In its simplest definition, mobile business intelligence is nothing but making business intelligence available on your mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, notebooks etc, as opposed to delivering business intelligence to computer desktops.
The challenges and advantages of customized business intelligence procurement, analysis and delivery are connected with the handicaps and advantages of mobile platforms. Like other services, business intelligence, too, is delivered to mobiles through native, web-based, or hybrid apps – though, as in the case of any intelligence activity, the demand for security is higher in this area of applications than in others.
How Mobile Business Intelligence Changes Business Dynamics?
The advantage of mobility coupled with delivery of business intelligence makes executives and business decision makers continually aware of relevant information. It’s cool to have business intelligence accessible through your mobile device, but when it comes to real business dynamics it speeds up the process of selling, convincing, analyzing, and making business decisions, and makes it possible to do so almost anywhere and anytime.
In a recent interview with CBR, Paul Zolfaghari, the president of MicroStrategy gave a real life example where he mentioned mobile business intelligence apps being carried on their mobiles by the sales associates of Gucci when interacting with customers. Sales associates could answer customers, interact, and help them to take decisions from wherever they were standing in the showroom with the help of their applications.
Those who delved into treatises of war while studying management know well enough that wars and businesses are won or lost upon the ability to access key and relevant information in real time. Until now there was no way to do that. Executives would have to call assistants, who would then look up piles of data, and sometimes it took months to find and access the data required for business decisions. Mobile business intelligence has changed that scenario forever and has made decision making faster, more reliable, and increased capabilities
Microsoft has Entered the Mobile Business Intelligence Scene Full Scale in 2014
Though Microsoft failed to really utilize the mobile movement in the beginning and lost its near monopoly on operating systems – its popular Microsoft Office suite has taken to the clouds and now coming into mobile business intelligence with the launch of Power BI for Office 365. Google apps and tools already cover a nice share of the market, but Microsoft’s tools are way more familiar. In fact they are so familiar to most knowledge workers today that almost everyone can now try to be a data analyst.
This is expected to be quite revolutionary, as suddenly, from your mobile, you now have the ability to connect to data stored in Hadoop (HDFS), SQL Server, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, SharePoint, OData, Windows Azure Marketplace, Windows Azure Table Storage, Windows Azure, , Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, HDInsight, Facebook, Windows Azure SQL Database, Access Database, Oracle, IBM DB2,PostgreSQL, MySQL, Sybase, Teradata, Web, CSV, XML, Text, Excel and Online Search and on and on.
Microsoft’s entry into mobile business intelligence is significant in that huge numbers of knowledge workers and executives will not need to be retrained and they will be able to continue using the same applications that they had been using on desktops for business intelligence. But now, things would always be at their fingertips.