Fresh off of its $30 million in Series B funding, Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Looker has launched a new business intelligence platform that it claims will lead to the launch — or at least transformation — of companies into data-driven entities. Call them mini Googles.
In general, that is where the industry has been heading anyway, CEO Frank Bien told CMSWire.
"What we are seeing unfold now is the newest generation of companies really using data to change the culture of their companies."
These companies, and their earlier counterparts that may want to follow suit, now have at their disposal Looker's Powered By Looker offering.
The platform lets users embed Looker analytics in any website, portal or app via several routes. For example, there is the company's new web-based architecture and software development kit. "Think of it as an application service for analytics," Bien said. It allows companies to build their own "data anywhere" applications.
There is also an OEM option.
Looker's new architecture is crucial to the offering, Bien continued. It functions as a lightweight web application server that can be deployed either on-premises or in the cloud. It also connects directly to the database, without requiring the data to be moved.
"It supports the notion that analytics need to live in the context of where they are used," he said. There is also an expressive metadata layer allowing users to build custom analysis quickly.
Finally, Powered by Looker also allows organizations that already have a portal or app that provides static reporting to embed real time analytics inside their existing infrastructure.
The Rise of Mini Googles
The result for companies will be the ability to make decisions – of almost any kind – based on real time data, Bein said, adding, "A lot of people have been talking about data driven decisions or even culture, but most companies it is an unrealized goal."
The current antiquated IT architecture at most companies means that "companies have not only been unable to get data in the hands of the masses but also they haven't been able to get core data in the hands of people who are making decisions," he said.
Indeed, it is becoming clearer and clearer that to stay competitive companies have to infuse data in just about every corner of a company. Google, of course, introduced this concept and popularized it with its various initiatives such as its aptly named HR unit, People Operations, which is staffed by "equal parts HR professionals, former consultants and analysts."
And indeed, human resources executives across all companies are now finding themselves turning to predictive analytics technologies to make better hiring decision, according to a recent research report from Bersin by Deloitte (registration required).
The research report told of a large global pharmaceutical organization that used data gathered on both active and terminated sales managers to create a model to predict the likelihood of employee turnover. While some managers believed that compensation was the primary driver, the model found that other factors played a greater role, such as the employee's tenure, marital status and the tenure of their supervisors.
Companies have been primed for change, Looker's Bien said. "We are finally starting to see data move out of silos and workbooks and Excel spreadsheets and start to be used in the same way we used intranets in the past. That is how companies are starting to operate."