I have an ERP system. Why do I need BI?

ERP is a transactional system designed to capture business transaction details. The ERP architecture is not optimized for reporting purposes. Although most of the business data resides in ERP but invariably not all, significant part of business data may come from non-ERP platforms, excel files or other ERP systems. Therefore, integrating the data and adding business logic to make raw data meaningful is extremely critical for BIs success. Bringing data from external applications into one ERP for reporting purposes and adding business logic is not only challenging and complicated but most ERP applications don’t support it. Therefore, for business reporting, BI becomes extremely critical. 

What do you mean by a 'Living' dashboard?

Living dashboard is the dashboard that refreshes automatically when the underlying raw data changes. i.e. Raw data change trigger ETL process to process the business logic in the background and generate dataset that powers dashboard. 

How am I assured of security of my data?

Almost all the modern BI provides row level data security through which you can define who gets to see what portion of data. Most BI platforms support end to end data encryption so the data is encrypted during transit. Also, Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) is another option that customer may choose to implement to keep the control of data encryption with themselves vs controlled by BI software provider. 

What kind of Industry should use BI?

BI is critical for every organization and every industry, and every organization is doing BI in some form or the other every day. Some are more organized automated and modern, but majority of the organizations use manual and time-consuming and painful methods to get access to the information they need to run the business. The operational efficiency and the growth of any organization is heavily dependent on the flow of actionable information to the decision maker in timely manner. 

We are a large company with many divisions and each having its own business system – How can BI help me?

Overall visibility of business performance, what is working, what is not is a very common question in every organization. Leaders who are responsible for global operation, often struggle to get the information they need, and they depend on several people to consolidate data and prepare report. This dependency causes delays and often they get the information when it is too late to act. Modern BI, if implemented correctly, can connect to various sources of data, add business logic, and provide living and interactive dashboard to answer leader’s business question for large and complex organizations. 

Why is it called Modern BI?

Modern BI addresses the new business demands of users with sophisticated features in an easy-to-use integrated BI environment. Modern BI, once implemented is a self-service BI solution that makes each stakeholder master of his own data and its analysis. Users can customize the dashboards on their own without depending on IT and data specialists. Modern BI can update actual transactions in near real time and generates reports literally on-the-fly. A good modern BI platform offers users sophisticated collaboration tool to share data analysis and its outcomes with other users for data driven decision making.  

Another powerful feature that modern BI offers is actionable insights. Users can set up alerts and/or actions based on criteria of their choice to automate many of their tasks. This makes a modern BI extremely powerful tool. A lean team is required to implement and maintain the modern BI tool, making it quite cost effective too. 

We are a medium sized growing company – can we start small and scale the BI later as we grow?

Yes. Implementing BI Solution in one business function/unit is a best way to begin with. Once you see the results you can always scale up and get it implemented organisation wide. 

When BI is critical to the success of organization, why most organizations can’t get it right? Why 70-80% BI projects fail?

BI is the brain of any organization where data needs to flow from every source that business operates on, and they need to be processed and analysed to determine the action to be taken. To make BI work, several aspects (right hardware/software | technical and business knowledge | experience | leadership support | change management | direction | Planning & Coordination etc.) need to come together and work seamlessly for the long-term success and unfortunately most organization can’t get everything right and therefore they fail to deliver. 

What are the factors we MUST consider while selecting BI tool?

Selecting the right BI tool is a critical component for the success of you BI journey. Important factors to be considered while selecting the tool are:

Data Visualization: Creating powerful data visualization focused on answering business question should be easy, user friendly and the tool should give you the ability to customize the level of access based on roles or functional groups.

Data Integration and Transformation: Rarely do organizations have their data at a single location. Whilst considering a BI tool, carefully consider the number of data sources and disparate systems you have today and the level of integration and transformation that will be required. 

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Hardware, Software, License, BI Resources, Training, Implementation, Ongoing Support & Maintenance are key contributors to TCO. It is common mistake to make BI tool decision purely based on User License cost alone. 

Ease of User Adoption: Ideally the BI tool adoption should be as easy as installing an app from the app store and get going without any/minimal training. You don’t want to be investing too much time in training users on how to use a complicated BI tool. 

Self-Service: One of the most critical aspect of BI is self-service. You don’t want IT (BI team) to stand between data and decision maker. The tool should empower business users to build their own KPIs easily and quickly with minimal training. 

Mobile CapabilityA BI tool should be accessible from any device anywhere. This enables users get the information in real-time and make decisions as and when needed on-the-go. BI tool without great responsive experience is not a good idea. 

PerformanceIt can be very frustrating to click a dashboard and wait for data to load. Lots of BI tools perform great at smaller data volumes but as the data increases, the performance starts to drop. Project your future data volume needs and ensure that the BI tool is scalable and capable of performing well at large data volumes too. 

Notification Alerts: It is practically impossible to monitor each KPI especially when there are several moving parts. Notification alert enables “management by exception” so the decision makers are notified when set thresholds are breached. 

What are the critical components of complete BI Solution?

Please note, visualization is one component of BI and not complete BI. It is a common mistake to compare the cost of visualization tool alone while selecting BI tool/strategy. Here are some of the critical components of BI that needs to come together seamlessly for long term success: 

ConnectionThis is one of the most challenging components of BI. Most BI tools struggle to connect to all/majority of data sources that may be needed for building KPIs. Please ensure that the tool you select allows you to automatically connect to all key data sources. Typical data sources are ERP, on-prem applications, excel, csv, google sheet, cloud applications like salesforce, social media applications for marketing data i.e. Facebook, Google Analytics, Twitter, Instagram etc. 

StorageOnce connected to the data sources, the needs to be stored at one common place where you can integrate them and build business logic. i.e. SQL Server, Azure Synapse, Snowflake etc. Please ensure that the data warehouse you choose can process the volume of data your business would use at an acceptable speed. While making decision for the organization, think of long-term data volume processing need. 

ETLData coming from various systems in its raw form can hardly answer any question, therefore joining multiple datasets, adding business logic is very common without which data visualization can not happen. ETL is perhaps the heard of BI, without ETL, you can’t imagine BI success. The speed and ease of data transformation are key considerations. 

VisualizationThis is where you build KPIs to answer business questions. Most visualization tools cover basics of visualization, some may be more visualization as compared to others. If you have very specific use case and have any special need, you may want to ensure that is covered during the evaluation phase. You must ensure that the Performance of the dashboard with large volume is acceptable else it will be a big challenge for user adoption. 

Collaboration: Not all BI tool offers this feature but, this feature can take your BI experience to a completely different level. This feature allows you to collaborate/converse on the KPIs in real-time with all the stakeholders without having to rely on offline email communication to initiate action. 

Notification Alert: This is another feature that will significantly enhance the power of information in the organization. This feature allows you to set an alert on the KPIs so you get notified when the exception occurred. This facilitates management by exception and is extremely handy to monitor business performance in real-time. 

What makes “The Total Cost of Ownership” for BI?

Total Cost of Ownership includes: 

a) Hardware

  1. PC/Servers 

b) Software License cost 

  1. Visualization tool 
  2. Storage 
  3. Connectors 
  4. ETL 

c) Resource cost 

  1. Technical Consultants
  2. Business Consultants

d) Training and Development

  1. User Training
  2. Learning Cost

e) Cost of development and deployment 

f) Cost & Ease of Maintenance 

  1. Resources Required to maintain 
  2. Uptime

g) Time to Value

There are dozens of BI tools out there in the market, how do I know which one is right for my organization?

Indeed, there are several BI tools available in the market and it can be a daunting task to select the right one. Some of the most popular ones are Power BI, Tableau, QlikView and Domo.  

Reach out to us for an hour of free consultation that could help you make the right decision for your long-term success. We will ask few questions to understand your short-term and long term need and walk you through the pros and cons of various options most suited for your organization. This consultation call will be with one of the best BI experts in the industry who have been in your shoes as part of their role in previous organization.

In future if my organization decides to have a new ERP system or add/change the CRM, do we need to change the BI Solution?

No, the same BI solution will work on any ERP or CRM system. It will perhaps require some reconfiguration work involving connecting to the right data sources, etc at the back end. 

What does Diacto specialize in?

Diacto is the world leader in Domo implementations, consulting, and managed services, having successfully delivered 250+ Domo implementations globally. We also have Centers of Excellence in Power BI and Snowflake.

Which services do you offer?

Our services include but are not limited to:

Domo Consulting & Implementations: Diacto provides end-to-end Domo implementation and consulting services. We’ll help you through all stages of the implementation journey, from Connections -> Data Storage -> Data Transformation -> Data Visualization -> Insight Generation. All done at an internationally competitive cost.

Domo Licensing: Diacto is also a Domo license reseller. We customize the Domo platform configuration so our customers can get the best return on their investment on the Domo platform.

Domo Managed Services: We provide support, maintenance, and instance governance services for your Domo instance. Managing the Domo platform in-house can be a challenge especially when the team is new to Domo. This service ensures your Domo instance remains clean and secure at all times. We have the experience of providing this service to customers across the globe, leveraging best practices to ensure you succeed in your Domo implementation and adoption journey.

Business Intelligence As A Service: Diacto makes modern BI accessible to small & medium organizations with low upfront investment, minimal resources, and no long-term commitment. Eliminating all the pain points involved in pre- and post-implementation, with BI As A Service there’s no need to invest in costly licenses, hardware & software, data warehouses, and human resources.​ We have it all covered for you at the most competetive cost.

Oracle EBS Reporting & Analytics: Diacto’s Business Analytics and Reporting Automation Solutions for Oracle EBS are cost effective, user friendly, flexible, and provide results in just a few days. Our fully automated end-to-end cloud-based analytics solution directly connects to Oracle EBS and delivers business KPIs ready to be consumed.

I am looking for a BI Solution for my organization. Can you help me demo your BI tools?

Yes, we are happy to provide you a demo and hands on experience so you can make a well informed decision. Please reach out to us through our website or write to us directly at info@diacto.com. Someone from our team will contact you within 24 hours.

Why should I choose Diacto over other providers?

Our goal is to provide exceptional customer experience. Our team has delivered over 100,000 hours of consulting and implementation services to extremely satisfied customers.

What is Domo?

Domo is a unique and comprehensive end-to-end BI platform that brings seven layers of a business intelligence solution together to deliver a modern BI experience on cloud scale. These seven layers are: 

  • Connection: Domo has more than 700 cloud application connectors, largest in the world. This is a unique strength of Domo as it can connect to several cloud-based applications within seconds, a feature that can be very painful experience on any other platform. Some of the most popular connectors are Salesforce, Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. 
  • Data Warehouse: Domo has its own high performing and scalable data warehouse to store all the data coming from several sources. You can easily tag, query and get insights of all the data brought into Domo including time stamp, owners, dependencies, data lineage etc. 
  • ETL: Domo provides three different options to transform the data and add business logic – Magic ETL, MYSQL and Redshift. Magic ETL is Domo’s proprietary ETL engine that is extremely fast and easy to transform data using no/low code drag-drop option. Magic ETL premium option also has write-back connector and Python & R tiles for data science use cases. If the user is familiar with SQL and prefers MYSQL, they can do so without any additional cost. 
  • Visualization: Domo provides hundreds of data visualization options. The great thing about it is, you don’t need desktop version to develop and deploy reports, it is all online and real-time. It is very simple and easy to build KPIs and Dashboards using Domo’s visualization layer. 
  • Collaboration: This is unique to DomoA user can collaborate with any other Domo users on KPIs and Dashboard in real-time on the platform itself without having to copy and paste reports in the email. This helps the senders and receivers to be on the same page all the time. 
  • Alerts: This layer provides the ability to set notification alerts when a predefined exception occurs on the KPIs as soon as the data is refreshed.
  • Apps Store: Domo has hundreds of apps in the Apps store published by Domo and its partners, either free or paid. Depending on the business need, customers can easily download and install these apps from the app store.
How is the dashboard performance at large data volume?

Domo stores data in memory to enable faster responses on the dashboard. Domo provides split second performance even at large data volume (billions of records). 

What is federated connection?

Domo’s federated data model allows you to use data from your existing data lakes and data warehouses without duplicating it in Domo. This enables faster implementationlower maintenance and no overhead costs. Please note, the speed / performance of dashboards using federated connection will depend on the performance of the data lake and data warehouse. ETL on federated connection inside of Domo cannot be performed.

Can we upload CSV, Excel, .txt files in Domo automatically?

Yes, you can use CSV connector to connect and schedule data refresh. You can also email connector to upload data from excel file into Domo. 

What is Workbench and when is it used?

Domo Workbench is used for uploading on-premise data into Domo. Workbench acts as a gateway that can access on-prem data sources and upload the data into Domo platform. Some of the popular use cases are ODBC connection, SharePoint site files and intranet files. 

Does Domo provide incremental data upload into Domo?

Yes. Using Domo workbench or connector + ETL combination you can upload the data in REPLACE/APPEND mode. For uploading data in APPEND mode, there are multiple options available i.e., APPEND, UPSERT & Recursive Dataflow. 

Can Domo be accessed from mobile?

Yes. Domo is designed to provide an equally rich experience on mobile app and is widely used. It updates in real-time as underlying dataset changes. 

What are some of the challenges / limitations of Domo?

Domo is a powerful BI platform. Domo has a strong engineering team that continues to take this platform to the next level each passing day. However, there are a few things to be improved: 

  • Domo does not provide dynamic subquery execution option 
  • Visualization options can be improved further 
  • High initial investment 
What is beast mode?

In Domo, Beast Mode uses existing fields in the dataset to create a new “Calculated Field”. Beast Mode authoring environment uses formulae based on SQL syntax.  

What is adrenaline dataflow?

Adrenaline Dataflow is a premium feature that lets you quickly transform even the largest datasets, to create optimized, summarized datasets for lightning-fast performance on cards and dashboards. 

This solves problems that can potentially occur while handling supersized datasets. Due to the size of large datasets, transformation can sometimes take long, impacting user experience and the ability to scale your use of data in a way that meets your needs. One can use Adrenaline DataFlow to transform ten times larger datasets in less than a tenth of the time it would take compared to traditional DataFlows, in which transformation that used to take hours can now take seconds. 

What is Writeback connector?

Writeback Connectors allow you to push DataSets to third-party file storage applications instead of pulling data from those applications into Domo.  

What is MAGIC ETL?

Domo has a very powerful toolset for data transformation. Domo gives users the ability to merge any data source using a visual interface with Magic ETL. It is designed to overcome the complexity of merging data sources through an intuitive interface that does not require prior SQL knowledge. Magic ETL lets you cleanse, integrate and transform your business data by simply dragging and dropping the sequenced steps, to create new combined datasets. You can configure the actions, name the output, preview the data to ensure it’s working and then schedule the job.  When any of the sourced datasets are updated, the newly created dataset will also be automatically refreshed.