Mobile BI on the Move

If you earned a business intelligence degree, it may not come as a surprise to you that company executives are using the same consumer-oriented tablets, social networks and cloud-based applications that high school students use.

According to research firm Gartner, by 2013, 33 percent of BI functionality will be from handheld devices. Within the past year, all major BI companies announced trendy iPad apps, including SAP’s 4.0 Business Objects Edge BI that provides mobile updates and geolocation technology. Even Apple sees the opportunity and actively promotes the iPad’s BI potential.

Says Apple: “No matter what system your company uses for data storage, MicroStrategy Mobile lets you view, analyze, manipulate, and share business data on your iPad. Companies that access a variety of data systems will appreciate the fact that this app can tie into virtually anything—including data warehouses, ERP systems, MDX cubes, and operational databases—to develop custom reports on iPad. You can monitor key performance indicators, identify potential problems, and make critical real-time adjustments.”

In fact, there are a number of apps available for BI that all companies are rushing to win over the market. Kint Finley of outlined 10 Business Intelligence Tools for the iPad, including TIBCO Software that offers powerful analysis, presenting tools, knowledge sharing and easy-to-send reports.

What’s driving this trend is likely the need for real-time collaboration. According to Aberdeen analyst Andrew Borg, today’s businesses need:

  • Effective partner/supplier collaboration (36% of respondents)
  • To increase innovation (35% of respondents)
  • To Increase employee cohesiveness on a global/enterprise-wide scale (31% of respondents)
  • To identify new market opportunities (31% of respondents)

But, 29 percent also said they fear losing proprietary and institutional knowledge. This is where mobile BI comes in.

Analysts believe this technology will sync companies and workers no matter where they are.

Tiemo Wintercamp, senior vice president for arcplan, writes on “As companies become more geographically dispersed and the mobile workforce grows, the need for knowledge sharing and collaboration, and its potential benefit, is magnified. In an increasingly ‘flat’ world, stronger collaboration becomes paramount to the success of an organization.”

This genre is becoming so widespread that companies are even offering free apps with the basic tools.

Roambi Lite is a free online publishing service that automatically transforms Excel data into interactive mobile visualizations, instantly sending information to any iPhone or iPad. In fact, Roambi is one of the leaders in mobile business apps.

The San Diego-based company recently released the new Roambi ESX platform to enable organizations around the globe to deliver engaging analytics and multi-media content to anyone with an iPad. Roambi ESX includes new licensing and features which allow marketers, information publishers and businesses of all types to create interactive, information-rich reports that can be easily distributed internally within companies, or externally to customers and consumers alike, the company said.

At the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit, Santiago Becerra, CEO, chairman and co-founder of MeLLmo, Inc, said: “With the increasing adoption of Apple iOS mobile devices in the enterprise, we are more excited than ever to demonstrate the leading mobile solution for transforming business intelligence into simple, intuitive and engaging analytics.”

Keep your eyes open for the next wave of BI mobile solutions, because they will be popping up over the next five years. Which ones will win over most BI-centric companies?



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