New in Looker 21.20 is the ability to quickly answer key questions about instance usage in the History Explore with a question-and-answer guided analysis format when the Guided Analyses in System Activity Labs feature is enabled.
Before enabling System Activity on a customer-hosted Looker deployment with a MySQL backend, verify that you have properly set up the user for the backend database. Specifically, you must perform the step to grant all on looker_tmp.* to '<DB_username>'@'%'; before you enable the System Activity feature. See the procedure on the Migrating the Looker backend database to MySQL documentation page.
Looker admins and users who have been granted the see_system_activity permission have access to Looker’s System Activity Explores:
The System Activity Explores connect to Looker’s underlying application database. They show information about your Looker instance, including Looks and dashboards saved on your instance, user information, historical query information, and instance performance statistics. Both the granularity and retention of System Activity data are subject to system constraints. System Activity is designed for collecting high-volume data, and aggregating it can be used to supplement your business logs.
This data can be useful for supplementing monitoring and auditing activities, but is not intended to replace your current compliance strategy.
By default, System Activity data is stored in Looker’s internal database. In this configuration, Looker stores a maximum of 90 days of historical query and event data. It is not possible to query System Activity data using SQL Runner as permissions for Looker’s internal database are limited.
The text in filters run by users is accessible in System Activity and can be viewed by any user who has permission to view the System Activity model.
Take action: Modify who has view access to the System Activity model. Looker admins have access to this model by default. Non-admin users can be granted access to the System Activity model if they are given the see_system_activity permission.
System Activity dashboards and Explores are restricted in the number of concurrent queries that can be run. This restriction may increase loading times for System Activity Explores.
Chat Team Tip: Time-based data in System Activity is stored in the Looker System time zone. See the Using time zone settings documentation page for more information.
The Creating Looker usage reports with System Activity Explores documentation page details the followings:
- Truncation of the History table
- Quick Start analyses
- What are all the models used by a dashboard?
- How can I identify long-running queries?
- When was the last time someone used SQL Runner?
- How can I find queries that were killed by the database?
- What is the most popular dashboard by query count?
- Which Explores are most popular with different roles?
- Has anyone queried a specific Explore in the last 90 days?
- Has anyone used a field from a specific view in the last 90 days?
- How do I view scheduled plans in a consistent time zone?
- At which stage do schedules get stuck?
- How do I find schedule owners?
- Which scheduled plans run at the same time?
- Which schedules are unlimited?
- Is it possible to view history for more than 50 schedules?
- How do I filter results down to a specific set of schedules?
- Can error trends be identified across schedules?
- How do I view runtime metrics for schedules?