Mobile Business Intelligence: The New Normal

The Mobile business intelligence (BI) market value is expected to top $20 billion by 20241. And no wonder; we are a mobile working population, glued to our phones and now, even to our watches. But we’ve been programmed to expect that everything on our phones provides us instant gratification, yet mobile BI apps have long operated very differently to that.

Due to the increasing demand for mobile access to corporate data, solution providers are funneling dollars and hours to evolving their desktop solutions to mobile apps that are simple to navigate, work easily with touch or voice, but most importantly, provide the user with instant gratification.

You Have Been Notified: Push Notifications as a Key Component for Mobile Apps

Mobile BI solutions for tablets, thanks to their larger screens, may allow you to do some deep data diving from your dashboard, but what happens when you must run an errand yet need to keep working? Simply stated, you move to your smaller phone screen, and at that point, probably “all you need are instantly actionable insights, preferably sent to you as a notification.2 The biggest feature trending for successful mobile BI solutions is providing the user with on-the-go, relevant, and actionable notifications.

Furthermore, these apps need to consider how we use our phones: we scroll quickly through headlines and information, we “like,” we read in snippets, but most importantly, we text, not write. If you’re on Aisle 3 by the pasta sauces when a key outlier impacts your company, you don’t need to drill down for the 411; you need an immediate notification that allows you to respond quickly the same way you would respond rapidly to one from Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, preferably with only a tap, a hold-tap, or a swipe. Even better, a voice command. Having these key features built into your mobile BI solution allows you to access key issues within your jurisdiction and allows you to take action and forward that action to the right people at the right time. There, in Aisle 3, you just made a key corporate decision from your phone—instant gratification. The only decision left is which jar of sauce tastes more like homemade? Paul Newman or Prego?

Vacationing from your Desktop? “Packing” Only What’s Necessary and Easy:

Exactly what information do you need on your mobile BI dashboard? Probably not everything that is included on your desktop’s. It’s like packing for a vacation; you aren’t going to load the entire contents of your closet, vanity and bathroom into your suitcase. Having a mobile BI solution that allows you to personalize your tablet and your phone’s dashboards to only what you need for your time away is a highly desirable feature.

Furthermore, your solutions app should be intuitive in sending you precisely the information you need while away from your office. Artificial Intelligence (AI), just like a home security system, will become even more an integral part of mobile BI to help better figure out what alerts or notifications you need while you’re away. AI and machine learning (ML) will eventually decide what metrics and information is sent to your mobile BI device for you. With more employees working on-the-go, “traditional alerts triggered by pre-defined thresholds aren’t enough in this new and competitive data landscape. You need automated data discovery to do the digging for you while you’re away from your desktop, so you never miss a beat.2

A Screen That Gets Me: Making BI Mobile Interfacing Easy to Manipulate for Any User

Is your mobile solution user friendly? Does the screen rotate? Does it respond easily to the touch. Does it offer voice control? And if so, can you communicate with it in a simplified language? Can you scroll quickly through headlines, landing only on those that need your attention at that moment? Can you easily return to the dashboard if you decide to dive deeper into a key performance indicator (KPI) or if you simply launch a page accidentally? Does the app have a collaboration tool that will allow you to send notifications to your team as well? For mobile BI apps to truly keep you productive while you’re away from your desktop, the answer should be yes to all of the above questions.

Visualization, analysis, creation, collaboration and administration from anywhere. If these key abilities aren’t available on a mobile BI dashboard, then we might as well stay attached to our desktops. Luckily, analytics software companies, like Qlik, have made huge strides in adapting their software to suit mobile BI dashboards. These new innovations will give users the freedom they need to make critical business decisions wherever and whenever they want, even if it’s a quick dash to the store for pasta sauce.

The Copley Consulting Group can help. We have more than 30 years of experience helping manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors transform their businesses. Contact us to help evolve your mobile business intelligence needs.

2. 3 reasons mobile business intelligence apps have minimal adoption in your business (and how to fix it)

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