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TDWI releases Mobile Business Intelligence and analytics report
2 Apr, 2012 - Lachlan James

The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) has released a new best practices research report on Mobile Business Intelligence (BI).

The report – Mobile Business Intelligence and analytics – was authored by director of TDWI Research for BI, David Stodder, and compiled via survey responses collected from 541 BI, analytics and data management professionals in August 2011.

The report explores the trends and opportunities that the ability to share, access and interact with business data via mobile devices affords modern organizations. It also outlines and analyzes the Mobile BI features and functionality perceived as most valuable to end-users.

Download the 36 page report here


Which are the most popular devices for supporting Mobile BI deployments?

According to the report, Apple iOS is the dominant operating system underpinning current Mobile BI implementations. Of those organizations with existing Mobile BI programs, 67 percent said they delivered mobile reporting and analytics to Apple’s iPad, with 65 percent delivering BI content via the iPhone.

The next most popular platform for mobile analytics proved to be Android-based smartphones and RIM BlackBerry smartphones, with 53 percent of respondent organizations delivering BI content to either group of devices, followed by Android tablets (29%), Microsoft Windows smartphones (20%), RIM BlackBerry tablets (9%) and Symbian smartphones (8%).


Who’s controlling device choice?

It appears that IT has substantial control over the selection of devices for Mobile BI initiatives, with the IT department choosing all mobile devices for all users among 42 percent of respondent organizations. Only 24 percent of participating organizations allowed end-users to freely select their own device for mobile analytics.


Is Mobile BI a priority?

A raft of new industry studies in 2012 have indicated and forecast the continued growth of Mobile BI. TDWI’s research report seems to back those findings, with 61 percent of respondents predicting that users would spend more time accessing analytics via mobile devices over the ensuing 12 months. Significantly, around 70 percent also said that mobile analytics formed an important part of their organization’s strategy for expanding the use of BI within the enterprise. Twenty-eight said that it was “very important”.

However, when compared to other business applications being accessed via mobile devices within the enterprise, BI ranks fourth. Currently, BI is being accessed remotely by 43 percent of survey participants, compared to email and collaboration systems (72%), spreadsheets (51%) and messaging and alerting systems (47%). Although a further 23 percent of respondents plan to implement Mobile BI within 12 months.


Current state of Mobile BI adoption

According to the report, Mobile BI remains in something of an exploratory state, with 53 percent of participants stating that under 10 percent of their organization’s current BI users were receiving reporting and analytics via mobile devices. Sixteen percent indicated that between ten and 25 percent of users had access to Mobile BI.


Top three Mobile BI functionality priorities

The following percentages of survey respondents said that their organization was currently delivering, or planning to deliver, the following functionality to users of mobile analytics:
  • Dashboards (83%)
  • Data visualization (69%)
  • Alerts and activity monitoring (54%)

Top three most important features/capabilities for mobile analytics

Respondents had to rank – from 5 (most important) to 1 (least important) – the importance of a large list of Mobile BI features. The ability to display KPI reports (3.97); browse, filter and search for dashboards and reports (3.82); and drill into reports (3.67) were considered the three most “important” capabilities.


Who are the primary user groups targeted for Mobile BI?

The main user groups targeted as the recipients of mobile analytics were reported as:
  • Senior executives (29% currently using, with a planned further 26% within 12 months)
  • IT managers and developers (23% currently using, with a planned further 26% within 12 months)
  • Line of business managers (21% currently using, with a planned further 30% within 12 months)
  • Business and data analyst (17% currently using, with a planned further 27% within 12 months)

Top business benefits sought from Mobile BI

The report revealed the top four business benefits sought by those organizations with, or seeking to implement, Mobile BI as:
  • Improved customer sales, service and support (65%)
  • Streamlining business processes (60%)
  • Faster BI deployment (50%)
  • Higher levels of user self-service (45%)

Top information access and management benefits sought from Mobile BI

The report identified the top four information access and managerial benefits sought by those organizations with, or seeking to implement, Mobile BI as:
  • Faster and easier access to information for executives (83%)
  • Easier self-service access to data sources (67%)
  • Right-time data for user roles in processes or operations (54%)
  • More frequently updated information for all users (51%)

What are the major obstacles to Mobile BI implementation?

According to TDWI survey respondents, the three biggest obstacles to Mobile BI implementations are:
  • Difficulty in quantifying and identifying tangible ROI (44%)
  • A lack of resources, experience, or training (44%)
  • Data security concerns (41%)

Yellowfin and Mobile BI: Overcoming the obstacles

Yellowfin offers customers the ability to receive mobile analytics out-of-the-box, on any device or platform at no additional cost, via native applications for the iPhone, iPad, Android platform and new HTML 5 integration.

We have a wealth of combined experience as executives, consultants, developers and product architects, and a range of face-to-face, online and documented training to get you up and running quickly and easily.

And, our multi-tiered security model gives you the confidence necessary to implement widespread Mobile BI. Yellowfin’s mobile applications reuse Yellowfin’s security infrastructure, so your data security is assured.

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