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Looker vs Observable:
a side-by-side comparison for 2024

Comparing two data science notebooks.

A screenshot of Looker
Looker logo

Looker

Website
Looker is a powerful BI tool that allows data analysts to create interactive dashboards, explore and analyze data from multiple sources with ease, and ensure robust data governance.
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A screenshot of Observable
Observable logo

Observable

Website
Make sense of the world with data, together. Explore, visualize, and analyze data. Collaborate with the community. Learn and be inspired. Share insights with the world.
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Looker

Observable

Setup

Is it managed?

Is it managed?

Fully managed (setup in hours)
Fully managed (setup in minutes)

Can you self-host?

Can you self-host?

You can self-host (setup in hours)
No, you must use a managed offering

Features

Is it Jupyter compatible?

Is it Jupyter compatible?

Jupyter-compatible
Not Jupyter-compatible

Programming languages

Programming languages

SQL
JS

What kind of data sources can you connect to?

What kind of data sources can you connect to?

Provided file storage
Connect with JS libraries (e.g. REST APIs)
Connect to databases (MySQL, Postgres)
Connect to data warehouses (BigQuery, Snowflake)
Provided file storage

What kind of data visualization can you do?

What kind of data visualization can you do?

UI for building charts
JS data visualization (e.g. D3, Vega)

Reactivity

Reactivity

Reactivity with caveats
Full, realtime reactivity

Notebook scheduling

Notebook scheduling

Notebook scheduling is built in
No notebook scheduling

Management

Reproducibility

Reproducibility

Unknown
Environments are reproducible by default
Execution is reproducible by default

Version history

Version history

No version history
Version history is built in

Collaborative editing

Collaborative editing

Multiple editors at the same time
Multiple editors at the same time

Comments

Comments

No support for comments
Comment on items within a notebook

Notebook organization

Notebook organization

View notebooks in a list
View notebooks in a list

Licensing

License

License

Proprietary
Proprietary

Price

Price

Free tier
Pay for compute
Free tier
Free trial (1 month)
Pay-per-user

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Alternatives to Looker and Observable

Compare Looker and Observable with other data science notebook tools.

ToolSetupJupyter compatibilityLanguagesData visualizationCollaborative editingPricingLicense

Looker

Self-hosted or fully managedJupyter-compatibleSQLVisualization UI builderRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Observable

Fully managedNoneJSVisualize with codeRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Deepnote

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Fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyter, SQLVisualize with code or UIRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Amazon Sagemaker

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Fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeLimited collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Jupyter

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Self-hostedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFreeOpen source

Google Colab

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Fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeLimited collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Hex

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Fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyter, SQLVisualize with code or UIRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Databricks Notebooks

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Self-hosted or fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with code or UIRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

DataCamp Workspace

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Fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyter, SQLVisualize with code or UIRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

JupyterLab

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Self-hostedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFreeOpen source

ChatGPT data analysis

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Fully managedNonePython, SQL, Julia, RVisualize with codeLimited collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

CoCalc

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Self-hosted or fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsOpen source

Hyperquery

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Fully managedNonePython, SQLVisualize with code or UIRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Jetbrains Datalore

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Fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with code or UIRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Kaggle

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Fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeLimited collaborationFreeProprietary

Nextjournal

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Fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Noteable

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Self-hosted or fully managedJupyter-compatibleJupyter, SQLVisualize with code or UIRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

nteract

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Self-hostedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFreeOpen source

Query.me

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Fully managedNoneSQLVisualization UI builderFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

VS Code

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Self-hostedJupyter-compatibleJupyterVisualize with codeFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFreeOpen source

Mode Notebooks

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Fully managedNoneSQL, R, PythonVisualization UI builderFile-based or asynchronous collaborationUnknownProprietary

Querybook

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Self-hostedNonePythonVisualization UI builderRealtime collaborationFreeOpen source

Vertex AI

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Self-hosted or fully managedJupyter-compatibleSQL, JS, Julia, R, PythonVisualization UI builderRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Zeppelin

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Self-hostedNonePython, SQL, SparkUnknownFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFreeOpen source

Count

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Fully managedNoneSQLVisualization UI builderRealtime collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Husprey

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Fully managedNoneSQLVisualization UI builderFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFree and paid optionsProprietary

Pluto.jl

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Self-hostedNoneJuliaUnknownFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFreeOpen source

Polynote

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Self-hostedNoneScala, PythonUnknownFile-based or asynchronous collaborationFreeOpen source

Zepl

Compare with Looker, Observable

Fully managedUnknownPython, RUnknownRealtime collaborationUnknownProprietary

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