This post is part of a series of posts I’m doing about Domo (the Business Cloud) and how I’m using the free tier to analyze metrics around write500.net. Click here for the full listing.

I’m a stats nerd. I love numbers, graphs, and digging into them to find meaning. So, when the opportunity came up at my employer (Acceleration) to partner with Domo and deliver cloud-based BI to customers, it was a natural fit. I’ve spent a bunch of time in both the product and the ecosystem, and have recently started using it to run analytics for my own projects.

A few months ago, Domo made free instances available – anyone can now sign up and get a feature-limited account. I did exactly that, and I’m hoping to write a few posts about how to use various parts of it to do really cool stuff.

What is Domo?

Domo is a cloud-based BI tool that’s aimed at enterprises. Their pricing reflects that, with the entry-level accounts sitting at $175/user/month. Which is not cheap. I haven’t checked comprehensively (there are lots of older-school solutions like SAS and Tableau out there) but it would not surprise me to learn that Domo is the highest-priced BI tool on the market.

The one thing that Domo does really well, as compared to other solutions, is data acquisition. The cloud is a very messy place – some vendors have APIs, some don’t and every API is different. It’s a far cry from the relatively straightforward world of ODBC, where vendors all adhered to the same standard for moving data around.

For some enterprises, the one-click nature of getting data in is the single biggest selling point. The transformation and charting and reporting, social features and alerts and the app are all nice – but the fact that a non-technical user can plug in a few usernames and passwords and get a dashboard, that’s the winning stuff.

Domo makes it very straightforward to access common sources (popular cloud tools, social networks, cloud productivity, etc), and equally straightforward to push data in via a REST-based API. I even built a PHP library for that (shameless plug alert).

So for today, I’m gonna get started by getting a Domo instance up and running, and pulling in Google Analytics data to power a simple dashboard.

This is by far the easiest thing I’ve ever done in this tool – the cool stuff comes later!

Getting Started

The signup form is here, and having just tried it, I got my instance invite about a minute later. Of course, the first thing you should do is company setup – just to put your name and face on it!

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Handy little app launcher – everything’s here
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Company Settings > Company Overview – just the basics!

There’s also a profile setup, but I’m skipping that here – I’m the only person using this instance for now.

Next up, I’ll use the Domo Appstore to deploy a pre-built Google Analytics dashboard. The Free tier of Domo includes 4 apps, so this is made very straightforward:

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1. Launcher > Appstore
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2. Pretty hard to miss!
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3. Yes please, we’ll try it!
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4. Naming it after the product I’m tracking

From there, Domo builds out a page with the name from step 4, and fills it with a bunch of charts all powered by sample data. This gives you a good idea of what sort of insights you’re going to get – but I’ll skip straight to the relevant part:

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5. On the top right, Connect Your Data
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6. Connect accounts! Future installs will skip this step.
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7. Domo helpfully uses oAuth for this part
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8. My account is now linked, and can be selected for future app installs (or new datasets).
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9. Pick the view to get data for – just one for now.
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10. And away we go!

And there we go. I’ve clicked my way to a dashboard.

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11. Charts! Really quite simple.

It takes a few minutes to do the initial pull (longer if there’s a lot of data), but eventually it’ll all populate. The datasets that power that dashboard will automatically refresh once per day. The next best thing to do is get the mobile app set up, so you can reach those dashboards on the go:

For now, I’m going to be putting a dashboard together to track the growth of write500.net – it’s a good sample to use, seeing as it’s a source I have full control of, and I am actually going to try identifying trends I can capitalize on to drive user growth.

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