Finance & Economics

Oil & Gas watches as Looker gets purchased by Google

It doesn’t surprise me one bit to see that Google purchased Looker, a California software company, for over $2 billion. Looker is a business intelligence and big data analytics platform that helps explore, analyze, and share real-time business analytics. 

#1 Leadership matters 

Looker was founded by software industry vets who came from successful companies like Netscape and LiveOps.   

#2 Right place, right funding 

Looker was founded in Santa Cruz, the beautiful backdrop of the movie Lost Boys. And also right next door to Redpoint Ventures and Kleiner Perkins – 2 strong VC’s who were instrumental to companies like Electronic Arts, Amazon, Genentech, Twitter, App Dynamics, and Netscape, to name a few. 

#3 Getting it right matters 

Looker understood that as the amount of collected data continues to grow, so does the necessity for enterprise companies to utilize this data more effectively. They also bet early on MPP (Massively Parallel Processing).  

Unfortunately, as great as it all sounds…it’s not the right fit for Oil & Gas.  

#1 The right leadership matters 

Looker relied heavily on its leadership’s Silicon Valley pedigree. That expertise doesn’t translate to Midland or Williston and also doesn’t lend itself to Oil & Gas’s unique and dynamic ecosystem. Success requires industry experience and long-term dedication that starts at the top. 


#2 Right place, right funding 

Santa Cruz isn’t Houston. Solid backing from a VC with a substantial oilfield portfolio to lean on is critical to Oil & Gas staying power.  

But most importantly… 

#3 When it comes to Oil & Gas…experience is the difference.  

In principle, Looker could be a useful tool for Oil & Gas. Except it would likely struggle to apply its proprietary data model to the unique (and rigid) data types native to the industry. 

Think about the data types you’re working with on your average #sciencepad as an example. 

Having to bring Fiber (DAS DTS), Production, Wellbore Surveys, LAS Files, microseismic and more would not be an easy task. 

Now, think about trying to standardize with a general-purpose data model that lacks Oil & Gas data familiarity.  

Most operators are still trying to understand #shale and eager to utilize machine learning to #optimize completions. Working with the right petroleum analytics partner is the key to success. 

More on science pad data and suboptimal wells next time.  

Take care y’all!  


3 thoughts on “Oil & Gas watches as Looker gets purchased by Google

  1. Mark Baldwin Reply

    I understand your perspetive, but may be a bit premature for stating Looker is not suited for Oil and Gas. We leverage MPP databases such as Snowflake, Redshift/Athena, BigQuery and MemSQL plus a governance and semantic layer that enables modeling across business units and users – all without extracting data. We also empower large B2B portal with the ability to monetize data that upsteam, downstream and midstream customers are demanding from their partners.

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