"Until now, our community services staff have perceived data going into a black hole. With mobile BI, we can show them charts and interactive dashboards so they can understand what their caseloads are made up of. That gives them information back, and they can see why it is important to keep it up to date."
That was what Mark Singleton, Business Intelligence Manager at the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said about the new implementation of mobile BI.
Their community services provide a wide range of care. The trust is the largest provider of mental healthcare in Lancashire, and one of the biggest in England. They also support patients in managing long-term conditions and treat those who are seriously ill with complex conditions. Most of this takes place in people's homes. It's a complex system of nursing teams and therapists coordinating care by working with GPs and social care.
Mark's analytics are now useful to staff visiting patients at home and are constantly used by the healthcare workers. Staff can now see a purpose in filling out those forms. It is data that will be fed straight back to them. They can now build a fuller picture of diagnostic information, the number of patients they'd seen, and even patient-reported outcomes. Read more about their story here.
Having mobile BI that brings data to their fingertips has completely changed the way these health carers work. The information and feedback are in real-time and they are no longer spending hours pushing paper to maintain their paper-based diary system - it's all on their tablets and updated live.
When the healthcare workers can see their dashboards on their tablet while doing field visits, they can deliver more personalised care.
This is the power of mobile BI.
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Who is mobile BI for?
Community healthcare staff are just one example of how mobile BI is being used to boost business.
When the CEO is in a meeting with a potential investor, she can show the business' live performance on her tablet. She is prepared for any question.
When the operations manager is on the factory floor, away from the computer, he can keep an eye on the hourly output on his mobile; he is able to continually optimise and maintain the line's performance alongside his colleagues.
The digital marketing manager can check the performance of the latest campaign and web analytics as they walk to the next meeting.
The sales person can check their pipeline while travelling so they can create a strategy for who needs to be contacted next and which deals could be brought forward to meet the quarter's quota.
That's the beauty of reporting that's tailored to mobile devices. You get real-time, bi-directional data access to make decisions anytime and anywhere.
What are the business benefits of mobile BI?
Do you have employees or colleagues that leave their desks as part of their work? They go to external meetings, work predominantly offsite, make routine visits to sites and clients away from the office? Perhaps they have a physically active job that means they barely see a fixed computer screen?
All of these roles can benefit from increased productivity with mobile BI.
Here are the top benefits of mobile BI to your workforce and business:
1. Reduced time to information
If you can get the information quickly, even in real-time, you can see changes sooner and react faster. Having your analytics available on your mobile device gives you access to your data and performance at any time, anywhere.
2. Reduced time to decision
With data available to you at all times, you can see any changes and trends as they happen. This gives you the information you need to be able to make decisions at any time, wherever you are. Your business can now be more agile.
3. Improved decision making
When decisions are having to be made on the spot, away from the desk, mobile BI brings concrete evidence on which the decision can be based. There's less reliance on what people 'feel', and more reliance on empirical data. This delivers business decisions that are more confident and fact-based.
4. Improved performance
When the KPIs and targets are constantly before everyone on their mobile devices, reaching those goals are front-of-mind. When goals are clear and there are targets to work toward, employee performance and engagement is boosted. They can track their own performance.
5. Increased revenue
With more engaged employees making smarter, data-driven decisions, you are going to see an uplift in revenue. Mobile BI users can see any fluctuations in the data, mitigate risks and take hold of opportunities as they happen.
6. Competitive advantage: flexibility and adaptability
When you can react to change in real-time wherever you are, you gain a significant advantage over your competition. You can see opportunities sooner, see trends as they happen, mitigate risks faster and adapt your business to the shifts.
7. More knowledge sharing
With data at their fingertips, everyone can see the data they need and share or request the data they want. Having data visible and available encourages people to show others the data, ask questions and share insights. You quickly get greater collaboration across teams and departments as individuals understand the power of data knowledge. This helps you build a stronger business as silos are broken down and data is used to its full potential.
Yes, you could say that most of these are benefits of BI in general, but with mobile BI, everyone can get these benefits anywhere and all the time. Marketing can tweak their campaigns on the go as they see clicks drop. Sales people can see their targets and plan ahead while on the road. CEOs can discuss business performance with advisors and colleagues in the off-site, casual meeting with the statistics at their fingertips. The greatest gift mobile BI gives is flexibility.
What should I look for in mobile BI?
To get the full benefits of mobile BI, you need a business application that has thought through the delivery of data on a mobile device. It's impossible to use analytics that was designed for the desktop when it is simply resized smaller for a mobile. You need the ability to view, filter, drill and sort without the flexibility of a desktop computer. Try some apps, and you'll see they don't all have this available intuitively. So choose one that people will find easy to use. Ease of use breeds adoption, which in turn brings about the seven benefits that boost your business.
The app should also be fully integrated with the version used in the browser so you can create and share reports from your desktop straight to your mobile or colleagues' devices.
Choose a mobile BI app with an offline mode and the analytics can be used wherever you are; you get uninterrupted access.
But above all, you need to be assured of the security of a mobile BI app. If you have solid governance and security throughout your BI set-up, but place a large hole or even a chink in the armour by using mobile BI, you will have undone all of your work. You need an app that reuses the core security infrastructure of your BI platform.
Mark Singleton faced these decisions too when choosing a mobile BI solution for Lancashire Care NHS. Of course, he chose Yellowfin (otherwise I wouldn't have relayed that case study to you, would I?). This is what he had to say:
“When evaluating the different mobile BI solutions on the market, I often found that each product would have its own strengths, but would come with equal weaknesses. Yellowfin was different. No matter how hard I challenged and pushed the product, it always delivered.”
If you want to find out more about how Yellowfin's mobile BI outstrips the competition, discover more here >