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Making a Difference with Mobile BI


Taking BI mobile is not simply about replicating your desktop BI to mobile devices. There are fundamental differences around data at your desk and data to go. However, your current desktop BI efforts can be leveraged, meaning deployment of business intelligence to mobile devices need not be a massive project. Using more advanced mobile BI applications such as Microstrategy Mobile BI mean that mobile BI can be deployed within a few days.

So what makes the mobile difference?

  1. The critical thing to you remind yourself is that just because it can be done, doesn't mean it should be done.
  2. Think about the specific dashboards and the scope of data that is required for mobile BI
  3. Consider the user experience - mobile BI useis more passive – more integrated into visual principles.
    As Jakob Nielsen described - desktop BI is a "lean forward", highly focused activity solving specific problems.
    Mobile BI is "lean back", glancing, monitoring, passive mental approach to find out what’s going on
    It is important to capture and deliver to both use cases.
  4. Design for each form factor - whilst iPads have now made mobile dashboards a realistic proposition; most smart phones only support a single graph view; unless you are using sparklines and small multiples.
  5. Interaction with iPad dashboard graphs can be expanded using the native interactive functionality of the device. This provides new modes of dashboard navigation not previously available in the mobile BI applications
  6. Leverage the natural collaboration of mobile - with integrated information sharing across multiple domains we need to recognise mobile BI as a different mode of collaboration - its live and interactive across multiple sharing sites.
  7. Mobile BI is taking over desktop BI from a BI consumption perspective - we are moving into a 'bring your own device' [BYOD] experience.

Expectations of Mobile BI

Studies have shown that businesses that incorporate mobile applications into their operations aim to achieve three main goals [performance benchmark]:

  1. Increased productivity [42%]
  2. Reduced paperwork [39%]
  3. Increased revenue [37%]

Mobile BI in Small Businesses

Small businesses are even more reliant on mobile BI than larger enterprises. The three primary reasons are:

  1. Time saving [62%]
  2. Increased productivity [59%]
  3. Cost saving [29%]

Executive Engagement with Mobile

Senior executives are amongst the first groups of workers to be enabled with mobile, largely due to their time constraints and essential status:

  • On average, executives work 240 more hours a year than the average worker
  • 94% remain connected to work while on vacation
  • 95% own a smartphone, and most [59%] would feel totally lost if they lost it for a week
  • most executives have multiple mobile devices: smartphone, tablet [64%]
  • spend over 16 hours a day in range of Wifi; checking their smartphone on an average of 34 times a day
  • 98% claim technology helps them multitask, with 65% believing multiple devices make them more productive; with 75% of these claiming that they get more than 6 hours of sleep a night purely due to the productivity improvement freeing up their personal time
  • BYOD - we are entering a 'bring your own device' environment

Let's face it - we are a mobile society addicted to our devices. Mobile BI is in a rapid growth phase - get with it or get left behind.

* statistics sourced from yellowfin BI and PC Housing

Next: Best Practices in Mobile BI

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