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Domo vs. Tableau vs. Chartio

Posted by Sheridan Gaenger on February 5, 2021

If you’re debating between Domo vs. Tableau, you’re limiting your options. When considering the right business intelligence (BI) platform for your business, you need to consider a full spectrum of features and characteristics, not to mention as many platforms as you can find.

We added ourselves to the mix in this article, but you should really consider all of your options before making a choice one way or another. In any case, this article will help you get started.

If you are a techie type, here’s a rundown of specifications between the three tools we’re comparing here. You can find the full comparison table between 10 BI tools here.

  Chartio Tableau Domo
SQL      
SQL Access for Everyone Yes No No
Version Control Yes Yes Yes
Advanced Post-Query Transformation Yes Yes Yes
Automatic Query Writing Yes Yes Limited
Schema      
Full Schema Data Preview Yes Yes Yes
Direct Schema Exploration Yes Yes Yes
Cross-Schema Joins Yes Yes Limited
Dashboards      
Time to First Dashboard Minutes Weeks Weeks
Drag-and-Drop Yes Yes Yes
In-Dashboard Chat Yes Yes No
Dashboard Embedding Yes Yes Yes
Power User Features      
Advanced Permissioning Yes Yes Yes
Schema Editing Yes Yes Yes
Data Advisors Yes Yes Yes
Alerts Yes Yes Yes
Blending Yes Yes Yes
Modeling Yes Yes No
Caching Yes Yes Yes
On-Prem No Yes No

We divided the table into four sections: SQL, Schema, Dashboards, and Power-User Features. You can see that, out of the three, Domo is the most limited, while Tableau and Chartio are fairly equal, depending on what you want to prioritize. If you need an on-premises BI solution, the choice is clearly Tableau. But if you need an easy-to-use, powerful BI tool with a quick time to first dashboard, Chartio is the clear choice.

But this chart doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s dive deeper into each BI platform and see what their actual users think.

Domo logo

Domo

Domo is a business intelligence tool that focuses on providing leadership and big decision-makers at enterprise companies with the information they need to make data-informed decisions. When it launched in 2010, Domo was considered an upstart challenger witha bright future, but reality has set in, and it has since become a solid but not very revolutionary BI platform.

Pricing

Domo isn’t up front about their pricing, requiring you to schedule a demo for more details. This might be because Domo tends to be fairly expensive, perhaps due to their target audience of leadership at large enterprise companies. Cole G. on Capterra says Domo is “pricey but worth it,” while Sully C. on G2 says Domo is “expensive and not very profitable for small companies.”

Visualizations

Domo uses what it calls “cards” to convey information about your data, including visualization cards, text cards, poll cards, and more. Each card holds the query and the data visualization created with that query, both of which you can create with drag-and-drop functionality.

You can assemble cards into a “collection,” which tells a larger story. Multiple collections can then create a “page” (i.e., a dashboard) to tell multiple stories. This card system is popular among some, while others find that these cards limit their options for visualizations. “I really do like Domo, but Tableau looks so much nicer. Mostly because of the customization options in Tableau.” says Reddit user u/madadlad on r/datavisualization.

Here’s how Domo explains their Card functionality:

SQL

Domo tried to make SQL accessible within the cards themselves but locks away deep SQL functionality in other areas of their product. Within each card, you can construct a SQL query by dragging and dropping dimensions and measures (something we think the industry should move away from).

If you want to go deeper than this, you need to create a SQL DataFlow or a MagicETL DataFlow, which are both built-in ETL (extract, transform, load) features that require deep knowledge of your data and SQL. These features are not well suited for nontechnical users.

The result is that Domo leaves both SQL newbies and SQL veterans wanting. You have to know SQL and Domo’s features very well in order to write an effective query, or else you’re limited by its drag-and-drop functionality within each card.

What People Say

There are few unique things about Domo that may tip the scales for you:

  • Domo’s built-in ETL and data blending functionalities get praise in user reviews. Reddit user u/whtrymeswitu on r/businessintelligence says, “I think you’ll like how Domo blends data compared to Tableau.” And a Verified Reviewer on Capterra says, “The ETL tools provide an easy to use low/no code interface to build simple queries.”
  • Domo aims to remove complexity for the end business user and ends up limiting capabilities. The same Verified user on Capterra describes it this way: “[Domo has] dramatically limited [their] software capabilities in comparison to competitors.”
  • Domo’s customer support doesn’t have a good reputation. Victor B. on Capterra says that Domo is a “[g]ood product with lots of promise let down by the worse (sic) customer support I’ve ever experienced.”

Tableau

Tableau is as close to a BI industry standard as you’re going to get, but that comes with benefits and drawbacks. Overall, Tableau is a solid BI tool that has enjoyed a spot near or at the top for a while and has become a little too comfortable as a result.

Pricing

Tableau has a reputation for being fairly pricey, thanks to what some see as its near-default status as a BI tool. Tableau hasmany different pricing tiers ranging from $12 per user/month to $70 per user/month, depending on whether you’re hosting it yourself (slightly cheaper) or using Tableau to host (slightly more expensive).

Nitish H on G2 says, “The price is really expensive. It is almost 5 times more expensive than [its] biggest competitor - PowerBI.” Thomas R. on Capterra echoes Nitish’s concern by saying, “Tableau also isn’t the ideal solution if price is an obstacle in your organization.”

Visualizations

Tableau first made its name with the quality of its visualizations, which are still well regarded but no longer a unique selling point. You can create visualizations in Tableau using a similar “dimensions and measures” functionality as Domo.

Then, you can build dashboards from those visualizations or use the “Show Me” function to change your visualization on the fly. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to dive in and tweak the finer details of your visualization. Ridhima B on G2 describes it like this: “The learning curve associated with Tableau is also quite steep if you want to … do the editing in certain parts of the graphs or charts.”

One important note is that a Tableau library of visualizations hasn’t kept up with other competitive tools. David W on G2 says, “Tableau could improve its array of data visualization options including donut charts, gauges, and Sankey charts.”

Here’s a quick demo video from Tableau:

SQL

Tableau makes it easier to roll up your sleeves and query data with custom SQL, but their attempt to make SQL more accessible tends to complicate things rather than simplify them. Tableau uses a drag-and-drop system for creating SQL queries that involves dragging “pills” to different columns using dimensions and measures.

If you don’t want to use this drag-and-drop system, you can also create a custom SQL Query. That said, it’s still not easy to get the data you need. “[Pulling] data, particularly if you are not familiar with SQL … can be a bit challenging,” says Tarun M on G2.

What People Say

Tableau has a huge community of users with a wide variety of opinions. In sum, there’s a reason why Tableau is so widely used — it’s a solid BI tool — but it hasn’t quite kept pace with its challengers in the industry:

  • Tableau’s community is active, and there is a lot of support and inspiration out there if you need it. Two callouts we’d recommend looking at are the Reddit community r/tableau and Tableau Discord.

  • Tableau is infamous for its steep learning curve. A Verified User on Capterra says, “There is a steep learning curve to properly learn the software. … That being said, once your data model is humming along and you’ve learned how to create some basic visualizations, the world really opens up to you” This also leads to common situations where there is only one person on the team who actually knows how to use Tableau. Reddit user u/adventuringraw on r/datascience says, “The Tableau guy in my squad is in HIGH demand, there’s multiple teams fighting over him. God help him if he ever wants to do something other than Tableau, haha.”

  • The logistics of a Tableau license can be a lot to manage. “The challenge arises when moving to the logistical management of the platform, specifically around access, user education and price,” says Thomas R. on Capterra.

Chartio logo

Chartio

Chartio (that’s us! 👋) is a BI tool that focuses on empowering everyone to use data well, no matter their level of expertise. This allows us to suit the needs of companies big and small with just about any level of technical sophistication.

Pricing

Chartio is the most flexible in its pricing out of the three tools we’re listing in this article. You can start with a single license starting at $40 per month and go up to an organization-wide plan with discounted bulk pricing. You can explore Chartio pricing plans here and see our rationale for these prices here.

Visualizations

We invest a lot of time and effort in making our visualizations great. In fact, we recently totally revamped Chartio’s library of visualizations to include many more chart options, settings, colors, and more.

When you create a query, a chart will automatically be created, which you can customize and tweak as needed. Then, all it takes is one button click to add to a real-time dashboard, where you can drag and drop charts, collaborate with team members using comments, and even embed the dashboard itself wherever you need.

But it’s not enough to have pretty charts and dashboards; those charts and dashboards also have to be quick and easy to create. One Verified Review on Capterra says, “With Chartio, you can run from data to visualization in seconds, even if you don’t know SQL.” About the new visualization library, David A. Epstein, Principal, DST Partners, says, “Chartio’s new visualization library allows me to easily create intuitive, sophisticated visualizations from my data that are simply beautiful.”

Here’s our promo video for the launch of our new visualization library:

SQL

Chartio has its own SQL query builder called Visual SQL, which allows anyone to create queries with zero SQL knowledge. But it also suits SQL veterans because the actual code is always one click away.

You can construct a query by selecting columns within your data and then adding filters. Results will pop in below, in the Results Table at the bottom, and visualizations will pop into the Chart section to the right. If you want to dive into the query itself, all you have to do is switch the mode from Visual to SQL and you can start coding.

Here’s a quick video of Visual SQL in action:

What People Say

The consensus of Chartio’s online reviews is that it’s a very powerful tool that has some room for improvement but is quickly innovating to close those gaps:

  • Chartio’s fans tend to be very big fans. “I really have yet to find something I dislike,” says James G. on Capterra. On G2, Carlos P saysthat Chartio is a “great user experience for all personas alike.”
  • There is a little room for improvement, but we’re moving fast! Administrator in Real Estate on G2 says, “Chartio has an exciting roadmap of new features to come, which gives users something to look forward to.” Dan D on G2 echoes that sentiment by saying, “Chartio is constantly deploying updates to the tool by building out features that actually matter and affect performance/user experience.”
  • Chartio suits any business, from enterprise companies that are experts in data, like data science platform DataRobot, to small startups just getting off the ground, likestudent-run startup Koodos.

The Winner Between Domo vs. Tableau: Chartio

We’re being a little cheeky with that header but really do think that if you’re debating Domo vs. Tableau, you should look into what Chartio has to offer. Our pricing is more flexible, our visualizations are constantly improving, and Chartio works well for SQL newbies and SQL veterans alike.

Before you go all in on any tool, you should be aware of all your options. Here are a few other comparison posts we’ve written to help you make a decision:

In any case, all three BI tools have free trials, so you don’t have to take our word for it. You can put each tool to the test and choose the option that’s best for you. And you can start with a free trial of Chartio.

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