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Mobile BI Market Update 2012

Up untl the Apple iPad, mobile BI wasn't that great. The iPad and other similar tablet devices provide a whole new platform for mobile business intelligence. It is said that mobile BI will be the primary platform for BI in the future, both within and beyond the corporate walls.

Things are moving rapidly in the mobile BI space. The following insights are from the February 2012 study conducted by Howard Dresner for Yellowfin.

Mobile Devices - The mobile wars have begun in tablet devices, with all major manufactures and mobile telcos recognize this as a high stake game and are out to win. These platforms are robust and offer wider navigational and interactivity that a standard destop. The iPad is the number one platform for mobile BI, with around 53% priority. The iPhone has decreased, largely through the bigger screen of the iPad becoming more popular, with a large implementation of iPads. The Blackberry has also increased in priority for mobile BI, yet the implementations have reduced. Organizations are focusing on utilizing their existing devices - with Blackberries being the highest used device before the iPhone and iPad were released. The only other change was the total decline of Windows mobile devices for Android devices.

Organizational Support - The majority of organizations believe mobile BI is of critical importance - this has remained at this status for the past 2 years; it is no fad. 72% are feeding mobile BI devices with site-based BI solutions compared to 28% using SaaS BI applications. Those favoring SaaS and Cloud BI solutions are small to medium sized organizations. Organization support is often driven by the organizations willingness to store data on the device, thereby providing faster interaction and offline use.

Mobile BI Users - personnel on the road are no longer the sole user group for mobile BI. Internal staff moving from desk to meeting rooms are candidates for mobile BI. Few people make decisions at their desk - executives on the move; refinery line managers on the move; anyone on the move from their desk during the day will benefit from mobile BI. It is often faster to log into business intelligence via a mobile device than it is using a desktop. It is expected that more than 20% of business intelligence users will have access to mobile BI by the end of 2012; and the majority of these will use mobile BI exclusively. Another user group growing in interest are customers and suppliers - this is bringing key customers and suppliers into a closer relationships with the organization.

Mobile BI Features

The following features were reviewed in terms of adoption and engagement from the previous year:

Basic Functionality

The majority of respondents rated the following three basic mobile BI functions as critical:

  • View Chart - same level of interest
  • KPI Monitor - has increased in interest, largely because of focus on getting executive buy-in to mobile BI
  • Alerts - same level of interest

Higher Level Interactive Functionality

Between 20-30% of respondents rated the following 'more interactive' functions as critical:

  • Drill down navigation - same level of interest
  • Drag and drop navigation - same level of interest
  • Data selection filtering - moderate increase

Advanced Functionality

Between 15-20% of respondents rated advanced functionality as critical with this being the category of interest that demonstrated the largest increase in interest out of all 3 catagories.

  • Guided analysis - moderate increase
  • Dashboard assembly from components - large increase in interest

Next: Interactivity on Tablet Devices

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