Workforce mobility has increased exponentially, and while the rate of increase may slow somewhat, it will continue to grow. More organizations than ever have recognized the necessity of making timely information easily accessible to their mobile stakeholders.
In fact, doing so has become a key component in an organization’s ability to make better business decisions. Mobile business intelligence tools help them do that.
What is Mobile Business Intelligence?
Traditional business intelligence software, designed for use with desktop computers, makes the assumption that people who are accessing the information are in the office, connected to their corporate network, have direct access to the company’s server, and so forth.
Mobile business intelligence software addresses the same flow of information as business intelligence (account details, inventory status, current data about supply and demand, sales figures, etc.), but it is designed for use with mobile devices.
Why is Mobile Business Intelligence Important?
Mobile business intelligence is important not only because it empowers stakeholders with real-time data that can help your organization succeed, but because going mobile—almost completely—is on the horizon. Younger generations of workers are more prone to use mobile devices in place of their desktop computers. Even when a desktop or laptop computer is available, millennials often reach for their tablet.
Mobile business intelligence is the direction of the future, and the sooner your organization implements its use, the more prepared it will be for the transition.
What Does Mobile Business Intelligence Offer?
Of course, it might not feel good to be strong-armed into implementing something new simply because “this is the way it’s going to be in the future.” Thankfully, that’s not the situation with mobile business intelligence.
Mobile BI tools offer your company numerous benefits in the here and now:
Increased Employee Productivity
If your employees don’t have quick access to the information required for them to make the best decision possible, they’re simply unable to meet the standards of efficiency and productivity of employees who do have that access. Your employees may be doing okay without mobile BI, but that doesn’t mean they’re working at their full potential.
Incorporating mobile BI can help your employees optimize their performance, leading to higher productivity.
Higher Customer Satisfaction
Mobile BI can help your organization achieve true 24/7 attentiveness to its customers. While you may have always had someone available around the clock, you probably don’t keep your offices staffed 24/7, and if the person on call can’t access the information a customer needs, frustration ensues.
Mobile BI improves your employees’ ability to solve your customer’s problems and issues, and that means higher customer satisfaction.
Improvements in Collaboration
As business becomes more mobile, long-distance collaboration has become more common, and it’s not always collaboration between an employee at the office and one on the road. In fact, it may be between two travelling employees, or two work-from-home employees.
Mobile business intelligence is a huge improvement when it comes to tools for sharing information over distance—which results in more successful collaboration.
Increased Flexibility and Agility in Unforeseen Situations
We can’t see every potential crisis before it happens, just like we can’t predict every opportunity before it happens. What does matter is being able to react quickly and with all of the necessary information. What if a crisis occurs when no one is at the office? What if opportunity knocks, and no one is there to answer it? With mobile BI, you’re able to respond as events unfold, instead of simply reacting afterward.
How Can You Use Mobile BI Effectively?
The most important thing is to find the right mobile business intelligence software for your company. There are third party guides that help you compare mobile BI products from different vendors so that you can narrow your list down, like this Business Intelligence Buyer’s Guide.
Consider the following issues when you’re choosing a mobile BI platform:
- Will you be providing mobile devices or expecting employees to bring their own (an increasingly common occurrence) or offer them a choice?
- If you’re letting employees bring their own devices, you’ll probably need a cross-platform software option—not everyone is likely to have an Android or an Apple device.
- What information is most important to have in real time?
- How much customer/IT support do you expect to need when taking this new tool live, or throughout its use?
When you can answer all of these questions, you’re well on your way to choosing a mobile BI tool that your organization can use effectively.