Mobile Business Intelligence has taken off. Market research agencies estimate that in 2015 one third of the Business Intelligence functionality is accessed on mobile devices. Our own research shows that more than half of Business Intelligence suppliers offer an app on a smartphone or tablet.
New in our Business Intelligence Tools Survey
Ample attention is given to the mobile functionality of Business Intelligence tools in the new edition of the Business Intelligence Tools Survey. No less than 24 new questions have been added in the field of mobile Business Intelligence to this survey, which is completely independent of the suppliers.
What features do they mainly use?
But what is the situation for the Business Intelligence end-user? Does he or she actually use Business Intelligence via a smartphone or tablet? Does that user have mobile Business Intelligence and if so, what features does he or she mainly use? At any rate mobile Business Intelligence makes insights available to users that were previously difficult to reach.
Users who are constantly on the move
These are the users who are constantly on the move, working in places where there is no computer access or those users who found it too much trouble to start Business Intelligence on the laptop or desktop. With Mobile Business Intelligence we can also reach this large group of users, provided that the mobile app is user friendly and can quickly conjure up the right insights that are needed at that moment.
Are we going to succeed with mobile BI?
You can probably recall that a dozen years or so ago Microsoft advertised with the slogan ‘Information at your fingertips’, now also abbreviated as IAYF. Do we now really have relevant and good management information to hand at the push of a button? Are we going to succeed in that with Mobile Business Intelligence?
Very positive effect: more potential BI users
Theoretically this can have a very positive effect when that big group of users that now makes no or indirect use of Business Intelligence, has direct access to good information and uses it for analysis, discussion, decision making, process improvement and action. The important thing is of course the first of these points, good information, and the last -, applying it.
Users find it difficult to formulate what information they need
Good information is still quite scarce because we all know how difficult users sometimes find it to indicate what information they need and above all when and at what point in the process. That is what it is essential to find out. The business process can provide a useful steppingstone here. Finally, if the underlying data is not correct, mobile Business Intelligence is useless.
Still mobile BI projects fail
Conclusion: in theory mobile Business Intelligence can mean a lot because more users can gain access to good information. In practice, unfortunately, we still see that mobile Business Intelligence projects fail because these three important conditions have hardly been taken into account:
- Provide good information and insights;
- Base this information on correct and complete data;
- Establish a good management process in which insights are used for analysis, discussion and action.
Satisfying these conditions, will not only reduce the probability of mobile Business Intelligence failing, but can also increase the chances of success for Business Intelligence in the wider sense.