impact on business

Mobilizing Business Intelligence

With every other aspect of the online world moving increasingly onto mobile devices, it is time for the world of business intelligence and analytics to catch up. Mobile BI – with good management, and the right infrastructure – can be a powerful extension for the analytic capabilities of any organization. There are many benefits to its implementation, not least the increased workforce productivity and the ability to collaborate regardless of location and time.

First though, writes Christian Sheen for Oracle, there are some hurdles to overcome. These can include convincing your organization to deploy the necessary infrastructure in the first place – especially with regard to security, understanding mobile versus desktop development issues, coaxing employees into the concept of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) as well as garnering the support required to utilize a mobile device for data analysis. Fortunately however, each has a solution.

Security: Once outside the relative safety of the office, chances for data breaches and intrusions multiply. Privacy of data is a huge concern and allowing access to this on a mobile device greatly increases the risk of this being compromised. However, with a robust security system, using mobile device management (MDM), data can be remotely managed, wiped, or provisioned if necessary.

Device Ownership: How are users provided with access is an important question. A policy of BYOD is the answer here. With users leveraging their own devices the company no longer needs to supply large numbers of people with a corporate device. Issues of personal and company space on the device and in life can be a problem with such an approach, but there are MDM tools that can help to solve this by restricting data and access to certain apps at certain times or in certain situations.

Mobile BI Design: This is part of a wider, ongoing debate about whether it is better to have a responsive design or lead with content developed specifically for a mobile device. Unfortunately 'mobile first' design can slow down the process of achieving mobile BI in an organization.

Collaboration and Engagement: This can give users the means to add feedback into the BI system. Simplified – this is merely creating comments on a report or dashboard.

Once these issues are overcome, it is easy to see how mobile BI is the logical extension of BI strategy within the wider organization. The focus should – always – be on building a solid foundation for the organization's enterprise analytics. But by planning mobile BI with a strong hold on security, collaboration and user engagement this can be achieved and the organization can reap the rewards.