Mobile BI


From traditional desktop computers to mobile & tabular form factors

Mobilizing access to Business Intelligence offers tremendous potential to derive greater business value through new use cases, users, precincts and information that lay previously untapped. Through interactions with clients, we have witnessed many enterprises, in the past couple of years, piloting Mobile BI initiatives or planning small-scale deployments. Through year 2014 and beyond, as technologies mature and best-practices emerge to streamline improved technological practices with processes and resources, we expect to see greater adoption of mobilized BI models among enterprises.

The success of Mobile BI implementation initiative within an organizations will ultimately depend on the degree of adoption and levels of user acceptance. Moreover, the pervasiveness of BI practices within the organization will have a direct relation with effectiveness of the initiative. Hand-held devices including mobile phones and tablets are the most convenient and hence, the most significant form factors of information consumption on-the-go. As we progress towards a more dynamic technology landscape where tabular form factors may very well become the default delivery model for enterprise BI consumption, organizations are preparing to hop onto the bandwagon and maximize from the advancements in technology that will make Mobile BI solutions more cost effective, and hence, more accessible than ever before.

As we evolve architectural capabilities and scale-up competencies to accelerate ubiquity of business intelligence through Mobile BI and Real-time Dashboards that provide information from multiple sources, we’re also addressing the critical challenges enterprises may face in successful adoption of Mobile BI.

Managing Security and mitigating loss of critical information

When mobilizing information, BI leaders within the enterprise need to ensure that several critical information security factors are supervised to prevent loss of information. Physical loss or theft of the hardware appears as an immediate concern which could result in misuse of information if exposed to unauthorized access. However, BI leaders’ concern for security is not limited to the BI infrastructure constant alone, but also encompasses other critical variables such as the security of mobile hardware form factor, communication channels, networks, tools and associated users.

Deploying Mobile BI is not simply a candid, accumulative transition from traditional desktops to hand-held devices. The evolution alters the dynamics of use cases, associated users and the required technical and functional capabilities. Moreover, traditional desktop BI tools do not have much interdependence on hardware devices while deployment of Mobile BI solutions will have critical dependency on operating systems of the devices (native iOS & Android or HTML5). This is largely impacted by the growing BYOD phenomenon – making Mobile Security and Mobile Device Management common concern areas for information managers.

Handheld computing devices to make BI more pervasive

Mobile BI solutions are not simply deployments of BI web portal solutions on a handheld device such as a smartphone or a tablet. Mobilizing BI requires developing specialized sets of tools that can deliver BI content on handheld devices to maximize user experience of a touchscreen interface based device while mitigating the challenges of a handheld computing devise as opposed to their traditional desktop based counterparts (e.g, smaller screen size, low processing performance and lesser memory). By mobilizing information, enterprises can also leverage on added advantages (such as accessibility, interaction etc) and unique capabilities (such as location-awareness, context awareness, multiple device support etc) of mobile devices.

Building the roadmap: TekMindz’s structured approach

Mobilizing access to information potentially brings great opportunities to leverage existing information that previously remained untapped, target new precincts and exploit new use cases. However, the challenges organizations face in deploying Mobile BI are fundamentally different from traditional BI implementations. It is critical to understand how Mobile BI is different from desktop based BI in terms of what new functionalities it brings and what key challenges is presents contrasted to its traditional counterpart. Successful Mobile BI solutions will be able to deliver increased mobility increasing the pervasiveness of BI, better access to information through enhanced software applications and hardware capabilities, and richer user experience through engaging touchscreen interfaces.

Aligning BI with enterprise Mobility is a critical success factor for Mobile BI success within an enterprise. This requires information managers and Mobility leaders to formalize robust strategies to streamline critical functions including systems architectures, information and hardware security, mobile devices and software application management, BI content design and user support.

TekMindz’s structured approach to Mobile BI deployment enables organizations in executing Mobile BI initiatives through structured stages:

Assess, Evaluate & Strategize

Initiating, planning and executing complete benefit and limitation assessment to evaluate identify and formalize enterprise Mobile BI strategy.

Integrate information infrastructure with Mobile BI strategy beginning with prototyping and iteratively evolving to build new capabilities for existing BI.

Conduct Gap Analysis between enterprise Mobility and enterprise BI, close gaps and build synergies.

Expand Reach of BI

Maximize return on investment on Mobile BI by targeting new precincts and expanding reach of BI to exploit new use cases and tap previously untouched data.

Leverage Mobile capabilities such as accessibility and enhanced user experience to improve decision making, engage more users and expand the reach of BI.

Build Infrastructure

Identify and select appropriate BI tools to address critical issues such as Mobile device diversity, Information Security, and volume, diversity and complexity of data.

This will also include provisions for incorporation of sanctioned personal devices under enterprise BYOD policies.

Operate & Optimize

Optimize Mobile device BI content and expand pervasiveness of BI by building advanced analytic capabilities.

Continuous performance monitoring to fine-tune processes, finding and closing gaps.