Looker supports Amazon Athena for Data Lake Analytics Looker Data Sciences Inc. developed a connector that allows users of its data platform to work with the Amazon Athena managed services from Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS). The Looker offering, named after its founder, is described as a complete data platform which can be embedded into third-party applications like Salesforce.com. It can also be used to build custom Web apps for enterprise products and provide RESTful API access to enable functionality such as data visualization in messaging platforms such as Slack. Athena now has third-party access. Amazon Athena, a relatively new service that allows developers and others to analyze data stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) with standard SQL queries, was announced last November. Amazon S3 is an object storage service that uses a simple Web interface. It is commonly used in Big Data analytics initiatives to store all data of a company, structured, unstructured, and semi-structured. This allows for comprehensive queries and analytics. Yesterday, Looker stated in a blog that it had made an early bet on SQL to be the language of choice for data analysis. “We created a product that directly leverages SQL dialects’ underlying power and functionality. It also supports the entire ecosystem of Amazon products, including RDS, Redshift and EMR via Spark SQL and Hive. You can now use Looker on Athena, either together with these engines, or separately, to make S3 data available throughout your organization. Looker doesn’t move data from S3, but it directly leverages Athena’s power to query the data wherever it is. Looker stated in a press release that the new Athena support offers benefits such as:

  • Highest speed for retrieving queries
  • Advanced analytics on all data stored within S3 can be delivered to an entire company.
  • The ability to transform Amazon S3 data lakes into an actionable, easy-to-explore data platform.

Rahul Pathak, AWS executive, stated that Amazon Athena allows companies to query all data stored in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. This makes it simple for them to query their data without having to migrate it into a dedicated warehouse. There is no infrastructure to manage and there is no data loading required. “Looker enhances that capability by allowing companies define their data and providing a powerful interface for anyone, even those with no SQL experience to query and visualize their data. Looker announced that its new connection with Amazon Athena was available immediately and that Athena support would be added to the next edition of its data platform.