Straight Talk: Review of DOMO; The Pros and Cons

Straight Talk BI Reviews

{Updated September 2018}

The number of business intelligence vendors offering agile, user-friendly solutions is growing. In addition to well established BI companies developing new products designed to be less technical and more agile than traditional BI software, every few weeks another BI startup claims it is “the” BI solution for business users.

If you’re a business leader trying to keep up with the latest BI software developments (and sort through layers of marketing hype), you’ve got your work cut out for you. That’s one reason why at 5000fish, learning about new BI technologies is a fundamental component of our Customer Success approach to business. After all, if Yurbi isn’t the right solution for your business, we want to be able to talk to you knowledgeably about other solutions that might meet your needs.

One business intelligence tool that’s relatively new in the BI space and creating a lot of buzz is Domo. Most business leaders we’ve spoken with don’t know much about the Utah-based Cloud BI company, so we put together this quick read that highlights its pros and cons.

Overview of Domo

Domo was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Josh James. To date, Domo has received $689 million in funding (as of April 2017) that includes investments from big-wigs like T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Investments and Salesforce+. Domo boasts in the range of 1,000 customers, including powerhouses like eBay and National Geographic.

James has a track-record like Midas; everything he touches seems to turn into gold. Prior to launching Domo, he was the co-founder and CEO of Omniture, a highly successful SaaS-based web analytics company. Thirteen years later, he sold Omniture to Adobe for $1.8 billion and remained at Adobe for about one year.

After his stint at Adobe, James started Shacho, Inc., and bought a London-based company named Corda Technologies. James changed Shacho’s name to Domo (meaning “thank you” in Japanese) and integrated a core Corda technology into Domo. Domo is a SaaS-based platform designed primarily for business executives who want direct access to data.

On June 29, 2018, Domo had an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and is now publically traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol DOMO.  The stock has had a lot of volatility and annual revenue is roughly $140 mil.   They are still losing money and burning cash, but Wall Street never cares about that and analysts are bullish on the future of the stock.

Click here to download “5 Mistakes Executives Make When Buying BI”

Pros of Domo

Beautiful Interface

Domo gives decision-makers the ability to view real-time data in a single dashboard. And what a view it is. If you’re looking for “wow factor” you’ve found it. Domo’s interfaces, dashboard widgets, and displays are incredibly appealing, and the incorporation of creative data displays such as multi-part widgets, sparklines, and trend indicators also make their dashboard widgets very useful.

Integrates On-premise Data and External Data Sources in the Cloud

Domo has a good mechanism for taking on-premise data and moving it into their Cloud. A small piece of software installs on the user’s network, fetches information on a regular basis and moves that data up to the Cloud- which in-turn feeds those amazing dashboard widgets.

Through APIs, Domo can pull both structured and unstructured data (think QuickBooks and social media) from on-premise or Cloud-based sources, into one view. Domo offers over 100 connectors right out of the box.

Sales Reps Court Potential Customers

Once you get in the Domo sales funnel, you can expect to be treated right. In fact, from what prospective customers have told us, and from own experience, it’s clear Domo’s sales representatives have the green light to do what it takes to win-over executives.

Solid Business Infrastructure

Domo is here to stay. It’s built on solid technology, its network is dependable, and it has both the leadership and financial resources to continue to evolve. In short, Domo is not a fly by night organization. We think your business data is safe with Domo.

Click here to download “5 Mistakes Executives Make When Buying BI”

Cons of Domo

It’s Cloud-Based

If the vast majority of your data is already in the Cloud, and you use Cloud-based applications extensively, then the fact that Domo is a Cloud BI solution may not be a drawback. But, if most of your data is on-premise, copying it to Domo’s Cloud is a process you probably want to avoid. A non-Cloud BI solution would likely serve your needs better.  From what we have heard from evaluators of both Yurbi and Domo,  Domo charges a very hefty professional services fee to implement the copy of your on-premise data to their cloud.

Cost Prohibitive for Most Businesses

Domo is notoriously secretive about their pricing, but from what their potential customers have told us, Domo isn’t interested in deals that are less than $50,000.  We’re still hearing from customers as recent as September 2018 that the pricing is too high and many times the sales team will quote an initial price but after they complete the trial period, the price provided is much higher (which really upsets customers, surprisingly ?).  As of Jan 2018, Domo has put pricing back on their public facing website and it appears they have reduced their pricing and responded to competition from Microsoft Power BI and Tableau since their initial prices. {{Update: As of September 2018, the page is now generic again}}  You can read about the history of their price page here.

Domo’s pricing seems to be coming into alignment with tools such as Tableau but when looking at key features like data level security, that still seems limited to their enterprise plan.  In the past, Domo’s pricing aligned with some big name Cloud BI solutions like Salesforce Wave and GoodData, but it’s was much more expensive than solutions like Looker, Chartio, and Klipfolio. In fact, there are a handful of robust Cloud BI tools that deliver more features for less cost than Domo currently does.

Lack of  Improvement

While the Domo interface was initially one of the most impressive things about Domo, their beautiful dashboards, it’s been a few years since it first came out on the market and they haven’t had a major refresh of the interface.  With all the VC money, it appears to be pouring more into sales and marketing, than product support and customer service.

Many of the items that users dislike about Domo are how data transformations are handled, how to build and merge new data sets, how to filter on the dashboards, print/export, and general usability features.  None of these items by themselves is a major show-stopper, but what it tells us is that with many users on review boards and support forums being focal on these small inefficiencies you would think Domo would have responded, but product innovation seems to have really slowed.  Recently a lot of “buzz” was put into the development of a Slack killer by Domo called Buzz, and once that fizzled there has also been no further hype around the built-in chat and group collaboration features of Domo either.

It goes to a broader feeling that the focus of the company is revenue growth and going the IPO route versus innovating the technology {{Which they did June 2018}}.

Difficult to Extract Data

We’ve read a multitude of Domo reviews and discovered a number of Domo users say it’s hard to extract data from Domo. Again, Domo provides beautiful dashboard presentations, but if you want to extract that data from the Cloud, do your own analysis of it, save it as a file, send it as email it, etc., you could have a difficult time doing so.

High-Pressure Sales

As we mentioned, one of Domo’s pros is that they’re willing to spend a pretty penny to court prospective clients; but in return, they push hard for a signed contract. Once you’re in Domo’s crosshairs, you can count on hearing from them often. As a $613.7 million venture capitalist funded company, Domo’s investors expect the company to pull in high dollar contracts- so its sales reps are aggressive and also known to be rigid with regard to contract negotiation.

Our Bottom Line: The Pros and Cons of Domo

There’s a lot of hype about Domo; some of it is well deserved, some of it isn’t. For instance, Domo does an outstanding job of delivering appealing executive dashboards, and it’s landed a number of major clients. However, Domo’s current features and price point don’t deliver the value we think most businesses deserve.

If you’re considering Domo, it’s imperative that you do your due diligence and learn what other Cloud-based, and non-Cloud based business intelligence solutions are on the market. We think you’ll find there are several BI tools that offer more features, for less expense.

We hope our review of Domo was helpful. If you’d like to learn about the pros and cons of other popular BI solutions, we encourage you to explore more straight talk reviews. Have you used Domo? If so, we’d enjoy hearing your thoughts about Domo’s pros and cons.


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