Who uses LookML dashboards?

  • 22 February 2017
  • 49 replies

Userlevel 2


I’m having a discussion with myself that I decided to open up to the community. Four questions have been on my mind:

  • How many of you actively use LookML dashboards?

  • Do your users get confused when they are dealing with LookML dashboards vs User defined dashboards?

  • Is it time consuming to recreate a User defined dashboard as a LookML dashboard?

  • Are LookML Dashboards part of Looker’s roadmap? I’m curious because they seem to still use old lookML.

Where I’m coming from:

Since I started using looker, my team has always used looker defined dashboards. It’s GUI and easy. However, I’ve been caught in a situation a few times where I end up updating a dozen looks in a dashboard, which ends up taking a long time & doesn’t have a lot of transparency.

There are some situations where I’m thinking it would be easier to just have a LookML dashboard, so I can quickly make updates via code rather than manually updating Looks, but I don’t have enough experience with Dashboard LookML to know if that will end up being even more time consuming.

Just looking for thoughts from large-brained people.

49 replies

Userlevel 2

Is there a timeline for release of phase 2?

Hi Ezra,

We’re targeting Q3 2018 to complete phase 2 with API functionality.

Userlevel 2

Thanks! Are these the same API endpoints I see in now API version 3.1 experimental?

No, they will be new endpoints.

Hi @sondra.orozco,

Are there any updates on the Lookml->Space sync functionality?

Hi @andrewk,

Thanks for checking in on this; we’re actively working on a solution and will be in touch as soon as it’s ready.

@sondra.orozco could you give an update on the roadmap? This feature is pretty essential and we are currently using workarounds to deal with the problem.

plus 1 - we’d like to use Look ML dashboards for development and then push updates to existing dashboards in spaces without changing the dashboard URL.

Any updates?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Check out what I told @tnebesar over here:

In working to build the full feature, we’ve exposed some of the endpoints necessary to sync LookML Dashboards in the Experimental API 3.1, which you can see by logging into the interactive API docs on your instance and switching the dropdown from 3.0 to 3.1

Ok, it looks promising, but I wish to get some visibility over the future of this feature for the EOY 2019 as it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain dashboards at scale 🙂

Do you have an update when this phase would be released? We are using LookML Dashboards, but it’s really painful to make manual layout additions (especially if it’s a new tile inserted halfway up the page, since we have to then manually update the row for every single subsequent tile).

My workaround has been to convert the LookML Dashboard to a UD Dashboard, make GUI changes there, then grab the LookML generated from that and copy it back over to the original LookML Dashboard. Some problems with this include:

  • The generated LookML is not valid, and I have to manually update it to be valid. For example, we have a bunch of “spacer” tiles to manipulate the layout of the page, but they all have the name “”, so I have to manually make them unique. Also, there are some tiles which are created with periods in the name/title (ex: “Actual vs. Prior Period”), and while it is valid for the title to have a period, the name cannot include a period.

  • The order of the elements in the code is not reliable; I wish it would at least order it in row-order, vs. seemingly random. This makes it really hard to maintain changes to the dashboard.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

I don’t think we have a timeline for phase 3 yet (I realize it’s been a lot longer than we guessed at so long ago, and we’ve committed to providing better estimates when we do from now on).

I hear all of those issues with that workaround, that makes sense. I think the sync_lookml endpoint I mentioned to tim above only goes one way, LookML —> UDD, so that wouldn’t work for your situation. We’ll take all your context and take it into consideration when we build our next step of dashboards.

Has anyone built a Python library to make it easier to generate and manage LookML dashboards more scalably?

Some of the pain points we’re trying to solve for:

  • Generate dashboards from a template on the fly

  • Build a baseline set of LookML dashboards to complement user generated dashboards

  • Make it easier to push mass updates and check if anything broke

  • Better control over dashboard elements: layouts, chart types, etc.

  • Generating and controlling dashboard URLs

We’ve recently been testing the sync_lookml_dashboard API endpoint to keep LookML dashboards updated. However it’s been unusable due to the dashboard layout not being synced correctly from the LookML dashboard to UD dashboard.

We require UD dashboards for their discoverability and usage analytics (which LookML dashboards lack). Has anyone else experienced this issue? At the moment it’s a blocker for us continuing to develop LookML dashboards.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Sorry to hear that, Luke— Could you send over some examples (screenshots would be great if possible) to the support team via That’d help us reproduce and file this issue.

Thanks Izzy, I’ve submitted a ticket.

Userlevel 5

Please write here also, once you get some solution/answer. 🙂

A support engineer and I replicated the bug on our Looker instance, but it couldn’t be replicated outside of our instance. Therefore I think this won’t get any attention unless other people have the same issue. A bug report was filed with the code EMBED-725.

Userlevel 5

Are there any updates regarding lookml dashboards? They are such a great idea, but lack updates and some core functionality.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

There’s no major update here-- Our plan is, as it has long been, to unite LookML and User Defined Dashboards into one dashboard type.

(I’ve never seen the movie actually, but the pic seemed appropriate)

The project to do that is in the very early planning stages though, so nothing is guaranteed and there’s not much more information to share right now.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

There’s also no major update to share on the bug that @Luke_Parsons submitted-- It’s been prioritized, assigned, and we are planning to complete work on it in May/June.

Userlevel 5

Pumping this since half a year has passed. Anything new we should be excited about?

Userlevel 5

My favourite topic. 

Any updates around this? @izzy @Michael