Last month, more than two dozen leaders of the modern BI revolution came together virtually to share their thoughts on the future of data as part of the six roundtable discussions that anchored the Domopalooza 2022 agenda.
From a viewership standpoint, all six roundtables have demonstrated appeal as on-demand events, with each generating more than 1,000 plays to date. But three discussions in particular are already among the most-viewed sessions in Domopalooza history, which now spans 10 years.
For those who haven’t had time to check out any of the roundtables yet, we’ve put together short recaps of each, with links to where the recordings live, should you wish to check them out in full.
1 – The Future of BI (WATCH)
To Boris Evelson, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and moderator of this discussion on what BI needs to be doing for companies going forward, it’s imperative that organizations move beyond the “data-to-signal journey” and transform those signals into insights—”insights that are going to drive decisions, decisions that will hopefully trigger actions, and actions that will trigger positive business outcomes,” he said.
The reason is in Forrester’s latest piece of research on BI: “Organizations that are advanced in their insights-driven business capabilities are eight times more likely to be growing at 20% year over year,” said Evelson, who has had a finger on the pulse of BI for four decades now.
That means BI needs to be augmented by artificial intelligence, personalized in a way it’s never been before, adaptive to a business climate that moves and changes on a dime, and “scaled across the entire enterprise and embedded in all of the systems of work,” he said.
Evelson was joined at the virtual table by Domo’s chief data officer, Mohammed Aaser; Clayco’s CIO, Todd Flinders; and Dickies’ global VP of digital strategy, Calvin Anderson, who talked at length about why organizations must be able to make better decisions faster—and what the first step in that process looks like.
“You’ve got to develop a strong, deep, rich data environment, where you have single sources of truth in all core metrics that feed all reports,” he said. “We’re looking at a world where, I believe, in 5 years, every functioning businessperson is going to have to be an analyst themselves. In order to get there, you really have to create confidence in the data.”
Aaser agreed, and said a key aspect of that starting point must involve “being able to understand what percentage of your organization is using data,” he said. “In other words, use data to understand how you’re using data.”
Aaser also explained why it’s so important for companies to test and learn, and to build a data community across the entire organization.
As for Flinders, he underscored that personalization is critical, so everyone can “do what they need to do, know where to focus their attention, continue to make good decisions, and see where projects are headed,” he said.
2 – Embedded Analytics: The Next Evolution of BI (WATCH)
We’ve all heard the term “sharing is caring.” But in business today, the more apropos saying may be “sharing is just plain smart.”
It’s not nearly as catchy, of course, but “by sharing data or intelligence, you become part of an ecosystem, and that’s really important,” said the roundtable’s moderator, Chandana Gopal, whose full-time job is that of research director of IDG‘s Future of Intelligence department. “No organization can thrive in a vacuum, where you just look at your own data and make decisions about the future.
“You really need to be able to enable that free flow of information across your boundaries, into your larger ecosystem, whether they’re suppliers, partners, customers, whatever. Everyone does better when you have that ability.”
Sharing information is not a new idea, of course. But the way in which organizations are doing it nowadays is unlocking new opportunities, both internally and for their customers—especially if the vehicle is an embedded analytics offering like Domo Everywhere.
Just ask Megan Fortenberry of RWI Logistics, a logistics solutions provider.
“The transportation industry changes so quickly—sometimes by the hour,” said RWI’s director of technology and continuous improvement. “So, being able to connect to market insights and aggregate them in a real-time manner—and then connect our customers to those insights—not only helps us become more flexible and nimble, but our customers become more flexible and nimble, as well.”
The roundtable’s other participant, Woods Denny of KAR Global, a leading digital marketplace platform for wholesale used vehicles, said his company has gone “all in” with Domo Everywhere because it gives all parties involved in, say, a potential car transaction the ability to access relevant, real-time information through a data app, right on their phones.
“That’s also how we can build trust with the buyer around what they’re getting,” said Denny, KAR Global’s vice president of BI. “If we can do that quickly and in the same app, we keep them in the ecosystem—and that is a differentiator.”
3 – Expanding Domo at Your Company (WATCH)
UPMC and Optum are healthcare organizations that have succeeded in making Domo a critical part of their organizations. How did they do it?
The starting point for UPMC involved Domo Stats and group surveys so April Weitzel, who has overseen “making data more digestible for people in the organization,” could formulate ways to drive user adoption and increase employee excitement around the platform.
Collaboration was a key aspect of the strategy development stage, too—especially on the front end.
“On the front end, we work closely with subject matter experts,” said UPMC’s senior manager of data architecture and analytics. “The finance people that know the finance data, for example. We make sure the data is checked and reliable. And then we use the certification process in Domo. So, once everything is ready to go, we will stamp that with the certification symbol.
“And then on the back end, we have weekly working sessions where we certify datasets and we remove cards that aren’t used. The back-end work can become overwhelming, so you really have to stay on top of it.”
Expanding Domo can be a big undertaking, which is why change management must be taken into account, as well. Optum has done that.
“You constantly have to communicate what a particular dashboard is all about,” said Stephen Dion, Optum’s senior director of data analytics. “Sometimes we go fairly deep on documentation to make people comfortable with the underlying statistics that make up the individual cards.”
As for Weitzel, she said it’s also important to conduct training sessions around data literacy and bi-weekly meetings on marketing campaigns.
“Since we’ve implemented that campaign alignment process,” she said, “we have basically doubled our leads, our phone calls, our scheduled appointments, and our form completes—and we’ve done it at almost like 50% less cost, too.
“So, we’re making our money work twice as hard just by getting everyone on board to monitor what’s going on, and to have three, four, even five sets of eyes on each campaign.”
The roundtable concluded with Weitzel and Dion talking about another move business or data leaders should make when trying to grow usage of Domo within an organization—get top-level buy-in, from the outset—and what new Domo features they’re eager to put into play.
“I’m really excited about the DDX Bricks functionality,” Weitzel said. “I think that will be a game changer for us because we’ll be able to better visualize what’s going on at all the hospitals and outpatient buildings we have.”