Tech rivals Google and Salesforce have been locked in a business intelligence battle since 2019, when Google Cloud acquired Looker for $2.6 billion and Salesforce purchased Tableau for $15.7 billion. Now, however, the two companies’ assets are growing closer, with a new integration between the analytics platforms that allows users to harness the strengths of each. Soon, Tableau users will have access to Looker’s semantic layer, while Looker users will be able to use Tableau’s visualization layer on top of the Looker platform.
The two data visualization products compete in the BI market, with some users favoring Tableau’s advanced visualization capabilities and others preferring Looker’s cloud-native analytics and SQL capabilities. The new integration lets users leverage the strengths of each, eschewing excessive competition for collaboration. According to Gerrit Kazmaier, Google’s VP and GM for Databases, Analytics, and Looker, Looker’s semantic model brings more flexibility to the table, while Tableau offers its users more tools to democratize data with data visualization and storytelling. Google and Salesforce agree that, in this case at least, enhancing customer experience is more beneficial for both companies than focusing on competition.