Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dresner’s Point: Are You Ready for the Mobile BI Diamond?

A participant in one of my Friday #BIWisdom tweetchats observed that “in the mobile ecosystem, Big Data + social + the NSA data surveillance news are a perfect storm.” Will the NSA storm change attitudes regarding mobile BI and thus hinder its growth? It’s a good question and it sparked an interesting discussion in our Twitter group.

Before the perfect storm, our tweetchat tribe (comprised of customers, vendors and consultants/analysts) were of the opinion that the growing “app” mentality for “cool stuff” among consumers and the easy-to-consume info in mobile apps could end up increasing trust and thus lead to less testing and faster releases.
But one of the tribe tweeted that, at a minimum, the NSA storm will draw more attention to the organizational risks inherent in BYOD models. However, another member pointed out that BYOD is already a big challenge in mobile BI adoption because it makes it difficult to keep standardize and optimize the mobile BI experience.

Someone tweeted that users in finance groups were already the least interested in mobile BI. They tend to be risk averse, and the NSA storm may cause the risks to seem even larger. But another participant tweeted that customer-facing business units are the biggest adopters, not the back-office finance groups. In fact the biggest drive for mobile BI is coming from the boardroom.
The #BIWisdom tribe concluded that the perfect storm won’t have much impact on the growth of mobile BI because “it’s absolutely essential that data be real time” and “in a data-driven culture, the information needs to follow people everywhere.”

Our group agreed that a lot of organizations are trying mobile BI, but achieving success is a slow process. Other organizations are reluctant to justify the investment without greater proof of success, and many of the benefits (such as more eyes on the information, ready access to information) are hard to quantify.

Challenges include:

• Connectivity issues that make live mobile BI undependable.
• Difficulty in authoring and using advanced analytics until the UI/UX fundamentally changes. It can’t just be a simple port of existing code to mobile; it requires rethinking.

An even bigger issue, tweeted a tribe member, is that by definition mobile BI informs one person at a time. “What happens after people are seamlessly informed individually?” he asked.

“They can still collaborate,” tweeted someone else. “What’s the difference if they collaborate on the road or in a cube?”

“Collaborate how?” he responded. “Collaboration requires some thoughtful engineering, which is currently lacking.”

“BI can’t be in its own dimension,” another tribe member tweeted. “Collaboration must be part of the workflow and process to decision making, and that workflow must be smooth and transparent. And not all users feel comfortable with collaboration features, so there’s a cultural shift that must take place.”

The #BIWisdom group concluded that, despite the NSA storm and the technical issues that still need to be addressed, mobile BI will grow.

Bottom line: Like an unpolished diamond in the rough, mobile delivery of business intelligence hasn’t yet reached its potential. But our annual Wisdom of Crowds® market studies show that mobile is increasingly becoming a force in BI. In fact, our recent report on the Wisdom of Crowds® Cloud Business Intelligence Market Study highlighted the fact that 70.4 percent of respondents ranked mobile BI as “critically important” in 2012.

Mobile BI is also a natural complement to cloud BI, which is definitely growing in importance. Our 2013 Wisdom of Crowds® study also found that many small organizations are embracing mobile BI and cloud BI as a means of side-stepping traditional computing. The user data indicates strong synergy between cloud and mobile in BI.

The demand for business intelligence arises from multiple needs; some won’t suit mobile delivery, but some will. So mobile BI adoption will grow despite its current drawbacks.
Consequently, mobile BI will engage a whole new group of users — and they will need to be educated about the use of BI data.

Click Here to Purchase Your Copy of the 2012 Wisdom of Crowds ® Mobile Computing/Mobile BI Market Study

Howard Dresner is president, founder and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services, LLC, an independent advisory firm. He is one of the foremost thought leaders in Business Intelligence and Performance Management, having coined the term “Business Intelligence” in 1989. He has published two books on the subject, The Performance Management Revolution — Business Results through Insight and Action, and Profiles in Performance — Business Intelligence Journeys and the Roadmap for Change. He hosts a weekly tweet chat (#BIWisdom) on Twitter each Friday. Prior to Dresner Advisory Services, Howard served as chief strategy officer at Hyperion Solutions and was a research fellow at Gartner, where he led its Business Intelligence research practice for 13 years.

1 comment:

  1. I have crossed many organisation. But most of the
    organizations are reluctant to justify the
    investment without greater proof of success,
    and many of the benefits (such as more eyes
    on the information, ready access to information)
    are hard to quantify.
    Well said.
    Very timely Post.
    Very remarkable topic to talk about

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