It's query editor is very easy to use, and allows people to quickly get access to the database and start writing queries. There are helpful views of the schemas and columns that allows new users to familiarize themselves with our data model rather quickly. The ability to set parameters on reports (essentially filters that allow users to change query values) allows for very flexible queries that can be adjusted based on the end user. Definitions are another great feature that allow me to save commonly-used snippets of SQL. This allows for more consistent analysis across our org, and also saves me a lot of time since I don't have to re-write the name subqueries over and over. Also, their Customer Support team is super responsive and always incredibly helpful.
It's fundamentally not a BI tool. Mode is more of 'nice-to-have' tool that makes lightweight analysis more convenient, and allows people to share cool insights with each other. That said, it falls short in some areas when compared to other BI tools on the market. Here are some examples of things that are missing:
1. No separation of Development and Production environments. This can make it tricky to collaborate on dashboards and reports with other people, since changes will get overwritten when working on things simultaneously.
2. Lack of a GitHub Integration. It is not currently possible to set up a peer-review process, since there is no concept of opening a PR in GitHub to merge changes into production. At my prior company, we would have modifications to dashboards and reports reviewed by at least one other member of the analytics team to help catch mistakes. This is not possible with Mode, since there isn't a GitHub integration. This also makes it difficult to make global changes across all your queries (for example if a table name changes).
3. Limited post-query modifications. I have worked with other BI tools that allow you to do things like add running totals, row sums, column sums, etc. by allowing you to perform calculations on query results themselves. With Mode, you have to specify every additional calculation you want in the query itself, which leads to a lot of unnecessarily complicated and redundant queries.
4. No way to drill down into charts. A very common request when looking at a chart is to see the underlying data. For example, when looking at a chart that shows the number of churned customers every month, people often want to know the 'actual' customer list that churned on a given month. In BI tools at past companies, people have been able to access this data with a click (i.e. click on a data point to see the line items that make up that data point). The lack of this feature in Mode leads to additional workload for the analytics team since people ask for the underlying data fairly often.
Outside of these areas, Mode does tend to be a little buggy, with the UI not responding as expected, tooltips freezing on the screen, and other minor issues that pop up from time to time.
Mode is headed in the right direction, but they are so far behind other BI tools in key areas I can't recommend them as the main BI tool for any size of company. They lack of a GitHub integration is a huge pain, and gets very difficult to easily create beautiful dashboards (it's possible, but everything has to be custom CSS and JS). They have no data modeling laying, which makes queries unnecessarily complicated. They have addressed some of these gaps over the past few months, but they still have a long way to go.
Mode allows us to provide widespread transparency into our business. We have a set of basic dashboards that keeps people up to date on many of our key metrics. In addition, the existence of answers to basic data questions encourages people to think more deeply about what drives our business forward. It also reduces the number of redundant requests our analytics team gets, and gives us time to dig into the more meaningful problems we can solve.