READER WARNING – DOMO is financially stressed. “If other equity or debt financing is not available by August 2018, management will then begin to implement plans to significantly reduce operating expenses,” Domo said in its IPO document. Please search for DOMO IPO stories to get he latest updates. If you are reviewing cloud BI vendors, beware of this one.
Earlier this month the always intriguing DOMO held Domopalooza 2018, an annual “edutainment” conference showcasing celebrities, music and dashboards. It is an event unlike any other in this space that reflects the colorful, unique vibe of the company’s culture. From the outside, it seems like DOMO may be maturing. Marketing has been less outrageous and DOMO’s offering is getting better with age. Here is a summary of the latest DOMO announcements.
DOMO is not for data analysts ?
This year DOMO opened by provocatively positioning themselves as a solution for the business – not data analysts. As I mentioned in previous Gartner results perspective articles, DOMO’s compelling “Business in a Box”, easy button, prebuilt solution templates were reportedly used by ~90% of reference customers. That illuminating fact paints a better picture of how DOMO is differentiating themselves from many other vendors in the crowded, intensely competitive cloud BI market. Although several other cloud BI vendors do provide similar simply connect your data offerings, DOMO excels in marketing, digital marketing, and web analytics packages due to the founder’s experience with Omniture.
DOMO: Operating System to Run Your Business
Throughout the event, DOMO walked through seven technology pillars referred to as the seven samurai that bring together data, systems and people at scale. The seven samurai enable DOMO to serve as the operating system to run your entire business from your phone. Interestingly, DOMO is not the only vendor taking the operating system marketing position. Pyramid Analytics also makes that claim with the tagline “More than a BI platform, It’s the Analytics OS.”
Major areas within DOMO include the following:
Connect: a bi-directional connector framework that enables more than 500 full-scale, proprietary plug-and-play DomoBots (also known as connectors.)
Adrenaline: an exo-scale, massively parallel, and sub-second data warehouse engine. Adrenaline also includes Vault, a next-generation data lake that serves as the full, comprehensive data store of record. With Adrenaline, customers have an intelligent data warehouse that can be leveraged to actively drive more insights and value from their data.
Fusion: an engine that auto-tunes data. Visual drag-and-drop, “Magic ETL”, and point-click Data Flows are easy to build and troubleshoot. Here is an example from one of my DOMO tests.
Explorer: an analytics suite offering data discovery tools and Pixie, Domo’s universal, mobile-first, pixel-perfect visualization capabilities for highly visual and contextual data storytelling. In my initial tests, I enjoyed Analyzer. It was intuitive, included lineage information, granular controls for chart properties settings and had numerous different types of charts including a lollipop chart used for survey analysis.
Buzz: a collaboration and productivity tool that integrates with DOMO enabling real-time engagement around important data insights.
Mr. Roboto: an automated artificial intelligence engine with machine learning that monitors behaviors to detect trends, anomalies and correlations and provides alerts.
AppStore: DOMO’s extension ecosystem of apps, dashboards, connectors, algorithms and solutions – all accessible through an expansive set of APIs, SDKs and developer tools. With the Appstore, customers can easily leverage the expertise of partners and peers.
What is Cool, New and Exciting
At Domopalooza 2018, new capabilities were revealed ranging from intelligent alerts to better data science integration options and improved interactive storytelling.
Data Science Integrations: R module and Python module are two new capabilities which enable custom code in-line into the DOMO data flow. Eliminating the need to export data to run algorithms on it, the R module and Python module both allow data scientists and analysts to create and integrate their own custom algorithms directly in the DOMO data pipeline. This ensures that data is automatically processed with each new update of live data brought to DOMO. Here is an example of integrating DOMO with R Studio Markdown from a Tips & Tricks session that was made available as a DOMO app.
Predictive Analysis App – This new user-friendly analysis mode gives every business decision maker the power of data science and predictive analytics to run intuitive “what if” type scenarios on their business conditions. Any DOMO dataset or card can be analyzed with this new scenario modeling capability. This is the first of many business user targeted analysis “apps” that leverage the Mr. Roboto infrastructure.
Custom Alerts – DOMO users can now customize alerts with dynamically personalized messages targeted for a specific initiative, role or for even for a specific user. Understanding exceptional opportunities or conditions in data is now able to be delivered to users in natural language (NLG) that is human readable.
Anomaly and Correlation Detection – Anomaly and correlation detection are two new capabilities that help business decision makers automatically get more value from the increased volume of data being generated about their business and the first ever time all of that data is connected to a single platform. When the system detects data that is deviating from the norm, it automatically alerts the user to this irregularity. A user can then train the system by indicating whether a particular alert is one they would like to continue receiving, or if they would prefer to mute similar types of notifications. Additionally, with not only the customer’s own diverse breadth of data, but also with integrated third-party data, Mr. Roboto can detect and notify on correlations between any available data.
Natural Language Generation (NLG) – DOMO also demonstrated automatically generated easy-to-understand narratives around Mr. Roboto generated alerts, anomalies, correlations and insights that have been discovered across all of the customer’s data.
Dashboard Design Tool (Pixie) – The DOMO platform automatically arranges ad-hoc content and cards intuitively, but DOMO users also have the option to leverage beautiful prebuilt dashboard design templates that can better tell the data story they want their viewers to understand. Relative size, position, sequence, relationship, etc. are attributes that can be controlled to present the optimal picture of any collection of data. This tool ensures that all designs are instantly optimized for all formats, including mobile, tablet, desktop, PDF, email and for the first time, Apple TV.
Interactive Dashboards (Part of Explorer) – Now DOMO users can leverage standard pages as well as the new Pixie designed dashboards to interactively drill into, filter, and analyze several interrelated cards at once. Clicking on a state on a map, for instance, now intuitively filters surrounding cards to the chose state or combination of states that have been selected. Further, filtered cards can then be sub-selected to individual values, series and categories within the original map selections and so on. Users’ ability to drill, filter and explore wide and complex sets of related data has become as easy as point and click.
Custom Charts – DOMO added the ability for users to add their own first-class custom data visualizations to the core visualization engine. Now, any designed SVG is able to be uploaded to DOMO and then driven with live data. Custom visuals such as maps, images, diagrams and more are able to be created and used in the same way as any built-in chart or graph.
New Governance Tools – DOMO added Certified Content, DataSets and Beast Modes: As more of a customer’s data is connected to the DOMO platform, and more users leverage the self-service tool suites to create their own ad-hoc content, Certified Content, Certified DataSets and Certified Beast Modes give users an easy way to identify what content, DataSets, calculations (Beast Modes) and cards are considered the official trusted source of audited truth. Customers can personalize the certification process for every department and the way their business runs.
DataSet Context – This new feature offers users the ability to personalize the definition and description of any raw data. In addition, Mr. Roboto now provides detailed analysis of all DataSets, automatically, to provide quick data validation, hygiene issue identification, and data exploration without having to create a formal card or dashboard.
DomoStats – DOMO users now have access to data about organizational use of DOMO, New DomoStats connectors and dashboards display metrics on content use and popularity, user activity, and data specific information such as status of DataSets and data flows. Users can use the provided prebuilt dashboard or create customized views.
My Top Takeaways
This year DOMO seems to be growing up from the external perspective. They are also being a bit more secretive again – a little like Tableau’s shift noted last fall. DOMO did not tell outlandish stories. They did not externally promote growth stats or even make much noise about all the awesome enhancements that were announced. DOMO’s press release merely mentioned who would be at the event.
Attendees mentioned the size of DOMO’s event was similar to last year. I can only imagine that competition with the mega-vendors loss leader cloud BI offerings continues to get more intense. Like other niche players, DOMO may be laser focused on retaining current market share, growing usage footprints inside existing customers and providing outstanding customer experiences.
Free trial user experience is stellar
Reviewing Glassdoor comments, DOMO’s internal themes have remained consistent over time. There seems to be an ongoing divide between an initial group from Omniture and the others. That internal divide could be holding them back more than they realize. DOMO’s free trial user experience is stellar. The guided walk-through was exceptionally well-done. That trial process alone should help them scale better to win new customers that don’t want to talk to sales.