Mobile Business Intelligence on the Rise

The explosion of mobile device usage and the propagation of powerful smartphones and tablet computers have become the catalysts for business intelligence to expand to mobile as well. When I look back to those years when smartphones were yet to be invented, I can’t help but be in awe of how this much browsing power is now in the palm of our hands. They stand in equal terms, if not better, than laptop and desktops in many ways.

Business intelligence is making waves too, simplifying business processes and providing operational efficiencies like never before. While BI may present a number of advantages, there are downsides as well. A company/organization has to capitalize on mobile business intelligence in order to make it work. Computerworld has some noteworthy insight as to the ingress of mobile business intelligence and whether or not your company is up for the challenge.

Business intelligence platform Jaspersoft recently revealed its own insight as to how enterprises are realizing the value of BI, and are thinking about deploying it this year. According to a global survey of some 500 Jaspersoft community members, 93 percent believe that mobile business intelligence tools will incur great benefits, and two thirds of the organization’s community claimed that they’re already utilizing BI tools now, or have concrete plans of deploying in the future. Moreover, 43 percent of them are currently developing mobile applications.

Jim Bell, CMO of Jaspersoft said, “With more decision makers working beyond the office walls, supported by the proliferation of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, mobile BI is increasingly important for management teams to analyze key information necessary for decision-making. 2012 looks like the year we’ll see accelerated adoption of mobile BI, and it will come from BI-enabled mobile applications.”

Further findings from the survey include:

Of those planning to deploy mobile BI, 38% will do so as part of a mobile application (rather than mobile access to standalone BI) • Google Android and Apple iOS are considered the most important platforms, garnering 77% of “very important” responses • Access to executive dashboards and reporting would be the greatest advantage of a mobile strategy (67%) • Over half (53%) also believe that instant collaboration based on real time data and the ability to create self-service reports on-the-go would be important.

In Gartner’s Predicts 2011 report, mobile devices will account for over 33% of BI functionality by 2013, and BI users will continue to escalate to include a more mainstream audience. Mobile BI is currently dominated by existing reports and dashboards passed on to mobile devices. However, Gartner predicts that by 2012, organizations and vendors will develop mobile analytic applications for specific tasks or domains.

Bell added: “Organizations want an elegant, easy-to-use BI interface, but mobile BI is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution, which is why our open source mobile SDK is a great example of providing developers with the flexibility to tailor mobile BI to their applications. Users don’t want to open up a separate application to analyze data on the iPad any more than they do on a desktop.”

Want to learn more from Gentile’s perspective of how data will help businesses and commerce in the future? See here for his Snapshot Profile interview with Kristen Nicole.