How to become more agile with mobile and visualization technologies

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Agility. I've been giving a lot of thought to the term while here in San Diego for the TDWI World Conference.

"Evolving Your Agile BI Environment" is the theme of this year's event and "agility" has definitely been embedded in the conversations I have had with customers the past few weeks.  It is not a  coincidence. 

Regardless of country or industry, organizations and individuals want to be agile. I will go so far as to say we thirst for it. How do you quench the thirst?  How can you make insights easily understood so action can be taken quickly (and then iteratively analyzed for continuous improvement)? 

Understanding and action. Nimbleness and intelligence. These are combinations that are a tall order… but I think rich utilization of data visualization and mobile technology are two keys to agility today. 

While sharing an overview of SAS Business Intelligence research and development direction recently,  a customer told me how important it is to be able to model a potential business situation "the 29 different ways my boss needs to see it" and then to be able to share the best insights via mobile devices throughout the enterprise.  We talked about the power of visualization in both the discovery process and the sharing of a discovery so the best actions can be taken. That naturally led to the point that mobile technology, like the iPad, entices you to not just view a graph but explore it, touch it, understand what it means.  There is a new level of expectation – I want to touch the intelligence mined from my data. Literally.

Today I attended a class on how to find treasure in my data through the power of visualization at TDWI. One of my favorite truths from the class: Visualization enables questioning.  And it reminded me why movement, color, hues, density, design and discovery are all linked. Add in analytics,  the ability to touch my data and interact in real-time on my handy tablet and I have the makings to be pretty agile. 

Through mobile technology, we can quench the thirst to discover, to act on insights driven by analytics just about anywhere at any time.

Mobile powers agility because it incorporates timeliness, flexibility and rich visualization in the pixel perfect package.  The tablet, with its increased real estate and highly intuitive interface, can empower front lines and executives alike. It can enable "The Great Questioning." 

Visualization should light a spark to ask more questions, to be curious.  Mobile technology can add motion, animation… and touch so elegantly. Combined, visualization and mobile can drive agility, differentiation and successful organizations.

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Tammi Kay George

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