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5 reasons to implement Mobile Business Intelligence
11 Apr, 2012 - Lachlan James

You don’t really need another reason. And you certainly don’t need an excuse.

But, in case you’re experiencing an acute case of forgetfulness or lethargy, here’s a reminder – shifting work environments and new technologies are creating constantly connected workforces and driving the demand for, and amplifying the benefits of, Mobile Business Intelligence (BI).


Shifting work environments and new technologies driving enterprise mobility

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), nearly one billion smart connected devices – PCs, media tablets, and smartphones – were shipped in 2011. That figure is predicted to top 1.1 billion in 2012, with shipments expected to double 2011’s tally and reach 1.84 billion units by 2016, as businesses of all shapes and sizes around the world show a nearly insatiable appetite for smart connected devices. Most significantly, IDC predicts that the number of mobile devices, principally smartphones in conjunction with tablets, are set to dwarf the number of PCs – outnumbering them by more than five to one. And, on the back of that growth, global internet users will double between now and 2015 (according to Morgan Stanley Research), with mobile users accounting for around 80 percent of consumption.


Enterprise mobility driving Mobile BI

Recent research from Gartner, TechTarget and Co. have suggested the continued embracement of smart connected devices by businesses will affect Mobile BI adoption rates, with many analyst and enterprise IT media groups suggesting that around 50 percent of organizations will have implemented some form of mobile analytics by year’s end.

But, if you’re not one of the 20 percent with, or one of the 30 percent planning to deploy, Mobile BI in 2012, why should you bother?

Well, here are five good reasons to get on board:

1. Faster decision-making
A recent Aberdeen Group report – Mobile BI: Actionable Intelligence for the Agile Enterprise – found that companies with Mobile BI could make critical business decisions six times faster than organizations without a mobile platform for reporting and analytics. The capacity to quickly identify trends, patterns and emergent opportunities (or threats) produces competitive advantage.
 
2. Better decision-making
Equipping mobile decision-makers with up-to-date fact-based information not only improves the speed with which information is transmitted and decisions are made, but the capacity for on-the-go personnel to improve the quality of their decision-making.
a. Collaboration
Mobile BI users can share reports, information and insight relating to BI content – with other authorized users – across devices and platforms to collectively solve problems and decide on the best course of action. Sharing new ideas and fresh perspectives creates a more effective and efficient decision-making process. Users are able to utilize the knowledge gained through reporting and analytics more efficiently and effectively to make better, faster decisions. For example, sales executives affected by a delayed shipment could email the stock level report to the marketing manager. Notifying the marketing team about the delay allows them to adjust the launch of their advertising campaign accordingly. Likewise, the CEO of SomeFirm could set the agenda for 9am’s AGM by commenting on or annotating a report and distributing it to the rest of the executive team during his morning commute.

3. Enhanced productivity
Mobile BI empowers decision-makers across all industry types and functional roles to utilize time more effectively and reduce inefficiencies: Executives can transform the airport lounge into strategic workshops, sales personnel can convert a prospect’s conference room into the perfect pitching environment, and line managers can match strategy with output on the shop floor.
 
4. Monitor business performance at a glance
Mobile dashboards make monitoring KPIs easy, and ensures that executives always have their fingers firmly on the pulse of the business.
 
5. Improved customer satisfaction
Field personnel need to have an accurate understanding of their organization’s customer-base to do their job effectively. Pro-active alerts and access to both real-time and historical data, detailing current customer needs and past behaviors, will lead to increased efficiency and productivity ‘in the field’, and ultimately enhanced customer satisfaction.
 
Can you think of any other benefits of Mobile BI? What have we missed?

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