Mobile BI: Making social enterprise a possibility

Very few enterprise revolutions have empowered employees more than the bring-your-own-device movement has. Rather than being forced to use the software and devices assigned to them by decision-makers, workers have a far bigger say on what technology they can use to do their jobs. 

As a result, employees now expect remote access to everything – work email, mission-critical applications and, as of recently, business intelligence (BI) solutions. 

While interest in BI is widespread – executives, salespeople and marketers all want real-time BI – a survey by Domo revealed that most companies' business intelligence strategies are coming up short

"In today's uncertain economic times, the need for trustworthy data is more critical than ever," said Domo founder and CEO Josh James. "Businesspeople need to make fast, well-informed decisions to stay ahead of the pack. But without access to reliable, up-to-date information, even the best-run organizations could be in serious jeopardy."

Challenges must be overcome
A recent study by Report Buyer found that the worldwide mobile BI market is expected to achieve a 27.5 percent compound annual growth rate from 2012 to 2016, driven primarily by the increasing usage of tablets and smartphones in the workplace. However, because some mobile BI applications are incompatible with different operating systems, deployment has been hampered. 

In a recent blog post for Information Management, Ventana Research CEO Mark Smith suggested that mobile BI technology can improve an organization's communication and collaboration substantially. The keys to effective BI deployment, he said, center on making the technology as accessible, usable and adaptable as possible. 

Some business intelligence vendors, such as Panorama Software, have BI solutions that are compatible with mobile operating systems. Even with those programs, implementing an effective strategy will be vital for the social enterprise to be possible. 

"Network performance becomes critical as you develop applications," Michele Pelino, an analyst at Forrester Research, recently told TechTarget. "You want to know that you have a seamless network to put your applications on."

According to the news source, simplicity is one way to achieve success with mobile BI implementation. The article stressed the need for a streamlined process that will make information available to more people at faster rates.

While comprehensive solutions can be valuable, they should not come at the expense of usability, which a recent Ventana Research survey found to be the most important component BI applications. Employees will be more likely to ignore technology they can't figure out, so simple BI strategies are likely the best way to get everyone on board. 

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