/ 5 Takeaways from the Gartner Catalyst Conference

Last month I traveled to San Diego with several other Domo solution consultants for the annual Gartner Catalyst Conference, a four-day event for tech professionals interested in learning more about the trends and topics at the forefront of IT.

While I liked—and got a lot out of—some of the keynote speeches and breakout sessions, I most enjoyed manning the Domo booth.

That’s because the booth is where we get to interact with customers and prospects and discover what they think about our product and how it compares to what else is in the marketplace.

Over the course of the three days that I was there, I participated in or overheard a variety of conversations, which informed my five key takeaways from the conference.  

1 – Some companies are still reluctant to put their data in the cloud

We did speak with people who said their CIOs have told them to go “cloud first” on everything. But others stated the opposite. When they did, we had the opportunity to talk about how Domo is designed to meet the enterprise security, compliance, and privacy requirements of our customers, particularly in highly regulated industries such as financial services, government, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy and technology.

Niall Browne, Domo’s Chief Information Security Officer, has blogged about how to make your move to the cloud a smooth one, which included answers to frequently asked questions about the process. It’s a great primer for anyone contemplating going down this increasingly popular road.

2 – Customers find it easy and inexpensive to get data in and out of Domo

Other data management solutions might make it easy to get your data in, but they make it difficult and/or expensive to get it out. So while there is a lot of power in having your data stored within Domo as a high performing, highly scalable, cloud-based data warehouse, there is significant additional value in easily being able to get data out of Domo. 

This is undoubtedly one of Domo’s key differentiators. Any customer who wants to get their data out of Domo can do so in a number of ways. The data can be accessed by using our dozens of out-of-the-box writeback connectors, our well-documented Developer APIs, our Microsoft Office plug-ins, our ODBC driver, our embedding capabilities, or even by a simple data export.

The fact that you can easily get data out of Domo means you can cleanse/transform/store it for other purposes beyond just dashboards, reports, and visualizations. This greatly expands the power of Domo and how it can be used in our customers’ various environments. It not only fits into existing architectures, but adds a lot of value to what our customers are already doing.

From a cost standpoint, Domo doesn’t charge ingress or, more notably, egress fees. If you want to get your data out of the platform, it’s free to do so. At Gartner Catalyst, where there are a lot of information architects and data infrastructure professionals used to dealing with data platforms that charge a lot of money in egress fees, this really resonated with them.

3 – There’s a lot of interest in AI, ML and data science

This was obvious from the get-go. And, for the most part, those who brought it up were satisfied to learn that Domo has AI and ML capabilities. But for those who wanted specifics, I told them there is a lot of AI embedded within the product, and that it shows up more overtly in the form of suggestions and insights offered to the user.

With those who wanted to talk data science, I made sure they knew that Domo can integrate with their RStudio, and that Domo offers the ability to leverage packages from R and Python that are already built into Domo and made available to users—and that these can even be included as automated processes in the ETL DataFlows.

4 – People are frustrated with their reporting processes

More specifically, many attendees on the IT side mentioned they were frustrated with the time and effort required to fulfill the requests of the business. Conversely, people on the business side routinely agreed that they wished they had better access to the data that’s in their organization—or that it wasn’t such an arduous process to get it.

Both sides were very interested to see how we can automate that process. Domo’s 1,000-plus connectors and apps can combine real-time data from anywhere and automate reporting within minutes, allowing IT to empower the business to safely access and explore data. Without having to deal with the stress that comes with creating reports and handling change requests, they can focus instead on ideas and projects that will really drive the business forward.

5 – Data warehousing solutions are top of mind

So many people who took the time to see how the platform works were very intrigued and then posed questions about how Domo could fit in with existing data warehouses or lakes, or how Domo could actually be those.

Clearly, more and more companies are looking for a solution that can sit on top of various architectures and leverage existing investments where needed while also replacing others to reduce cost. Those companies don’t need to look any further than Domo. The Domo Data Warehouse can serve as a company’s primary data repository, or it can coexist with other data repositories to add value using all of Domo’s unique data management and analytics capabilities.

Conclusion

Our team was busy at Gartner Catalyst, which was a good thing. Once a conversation with a prospect began, it usually turned into a lengthy discussion that touched on so many of Domo’s unique and powerful attributes. Most didn’t need to be told that Domo is more than a BI platform; after seeing the platform, it was obvious to them.

But when they really began to understand what Domo can do and where it can fit in, they viewed it as a game-changer, and they said as much. I heard things like “We need this” and “This would solve a ton of the problems we have.” I love seeing when that light bulb goes off. And I saw it a lot at Gartner Catalyst.