Josh James founded Omniture in 1996, then led it over a decade to become a $1.8 billion marketing and analytics powerhouse that got acquired to become Adobe Marketing Cloud. In addition to all the lessons inherent to being a successful entrepreneur, it taught James one thing: Having access to real-time information about leads really changed the game for marketers.
But there wasn’t an equivalent for the management layers outside of marketing. Like other CEOs, James often had to ask his teams for specific information that was locked in their respective silos, and relied on static reports that were quickly becoming outdated. Even metrics as simple as sales pipe volume, burn rate, or volume of inventory could be hard to access in real-time for any other team than the one directly responsible for it.
Armed with this frustration — an essential ingredient for entrepreneurs — Josh set out to create that missing piece of the puzzle. He wanted to give organizations a place to check data across business units, in real-time. The result, Domo, is starting to intrigue the business intelligence and data communities, even though it has been very tight-lipped about its actual features and customer base. In fact, Domo might soon disclose who are the 300 customers that have been using the tool since it got started two years ago.
What Domo does is provide various managers and teams inside an organization that unique, easily accessible dashboard tool to check the metrics that matter to them. One could call it meta-analytics, as Domo sits on top of each business unit’s specific tracking system, as well as external sources of data — of which there are hundreds, we hear. Domo takes care of plugging the right pipes into the backend so the end-user can set up their own dashboards easily without needing an advanced degree in data science.
“Our premise is that we help customers make money,” James told our reporter back in October. “I don’t care if it’s big data, small data, visualizations — we’re doing all of the above in ways you’ve never seen before.”
Domo added two cherries on the cake of doing the integration work:
- First, context. It makes it easy to see side-by-side up-to-date data coming from separate systems, to make sure no information is seen outside of its context (“Whoops, did you just decide to run an ad campaign with the most successful CTR but realized later that the product was out of stock?”).
- Second, it enables sharing your customized views with a tap of a button, so you can quickly act on the information you see.
In the arms race towards bigger data, Domo is taking the path of enabling collaborators with simplicity and agility. Such a tool doesn’t replace the need for algorithm-wielding data science teams working on granular, disparate data. In fact it sounds more like an initial, complementary element. Domo shortens the time to information and reaction across the organization, a boon for anyone managing business units that usually don’t communicate on a real time basis. There is always the opportunity to test hypothesis in a scientific manner if the CEO asks why some numbers don’t align.
If predictive analytics are like a smarter brain, Domo may be more akin to a faster, more responsive nervous system. The days are still a long way off where computers will replace managers.
We look forward to hear what Josh will have to say about the role of the CEO in the evolving role of making decisions, on Dec 4th at our DataBeat/Data Science Summit.