Mobile business intelligence is a growing sector, yet which form should it take? Tech analyst Wayne Kernochan looks at the various possibilities.
Mobile BI must take into account multiple devices, data needs and work environments in order to be successful.
As if the advent of agile business intelligence wasn't enough of a puzzle, IT buyers are now being asked to wrap their minds around the notion of mobile business intelligence. There are several head-scratching features of mobile BI as it is advertised today:
· Today's hot analytics tools are all about deeper, more ad-hoc analysis based on data-stuffed enterprise reports, and floods of just-in-time data alerting real-time enterprises and driving more immediate decisions – in other words, lots of data with complicated relationships. How do you fit all that on a cell phone screen? How do you perform complicated analyses without a keyboard?
· What's the target form factor? First it seemed to be the iPhone, then the iPhone plus iPad, and now it appears to be a stew of iPhone, Android, iPad and other approaches.
· What's the use case? Is it sales-type customer interaction, with just-in-time price comparisons and local inventory search? Is it global marketing, with the executive traveling light and always in touch with local markets and corporate financials? Is it the manufacturing process, with supply-chain analytics in the middle of the factory floor or the warehouse? Is it glocality, with cheap cell-phone access driving thriving developing-country offices? What's the killer app?
I believe that there are straightforward answers to each of the above questions that should improve an enterprise's implementation of mobile business intelligence. However, to get to these answers we need to rethink some basic assumptions implicit in today's vendor "visions" of mobile BI. In particular, we need to shed the assumption of one-size-fits-all mobile hardware.
Read the rest about mobile business intelligence at Enterprise Apps Today.