Mobile BI: The ‘must have’ analytics accessory of 2013

Forget it. 2013 isn’t the year of the snake. It’s the year of Mobile Business Intelligence (BI). Or, more particularly, it’s the year Mobile BI will transition from a point of differentiation – embraced by leading BI deployments – to a ‘must have’ checklist item for organizations serious about their BI implementations.

So, with the frenzied and frenetic rush to consolidate or embrace mobile reporting and analytics, to empower multi-device and constantly on-the-move decision-makers, it’s just as well that Enterprise Apps Today have identified Yellowfin among the globe’s “Top 10 Mobile Business Intelligence Apps”.

Must have Mobile BI mentality

Independent analyst and advisory firm, BI Scorecard, surveyed 634 BI practitioners in its 2012 Successful BI Survey, its sixth and most recent version of its report into BI adoption and trends.

As reported by Information Management, when asked what BI functionality and improvements they would be looking to adopt and embrace for 2013, 47 percent of respondents listed Mobile BI.

Results from BI Scorecard’s investigation were substantiated by findings from Forrester Research. Forrester’s most recent survey-based research indicates that around 25 percent of enterprises are already using Mobile BI applications, with a further 37 percent planning Mobile BI implementations in the short-term.

Principal analyst at Forrester Research, Boris Evelson, recently commented that: "Mobility is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it will become the new BI mantra. Currently, Mobile BI adoption is behind the curve compared with other enterprise mobile applications. This is mainly due to the perceived lack of specific business use cases and tangible ROI. But Mobile BI caught up in 2012, will continue to progress in 2013, and will eventually become the norm. Why? Information workers can no longer wait to make decisions until they get back to the office – that may be too late."

Mobile BI to boost lackluster BI adoption rates in 2013

Rates of BI adoption have been a consistent talking point within the BI industry. Numerous research firms estimate adoption rates to languish anywhere between eight and 28 percent of potential users.

However, it’s likely that increased Mobile BI adoption in 2013 will help address this persistent problem – according to BI Scorecard founder, and author of the 2012 Successful BI Survey, Cindi Howson.

“Only a minority of companies have deployed Mobile BI, but for the ones who are successful, the adoption rate is at 39 percent,” commented Howson in relation to her 2012 Successful BI Survey. “That’s about 15 percent higher than the industry average. I think it will be the technology that helps BI become more mainstream and impactful.”

Fellow research and advisory firm, Nucleus Research, came to a similar conclusion in its eleventh annual Top 10 Technology Predictions for 2013. Nucleus Research forecast that BI adoption would double worldwide in 2013, citing “further efforts from vendors to make analytics accessible to every user”.

Mobile BI usage spurred by proliferation of work-oriented tablets

The continued penetration of new mobile devices in the workplace will also assist the uptake of Mobile BI in 2013.

IDG Connect’s Global tablet ownership report suggests, based on a sample of 3124 respondents, that 71 percent of business and IT professionals own a tablet, with 61 percent of those tablet-owning-executives using this mobile device on a daily basis at work. Notably, of those executives who don’t currently own a tablet, 80 percent plan on purchasing one within the next 12 months. Consequently, IDG Connect predicts that by the end of 2013, over 94 percent of professionals will own a tablet.