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Business intelligence on the go

Jack Loo | April 11, 2012
The fast pace of business and influx of devices such as tablets are making BI mobile.

Besides the sales workforce, management executives are clamouring for mobile business intelligence tools. "We see line-of-business heads and C-level executives increasingly demand dashboards and analytics views. These executives are often on the road or in meetings, so they find desk-bound content of limited utility," said Forrester Research's Anderson.

According to IBM's Farquhar, a Singapore client operating in the financial services vertical installed the same platform for its executives and senior management to have real-time updates on processes such as unsecured lending, mortgages, liabilities and campaigns on the go. Previously, the CFO of the company felt that static information from pdf, excel and ppt formats does not provide timely updates on the business.

"We expect almost all C-level executives using tablets as the means to access business intelligence and analytics applications. In the near future, most enterprise users will also accessing and entering information using these devices, and desktops will be restricted to very limited number of high transaction operational users," said SAP's Prasad.

Meanwhile, the best use of mobile business intelligence is the ability to make use of features in the device, delivering meaningful and context aware insights to users according to John Brand, VP, Principal Analyst, CIO Group, Forrester Research.

"For example, they are using the location-based services of the devices to determine filters and slicers for the applications. Or they use proximity sensors to determine the most important information based on what's around the user," said Brand.

However, with new products, users and vendors finding their feet in maximising the use of mobile business intelligence, this area can be "more an art than a science today".

"It is important to get the right architecture in place and then make sure you deliver really impactful features, rather than just interesting reports that can be read on the road," said Brand.


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