Mobile BI is one of the recent evolutions in Business Intelligence enables Business users to make ‘on-the-go’ business decision using any smart device including Blackberry, iPhone and iPad etc. Many Fortune 500 companies have started evaluating Mobile BI and the Business value it would add to the current Business goals. Few organizations are interested to know the value addition of Mobile BI to the existing Decision making process. Also, Gartner predicted that 33% of BI functionality will be consumed via handheld devices by 2013. Is industry prepared to adapt Mobile BI for their business operations? Datavibes engaged with Business users and Business Intelligence Leaders to understand the value / benefits they want to bring into their environment by implementing Mobile BI. In other words, what would they like to achieve through Mobile BI? Each had their own concerns. Business users interests were in: how Mobile BI Dashboards / Reports / Application can cater to the needs of every user? Will it replace the existing BI Reports / Applications? What is the involved risk for data security? In the other side, Business Intelligence Leaders (or Managers) concerns were in day-to-day challenges including demonstrating ROI & Benefits to the Business stakeholders (or users) in various divisions, training the end users to use Handheld (or Smart phone) devices for analysis, and providing technical support & maintenance for both BI application versions.
Based on the market trend and customer responses, Datavibes identified that the organizations are open to consider Mobile BI, provided it addresses the above mentioned challenges and leverage the existing infrastructure without adding Tool Licensing costs. There are several architectural design approaches to address security concerns and Business approaches to measure ROI & Benefits for BI projects. Hence, Datavibes Centre of Excellence (CoE) team narrowed its primary focus on how to demonstrate the values / benefits of Mobile BI by considering the invested BI efforts into account? As a result, the CoE team understood the importance of setting expectations in Business users about what to expect from Desktop / Web-based BI reports and what from Mobile BI applications? In other words, what kind of analysis / data that a Business user would like to perform / see in Desktop application Vs Mobile BI apps? Organizations should perceive the fact that Mobile BI is not intended to migrate the Desktop / Web-based reports into Mobile and Smart devices. The main purpose is to provide flexibility for users to receive updates on most frequently viewed Business information in a device closely associated to life. In addition, it should provide some instructions to react during the varied / mixed performance of the Business. For example, Sales Representative in the Pharmaceutical industry use Sales Analytics application to track the changes in the Physicians prescription counts of the assigned brands. Major analysis of Sales Representatives includes, Prescription count for targeted brands Vs competitor brands, Market share of targeted brands Vs Competitor brands, Voucher (Medicine samples) counts for Physicians and Sales call activities etc. In this case, Applications can be categorized into two namely Mobile and Desktop / Web-based app. Mobile BI application can provide an aggregated information of total Prescription counts (TRx) of the targeted brands & Competitor brands, total market share of the targeted brands & Competitor brands and Targeted calls Vs Actual calls etc. The granular details of the Physician demographics and associated TRx details over a time period can be made available in the Desktop / Web-based versions. Also, instructions on how to better promote the brands that need more attentions can be provided in the mobile versions enabling Sales Representatives to focus during Sales call / visits. In another example, a Stock exchange Broker likes to see instantaneous stock updates and details about the trends of the firms in the BI application. In this case, Mobile BI app can provide instantaneous stock update of the firms in an aggregated form and Desktop / Web-based application can provide more granular / detail information to analyze the trends over a period of time. In addition, Mobile version can provide instructions to Sell / Buy stocks based on the market responses. These may not be ideal business solutions however, provides an ability to view the frequently viewed data any time using Smart devices and data history for analysis through Desktop / web-based versions.
Datavibes Implementation approach geared towards adding value to the customer in every stage of implementation and the details are mentioned below.
- Assess the customer’s BI standpoint using Datavibes Insight Index tool
- Prepare a BI implementation Road map to include Mobile BI
- Pilot the BI Dashboards in Mobile / Smart devices by identifying the user requirements
- Gather user feedback / response on using Mobile BI Vs existing Desktop versions
- Implement incorporating the user feedback and ensure seamless user experience
- Monitor the results periodically to make valuable enhancements / improvements
This approach allows organization to take Go / No-Go Decision on Mobile BI by knowing the facts and provides insight about to build a strategy to implement Mobile BI. In the first step, Insight Index tool assess the customer BI standpoint by considering various factors including organization goal, current growth, work culture, business process, infrastructure, industry standards and market trends etc. The result of the first step (Assess) will provide insight to the customer about the gap that needs to be filled to introduce Mobile BI. In some cases, organization preparedness may be one of the hindrances to implement Mobile BI. It allows organizations to take a step back and think how to close the gap to proceed further with any future BI implementation. In the second step (Prepare), the BI Road map allows the organization to determine the right time to implement Mobile BI leveraging the current infrastructure and resources. This let the organization to understand how to best leverage the existing resources and implement Mobile BI along with ongoing BI initiatives. Having positioning Mobile BI implementation in the BI Roadmap, identify the key KPIs, measures and Reports to implement in Mobile BI apps and pilot the application across the user group / community. In this phase (Pilot), users can play around with the BI reports and understand the distinction between Desktop and Mobile versions. Feedbacks after the Pilot phase should be translated into ‘User Requirements’ in the next phase (Gather), with strong focus to achieve better user experience and result. By the time the organization reach to the Implementation step, both Business stakeholders and Implementation team will know the difference in Mobile BI apps and desktop / Web-based reports which in turn smoothens the implementation. In the next step (Implementation), The Project Managers can continue to apply the existing process / practice for better implementation. Datavibes strongly believes that the Success of BI is not just the implementation but also setting up an organization specific BI monitoring process to track the result at periodic intervals. In the last phase (Monitor), Datavibes engage with Business stakeholders to set up a monitoring process to track the business performance and methods to make necessary enhancements to improve the overall efficiency.
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