Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan

Mobile BI – Moving Into Tablet Territory


The growing availability of tablet PCs like the incredibly popular iPad, as well as the Motorola Xoom and BlackBerry PlayBook underscore the fact that the term 'mobile' applies to more than just phones these days. Users flock to purchase tablet devices for a number of reasons – they're hooked on the latest and greatest technology, they see value in having a lightweight yet powerful mobile PC with them on the go, or they love their tablet's battery life as compared to their laptop's. Whatever the reason, the explosion of tablet purchases opens business intelligence to a whole new platform. Sure, your mobile BI app is likely available on smartphones, but it can have even greater capacity on a tablet.

Mobile apps for tablets are hot. Dresner Advisory Services' Mobile BI Market Study (which includes arcplan Mobile) reflects the importance of mobile BI on tablets – respondents identified iPad as their primary deployment platform. Along those same lines, analysts are predicting that widespread BI adoption will be possible because of tablets, not smartphones due to inherent inadequacies in smartphone functionality and design for larger analyses. So the trend is clear – businesses are moving toward mobile BI and there's a great interest in deploying on tablets.

Why tablets? Certainly convenience, ease of use, and the cool factor have something to do with it. They seem to have taken off among the executive set – we're in so many meetings lately where everyone has an iPad on the table. As of January, Apple claimed that more than 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies are using or testing iPads. The mobile workforce, including remote sales teams, see the advantage of having a tablet with them when they’re out in the field either to take orders or to access sales data from their own BI systems. Our partner SAP has even deployed 3,500 iPads to employees in the field, allowing them to connect with their own business intelligence software for instantly updated information.

There's just something special about using BI apps on a tablet. Users can achieve the same functionality on a tablet as they do on a PC without being tethered to a desk. The ability to swiftly zoom in and out of dashboards, charts and reports increases usability and you can see your performance data on one screen with less scrolling than you'd experience on a smartphone.

Tablet PCs give new meaning to 'mobile BI.' Even our customers are clamoring for it, so arcplan Mobile makes BI apps available on tablets and smartphones and allow users to navigate reports using device-specific controls that they're already family with.

Have you rolled out tablets to your workforce yet?


Hans Peter Wolff

About Hans Peter Wolff

I'm the Senior VP, Engineering and CTO at arcplan, where I've worked since 1997. I'm responsible for our product roadmap and work out of our Langenfeld, Germany location.
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  1. Hi Hans Peter,

    I like that you address usability, something BI vendors forgot about for a long time!

    Regards, Thijs

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