What Are The Limitations of LookML?

LookML limitations include its steep learning curve, dependency on the Looker platform, and potential performance issues with large datasets.
May 16, 2024

LookML, a language for data modeling, has several limitations. These include data request limits, lack of native support for data blending, limited customer support, row and column limits, restricted availability of the 'All Results' option, and specific conditions for downloading data.

1. Data Request Limits

Looker Studio users can only make a limited number of data requests per hour and concurrently connect with GA4. These quotas are not user-specific, so multiple users attempting to access simultaneously can quickly exhaust them.

  • These limitations can hinder the efficiency of data analysis and reporting, especially in larger teams where multiple users need to access data simultaneously.
  • Organizations may need to plan their data requests strategically to avoid exceeding the limit.
  • Upgrading to a higher plan or using data request management tools may help mitigate this issue.

2. Lack of Data Blending Support

Looker Studio does not natively support data blending, which makes it difficult to combine data from different sources into a single view.

  • This limitation can be problematic for businesses that need to analyze data from multiple sources to gain comprehensive insights.
  • Users may need to use additional tools or services to blend data before importing it into Looker Studio.
  • Alternative data modeling languages or platforms may offer more robust data blending capabilities.

3. Limited Customer Support

Free Looker Studio users have limited support resources, though there are online guides and communities that can offer advice. Looker Studio Pro users have access to Google Cloud Customer Care support services, but some users have complained about long wait times.

  • This can lead to delays in resolving issues and can impact productivity.
  • Users may need to rely on self-help resources or community forums for assistance.
  • Investing in a paid plan may provide better access to customer support.

4. Row and Column Limits

Looker supports up to 200 columns and 5,000 rows for query results, but 50 or fewer columns is recommended for browser performance.

  • This limitation can affect the complexity and depth of data analysis.
  • Users may need to simplify their queries or split them into multiple smaller queries.
  • Alternative data modeling tools may offer higher row and column limits.

5. Restricted 'All Results' Option

This option is only available for certain formats, including CSV, HTML, JSON, Markdown, Text, and XLSX. It's also unavailable if the query can't stream.

  • This can limit the flexibility and convenience of data export and analysis.
  • Users may need to convert their data into a supported format before exporting.
  • Alternative data modeling tools may offer more flexible data export options.

6. Conditions for Downloading Data

Downloading is only possible if the result set streams and the user has the download_without_limit permission.

  • This can restrict the ability to download and share data, especially for users with limited permissions.
  • Users may need to request additional permissions or use alternative methods to share data.
  • Other data modeling tools may offer more user-friendly data downloading options.

7. Learning Curve

LookML has a steep learning curve, which can be challenging for users who are new to data modeling languages or those without technical backgrounds.

  • The complexity of LookML syntax and its advanced features can intimidate new users, potentially leading to a slower adoption rate within organizations.
  • Companies may need to invest in training and resources to help their team members become proficient in using LookML.
  • Exploring user-friendly alternatives or supplementary training tools might help mitigate these challenges and enhance user engagement.

How Can Secoda Help Overcome These Limitations?

Secoda is a data discovery and documentation tool that integrates with Looker. It simplifies data analysis and helps businesses find, understand, and use their data. Secoda's data catalog provides a user-friendly way to access business data, including competitor data, and can help businesses gain insights into market trends, customer behavior, and industry trends.

  • Secoda's features include data search, catalog, lineage, monitoring, and governance, automated workflows, Secoda AI, data requests portal, automated lineage model, and role-based permissions.
  • Secoda connects to all data sources, models, pipelines, databases, warehouses, and visualization tools to create a single source of truth for an organization's data.
  • It's designed to be easy to use for any data or business stakeholder, regardless of technical ability.

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