mintz, Chief Data Evangelist at Looker to discuss his company’s latest major product release – Looker 6, a unified and extensible data platform that flexes and scales to the ever-changing needs of business. Previously, Daniel was Head of Data & Analytics at fast-growing media startup Upworthy and before that he was Director of Analytics at political group Throughout his career, he has focused on how people interact with data in their everyday lives and how they can use it to get better at what they do.

insideBIGDATA: What’s new with Looker 6 that other data analytics platforms are not offering in market currently?

Daniel Mintz: Looker 6 is unique because it’s a modern data platform that can flex and scale with both companies and individual departments. It allows organizations to get deeper insights from all their data by all their users, which is something that is not currently possible with other data analytics platforms on the market. It’s all about providing a common data platform for the modern enterprise that can provide everything from self-service analytics to plug-and-play department-specific applications. New features are designed to be intuitive and helpful to give all kinds of people in different departments access to the right data at the right time.

insideBIGDATA: What needs and challenges does Looker 6 support in the constantly changing data analytics space?

Daniel Mintz: Looker 6 is designed for those building the next generation of data applications and analytic workflows to focus on the competitive edge and growth, not maintenance or deployment. Features such as more refined visualization charts, foldering, custom fields and a new suite of developer tools for data analysts let our customers go even further faster while allowing them to be more efficient and collaborative at scale.

insideBIGDATA: What Looker 6 features will specifically benefit enterprise businesses?

Daniel Mintz: Looker’s enterprise business has been growing very fast, and we’ve focused a lot in Looker 6 on providing the tools that enterprises need. This includes security-focused features like our new encryption key management architecture and our recently-announced SOC2 Type II report. It includes tools for managing larger deployments, including the ability to better organize complex data models and include unit tests in code to catch errors quickly. And it includes enterprise-grade administration tools, like our rearchitected Looker on Looker analytics that give administrators unparalleled insight into how their users are using Looker and how they can improve their deployment’s performance.

insideBIGDATA: How does Looker 6 allow teams to better collaborate?

Daniel Mintz: A great example of better collaboration features is within our applications feature – we launched digital marketing and web analytics as part of Looker 6. Our applications are plug-and-play and designed to fit the specific day-to-day needs and tasks for people in these departments. Looking specifically at collaboration efforts, the digital marketing application eliminates data isolation by providing valuable, cross-channel performance insights into the company’s most important marketing channels, and the web analytics application provides an easy interface with simple link sharing for easily collaboration from Google Analytics 360.

insideBIGDATA: How will Applications change the way digital marketers operate?

Daniel Mintz: People need data experiences that are suited for their specific needs. After 3 years, our blocks were battle-tested in analytics, but we wanted to go further.  Applications are the evolution of blocks — tools that can not only do the analysis people need, but are purpose-built for the functionality they need every day – specifics included in question above. This is just the beginning as Looker is building more department specific applications and will be encouraging our partners to build them as well.

insideBIGDATA: What does this launch mean for Looker as a business and the data analytics industry?

Daniel Mintz: The launch of Looker 6 is all about creating a modern data platform by giving today’s workforce the ability to work in the data, not just view it. The BI industry has historically been all about one-size-fits-all BI dashboards, but as the needs for information continue to grow and change everyday, it’s become critical to integrate that data across all business operations in the form of a platform. Looker’s vision is to build a platform for data that easily integrates all of an organization’s data and allows it to support specific processes where users can solve a range of challenges at scale. We’re giving people the ability to work in the data rather than just view it, and this is just the beginning of that boundless opportunity.


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