Google released its own BI platform in 2016, named Google Data Studio. The free self-service platform offered users many features, including Data Source Merging, Basic Data Modeling, Programming Languages Support, SQL and non-SQL data source integration, cloud-hosting, API access, and custom visualization.
Looker Studio (before the acquisition by Google), on the other hand, was an enterprise-grade solution offering enterprises the ability to carry out advanced data analytics and reporting. That meant it was a paid tool where the price could range anywhere between $3000 to $5000. As a paid tool, Looker Studio offers better features, including on-prem deployment, advanced data modeling, and predictive analysis.
In 2019, Google acquired the independent analytics startup Looker. Next, Google rebranded Google Data Studio to Looker Studio in 2022. It meant the unification of both Looker and Google Data Studio services. Google wants to bring everything under the “Looker” brand, enabling end-users to use the services without confusion.
The change brought many new features to Loker Studio, including:
- Flexible data modeling
- Google Sheets Looker integration
- Looker modeling layer for combining various data sources
- More integration functionality
Google kept the free tier accessible for businesses with its self-service business intelligence approach. They also introduced the Looker Studio Pro
, a monthly project subscription starting at $9 per user per project. With it, you get department-level business intelligence, Google Cloud support, and system administration.