Why you won't find a dashboard in our new mobile app
It dawned on me recently that I don’t often use the Yellowfin mobile app. Like other BI apps, our app essentially replicated the dashboard experience on the phone. But I don’t like viewing a dashboard on my phone, I’d much prefer to look at it on my desktop because the screen is larger. We realized that there’s no point in continuing to replicate the desktop experience, so we started to think about how people use their phones and set about reinventing our app.
When I reach for my phone in the morning, I check my emails, flick through the news headlines, prioritize and flag things that I want to look at in more detail on my desktop. Essentially the phone is used to snack on information, prioritize and quickly action things. It isn't used to do any detailed or long-form analysis, but it helps prepare us for the day and keep things moving. With this in mind, we've completely reimagined our mobile application. But first we thought about what it didn’t need - so we’ve discarded the dashboard.
We believe Signals and Stories are the future of how people will consume and interact with analytics so they are at the core of our new app. Rather than just delivering graphs and tables, we want to give business users information that they actually want to consume and can use to make decisions. Signals and Stories tell people what has happened and why it’s happened so they can then decide whether they need to action it. You can open up the app first thing in the morning and flick through what Signals have been detected overnight. This information is delivered in a way that you can actually consume on your phone and take action immediately. It helps you to make decisions instantly and drive outcomes. For example, I woke up one morning to see a Signal that said there had been a spike in Google AdWords on mobile devices in Bangladesh. But we don’t have a market in Bangladesh and mobile devices are not the best channel to market for us. So, I immediately sent a question to the Marketing team asking them why we’re marketing to mobile devices in Bangladesh. We were able to switch those ads off immediately and start investigating them. This saved us both time and money. Analytics has traditionally been a passive exercise thanks to dashboards. By their nature, dashboards are something people consume but they don’t necessarily prompt them to take action. Our new mobile app will turn analytics into something that people can engage with and enable them to take action. Our Beta version of the new app will be ready in a couple of months. We’ll then roll it out to everyone on the latest version of Yellowfin shortly after that. Our mobile app untethers us from the dashboard paradigm and takes us into the future. We believe it’s an app that you’ll want to look at and engage with every morning.