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Looker vs Mode vs Periscope: What are the differences?


In today's data-driven world, businesses rely on various data analytics tools to support their decision-making process. Three popular tools in this realm are Looker, Mode, and Periscope. While all three provide similar functionalities, they do have key differences that set them apart. In this article, we will explore and compare these differences to help you understand which tool might be the best fit for your organization.

  1. Data Visualization Capabilities: Looker is known for its robust and customizable data visualization capabilities. It offers a wide range of visualization options, including charts, graphs, and geo-mapping, allowing users to present data in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand manner. Mode, on the other hand, focuses more on exploratory analysis and interactive visualizations. It offers a drag-and-drop interface that enables users to build complex charts and dashboards with ease. Periscope, similar to Looker, offers a variety of visualization options but also has built-in collaboration features that allow teams to work together on data exploration and visualization projects.

  2. Embedded Analytics: Looker is widely recognized for its embedded analytics capabilities. It allows users to seamlessly embed customized reports, dashboards, and visualizations into their own applications, websites, or portals. This feature is particularly useful for organizations looking to provide their clients or stakeholders with real-time data insights without the need to switch between different platforms. Mode, although it offers some embedding capabilities, is not as advanced in this area as Looker. Periscope, on the other hand, provides a robust set of embedding options, including the ability to share reports and dashboards via email or through a public URL.

  3. SQL-Focused Workflow: Mode is specifically designed for SQL-savvy individuals or teams who prefer to work directly with raw data using SQL queries. It provides a powerful SQL editor that enables users to write complex queries, perform ad-hoc analysis, and collaborate on SQL code. Looker, on the other hand, abstracts the underlying SQL complexity and provides a user-friendly interface for querying data. It allows users to build queries using a visual query builder and provides advanced features like derived tables and joins without requiring users to write raw SQL. Periscope, similar to Looker, takes a more visual approach to querying data but also offers advanced SQL editing capabilities for users who prefer to work with raw SQL code.

  4. Data Modeling and ETL: Looker is known for its robust data modeling capabilities. It allows users to define data models, create relationships between tables, and perform complex transformations using LookML, Looker's modeling language. This makes it easy for non-technical users to explore and analyze data without needing to have in-depth knowledge of the underlying data structure. Mode, although it offers some data modeling capabilities, is not as advanced as Looker in this area. Periscope, on the other hand, does not have native data modeling capabilities and relies on external data modeling and ETL tools.

  5. Collaboration and Sharing: Periscope is designed with collaboration in mind, offering features like in-app commenting and annotation, making it easy for teams to collaborate on data analysis and reporting. Looker also provides collaboration features, allowing users to comment and share insights within the platform. Mode, although it supports collaboration to some extent, does not have as many built-in collaboration features as the other two tools.

  6. Pricing and Licensing: Looker, Mode, and Periscope all offer different pricing models based on factors such as the number of users, data volume, and desired features. Looker is typically known to be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum and provides enterprise-level features. Mode, on the other hand, offers flexible pricing options including free and paid tiers suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. Periscope offers a transparent pricing model based on the number of users and includes all features in all plans.

In summary, Looker, Mode, and Periscope have distinct differences in their data visualization capabilities, embedded analytics, SQL-focused workflow, data modeling and ETL capabilities, collaboration and sharing features, as well as pricing and licensing models. Understanding these differences can help organizations choose the tool that aligns best with their specific needs and requirements.

Advice on Looker, Mode, and Periscope
Mohan Ramanujam
Needs advice
AmplitudeAmplitudeData StudioData Studio

We are a consumer mobile app IOS/Android startup. The app is instrumented with branch and Firebase. We use Google BigQuery. We are looking at tools that can support engagement and cohort analysis at an early stage price which we can grow with. Data Studio is the default but it would seem Looker provides more power. We don't have much insight into Amplitude other than the fact it is a popular PM tool. Please provide some insight.

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Replies (1)
Ruben Lozano
Growth Marketing Specialist at Ruben Lozano Me | 4 upvotes 路 21.5K views

Hello Mohan,

To be honest, I don't have experience working with analytics on apps and also I don't have experience with Looker, so I cannot say I will suggest that one. I know that Amplitude is a known product analytics tool for apps. I know that in the #GoPractice course, Oleg (CEO GoPractice) was using Amplitude in all his experience with mobile game apps, so I guess apps could work well too. I have experience using Amplitude for SaaS solutions and it is great to create all kinds of analytics for the product. Then Google Datastudio is the classic solution to create dashboards and reports connect it with any data source. Also, some people, instead of Amplitude are using the new Google Analytics, @GoogleAnalytics #GA4 or Mixpanel. However, my suggestion is to use Amplitude and if there are reports that you cannot answer with Amplitude, use Google Data Studio.

I hope that could help you.


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Decisions about Looker, Mode, and Periscope

Very easy-to-use UI. Good way to make data available inside the company for analysis.

Has some built-in visualizations and can be easily integrated with other JS visualization libraries such as D3.

Can be embedded into product to provide reporting functions.

Support team are helpful.

The only complain I have is lack of API support. Hard to track changes as codes and automate report deployment.

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Vojtech Kopal
Head of Data at Mews Systems | 3 upvotes 路 305.4K views

Power BI is really easy to start with. If you have just several Excel sheets or CSV files, or you build your first automated pipeline, it is actually quite intuitive to build your first reports.

And as we have kept growing, all the additional features and tools were just there within the Azure platform and/or Office 365.

Since we started building Mews, we have already passed several milestones in becoming start up, later also a scale up company and now getting ready to grow even further, and during all these phases Power BI was just the right tool for us.

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Pros of Looker
Pros of Mode
Pros of Periscope
  • 4
    Real time in app customer chat support
  • 4
    GitHub integration
  • 1
    Reduces the barrier of entry to utilizing data
  • 4
    Empowering for SQL-first analysts
  • 3
    Easy report building
  • 3
    Collaborative query building
  • 2
    In-app customer chat support
  • 2
    Awesome online and chat support
  • 2
    Integrated IDE with SQL + Python for analysis
  • 1
    Auto SQL query to Python dataframe
  • 6
    Great for learning and teaching people SQL
  • 4
    Gorgeous "share-able" and "embeddable" dashboards

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Cons of Looker
Cons of Mode
Cons of Periscope
  • 3
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      What is Looker?

      We've built a unique data modeling language, connections to today's fastest analytical databases, and a service that you can deploy on any infrastructure, and explore on any device. Plus, we'll help you every step of the way.

      What is Mode?

      Created by analysts, for analysts, Mode is a SQL-based analytics tool that connects directly to your database. Mode is designed to alleviate the bottlenecks in today's analytical workflow and drive collaboration around data projects.

      What is Periscope?

      Periscope is a data analysis tool that uses pre-emptive in-memory caching and statistical sampling to run data analyses really, really fast.

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      What are some alternatives to Looker, Mode, and Periscope?
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      Chartio is a cloud-based business analytics solution on a mission to enable everyone within an organization to access, explore, transform and visualize their data.
      Domo: business intelligence, data visualization, dashboards and reporting all together. Simplify your big data and improve your business with Domo's agile and mobile-ready platform.
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      It aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards.
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