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Mobile BI ‚ the key to a virtual boardroom

The time spent with mobile devices was up by 28.2% in 2010 and according to the IDC, there will be up to 1.2 billion ‚mobile workers’ by 2013. With these estimates it is easy to see why mobile Business Intelligence (BI) will be a key area of investment in coming months.

If we consider that time spent with mobile devices was up by 28.2%* in 2010 and is rising faster than any other medium and that according to the IDC, there will be up to 1.2 billion ‚mobile workers’ by 2013, it is easy to see why mobile BI will be a key area of investment in coming months and years – and that the technology holds the potential to transform the BI market itself.

Say Martin Rennhackkamp, COO of PBT: ‚With top executives and management constantly on the move due to the nature of the changing business environment, having the ability to be able to access key company dashboards in real-time and make on-the-fly decisions based on more than just gut-feel, may just be the edge that sets one business apart from the next.‚

Although mobile BI was first mentioned a few years ago, according to PBT, 2011 will be the year that the BI industry, as well as business leaders in this space will be ready for such a concept. ‚The appetite is there, especially in the retail and telecom industries, it just comes down to the realisation by corporate SA that they can enhance the power of mobile and use their existing data warehousing investment to bring additional value add to the company,‚ continues Rennhackkamp.

However, new advancements are not without challenges. For example – how can businesses secure strategic business information outside the ‚office‚ on a device as personal as a phone that is susceptible to theft or loss? Another key challenge to consider in this regard is how to display strategic information (which is often displayed graphically) in a meaningful manner on such a small interface? Processing and editing data and graphs is complex as it is on a reasonable size screen ‚ the challenge comes in when visibility is more than halved when displayed on a mobile phone.

Adds Rennhackkamp: ‚Although there are challenges that need to be overcome, proof of concepts are underway and it is only a matter of time before the industry fully embraces the mobile revolution in terms of the way in which data is not only stored and accessed, but also used to make key business decisions in a virtual boardroom ‚ BI has never been this widely accessible.‚

‚Our lives are very much driven nowadays by access to information. And this is also what BI has been trying to achieve over the last 20 years – getting people closer to the information they need to make decisions. The rise of mobile allows us to do just that,‚ concludes Rennhackkamp.

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