Mobile BI Doesn’t Mean “Mobile-Enabled Reports”

In my post “What Is Mobile Business Intelligence?”, I discussed the definition of mobile business intelligence (BI) as well as its importance and relevance in today’s business climate.

However, if mobile BI is going to enable organizations to drive growth and profitability, it requires, as with any other technology initiative, an integrated strategy. Moreover, organizations must deliver the power of mobile BI through innovation and without disruption.

Just as we know that mobile isn’t just about one or two sexy apps, the step to gain the ability to deliver reports on a mobile device alone isn’t synonymous with mobile BI.

In order to deliver the true business value of mobile BI, organizations need to formulate a carefully thought-out mobile BI strategy that not only leverages the technology’s strengths but also minimizes its weaknesses within a supported infrastructure. The mobile intelligence framework can’t exist separately from or independent of the organization’s business or technology strategy.

Determine your BI maturity

However, the way in which the organizations should go about realizing the benefits of mobile BI may depend on the state of their enterprise mobility and the level of their BI maturity. Some basic questions need to be addressed before they hand out smartphones and tablet devices or allow bring your own device (BYOD) options. These preflight checks can help identify any gaps and prompt the necessary prerequisites to safeguard critical data assets and ensure success.


Source: ITScore Overview for Business Intelligence and Performance Management, Gartner (August 2010)

Implement a mobile BI road map

Organizations need to develop a formal mobile enterprise strategy and a road map to provide the strong foundation that mobile BI needs. A mobility strategy requires an integrated approach with all mobile initiatives across the company, which forces standardization, thereby reducing support and maintenance costs. A typical organization, for example, may start with a device strategy that differentiates or mixes the use of company-issued devices and BYOD.

It gets more complex as you drill down into the architecture requirements for integrating data and processes with other business systems. A decision about the infrastructure —whether to keep it on the premises, for example, or host it in the cloud—will need to be made, and answers to questions such as “How do we secure corporate data, especially on the BYO devices?” will need to be found.

Know your risks for mobile BI readiness

An organization’s BI maturity level, on the other hand, will highlight the risks for mobile BI readiness. It will dictate whether a company can exploit its current information-delivery infrastructure and leverage a culture of data-driven decision making. Organizations with a higher level of maturity are more likely to design, implement, and execute a successful mobile BI strategy because they already enjoy the resources and expertise, which allows them to deliver actionable insight effectively and consistently.

Is your organization ready for Mobile BI?