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March 24, 2021

Domo Gets the Lead Out with a ‘Palooza

Alex Woodie

Domo CEO Josh James

A year ago, analytics software provider Domo was forced to cancel its annual Domopalozza conference without much warning due to COVID-19. Luckily, the company had more time to put its virtual conference together this year. But the pandemic was still centerstage, as Domo showcased the business adaptations that customers like Disney, Yum Brands, and Emerson made in response to COVID-19.

Domo CEO Josh James kicked off Domopalozza this morning with an all-too familiar scene: James in his office trying to do a Zoom call on his laptop, while his kids made too much noise in the other room.

But that bubble of (new) normalcy was soon popped, as James went from scene to scene: he’s in a whirring server room, then a barren desert, and now in front of a green screen. Along the course of his keynote, James visited some actual places too: An ultra-cold storage made by Domo customer Emerson in Ohio, Yum’s corporate headquarters in Kentucky, and even the shores of a Minnesota lake to talk with a business consultant from McKinsey and Company.

The short story: COVID-19 upended the world and provided a make-or-break moment for companies, and Domo customers responded.

“To stay alive, companies had to speed up their digital transformation,” James said during his keynote. “The largest companies had to think about delivering the smallest orders in record time. Like, how can you get 50,000 Taco Bells, Pizza Huts, KFCs, and HaveABURGER to do curbside pickup?”

The business climate shifted overnight, and adaptions had to occur at “break-neck speed,” James said. “The businesses that embraced this–they’re off and running.” The ones that didn’t–well, they’re either gone, or soon will be.

Timely data analysis proved critical to those adaptations, according to James, who also is a 2021 Datanami Person to Watch.

Emerson, the $20-billion manufacturer, had to adapt a distribution network that was designed for frozen foods to instead handle COVID-19 vaccines. The company responded by collecting sensor data and analyzing it with Domo software to ensure its cold-chain was solid.

Disney is another customer success story, James said. “Domo customers like Disney helped us all out of the storm by doubling down on streaming services like Disney+,” James said. “We saw modern BI quickly jump from our laptops to our TVs. And we all started asking more intelligent questions like, ‘Siri when does the new Kenobi series come out? Hey Alexa, there’s another season of Mandalorian dropping soon, right?’”

Domo itself even got into the action by developing a dashboard for the Utah state government that collected real time data from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins University, the Federal Reserve, the New York Times, and a dozen more sources.

“And we’re not just talking pretty BI charts,” James said. “Domo cleaned and pushed out critical pandemic data every seven minutes. CNBC’s Jim Cramer called it the best public COVID-19 tracker. Overall, a million people leverage our trackers and a third of all Domo customers use it to enrich their own data sets.”

Modern BI, in the eyes of Domo, contain three core attributes: data agility, data literacy, and intelligent actions. According to James, the COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to prove the value of the type of modern BI solutions and applications that Domo was helping customers to build.

“No one want to say, it but data is a hot mess and getting your ingredients to meld is not straightforward,” James said. “Businesses were in the weeds last year. They had to figure out how to embrace the chaos, how to roll with it. Because literally everyone was pounding on the table, waiting for their data to keep things moving. Getting out in front of the mess was crucial.”

Surviving COVID-19 requires speed, confidence, and agility, according to James. It requires being able to get answers to questions like “What’s my revenue? What’s my current-ish inventory. And how many people do I have working remotely?”

“Can you keep it down in there? I’m on a Zoom call!”

“Sure, traditional BI was sufficient, but what about the questions we never thought we’d be asking?” James said. “It’s a lonely feeling waiting for answers from traditional BI. By the time you asked your question and waited for an answer, the world’s moved on. Even for people at the front of the line–the analysts, the data scientists–they’re still not getting it fast enough.”

Domo also made several announcements at the show, including:

  • New capabilities in Domo’s embedded analytics product, called Domo Everywhere, that take it “beyond traditional read-only dashboards”;
  • More than 100 new features in the Domo platform, including a new Dataset Views and Analyzer tool; natural language generation (NLG) in Narrative Cards; re-usable components in the new Domo Data Experience (DDX) Bricks;
  • Support for multi-cloud deployments, enabling Domo customers to “access and leverage data form any of their cloud data platforms, regardless of where the data actually resides,” James said;
  • And an expanded partnership with AWS that brings native integration with Amazon Redshift and access to more than 1,000 curated data sets on the AWS Data Exchange.

Stay tuned for more coverage from the event.

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