Domo Review

Changed the way we built software - we were able to leave all the business intelligence and reporting out of it and use Domo for that


What is our primary use case?

We used it for data crunching, analytics, and business intelligence to take it to a new level.

How has it helped my organization?

We built a culture around Domo. We built the culture around numbers, and sales guys not being able to hide anywhere, because we had the whole office plastered with 60-inch screens. We built a culture in the company around transparency and numbers and being able to crunch any numbers from any direction or any angle. That was the foundation of my startup. I could take any Excel sheet, for example, if I wanted to crunch analytics or numbers, connect it to Domo, and do the number crunching in Domo.

In addition, when we developed software internally, we were able to leave all the business intelligence and reporting out of it, so it actually changed the way we built software. We used Domo for all of that. We had a pretty big database and when we made changes to it we'd just connect the entire database to Domo and do all the analytics there. That was pretty helpful. It cut a lot of costs.

And the tech guys used it for getting alerts on anything from HTTP errors to whatever else you can think of. They would get alerts when somebody was scraping our database or when something was down.

What is most valuable?

The fact that you can add any data source is valuable. The entire data handling suite they have, all the apps, etc., is pretty amazing.

One of the key things, not being a techie or a data-warehouse guy, is that you can connect data sources and do all kinds of pretty amazing things. Even I used to do it. I was the founder and owner of the company and I was managing the whole staff, etc., yet I still used Domo myself, to a certain extent. It's pretty user-friendly. Of course, when you have massive data sources, it's different. But the way we used it, it was quite straightforward. We had 100 million-plus rows of data in Domo, and we were a small startup.

What needs improvement?

We struggled to keep up with it but I don't really know if there were any bad things about the product itself. Their organization or client service didn't always keep up. But as software, it's pretty far ahead of anything else. It's like the Rolls Royce of business intelligence.

It's more about you, yourself, having the resources to keep up with their development because it's pretty stellar.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We never had any issues with its stability at all. There were scheduled maintenance breaks. We did have a couple of stops when there was a data table that wouldn't load correctly, but that was something that they usually solved within just a few hours.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We went from a couple of thousand rows of data to 100 million rows of data with no issues at all. But we were not an enterprise. Domo is really an enterprise tool and that's where you get the big bang for the buck.

We began with three people and we grew up to about 100 users, plus some board members and some external investors. We were able to give dashboard access, different rights to different groups of people. We could build a "Board of Directors dashboard," or an "investor dashboard." Everybody used Domo in our organization, either to view, analyze, or for daily use. Some used it more, some used it less.

How are customer service and technical support?

We used Domo for five years. In the beginning, the first three-and-a-half years or so, technical support was amazing. They would answer six things immediately. But they took on more and more clients and the processes slowed down a little bit. I don't know if they've gotten that fixed, but in the later stages it slowed down a little bit.

I'd say they're still ahead of a lot of other platform providers or software providers. It wasn't like Microsoft where you can never talk to anybody, or Google where you can never reach anybody, ever.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I received a presentation of up-and-coming types of software and in the business intelligence category there was one slide on Domo. I went to their website and I looked at their demo. I said, "Holy smokes, this is what I need." It wasn't like I was looking for a solution. I just found Domo, and realized, "Okay. This can change my business."

Back then, we were a two-person company. I went to my board and said, "I'm going to spend $50,000 on this business intelligence tool," and they looked at me like, "You're crazy. Have you lost your mind?" And I said, "No, no. Trust me. This is going to be good." So we bought it. It wasn't sold to me. 

We were thinking of building our own CRM that would be part of our own applications, a backend to our own systems. But we skipped that when we took on Domo.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We bought it as a yearly package and got ten licenses to begin with and then a bunch of U-licenses. The setup was included in that. They set it up according to what we wanted included in the price. They didn't come back to us at any point and say, "You've run out of hours." They did it quite elegantly. We got up and running nicely.

The initial deployment took two to three weeks. That's one of the crazy things about Domo. If I have a huge database or an ERP or a CRM, and it's in an SQL or another database, it's about a two-hour process to connect it to Domo. It's not complicated. If I want to get all my Twitter, Facebook, and analytics into Domo and into dashboards, that's something I can do, and it will take me about 15 minutes. It is "next-level." It is pretty amazing. 

There is an app in Domo - the Workbench - that picks up the information. You connect your LinkedIn or your Facebook to Domo and it just picks up all the relevant data. There's a ready-made dashboard for it and you can modify it if you want. But for most companies, the dashboards that they've already built are good enough to begin with.

It's a super quick process.

In terms of an implementation strategy, we talked with the implementation team about what's important, what's not, etc. We thought about it and discussed it over a couple of Skype calls and then we made it happen.

The deployment speed is one of the biggest advantages that they have.

What about the implementation team?

We did it ourselves, with Domo. We had a couple of tech guys who built our software and they picked up Domo by watching a couple of videos in the Domo University. They did a lot of the integration and a lot of the deployment. They built a lot of dashboards. It's super-simple to get started.

When we started using it, I had one tech guy who helped a little bit. And then Domo did a lot of the deployment, and then we were up and running. We came back to Domo and asked them for a couple of bigger tweaks and they helped. They gave our tech guys some guidance and then we took over and did everything ourselves. So it required very little in terms of our staff. We had no full-time Domo guy. We'd do it on the fly.

Once it was up and running we didn't have anyone maintaining it.

What was our ROI?

I couldn't put a number on ROI but it has probably paid for itself a few times. The fact that we could leave out stuff from our own applications means we probably already saved the money there a few times over. But it's the effect of Domo on the culture of the company that I can't put a number on.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

They keep on coming up with more and more apps; they've built an "app economy." Some of them are really expensive, so they're not for startups and smaller companies. They're more like enterprise tools. We couldn't afford some of them, because they were so crazy expensive. But if I was working for a bank, insurance company, or some bigger corporation then, for sure, they could justify those prices.

Back then, when we bought it, pricing was very mystical. It seemed like it depended on who you were. There were no prices on the website, nothing public. It was probably on a case-by-case basis. It was silly expensive back then and it probably still is, or even more expensive. But, again, I've sold EMC storage solutions where we were four times more expensive than others and we could justify it.

I'm a big believer in: "If you're poor you don't have money to buy poor quality."

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've used different ERPs, CRMs, and different types of analytics throughout my career, but I've never invested in anything like this before. This is "next-level."

What other advice do I have?

If you implement Domo, go full-on with Domo and let go of all the legacy stuff. The big mistake is that you implement Domo and then you have something else as well. If you're thinking of consolidating analytics, go full-on because Domo can solve everything when it comes to data-handling, analytics, business intelligence, and reporting, etc. My advice would be: Have the courage to let go of all the old stuff.

I'm a big fan in many ways. I'm not a techie in that sense, I'm more a CEO. But I'm a big ambassador of Domo. When you compare storage, for example, you have Dell EMC and then you have all the others. In business intelligence, you have Domo and then you have the others. That's how I see it.

If the company I now work for, a new startup, ever grows to the size we need it to be, then I would be an ambassador for Domo again. Or if I was running a company, I would look at implementing Domo pretty quickly to get a really crisp understanding of how the business makes money, and what we can do to make more.

Every organization is different, so you would probably use it differently depending on what you do. My old startup was a very sales-heavy business. It was a lot about sales and customer data and the like. In another organization, you might use different kinds of analytics and business intelligence. How you use it really depends on what you do.

I would give it a ten out of ten. If you've actually lived the "Domo life," it's hard to get along with anything else after that. It is that good.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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