When will Mobile Business Intelligence break into the mainstream?

All major industry analysts agree – Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) will become a widespread and necessary component of many, if not most, enterprise information management frameworks. The real question that remains up for debate is when. When will Mobile BI become a feature of the majority – rather than a talked-about aspect of the pioneering minority – of enterprise IT programs?

BARC on Mobile BI

Results from the Business Application Research Center’s (BARC) BI Survey 10 suggest that Mobile BI remains firmly entrenched in the BI back alleys. The 2011 report, the world’s largest BI end-user survey which was based on almost 3000 responses, revealed that only 8 percent of companies using BI software have users who are currently accessing reports from mobile devices.

Heavy Reading on Mobile BI

In stark contrast to BARC’s findings, independent research firm, Heavy Reading, has suggested that the majority of organizations will use some form of Mobile BI by the end of 2012.

Whist the Heavy Reading results don’t necessarily contradict those garnered by BARC, it does suggest an extremely sharp rate of uptake over the ensuing 12 months.

The report – Mobile Business Intelligence Gains Ground On New Devices – examines the current state of Mobile BI and outlines the trends and developments expected to shape the sub-industry over the next 24 months.

Denise Culver, research analyst with Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider and author of the report, said that according to planned implementations outlined by survey respondents, almost 60 percent of enterprises will have a Mobile BI program in place by the close of 2012. "As enterprises recognize the benefits of Mobile BI – operational efficiency, real-time analytics and customer responsiveness – the industry will continue to grow and develop, and new applications and devices will be created to make it more applicable in the enterprise,” said Culver.

"The need for Mobile BI is clear. Studies indicate that enterprises using Mobile BI make critical management decisions in one-sixth the time of companies that don’t use the technology, or about 26 hours compared with 165 hours," said Culver. "The ability to improve employee productivity with a relatively inexpensive investment using technology that employees already understand and are familiar with is a strong driver for both individuals and enterprises to implement Mobile BI initiatives."

According to a media release regarding the Heavy Reading report, key findings include:

  • Mobile BI vendors should help enterprises understand how to incorporate solutions into business processes
  • Knowing the analysis needs of each of the main beneficiaries of Mobile BI – including executive, sales, and field service teams – is critical
  • Mobile BI provides the ability for personnel and clients to access KPIs and other data at a glance in real-time
  • Enterprise-grade security is a significant factor. As users continue to demand offline access to information, device security and app-specific remote wipe capabilities are critical
  • North America is currently the strongest market for Mobile BI, largely due to the device-savvy digital generation entering the workforce

Yellowfin on Mobile BI

Understanding the modern needs and wants of business users and new-generation information workers is critical to delivering any successful enterprise IT initiative. With the increasing consumerization of enterprise applications and a demographically shifting workforce, Mobile BI needs to deliver an engaging and intuitive end-user experience.

Check out Yellowfin’s new application for the iPad, available for free download from Apple’s App Store, to see how Mobile BI can be as fun and easy as flipping through an online magazine, or sharing ideas across social networks.

Yellowfin new Mobile BI white paper will also be available soon. The paper will be downloadable from the Yellowfin website for free, and will:

  • Outline and define Mobile BI and its main user groups
  • Analyze the external influencers driving organizations towards Mobile BI
  • Examine the internal motivations for implementing Mobile BI
  • List the technical and cultural factors required for a successful Mobile BI implementation
  • Explore the benefits of a successful Mobile BI project and its ability to deliver exceptional Return on Investment

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