Despite the maturity of business intelligence solutions, adoption rates continue to underwhelm. Roughly one quarter of potential employees use BI in corporations who have deployed it. However, a convergence of market trends is poised to drive greater adoption:
- Mobile BI
- Interactive data visualizations
Let’s explore how each aspect promotes BI adoption and how, collectively, they can boost return on BI investment. In this two-part series, I will illustrate each with examples using RoambiTM ES from MeLLmo®, rated by Fortune magazine as one of the best apps for business.
Mobile BI has been discussed theoretically for years, and some reports and progress indicators have been delivered to very small screens. But as static material, those reports were little more than tiny snapshot emails. The larger screen size and engaging visuals on tablet computers and some smart phones have made mobile BI a reality. Ever-online execs and line-of-business managers can keep track of near real-time data, spot emerging trends in their business data, and receive actionable alerts.
One classic implementation is to deploy BI dashboards to mobile. Consider a corporate banking risk manager, Jill, who is computing by rail into the office. With a mobile dashboard, she can access the latest data, identify trends needing attending, and drill into details. In the example in Figure 1, Jill has identified that commercial outstanding balances are have increased over 14 percent in the Eastern region, significantly higher than other regions.
At this point, Jill may need additional information – are particular commercial customers driving this? Is this spike creating higher risk than policy prescribes, on balance with other lines of business? She may now need to share what she’s spotted with others to decide next steps.
Collaborative Decision Support
Jill realizes she needs additional information from other colleagues. From this Roambi Trends view on her iPhone, she can easily share the view and invite her colleagues to comment. By clicking on the heads icon, from the collaboration panel, Jill can send a text message to a co-worker who also subscribes to this data. She can also send an email containing a link to the view, adding her comments, as show in Figure 2.
Business Intelligence advocates have long touted its value proposition in terms of decision support, promoting one version of the truth, and increasing speed to insight. Delivering BI via mobile, and coupling that with collaboration, helps deliver on that proposition. With its ease-of-use and simple deployment, Roambi for SAS helps business users get discrete, actionable data into decision makers’ hands, wherever and whenever they need it.
In the second and last piece of this series, I will explore how interactions with data on mobile devices can entice users, further helping to drive adoption and user delight.