with Mobile BI
Evolution of Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence as the name suggests has more to do with analysis and interpretation of business data and information which was being carried out by skilled analysts and corporate strategists during its early years. Thus, it is true that the conventional Business Intelligence required specialists to observe trends, write algorithms and create reports. However, with the globalization and digitization, a company’s business intelligence practices are no more preserved in the hand of specialists. Executives, line managers, operations managers as well as CFOs and CXOs, who want more immediate access rather than depending on specialists to write algorithms and analyze the data have started using Business Intelligence to understand trends and patterns. This is the reason Business Intelligence applications and softwares have been introduced which help generate data and reports in fractions of minutes.
According to a research on Business Analytics 2014 conducted by Aberdeen Group, 66% of users are facing challenges of taking decisions on the shorter time window.
There are a wide range of Business Intelligence solutions that have been developed by companies like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, etc. that reveal trends that would otherwise remain buried in the company’s database environment. These Business Intelligence solutions also help in extracting relevant information at the right time from large chunks of available data. Albeit, these BI applications are powerful, many a times they have faced criticism of not being flexible and accessible. While more business data gets generated, the key decisions are to be taken in the truncated time - frame.
Since, the geographies have shrunk and interactions have been digitized, there is an increasing want of companies to access BI data in a more fast and easy manner. This demand has steamed up the concept of Mobile BI.
Mobile + BI – An Intelligent Association
Over the last decade, mobile and tablet market has seen an exponential growth. There have been huge changes in the way people interact and collaborate since simple mobile devices have been replaced by smartphones. This has resulted in the influx of corporate users who demand to remain connected 24/7 and access data anytime, anywhere to foster decision making.
To meet this objective, decision makers and strategists are now realizing the need to access, analyze and dissect information on the go from a smartphones and tablet devices. This has brewed the extension of BI on mobile devices.
As today’s businesses are relying on mobile technologies for performing business operations, the availability of BI data on mobile devices spread opportunities to deliver actionable insights beyond the corporate walls. Moreover, with companies adopting BYOD policies, the information needs to be ubiquitous and to be accessed 24/7. Hence, to meet this objective and fasten their underlying decision making, Mobile BI is the best alternative.
With access to information from anywhere, anytime, Mobile BI enables decision makers to take swift and savvy decisions even during the toughest business times. For e.g. In the event of workforce distribution, mobile BI can come out to be an effective tool that lets one share insights and analytics from distant locations.
Not only this, enabling BI on mobile, allows one to update and be more responsive in different work set-up and scenarios like stand-up meetings, conferences & seminars, executive briefings, etc. Mobile BI thus enables companies to get critical information and act on insights breaking the chain tied to physical desks.
In his survey on Mobile BI, it was revealed that the respondents intended to increase the number of personnel with access to Mobile BI and that the majority of industries found Mobile Business Intelligence critically important or very important.
Advantages of Mobile BI
Access to real-time business information and data on mobile confers several benefits to users such as
- Allows making informed and quick decisions
- Enables users to take immediate actions
- Provides a platform to share, collaborate and discuss information in real-time
- Enhances company’s reputation due to accurate-decision making
- Improves knowledge-sharing across departments
- Increases productivity, reducing time-to-information and decision making
Amazing Possibilities Leveraging Mobile BI
The convergence of BI with mobile offers immense opportunities that creates operational efficiencies across various departments of an organization. When more and more employees of a company start implementing Mobile BI, there are chances of leveraging amazing possibilities and achieve the desired standard of decision making and reduce the performance gaps. Here are some scenarios where Mobile BI plays an active role and enhances the business ROI.
Alert & Events :
Using Mobile BI helps users to get alerts and notifications of events that are usually followed outside organizational process.
E.g. A warehouse executive can get alerts about delay in shipping process of items. In this case, he/she can contact the service department to expedite the process by finding another alternative.
Push Reports :
Mobile BI helps push specific reports, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to users during specific cycles like weekly, fortnightly, monthly
E.g. A report on weekly sales can be distributed to each sales and marketing executive on their mobile device. This can help in arranging sales target for the next week.
Pull Data & Information :
With Mobile BI, users can get specific information or data on-demand from a centralized server.
E.g. A manager while in a conference can pull information about the top 10 areas of sales revenue with complete graphical representation.
Hardware Integration :
With integration to hardware devices, a user can also capture and attach conditions and documents with the reports and upload on a centralized server which further can be used by in-house executives.
E.g. ADevices like RFID, NFC or Camera can help a field executive to capture the information or image related to repair or field services and upload on a centralized server which are later accessed by the team members for further processing.
With these, there a many other possibilities that one can explore by utilizing BI capabilities in mobile. Here is a real case of Mobile BI implementation.
Real-time Sensors :
BI when integrated with real-time data sensors allows a user to drive more effectiveness in performing tasks.
E.g. With real-time data sensors in mobile such as GPS, a distribution manager can identify the nearest location to ship items and the BI helps in identifying the traffic condition and routes to reach the location. This helps enhance the delivery value.
A company managing the complete public transportation in UK hired us to implement BI capabilities across their organization to identify and generate bus arrival and departure time as well as conditions of traffic on the different routes. Since the bus service providers required these data and act upon them on an instant basis, we implemented BI on the mobile devices of these service providers which today help in
- Ascertaining the current position of the bus
- Predicting the actual travelling time of bus from source to destination based on current traffic condition and generating exact timetables
- Identifying the actual arrival and departure time of bus from specific bus stops
- Determining the best route to avoid the traffic jams
From all the inference, benefits, examples above, Mobile BI is indeed a journey full of potentials for all BI practitioners. However, companies implementing Mobile BI must see to it that their business and IT goals and aligned to meet the desired Mobile BI objective. It should be also noted that a company should assess their readiness to implement Mobile BI. If there is a lack of streamlined or standardized data and disintegrated processes, there are high chances of failure to extract the desired benefits from the Mobile BI strategy.
Want assistance or consultation to identify the best strategy to implement Mobile BI for your enterprise workforce, get in touch with Cygnet.