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Mobile BI

1 April 2014
Anat Bielsky
cellphone store display

The use of mobile devices such as cellular phones and tablets has become an integral part of our daily routines. Our work routines are also slowly but surely being transferred from the office PCs to the world of mobile devices. We can receive emails via our Smartphones, login to out organization's calendar, watch organizational sites, read and write work documents, etc. This trend has taken over the BI world as well.

What is Mobile BI?

The ability to enable mobile devices to access data related to BI (e.g. Dashboards, KPI) of the organization using applications designed for mobile devices. Today, the common approach towards implementing BI in mobile devices is mainly performed in the two following ways:

  1. Using the browser to enter the BI application through the web.

  2. Using a designated application specifically planned for the mobile device's operation system.

Central challenges of Mobile BI

  1. Size screen- the difficulty derived from presenting information on small screens.

  2. The device is inadequate for ad hock queries and enhanced flexibility regarding menus and options, which are important characteristics of classic BI applications.

rends in the utilization of Mobile BI

TEC has recently published a survey that inquired the needs, usage methods, and appearing trends of 250 users of Mobile BI.

Hereby are the main findings of the survey:

1.The main uses of Mobile BI:

The survey shows that the central use of mobile devices for BI is viewing Dashboards and analyzing data. Furthermore, the responders ranked the ability to receive notifications for subjects in risk, subjects in focus and identifying opportunities. The ability to receive is vital for users since nowadays more and more actions performed in real-time are becoming critical for organizations.

Top functionality (Source: TEC Mobile BI Survey 2014)

2.The level of satisfaction from using Mobile BI:

Although the responders did not manifest high levels of dissatisfaction from Mobile BI implication, it nevertheless seems that users are not impressed with the abilities that Mobile BI provides. In today's technological world we live in, mobile devices are synonymous with innovation and user experience. The users highly regard the level of innovation of the mobile applications and do not exclusively focus on these applications' efficiency. Furthermore, it's important to remember that there are still many legal restrictions concerning the use of BI applications in mobile devices (mainly related to information security issues) that affect the state of available applications in today's market.

General satisfaction level (Source: TEC Mobile BI Survey 2014)

3.The main players in the mobile BI market

The survey's findings show that the main players in today's market are: Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and IBM. These results are predictable since these companies provide BI services worldwide and tend to choose to use the Mobile BI supplier active in their own organization.

Top 10 Mobile Apps Used by Respondents to TEC’s 2014 Mobile BI Survey

4.Mobile BI Implication in organizations

The survey further shows that approximately 8% of those who responded to the survey have yet to apply/do not use mobile BI applications. The reasons for avoiding these BI solutions can be one of the following:

  • Technical restrictions on using these applications.

  • Budget limitations.

  • The organization simply doesn't need Mobile BI applications.

In conclusion, the survey's findings reveal that Mobile BI users realize the importance of three main properties of reliable implication in mobile Dashboards: identifying & analyzing information and notifications. Nevertheless, they still expect further evolution of the available functionality using innovative components that are typically used in mobile technology.

As part of an overall improvement of Mobile BI, we might view the following developments in mobile BI:

  • Mobile devices will not only present the data visually but become an interface for business activities.

  • Mobile devices will enable mining statistics or calculating mini algorithms on the device, with no connection to the server.

  • The mobile devices can already somewhat recognize the users' language. Therefore, in the future we may be able to ask the mobile device about the contents of the BI reports, etc.



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