Visual Drilling

  • 18 October 2016
  • 10 replies

  • Anonymous
  • 0 replies

Wow, this is fantastic! Been wanting to see this since the drill features were put in place.

abbywest is there a way to format what visualization you see in the drill? Line vs. bar, etc.

10 replies

Userlevel 1

Should have read your entire post, which says Looker chooses the viz by default. I guess–are there plans to allow for customization?

Userlevel 3

To give more control to our users, we’ve placed visual drilling under the Visual Drilling Labs feature in Looker 4.10. Now you can choose whether or not you’d like visual drilling to occur.

Any plans to make this feature GA? We’re hesitant to use Labs features widely without knowing if they are 1) stable and 2) going to persist.

Userlevel 2

Hi Brendan,

Visual drilling is a beta labs feature so it is expected to remain in the product. More on types of labs features here.

When visual drilling is turned off in labs, the drilling defaults to a table visualization as opposed to the most relevant visualization, so if you were to use it now and then decided to turn it off in the future it shouldn’t cause any issues.




Is there any way to format the table visualisation in the drill downs?



Userlevel 2

This post is all about how to customize drill downs and I’ve found it very helpful: More Powerful Data Drilling

In addition to listing the drill fields, you can also use the link parameter to add in sort order, row limits, pivots, etc. The post also explains how to make the drill down display any type of viz you specify.


I am very new to Looker and have same question as Abhijit Roy.

I created a line graph showing month on X axis, but when I drill down on the graph, it display as bar graph. Also, when I have a visual with 1 bar graph and 1 line graph in (i.e bar for volume and line for $ amount) , when I drill down, the result is stacked bar graph. Is there anyway to set this in the Explore mode?

I have read the document on More Powerful Data Drilling and it seemed we have to specify the format in LookML?

Thank you

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Welcome, Henry 🙂

The built in Visual Drilling feature automatically chooses what it thinks is the “best” visualization for the data. You can’t control what viz it picks, but you can create special custom drills using the techniques outlined in the More Powerful Data Drilling article.

You’re correct that you have to specify those in LookML, using the

{% assign vis config %} blocks of code seen in that article. It’s a little more in-depth, and they’re hardcoded, such that the end user can’t pick what visualization to see in the drill. If you’d like to see a different visualization of the drilled-in data, you can always click “Explore from Here” in the drill, which will give you full control over the new explore.

Userlevel 1

Just some feedback for this labs feature - would love the ability to leave on visual drilling, but default to the table view. i.e. drilling always shows the table first, with the visualization toggle still available to users that want to see the viz. Currently, if the desired default experience is tables, you need to disable this feature completely. (If you evaluate labs features based on usage; we’d love to use it, but this is why it’s turned off)


Userlevel 5

We wrote a 3-pieces tutorial about visual drilling in case someone is looking for more documentation: