The business intelligence (BI) / analytics space has evolved dramatically over the last twenty years, including a move away from traditional BI reporting in the process, towards modern BI that meets the demands of modern organizations.
BI Reporting is No Longer the Focus
In the early days of BI, there were two key focus areas including classic reporting (which usually meant highly formatted, pixel-perfect reports such as financial reports) and OLAP style analysis across dimensions and measures (using pre-built and then later dynamically modeled cubes). The most popular platforms of the time were initially focused around fast, pre-calculated, file-based OLAP analysis. This was immensely popular as it was performant and also enabled business users to slice and dice across their core dimensions.
The usage more relevant to this discussion is what could be termed “bi reporting”, which essentially helped businesses recreate their paper reports in a BI platform, with a high degree of design control, giving users a familiar experience to their paper reports, while leveraging their data dynamically for interactions such as slicing with dimension dropdown menus and more.
The Industry Moved to Visualization and Analysis
While through the 90’s and into the 2000’s the BI reporting agenda was very popular, over time it became apparent that highly formatted reports, pixel-perfect reports and just the more antiquated ideas of what “reports” should be changed, to put it simply. The emphasis moved from recreating paper reports online much more to driving insights out of organization’s valuable data resources with easier-to-use, business-focused visualization and analysis tools.
This change in focus and resulting demand gave rise to the well-known “data visualization” vendors that completely changed the market and expanded it even further. This also further de-emphasized the aging bi reporting agenda even further. Towards the beginning, most of those “data visualization” tools focused on end-user analysis capabilities to the exclusion of all other agendas.
Domo Changed Analytics Forever
Domo entered the market at a time when organizations began asking hard questions about the viability of the often-desktop-oriented “data visualization” tools for the enterprise. What they gained in agility and user satisfaction, they lost in governance and reliability. There were many other tradeoffs as well, but Domo came to market with a brand new take on BI / analytics and changed it for the good in three main ways:
Domo created the first true cloud analytics platform that elevated performance beyond the desktop capability of the existing data visualization vendors (which typically relied on local PC or mac processing power), while also enabling IT again to govern and secure the analytics.
Domo further de-emphasized the need to turn tech people and business users into designers by instead creating the Domo platform where anything created looks good. This seems simple, but was revolutionary. There was a fundamental misunderstanding by all the other vendors that somehow the entire market desired pixel-perfect control.
That detailed control resulted in unattractive and often unusable dashboards and bi content because unqualified technical people and users were thrust into the role of designer. Domo changed all of that so that users and technical people can create the content, but the design of the platform is such that all content always looks professional, 100% of the time.
COHESIVENESS & COLLABORATION
While Domo delivers all the important styles of BI content such as classic, formatted BI reporting, it changed the focus altogether by looking at the importance of enabling business users to drive insights from the data with lighting-fast performance (key to user satisfaction and adoption) and married that with a single, seamless cloud platform for users to collaborate around their analytics. The concept of collaborative analytics was not new, it just never had a chance to work prior to Domo because of the fragmented, desktop and even traditional server-based environments.
While on the surface it might seem like performance, design and cohesiveness and collaboration may not be revolutionary changes, but for anyone who lived through the pain of the first twenty years of the BI space- with the massive spends with low ROI, low adoption, terrible performance and fragmented user experiences- it is in fact the whole difference to delivering on the promise of BI and all its value, even including BI reporting.
When you combine this forward-thinking heritage and platform with the most important emerging agenda for companies today around creating modern “Data Apps” that leverage the principles that made Domo what it is today, Domo is already in the process of redefining the market once again.