At every turn, we’re confronted with the reality that mobile BI is making its mark among modern organizations. Studies are confirming this, with TDWI‘s December research report revealing that 70% of participants see mobile analytics as an important part of their company’s BI strategy. Howard Dresner’s Mobile Business Intelligence Market Study found a similar number – 68% see mobile BI as either “critical” or “very important” to their business. And from my own experience with customers and prospects at arcplan, it seems as though everybody is jumping on the mobile BI bandwagon. Before diving head-first into your own mobile BI deployment, lay out a smart strategy that will ensure the project’s success.
Let’s consider the most basic (and important) factors of any organization’s mobile BI strategy: where the money’s coming from, who the project is aimed at, and what kind of BI applications are appropriate for mobile devices.
1. Return on investment
As with any other business project, your mobile BI strategy must have a discernible return on investment in order to get off the ground. In another article, we explored the 5 types of return on investment and the importance of categorizing a business project into one of these buckets. Revenue enhancement is one of the easiest forms of ROI to prove for a mobile BI project. Here’s an example: one of our customers is a company that tracks the effectiveness of pharmaceutical sales reps on arcplan-powered dashboards. The data has revealed that the average sales call for these reps is only about 3 minutes long, so every second counts. One company instituted a pilot program to switch reps from laptops to tablets, which start up significantly faster, to see if this would have a positive effect on sales. It worked – the switch increased the productivity of the reps in their meetings (allowing them to pull up research studies and email them to physicians quicker). This responsiveness on the part of the devices (and therefore the reps) has led to an average sales call duration increase of over 30%. Consequently, these reps have been able to increase the number of sales for the pharmaceutical company they represent. This pilot program proved revenue enhancement ROI and stakeholders gladly signed off on the larger project (tablets for everyone!) as a valuable investment.
I just returned to arcplan’s headquarters in Germany after spending the last week in San Antonio, TX for KScope, the Oracle Developer Tools User Group Conference. This was our second year in a row at the show and another fantastic experience. It’s 5 days of knowledge sharing for Oracle customers, very applicable to real-life challenges and professionally delivered by industry experts with hand-on experience. And it’s an event very different from typical vendor-driven user conferences, which tend to deliver more “marketing driven” material. Again this year, KScope felt more like “by Oracle users, for Oracle users.”
The conference is an absolute must for Hyperion customers as it provides high quality content on a wide variety of topics of interest to them, from MDX to Essbase scripting to ASO cubes. While sometimes it was awkward for the conference to straddle the varied interests of attendees – especially between Apex developers and Hyperion/EPM attendees – the various tracks helped people find their niche. While my colleagues represented arcplan at our booth, I attended many sessions and heard first-hand how attendees were benefitting significantly from the knowledge shared and planning to apply it to their own projects. The Sunday symposiums provided a compact and good overview on some key aspects of Oracle database technologies and the future of Oracle planning, data integration, financial reporting and more. Our SVP Dwight deVera was on the agenda this year, presenting his infamous hour on Calculating ROI for Business Intelligence Projects. His session was as well-received as it was at Collaborate earlier this year.
At KScope, the conference atmosphere is very open and communicative. As an attendee, it provides a great opportunity to network and engage with organizations and individuals that share your same interests. As a vendor, it’s a terrific event for arcplan. We help customers enhance their existing Oracle investments, which is exactly what attendees are there to figure out how to do.
In this webinar, we discuss:
- 5 ways to fail at mobile BI
- 6 elements your mobile BI strategy must cover
- A comparison of various deployment options, including Web apps vs. native apps and extranet vs. VPN
- Real-world security considerations and how to mitigate them
We ended with a demo of arcplan Mobile, our free mobile BI solution. Thanks to everyone who attended, and for those who didn’t, leave us a comment if you’d like to discuss anything you see in the recording.
Join arcplan on Wednesday, May 30th @ 2pm Eastern for our free webinar on Developing Your Mobile BI Strategy, presented by our SVP Dwight deVera. This webinar walks decision makers and IT teams through everything they need to consider before deployment.
Mobile BI is still new in the business intelligence world, but the hype is starting to wear off as more success stories come to light. It’s now part of every conversation we have with our customers and potential customers. Mobile BI rollouts are getting more and more aggressive according to Howard Dresner’s Mobile BI Market Study (October 2011). With 68% of respondents saying mobile BI is either “critical” or “very important” to their business, it’s time to lay out some practical advice for deploying it this year.
- 5 surefire ways to fail at mobile BI
- 6 elements your mobile BI strategy needs to cover
- A comparison of Web vs. native apps
- Real-world security considerations and how to mitigate them
We’ll also host a live Q&A at the end of the webinar.
You’ll come away from this presentation with everything you need to build your organization’s mobile BI strategy. Join us on May 30th to learn how to get your mobile BI deployment off the ground the right way the first time.
Hope to see you there.
Recently we have seen a dramatic change when it comes to deciding which screen size to design a new report or dashboard for. It’s always been a struggle for BI app designers to optimize applications to fit to the different sizes of desktop PCs and laptops, but adding mobile devices like smartphones and tablet PCs to the mix makes it even more complex.
The most natural solution of the past was to design two different views – one for the desktop and one for mobile deployment. But we no longer recommend this approach as the lines between different device categories are blurring.
Netbooks are encroaching on notebook and iPad territory, coming closer to their display capabilities. iPad has initiated a storm of new devices from other vendors with similar screen size. Even worse (from an app design point of view), Internet giant Amazon.com launched its Kindle Fire, whose screen size sits between traditional smartphones and tablet PCs. And now new devices like the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy III by Samsung, whose screen sizes are between the iPhone and the Kindle Fire, have found their own fans.
Although size does matter, screen size is not the sole point to consider when designing BI apps. There’s orientation to consider – which devices are optimized for portrait or landscape orientation – and on top of this, different vendors also offer a wide variety of pixel density – defined by pixels per Inch (PPI). For example, the new iPhone 4S with its Retina Display is able to display more pixels on its 3.5″ display than a decent netbook.
For app designers, it is impossible to create separate reports for every device, especially at organizations where BYOD (bring your own device) is the standard. This would end up being a total nightmare from a maintenance point of view. So what can we do? It’s time for a new and intelligent approach that will allow us to use one app and one report or dashboard layout for all devices.