The pace of business has changed. Decisions have to be made faster and more accurately. The only devices always by your side that can keep pace with this change are mobile devices. That is where Mobile BI comes in. Mobile BI is exactly as it sounds, a business intelligence solution that displays dashboards, charts and graphs on your smartphone. With the increase in mobile devices used for business - not just in management positions - Mobile BI is able to bring analytics to the user’s fingertips, anytime, anywhere.
Benefits of Mobile BI
The very reason for the rise in popularity of Mobile Business Intelligence is its constant availability that drastically increases the speed of decision making. With real-time reports, you are able to improve operations and react quicker to changes throughout the organization.
With its ease of use and availability, Mobile BI is able to penetrate deeper into the organization than traditional BI. Everyone who isn’t constantly in front of a computer screen can now have access to analytics and make decisions on the go without having to wait for a dedicated analyst to help them.
Not only can you see analytics in real-time, but also comment, annotate and share the analytics with team members and across departments all with just your smartphone. This increases the level of communication in the organization, streamlines decision making and increases the efficiency of operations.
What are the Challenges
The major challenge is the available screen size. Mobile Business Intelligence primarily consists of tablets and smartphones. Though tablets have a screen size comparable to a notebook, smartphones are in general just consider too small. It is not easy to convert BI dashboards and graphs meant to be displayed on large laptops to fit tinier screens without losing context. Especially if it isn’t a web-based BI solution.
A bandaid solution to this would be to share the analytics as PDFs but that slows down the process of getting access to information. Defeating the most important benefit of speed that Mobile BI offers. So how do we tackle the challenge of screen size? Another solution used by a lot of BI platforms is to create multiple views. So, to view a graph on a laptop, tablet and smartphone, you will have to create it three separate times with varied views. This doesn’t just add unnecessary complexity but also takes away from the speed and efficiency aspect of Mobile BI.
Overcoming the challenges
At Toucan we came up with a multi-step approach.
First, is to have a web-based solution. This ensured that the BI platform is responsive. It wouldn’t just statically change to fit a screen, rather it would rearrange itself to provide all the BI functionalities for a screen of any size.
Second, context isn't just implied but built into all aspects of the dashboards and graphs. With descriptive headers, tips, glossary, Highlighted Key Performance Indicators (HKPIs) and more. The Toucan design ensures that users on any device will have all the needed information to make fast, effective decisions.
Lastly, Toucan has an uncluttered design. The key to a user-friendly Mobile BI is communicating the important information and avoiding overload. That is why we used proximity, similarities, enclosers and white spaces to create a sleek design that can be optimized for all devices and screen sizes.
Mobile Business Intelligence has become a must-have for any organization wanting to be on top of their data. Driving decisions with real-time actionable insights is the only way to outmaneuver the competition. With the need for Mobile BI growing every year, the number of BI platforms offering mobile solutions is expanding, but it is getting harder and harder to find solutions that deliver the three major benefits of speed, adoption and efficiency while retaining context on mobile devices. So look for a solution that doesn’t have workarounds or makes you do double the work to be able to effectively utilize Mobile BI. Check out how easy Mobile BI is supposed to be.