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Looker Extends Analytical App Portfolio, Data Platform Development Capabilities

Channel and development partners can use the new development tools to build role-based, vertical industry analytical apps that tap into the Looker system's core functionality.

Looker is expanding the capabilities of its cloud-based business analytics system, adding a new sales analysis application to its lineup of analytical software and expanding the development toolset of its core platform.

Looker's move comes as developers of big data and business analytics software continue to extend their product portfolios – either through internal development or acquisitions – with new analysis, data management and development functionality.

Businesses and organizations today face the challenge of managing and deriving value from data that is not only rapidly increasing in volume, but also moving faster and being generated in many different formats.

[Related: Rising Big Data Star Looker Raises $103 Million In Series E Funding]

"To take full advantage of their data, businesses need to get the most out of their business analytics platform," said Daniel Mintz, Looker's chief data evangelist, in an interview.

The vendor's strategy is to offer a set of "purpose-built" applications for the most common analytical tasks. The new Looker for Sales Analytics software joins the vendor's previously launched digital marketing and web analytical applications.

For Looker's channel partners, the platform's new capabilities "provide lots of hooks they can tap into" to develop custom, vertical industry and role-based analytical applications, Mintz said.

The new Looker for Sales Analytics's capabilities are targeted toward sales pipeline management, quota attainment and sales efficiency analytical tasks conducted by sales managers, sales representatives and sales operations personnel, according to Looker.

The new application pulls data from Salesforce.com cloud CRM applications, according to Mintz. Looker will consider adding links to other sales management and CRM systems in the future.

On the development side, Looker is providing a new Javascript development kit that ISVs and other partners can use to develop third-party applications that run on the Looker platform. The company is also expanding its library of visualization tools with waterfall, box plot and trellis visualizations.

Looker also unveiled the Looker Open Source Library of open source tools that developers can use to build custom or embedded data applications.

Looker and its competitors are racing to expand their big data analysis offerings from more narrowly focused products into broader platforms with data preparation, management and analysis capabilities.

Business analytics software vendor Tableau, for example, has been adding more automated data preparation functionality to its software. Last week Alteryx acquired analytics software vendor ClearStory Data in a move to boost the analytics and data science capabilities of its own software.

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