Knowledge Drop

How do I import/export looks into Google Sheets?

  • 15 June 2021
  • 0 replies

Userlevel 3

Last tested: May 31, 2019

Starting in Looker 7.4, the best way to do this is to use the Google Sheets action in the Action Hub!

Prior to Looker 7.4, there were a few ways to get data from Looker into Google Sheets, described below. All of these methods come with their own security concerns, which is one reason that the Google Sheets action will be the best choice for most use cases. However, these methods may still be useful for you with specific requirements that the Google Sheets action doesn't cover.

  1. ImportXML formula with the public URL. There are some issues with ImportXML, so you might want to reference this Help Center article to set up a custom script if you run into those.

However, there are still timeouts on the Google Sheets side that we can't change, so queries that take longer than a minute to run in the UI will still error in Google Sheets (you could set a caching policy to avoid this). There are a couple of other options:

  1. Run looks from the API: This option allows you to access looks from Google Sheets via API credentials instead of public URLs. However, this option requires a user's API credentials to be put directly into the script, which means that anyone with access to the Google Sheet will be able to do anything that the user can do in Looker. Therefore, using API credentials this way is generally not recommended, and if you use this option, it is very important that the permissions for the Looker user who owns those credentials are carefully limited.
  1. Schedule a webhook to Zapier: If you create a Zapier account, you can schedule looks through Zapier to replace a file with updated data. Since the file will be completely replaced, this will avoid all timeouts and restrictions imposed by Google Sheets and can be set up without giving the Google Sheet any information from Looker. However, this also means that if you currently have several public URLs going to a single sheet, those would have to be split up into separate files in your drive folder. It also means sending your data through Zapier, a third-party app, which is a security concern for some users.


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