Domo vs Tableau: Pros, Cons & the Bottom Line

Domo and Tableau are two business intelligence (BI) solutions that are dominating the market.


Consistently a “leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant reports, Tableau is a data visualization and self-service analytics champion. Its intuitive interface and simple dashboard and reporting tools tend to make the solution the top choice for businesses.

However, Domo is a cloud-based dashboard tool that’s getting more recognition for its visualizations, especially after making its pricing model and business apps public. Hailed for its amount of data-source connections, Domo has quickly become a top contender in the BI market.

Comparing the Products

Below are excerpts from our comprehensive reviews on Domo and Tableau.

Domo At A Glance

Domo: Domo is designed to be available for all business users, regardless of technical expertise, to help them make better business decisions.

Domo recently launched Business Cloud, the world’s first open, self-service platform to run an entire organization. Business Cloud brings together the data, the people and the insights users need to find answers to critical business questions and make faster, better-informed decisions to improve performance.


Tableau At A Glance

Tableau: Tableau provides intuitive BI tools to enhance data discovery and understanding for all types of companies and business users.

With simple drag-and-drop features, a user can easily access and analyze key data, create innovative reports and visualizations, and share critical insights across the company.

Core Differences

Domo and Tableau run neck and neck when it comes to their core features. Both to have many data-source connectors and have user-friendly dashboards with intuitive features. But when you get into the nitty-gritty details, the solutions scale differently.

1. Data Source Connectors

Both BI solutions have a reputation for offering hundreds of native connectors to easily pull, cleanse and correlate data from practically any source without having to create custom code.

Tableau extracts large data sets from sources for quick, ad-hoc analysis using two different methods: Live Connection and In-memory. Both adapt to your local database and, based on the size and capacity, sync data quickly by extracting the relevant data to a query. It also has a general Open Database Connectivity (OBDC) connection for any connections that don’t have a native connector provided.

In addition to integrating with over 100 third-party connectors, Domo offers Workbench and 1-Click App. Workbench allows data from on-premise connectors (such as XML, Excel, ODBC and more) to be uploaded into Domo’s cloud-based solution. The 1-Click Apps are pre-built connectors that allow users to upload data without relying on IT.

2. Visualization

Domo and Tableau are best known for their robust dashboard capabilities. Both offer interactive dashboards with drill-down features for data exploration and drag-and-drop features for simple dashboard creation.

Tableau’s dashboards can be shared across a business with Online or Server. By downloading worksheets, users can dig deeper into the data and apply various visualizations to spot trends and tell a story. However, in order to prepare, correlate and manipulate data, Desktop must be installed on a local machine and some SQL knowledge is needed.

In comparison, Domo has been placed on a pedestal for its appealing and scalable visualizations. It simplifies the extract, transform, load (ETL) process so users don’t need SQL training to explore and manipulate data. Domo also offers a variety of prebuilt pages that automatically assemble based on data input. However, because all its processing is done in the cloud, extracting data can be sluggish and cumbersome.

Comparing Services and Offerings

Although Domo’s and Teableau’s tools are similar, they take two different approaches. Tableau’s services and offerings have a methodical process, where Domo’s is customizable according to its customers’ needs. Here, we compare the pricing models, implementation methods and shortcomings of each:


Both tools have three price levels to choose from. Domo divides its prices by number of users. Tableau, however, is based on deployment method. Here’s a summary of each:

Domo Pricing

Starter: Free, Intended as a trial for businesses.

Professional: $175/user per month (billed annually) with company-wide licenses available, Intended for small businesses and teams.

Enterprise: Domo doesn’t publicly offer the price per user for Business Cloud Enterprise, intended for enterprises and partner networks.

Tableau Pricing

Desktop: Intended for an individual user, has two options:

  • Personal: $999/user/year, connects with up to six data sources
  • Professional: $1,999/user/year, connects with up to 44 data sources

Online: An entirely cloud-based platform that’s hosted by the vendor, has two options:

  • Public: Free
  • Online: $500 /user/year

Server: Intended for businesses that have existing servers and a dedicated IT team:

  • Server: $10,000 for 10 users, then an additional 25% of the total cost per year for support

Here’s a detailed description of how each vendor handles implementation:

Tableau: Tableau provides a variety of implementation and consulting services. For enterprise-level deployment, there’s a four-step process:

  • Phase 1 – This phase involves IT planning, architecture consulting, pre-install checkup, server installation and verification, and validation of security configuration.
  • Phase 2 – Phase 2 involves working with data and data migration, including data modeling, data mining, data extraction, data sources and business workflow.
  • Phase 3 – In Phase 3, there’s a two-day classroom training covering Tableau Fundamentals, hands-on advanced coaching, and building and formatting visualizations.
  • Phase 4 – This final phase helps companies expand Tableau usage across their business. It includes implementation workshops where topics such as evaluating action plans and defining measurable outcomes are discussed.

Regardless of your company’s size and deployment method, Tableau offers a Quick Start Service for your needs. Examples include:

  • Server Rapid Start – For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Tableau plans, installs and implements its server in a four-day timeframe.
  • Server Kick Start – In two days, Tableau helps companies plan, install and implement out-of-the-box deployments of its server.
  • Desktop Kick Start – In two-hour increments, companies can use Tableau’s phone sessions to help them implement its Desktop version.

Domo: As a cloud-based solution, Domo’s implementation tends to be shorter than traditional on-premise solutions. Customers work with an account executive and a customer service rep. The timeline averages between one and two months, but is ultimately based on a customer’s requirements and resources. Training is provided by Domo University. Options include:

  • Online training videos available 24/7
  • Web-based training
  • Instructor-led public courses held at Domo’s headquarters (Utah), New York and San Francisco
  • Instructor-led training onsite at customer’s location

Although Domo and Tableau are two of the top contenders for self-service BI, each one has some quirks to work through. We’ve described what to look out for:

Domo: Some users feel it’s too expensive for a small business. Users have also reported that extracting data from Domo tends to be cumbersome. Also, there is no on-premise deployment option.

Tableau: Although it has a large range of data-source connectivity, Tableau’s ability to use combinations of these sources for analysis is still weak. As a workaround, some customers have used other solutions with self-service data preparation and the option to output to Tableau’s native TDE (Tableau data extract) format.

Bottom Line

Domo and Tableau are two robust data visualization and analytics tools that put business intelligence in the hands of all users instead of just data experts. When it comes down to it, though, the small differences between their offerings will most likely be the make-it-or-break-it details when making a decision.

If you’re entirely new to BI tools, take a look at The Definitive Guide to Business Intelligence. It offers a full overview of market trends, must-have features and insights from over 50 experts.

If you’re looking for software alternatives, our detailed BI software reviews is a good place to start. For an easier look at all the top BI solutions, download our BI Comparison Guide where we’ve broken down the core features, vendor profiles and solution shortcomings in a comprehensive spreadsheet.

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