Friday, July 31, 2009

Mobile BI

During the month of July, Dashboard Insight published several articles and interviews about Mobile BI, nowadays increasingly a hot topic, with the quick evolution of the gadgets. I collected some passages of the articles and interviews that I think are interesting:

According William Laurent, in his post Mobile BI Goes Interactive, there are four primary justifications for having remotely enabled BI:

1. Speed up executive decision making
2. Improve and augment customer service
3. Increase operational productivity and streamline business processes
4. Mitigate risks and govern business processes and assets

In Mobile Applications in the Workplace, Ryan Goodman wrote: The success of any application is dictated by its usefulness, execution, and user adoption. The following best practices will ensure that you avoid the common pitfalls when developing or evaluating existing mobile applications for your business:

- Verify the content is important enough to be required away from a computer.
- Ensure the interface is extremely simple and easy to use.
- Provide information in a logical linear or hierarchical format.
- Implement aesthetics should be sharp and easy to read.
- Use pop-up or expanding functionality that is obvious for users to execute.
- Expose an intuitive interface that requires little to no training.
- Reduce or eliminate the need to zoom.
- Link the application to an action (another application, email, phone number, etc).
- Leverage human-computer-interface capabilities whether gesture, stylus, touch, etc.

"Within the last year or so, solution providers have announced mobile BI solutions. These solutions differ from their predecessors in two key ways: 1) mobile BI includes interaction with BI applications and functionality, and 2) attractive user interfaces make the use of BI possible and much easier", wrote Lyndsay Wise, in The State Of Mobile BI - Past, Present And Future.

In Mobile BI Gets Interactive, Anthony Deighton commented: Two things have happened since BI applications were first introduced to mobile devices. First, the always-on connectivity of 3G wireless networks has improved to the point that a mobile device has become a reliable business tool. Second, the iPhone has set a new standard for multi-touch interactivity with mobile devices that consumers, who are also business users, have become quickly accustomed to.

About the concern with security, Chris Meredith said: While security should be major concern among all application developers, there is an extra element to mobile security. The nature of mobile technology makes it much more susceptible to theft or loss. Our controls are designed following all of Microsoft’s best practices and policies regarding security (passwords, encryption, permissions and so on). As long as best practices are followed when using our mobile software, end users will have few worries about sensitive data being compromised in the case of a lost or stolen device.

"Consumers want consistency, device-independence, and uninterrupted access to content. IT pros want solutions that work with existing hardware, software, and networking standards. Meeting both sets of needs requires a robust BI platform that can deliver tailored solutions -- ideally, a platform that can work with any device, both online and offline", wrote Rado Kotorov in Choosing a BI Architecture for Mobile Devices.

About risk and regulatory intelligence, Steve Schlarman said: Risk and regulatory intelligence is gained when an organization has implemented methods to consolidate, correlate and analyze data coming from risk and regulatory management processes - to gather insight into those respective processes. Risk management and regulatory compliance objectives can often be met without any consolidated view, e.g., the SOX audit passed, we made it through the PCI assessment this quarter, etc. However, the ability to consolidate data gleaned from those individual processes allows the organization to actually correlate issues and activities and to streamline and improve the processes, thus providing a new level of intelligence to the overall risk and regulatory management program.

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