Google boosts cloud offering with $2.6bn Looker purchase

Google boosts cloud offering with $2.6bn Looker purchase

Google has sought to increase the quality of services it offers to its cloud users with the $2.6 billion (£2.05 billion) acquisition of data analytics firm Looker.

The all-cash deal, which is the tech giant's third-biggest purchase, and the biggest since it paid $3.2 billion for smart home firm Nest in 2014, is expected to be completed later this year, and will see Looker folded into Google Cloud.

Chief executive of Google Cloud Thomas Kurian explained the deal will enhance the firm's business analytics offerings with two important capabilities.

Firstly, it will give users the ability to define business metrics in a consistent way across multiple data sources. This will make it easy for customers to query data while maintaining consistent definitions in their calculations, ensuring teams get accurate results.

Secondly, it will offer a powerful analytics platform that delivers applications for business intelligence and use-case specific solutions such as Sales Analytics, as well as a flexible, embedded analytics product to collaborate on business decisions.

"The addition of Looker to Google Cloud will help us offer customers a more complete analytics solution from ingesting data to visualising results and integrating data and insights into their daily workflows," Mr Kurian continued.

Google Cloud and Looker have already been working in partnership for some time, and have around 350 joint customers, including brands such as Buzzfeed, Hearst, King, Sunrun, WPP Essence and Yahoo!, which use the Google Cloud platform in conjunction with Looker's analytics tools to get the full value out of their business data. 

The acquisition also highlights Google's commitment to multi-cloud, Mr Kurian continued. The ability to combine data from cloud tools such as Salesforce and on-premise tools will empower companies to create a cohesive layer built on any cloud database, including Amazon Redshift, Azure SQL, Snowflake, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server or Teradata, as well as other public clouds or on premise.

Mr Kurian said: "For any business that is looking for a partner to help drive digital transformation, the combination of Google Cloud and Looker will offer an incredible data management and analytics platform."