5 misconceptions about Mobile Business Intelligence (Part One)

Juggling seven chainsaws whilst walking a tightrope stretched precariously across a frothing pond of killer Piranhas is hard. Implementing Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) is not. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

Many don’t consider the benefits and potential of Mobile BI thoroughly, dismissing the idea as difficult to implement, use and manage. Others fear high costs and an inability to achieve reasonable ROI. However, properly selected and implemented, Mobile BI can empower business users to derive significant competitive advantage by making better, faster decisions. The initial outlay and Total Cost of Ownership doesn’t have to be higher than Lindsay Lohan on a Saturday night either, with adoption enabling a streamlining of operations.

Here are five common misconceptions, or false concerns about Mobile BI, that create fictitious barriers to entry for many:

1. Mobile BI users can’t experience the same level of interactivity

Many BI solutions heavily restrict the breadth of functionality and interactivity available to users via mobile devices. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Leading solutions enable users to access, share and interact with reports and crucial business data the same as from their PC; anywhere, anytime. Mobile BI should provide users with an interactive, intuitive and collaborative experience without compromise. Elite Mobile BI platforms offer the ability to email and comment on reports, share insight with others within the application, subscribe to reports and set alerts, filter results, drill down and through data. True Mobile BI delivers the flexibility to make critical business decisions on-the-go in real-time; irrespective of location.

Best-in-class Mobile BI offerings also take advantage of native smartphone and tablet functionality, multi-touch interface and large screen form factors.

Yellowfin does all this. Yellowfin represents true device independence. Users have the ability to access all of Yellowfin’s real-time reporting capabilities remotely.

2. Implementing Mobile BI demands that everyone uses the same device or OS

Many BI vendors will suggest that moving your entire workforce onto a single device or Operating System (OS) is a requirement for implementing Mobile BI. This ‘solution’ is time consuming, constrictive, potentially expensive, and above all, highly unrealistic. Employees and potential Mobile BI benefactors receive information on-the-move from a plethora of mobile devices. Additionally, more employees are now demanding the ability to connect to corporate information systems via personal mobile devices. Selecting a vendor that offers a range of native applications for common OS, such as Apple (iPhone and iPad) and Android, as well as HTML 5 integration to allow browser-based access on any device, is critical.

According to Howard Dresner’s updated Mobile Business Intelligence Market Study, to achieve an effective and widespread Mobile BI rollout, organizations should look to vendors that offer native applications across a range of mobile platforms.

Dresner explained, in the live InformationWeek webcast launch of the report, that the ability to support a range of mobile devices natively was a considerable advantage, and formed a good guide for assessing the level of functionality offered by vendor applications.

Dresner said that whilst organizations should consider a raft of issues when selecting a BI solution to support a mobile communications network, the ability to support multiple platforms was a key factor.

“Business Intelligence vendors will have to support multiple mobile platforms, because the reality is, organizations have many of them [mobile devices] and they’re going to be around for a while,” said Dresner.

“There are lots of different devices out there, and it’s very difficult for them to standardize and [organizations] want to make sure that they get the full value of the investment that they’ve made. Whether it’s… an Apple device or an Android device, you shouldn’t have to standardize on a platform. You may choose to, but you shouldn’t have to as it relates to a Business Intelligence solution.”

Where to next?

Keep a look out for the next three common Mobile BI misunderstandings in part two of this blog series, 5 misconceptions about Mobile Business Intelligence (Part Two).

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