What a COO Taught—and Learned—About Data Democratization

We sat down with Jeri Larsen at Domopalooza to learn more about her journey bringing Domo into the business and the product sides of YouScience. The post What a COO Taught—and Learned—About Data Democratization first appeared on Blog.

What a COO Taught—and Learned—About Data Democratization

When Jeri Larsen joined YouScience as chief operating officer, she felt like the big bad wolf of change. She was charged with scaling the business, and that meant adopting Domo on both the business and product sides of the organization.

YouScience’s products use data and AI to help students discover their aptitudes and find the proper education and career pathways. Still, it wasn’t long before Larsen learned that the company needed more buy-in on the benefits of data democratization. We sat down with Larsen at Domopalooza to learn more about her data journey. 

How did your data journey begin? 

I used to work for Domo and have been a Domo client three times. When I got to YouScience, Domo was already there, but the person who initiated the adoption process had just left right when Domo was being implemented. They’d purchased Domo to help with the insights and analytics in the products, but it hadn’t been implemented on the business analytics side, so we did both simultaneously.  

“It was fantastic because the product side really needed Domo Everywhere. It’s the only product out there that can show the student data the way that counselors, district admins, and CTE teachers need it.” 

Jeri Larsen, Domopalooza 2024

What were your main data challenges? 

I wanted to democratize data, but when I started, the product team said, “We only have a few licenses.” So I pushed back. Everyone needs a license. And they were like, “Why? We can surface things up for them.”

I had to explain that that’s not how Domo works, that Domo is here to democratize data and make it more transparent. And every sales meeting and every executive meeting had better be run with Domo. To make it work, we ended up being one of the first customers to go on the consumption-based pricing model, so we are paying for data sets run instead of people in the product.  

“Domo was very creative with the consumption model because it truly democratizes the data. Otherwise, I couldn’t have had as many folks in the tool as I do now.” 

Jeri Larsen, Domopalooza 2024

What were you hoping to achieve? 

On the business side, we wanted transparency into how the business runs and into our revenue patterns instead of just having it in a few people’s hands. YouScience had access to data in the past, but not in real time. And it wasn’t as accessible.

On our product side, we wanted to make sure that counselors, teachers, administrators, and educators were empowered to make career-connected learning decisions as easily as possible—with guardrails around the data sets.

We also needed personalized data permissions (PDP) to ensure that, for example, in a statewide contract, they can see all the districts’ and all the schools’ student data, but a vendor who might have donated it to a school can’t. Being able to secure student data is paramount for our product. Other products are secure, but with Domo, ours is ultra, ultra secure. 

“Domo is the only [tool] I know of that I can hand to a non-coder and say, ‘Go to town, build out whatever you want.’ Our VP of sales has built his own dashboard and is having so much fun with it.”  

Jeri Larsen, Domopalooza 2024

How have your efforts impacted YouScience? 

I was brought in—for good or ill, depending on whom you talk to—to be a catalyst for change. And I can proudly say that we have more data transparency than we ever had before. Inside our products, our insights and analytics tool is all run on Domo Everywhere now—and we have two million students in there.

We implemented two years ago—the two-year ramp-up was not Domo’s fault; it was because we had to change the CRM in the middle of it—and now, not only have we made a whole CRM change, but we are so close to running all our meetings with Domo. This will be our first quarterly review where we use the forecasting app, and we’re now able to pull things directly from Salesforce into Domo.  

“On the product side, our insights and analytics tool is better than anything out there.” 

Jeri Larsen, Domopalooza 2024

Have you had any aha! moments during your journey? 

It’s interesting that when you come from a data background or have worked at a data company how much you take data and data literacy for granted. Our internal and external clients have not necessarily known how to navigate the data because they simply don’t all have the same data literacy—by no fault of their own. It just takes a little bit of a learning curve. 

“I hate to think of what it would have been like implementing Power BI. And there’s no way I could have handed the keys to Tableau to our revenue leaders and had them hit the ground running.” 

Jeri Larsen, Domopalooza 2024

What have you learned about yourself during your journey? 

It has been so worthwhile to work for a company I feel is changing the way students see education. But I changed a lot internally at the company in order to drive scale. If you put your reputation on the line, you need to make sure that you’re backed by a system you can trust. I completely trust Domo’s product and their people.  

“If we are helping educators in any way, maybe in the most unusual way by giving them data, then it’s definitely worthwhile. Because every educator deserves sainthood.” 

Jeri Larsen, Domopalooza 2024

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The post What a COO Taught—and Learned—About Data Democratization first appeared on Blog.