I’ve worked in the analytics/BI space for over a decade now, and let me tell ya: the challenges surrounding collection, aggregation, analysis and dissemination of data are not new. As technology for measuring performance has improved and storage has become cheaper, companies are doing a better job of collection and aggregation, which in turn has really turned up the heat on the analysis and dissemination side of the equation.
IT, BI and the OK Corral.
Several years ago, I was sitting in a meeting with key department heads of a large manufacturing company. It was the meeting where the business management team was going to tell the IT management team what they expected from reporting to run their respective departments. It was like a scene from an old western, with two respected adversaries squaring off face-to-face in the middle of the town as a few tumbleweeds blew across the dirt main street. Their minds wound tight, like a steel trap, ready to snap at any request deemed to be outrageous by either party.
As business requirements began to come forth by the department heads and data models with tons of confusing acronyms began to fly around the room, an IT developer started to diagram the reporting machinations on a large whiteboard that was said would satisfy the business needs. We sat silent for several minutes as his green dry erase marker flowed with a certain confidence that indicated he had it all figured out.
What resulted was a labyrinth of exports, connections, unions, OLAP somethings and queries that, in the end, produced a huge CSV file. That file could then be used to create a massive pivot table in Excel that the directors could use to run their business.
All I could think was, “That’s the solution? That is was what tens of millions of dollars in ERP software and developer hours gets you? A big spreadsheet?”
It reminded me of the scene in the movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure when he starts his morning breakfast making machine. While the ingenuity of the machine is to be admired and even entertaining, at the end of that major production, when he finally sat down to eat, all he had was a short stack of overdone pancakes and some OJ? Talk about a let down.
Look, the fact is, behind the scenes of any production, theatrical or that of running a business, there are a ton of moving parts and it usually isn’t pretty. However, the experience presented to the audience or in our case, the business user, should be useful, engaging, beautifully delivered, insightful, shareable and easy to consume. The data circus behind the curtain should never limit the delivery of what your business customer ought to see at the output.
That is the problem Domo is solving. Yep, your company may have a Pee Wee breakfast-making machine in the back room somewhere, but when you use Domo as a delivery platform, we promise nothing but fluffy omelets, fresh fruit wonderfully displayed and the best tasting coffee, made your way, every time.