Mobile Business Intelligence (BI)
Mobile BI is not just "BI on Mobile"
There are many reasons to ignore existing conventions when considering a mobile BI solution. We cover many of them in detail in our free guide to the most common mobile BI mistakes eBook, but below is a quick look at some of the most important differences:
Mobile Data - not every application is ideal on a mobile device.
- Twitter, Facebook and the news are made for mobility, along with email, SMS and other "right here, right now" applications. Why? Because they all involve simple, brief and timely access to information. Ever try to write a novel on a phone? Same with BI - if you try to shove your entire data warehouse, analytics toolset, future planning data and a hundred other features onto a phone it quickly becomes useless.
- Mobile users need a new set of data catered to mobility - information they can act on immediately without a lot of clicks - key performance indicators, alerts, scorecards and trends.
- Monitoring critical data that changes frequently is the sweet spot. Think operations data. Think trains running on time. Think saving the day.
Traditional BI shoved onto a mobile device is "nice to have," but few will use it in the long run. Find the right operational data for making decisions quickly and you'll be a hero. This is where "nice to have" becomes "need to have."
Apps are so 2009, and there is no such thing as a standard.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone? Think your company has standardized on a certain mobile device? What about that exec who demanded an iPhone or what about the dozens of Blackberry variations? It is this diversity (which is increasing by the day) that makes apps so hard to control and maintain. The iPhone made apps popular and now Blackberry, Google (Android) and Microsoft are all doing the same thing. The problems here are numerous and only increasing.
- Once your environment has more than one device model.
- Apps usually mean data is stored locally on the device, an obvious security risk with sensitive data
If your vendor doesn't make an app for every platform, you could end up with an incomplete solution.
How do you fix this? No software on the device.
Visual KPI is a server application (on premise or in the cloud - your choice) that delivers real-time pages to your smartphone, tablet, or PC browser. More importantly, the Visual KPI server is smart enough to know what device is making the request so it can deliver a screen that is optimized for each device. Touch screen vs. keyboard? No problem. Horizontal vs. vertical resolution? Check! Smartphone, PC or even a giant flatscreen TV in the control room? We love them all. Better yet, there's no software on the device to manage and maintain and no data stored locally that can go out of date or get into the wrong hands.
The customization trap. Tools vs. an application
Traidional BI software is often called a "platform," or something you build an application or solution upon. It involves developers, consultants and months if not years to get right. With mobile BI, we say focus on the application. Mobility is about simplicity and getting your job done quickly and easily, and mobile BI software should be no different. Visual KPI is the mobile front end to traditional BI and many other data sources and it deploys in hours, not weeks or months. In fact, it deploys so easily that we include our deployment services even in the free trial.
Want to know more? Take the Visual KPI tour...