This post is guest authored by Michael Lock, Vice President & Principal Analyst, Analytics & Business Intelligence at Aberdeen Group.
The proliferation of mobile devices coupled with the increased computing horsepower of today’s mobile technology is paving the way for an evolution in the business world. While the initial wave of mobile business enabled the consumption of intelligence via a mobile report or dashboard, the new paradigm supports creation, action and business execution through a mobile form factor. Typically the traditional approach to business intelligence (BI) would have been owned and executed by the IT side of the house, but mobile solutions in the evolved business landscape are empowering a wide variety of line-of-business decision makers. From the plant manager on the shop floor of a manufacturing facility to the field service employee at a customer site, mobile solutions are facilitating insight and action right at the point of decision.
It’s no secret that the structure of today’s organization is changing to accommodate more mobile and remote employees. Aberdeen’s April 2014 report, Mobile BI: Portable Firepower for Line-of-Business Insight, discusses this trend in the context of workforce collaboration. As geographic dispersal becomes more of an issue for employers, companies are looking for mobile solutions that can go beyond the simple one-way delivery of reports. The most effective mobile tools therefore enable collaboration, process control, and ultimately more effective decisions. In order to boost the effectiveness of this decision process, companies are increasingly looking for ways to make their employees more engaged in analytical thought and activity. The research shows that companies leveraging mobile solutions for analytical purposes are seeing greater levels of adoption, engagement, and self-service usage of analytics (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Analytical Efficiency with Mobile BI
Source: Aberdeen Group, March 2014
An additional and perhaps even more critical aspect of the decision process is timeliness. The most groundbreaking, game-changing business insights are worthless if delivered too late to impact the decision at hand. Whether a business user is a tactical, operational employee with very tight requirements for information delivery, or a strategic thinker with a wider margin of error, information needs to be in-hand at the point of decision (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Timely Insight at the Point of Decision
Source: Aberdeen Group, March 2014
Despite the fact that companies using mobile analytics are working with a shorter decision window, they are more likely to get critical information within that period of time. Lifting the burden of being tied down to a physical desk allows mobile BI users to discover and act on critical insights before the window closes and the information becomes moot.
Just about every company out there can stand to benefit from a more effective process of transforming data into insight, and getting that insight into the hands of business users quicker. While the first wave of mobile BI solutions may have been appropriate primarily for executives or mobile employees simply viewing and consuming information, nowadays companies are making mobile activity more pervasive and looking to do more at the point of decision. Bringing mobile intelligence to a variety of industries and job functions, Best-in-Class companies equip their operational decision makers with engaging mobile solutions that facilitate faster and more effective decisions.
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