The concept of mobility has taken over Business Intelligence over the past few years and breathed new life into Business Intelligence. Business users have been given the ability to access data, analyse and make decisions at the tip of their fingers. Of course, as mobile technologies evolve, mobile BI continues to evolve, bringing business users new capabilities every day.

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In this blog, we discuss the key changes in mobile BI, as discussed by research organisations such as Gartner and Forrester:

1. Growth in mobile BI users

It is widely known that mobile BI adoption has been relatively slow. However, as businesses become more aware of the benefits of mobile BI and continue to demand mobile connectivity with every application, adoption rates for mobile BI is anticipated to grow rapidly over the course of this year.

Forrester Research has put mobile applications at the number one spot of its Top Technology Trends to Watch: 2014 to 2016, according to an article by Data Diversity. Additionally, Gartner finds that there has been a 42% increase in mobile BI adoption rates in 2013 alone. Gartner claims that mobile BI is the fastest growing Business Intelligence capability, believing that one third of BI functionality in 2014 will be consumed by users with mobile devices. In general, there will be an increase in mobile BI technology throughout the enterprise.

2. Specialised applications 

Neil Chandler, Research Director at Gartner, states, “end users simply want to access enterprise BI data so that they can more effectively work with customers and suppliers, regardless of the device used”. As a result, they anticipate that there will be a bigger focus on specialised applications geared towards specific requirements.

Gartner expects mobile applications to evolve from being a component of existing applications to true mobile applications that allow users to perform specific analyses and accomplish specialised tasks. BI professionals are advised to focus on customers and suppliers (as end-users) and work together with marketing and supply chain functions to build mobile applications that can truly help end-users as they work with customers and suppliers.

3. Mobile-optimised dashboards and visualisation

Some organisations believe that mobile BI still has some flaws and there is a general concern about its overall effectiveness. 

Despite this, there has been a collaboration between mobile technologies, data discovery tools and cloud-based applications that are converging to make mobile BI better. Many vendors have built dashboards and visualisation capabilities that are optimised for mobile applications to improve visibility and simplicity.

4. Collaborative, social decision-making

Social media and collaboration are two phrases normally not associated with Business Intelligence. The process usually involves an analyst, high-level executives and tools such as Power Point, Excel and the BI tool itself. But that’s about to change. According to Gartner, decision-making will become a more collaborative process this year.

This could perhaps be attributed to the rise of mobile BI tools. Given that business users are performing analysis on their mobile BI tool on-the-go, they are constantly in communication with other executives and collaborating with them to draw insights and make decisions. Furthermore, it is predicted that this collaborative decision-making will involve social networking, to a certain extent. Given that social media is always accessible on a mobile device that is always present with the business user, this is likely to happen in the near future.

From the looks of it, 2014 is the year of mobile BI. More than ever, it will be crucial to have a sound mobile component of your business intelligence strategy. To dive further into mobile BI and how it can help your business achieve competitive advantage, refer to our article.

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Tags: Trends

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