At the recent Cloud Next 2022 conference, Google announced they had brought all their business data management tools under the Looker Suite umbrella. The change was effective immediately; URLs like datastudio.google.com still work, but Data Studio’s branding now reads Looker Studio.
This is great news for anyone with a large cache of business data: Data Studio users will now be able to utilize Looker’s analytics capabilities in a familiar program and context.
Among other things, this will enable users to embed analytics in applications and websites, define and organize assets within Google Cloud, and applying Looker’s advanced data modeling to cleanly bring together multiple data sources.
Some of Google’s lauded feature updates require marketers to create accounts or transition to different platforms. Thankfully, that isn’t the case here: if you have no interest in Looker’s analytics and simply wish to continue business as usual on Data Studio, the only change you’ll notice at the moment is a new logo at the top.
Looker Studio Pro
Like Data Studio, Looker Studio is free to use. Google has added an additional paid tier to the program for large businesses: “Enterprise customers who upgrade to Looker Studio Pro will receive support and expanded administrative features, including team content management.” [https://cloud.google.com/looker-studio#section-5]
Specifics are hard to come by, but it looks like the Pro version simply makes it easier to scale up reporting and collaboratively manage accounts with multiple users. At about $2,900 a month, the Pro service will only be of interest to enterprise businesses who really need that scale.
Google acquired business data analytics company Looker in 2020. This is the latest step in their process of integrating the brand and its technologies with their preexisting system.
New Functionality, Same Learning Curve
Looker’s data modeling will enhance analytics and reporting, but it’s unlikely the UI or the process of collecting & utilizing data will change significantly. That’s good news for seasoned Data Studio users, but those who have struggled to manage their business’s account in the complicated and finicky program might wish for more.