/ Former Tableau Engineer Shows How Domo Complements Other BI Tools

As a solutions engineer, I’ve worked for two popular business intelligence (BI) providers: Tableau and Domo. I also have experience using other BI tools throughout my career. Over the years, I’ve seen many organizations choose to use two BI solutions (leveraging the strengths of both) to solve different use cases, even creating valuable synergies between platforms. This has enabled them to solve data problems much faster while reducing overall costs in custom development work, hiring, and more. 

To help people make timely data-driven decisions, your BI tool needs to be strong in several key product areas, such as: 

  • Data visualization 
  • Data source integration
  • Warehousing
  • Data transformation
  • Data governance
  • Machine learning and NLP

But most tools aren’t strong in all six, or companies lack the resources to enable each component effectively. That’s why bringing tools together can make each one more powerful. For instance, I’ve found that Tableau shines in robust data exploration. Power BI has helpful Excel integrations for the Excel power users and data connectivity to the Microsoft stack. 

Domo shines in making data integration and transformation easy for everyone. They focus on secure, well-managed self-service—everyone gets the data they need, and no one sees sensitive data they shouldn’t. Domo is often integral to augmenting areas where existing solutions like Power BI and Tableau may not focus as much. For some organizations, combining these tools and maximizing each one’s strengths can make the most sense for their business.  


How Domo can work with Tableau 

A common use case I’ve seen firsthand for Domo and Tableau being used together is in places where Tableau has a large footprint. Remember that Tableau’s strength is data exploration, not data access. It’s often the case that people can’t access the data they need in Tableau to make quick decisions. That’s because data is often centralized before Tableau users can access it.  

That means a marketer, for example, must consolidate data from Google Ads, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook Ads into Tableau workbooks—either on their own or by getting in line for IT’s help. These efforts are timely, costly, and frustrating.

Building custom pipelines, setting up web data connectors, or considering iPaas solutions—things you would need to set up data access in Tableau—can take months. It can also take time to get BI resources to connect and build out the required Tableau visualizations. 

Domo cuts the time in half, or more—and makes it possible to have a leaner team with specialized tools—rather than a larger headcount with a heavy investment in people with specialized skills. In Domo, that same marketing team gets access to over a thousand pre-built connectors which enable API connections to cloud-based systems.

Domo supports and maintains these connections so that users can self-serve and connect to these data sources and not worry about API changes on the vendor side. Then, Domo will handle all updates as needed. 

Worried if IT requires all data to be centralized in an existing data lake? Domo is never a data gatekeeper—any data brought into Domo can be written back to any database or cloud system! If you’re ready to combine Domo and Tableau, we’re sharing a couple of how-to guides.  


How to connect a Domo data set to a Tableau Workbook 

To connect a Domo data set to a Tableau Workbook, you have two options.   

Tableau Web Data Connector 

This connector allows users to access data from a Domo data set and visualize it in a Tableau workbook. The Tableau Web data connector framework makes an API call to a Domo data set, which can then create a Tableau extract to power your Tableau Workbook. This opens hundreds of potential data connections for your employees using Tableau. (Please contact your Domo representative for access.) 


Domo Data Driver

Domo ODBC Data Driver is an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver that can be used to fetch data from a Domo data set. It can be used to upload larger Domo data sets (over 10 million rows) to Tableau workbooks. Domo ODBC Data Driver fetches data from Domo over HTTPS. The query execution time depends on the size of the data and the data speed of your network. Find more documentation here about installation. (Again, please contact your Domo representative for access). 


How to connect to a Tableau extract from Domo 

If you want to bring data stored in your Tableau server or cloud into Domo, here’s what Domo engineers would recommend:  

Tableau Connector:  

Domo has a Tableau connector that takes an existing Tableau extract and creates a Domo data set that then is flowed into your Domo dashboards. You can then use this data to build an app with our low code app platform or build an easy-to-use dashboard interface. See documentation here.  


How Domo can work with Power BI 

If you’re a Microsoft company, you may already have access to Power BI. Domo’s engineers believe that’s not all you need to build strong data experiences—but you can use Power BI’s integrations to make your Domo data experience even stronger and smoother.  

Here are three ways you can bring the two platforms together, getting the connectivity of Microsoft and the data access and integration power of Domo: 

  1. An ODBC Driver connects Power BI directly to Domo. This allows users to leverage all of Domo’s connectors and ETL layer for data transformation. Meanwhile, your employees can still use Power BI’s data modeling framework in Power BI Desktop. This combination creates a “best of both worlds” experience—particularly for more traditional data analysts who prefer a star schema model over Domo’s flat model.  
  1. SQL/database writebacks (especially SQL Server) or Domo’s Cloud Amplifier is another option. Power BI is often layered on top of a SQL database to make it more scalable. But, of course, this then restricts the usage to data analysts and developers. Most connections must be fully coded by data engineers and architects to get the data in the warehouse. This creates a bottleneck, which means projects are delayed, deprioritized, or don’t even make it on the roadmap. This is where the Domo integration cloud comes in: It gets data into the warehouse so that it can be utilized by Power BI. Through Domo’s connectors and ETL, the data becomes much more accessible and efficient. 
  1. Power BI Writeback Connector is in beta mode but works similarly to the ODBC driver. You can use Domo’s connecting and modeling layer to prep data and send it to Power BI. The connector then pushes the Domo data set into the Power BI Service (Online) as a Power BI Dataset, which can then be used in both Desktop and Service to create new reports. 

See for yourself how combining your tools builds a stronger solution 

Two solutions working together can often be the answer to enabling data-driven decisions for the business in a timely and efficient manner. Domo can fit into existing enterprise tech stacks to augment, rather than rip and replace, and help you better integrate, transform, or visualize your data.  

And now, you can try Domo for free.  

Try Domo now.

Watch a demo.