Unveiling the ACOS Function in Looker Studio

Unveiling the ACOS Function in Looker Studio

Data analysis and visualization are cornerstone aspects of every organization, especially in sales monitoring. Looker Studio (formerly known as Looker Studio-emerges as an unparalleled tool offering diverse functionality to make this task effortless. Today, our focus rests on one of its functions: ACOS. Herein, we dive deep into this function, drawing attention to its syntax, use, limits, and some useful tips.


The syntax of the ACOS function is quite straightforward. Punctuated by brevity, it is denoted as


The X parameter in the syntax represents a field or expression that must contain at least one field. Whenever the ACOS function is applied to a given field or numerical expression, the result generated is the inverse of its cosine, represented in radian units.

How the ACOS Function Works

ACOS is a trigonometric function primarily used to determine the arccosine, or the inverse cosine value of a given number. The ACOS functions accept values between -1 and 1, nothing outside this range.

On supplying a value, or a field containing values within this compatible range, the ACOS function computes an arccosine output in radians. This function can be advantageous in various calculations, especially when working with cyclical or periodic data, where cosines might be prevalent.


Here's a practical illustration of how you might use the ACOS function when analyzing sales data. Imagine you have a dataset of monthly sales numbers and you've normalized these numbers to sit between -1 and 1. You could use the ACOS function to calculate a new field representing the inverse cosine of these normalized sales numbers.

Assuming you have a field ‘normalized_monthly_sales`, you'll use the syntax as:


Let us consider that January’s normalized monthly sales were 0 and February's normalized monthly sales were 1. The results, in radians, for these months would be approximately 1.57 and 0 respectively.

These calculated values could be used as input for further representations or calculations depending on your requirements.

The Limit of the ACOS Function

While ACOS ameliorates calculations, it's vital to remember this function only accepts numbers from -1 to 1 as its input. Any values outside this range will yield an error. Equally important, the ACOS function returns results in radians. Therefore, conversions may be necessary when dealing with degrees or vice-versa.

Useful Tips

When using the ACOS function, it is prudent to normalize your data to ensure numbers fall within the acceptable range, preventing avoidable computation errors. Also, always remember to convert your results from radians to degrees if your situation demands measurements in degrees.

In conclusion, the ACOS function can be an essential part of your data analysis toolkit when working with Looker Studio. Understanding its functionality and effectively leveraging it for your computations promises to not only streamline your data analysis but also to afford more detailed, informative insights from your data.

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