The mobile business intelligence landscape

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Imagine you had to run an obstacle course. But you had to do it without any kind of sensory perception. Also, you were expected to succeed, or at least you really wanted to. That’s exactly what it’s like when you run your mobility business without any sort of insight. The smart ones have realized that in order to have more awareness about what’s what in their business, they need insights – explanations to why their business has fared the way it has and clues to what can improve it. Enter mobile business intelligence.

Mobile business intelligence isn’t new. The need for it has been felt ever since mobile devices became the mainstay of every technology consumer’s life. The rise of tablet PCs especially has contributed to the growth of mobile BI. Tablets are a commonality at workplaces now which have BYOD practices and policies in place. But commercial consumers have also taken to the charm of tablets. With so much usage, it is only natural for businesses to want to extract maximum insights for better outcomes.

Top contenders in mobile BI space as per Wisdom of Crowds report on December 2013 (total score is a summation of platform, features and customers) is as follows:

  1.  Microstrategy
    Microstrategy is one of the forerunners for mobile BI. It is known for enterprise solutions and has been focusing increasingly on ease of use. It has mobile, in-memory and cloud versions. What sets it apart is its support for multi-language content, offline analysis capabilities, and customized alerts that use push notifications when specific thresholds or criteria have been met.
  2. SAP BusinessObjects
    With SAP BusinessObjects, companies can rest assured that the solution won’t have to be replaced when the organization grows or changes. The solution can be adapted no matter whether it is for an SMB or a large enterprise. It can be integrated with Salesforce, Microsoft Office and other enterprise solutions.
  3. Tableau software
    Tableau makes a range of analyses available and accessible to ordinary business users. It addresses concerns regarding ease and breadth of use. It allows business users to get complex analyses without specialized skills or IT support.
  4. TIBCO software
    According to Gartner’s report, the top reasons that TIBCO scores big with customers is because of its functionality and ease of use. It is ranked highly for interactive visualization and embedded advanced analytics. Search-based data discovery, embeddable analytics, collaboration, support for big data and enterprise-deployment-readiness also were well rated by customers.
  5. Yellowfin
    Yellowfin BI solution offers native collaboration and social BI capabilities, as well as enterprise features to facilitate data governance, reuse, control and extensibility. Strengths that help Yellowfin stay ahead include collaboration and embeddability. It received particularly strong ratings from customers in mobile delivery of BI content.
  6. Actuate corp
    Customers choose Actuate BIRT for functionality, report design complexity and ease of use for end users. The installation is extremely simple (one click action). The product has an active and loyal following. The capability of the development tools available within the platform to create and embed content is better than the average for vendors in its segment.
  7. Dundas
    Dundas Dashboard offers interactive visualization functions with a rich set of APIs and a built-in C# scripting engine. Customers choose Dundas for its functionality, implementation cost and effort, license cost and ease of use for end users. Major user activities included using Dundas’s dashboard and interactive and visualization data discovery capabilities.
  8. IBM
    IBM’s Cognos Business Intelligence helps customers explore information in a rich, interactive platform no matter what device they choose. A broad range of analysis tools are offered in this tool. Self-service functionality lets users interact with reports on mobile devices with no support from IT. Collaboration within departments can be made possible through the social networking features.
  9. QlikView
    Among the popular BI tools today, QlikView offers an integrated BI platform. It is known for good product quality, great customer loyalty and a wide range of features. QlikView can be deployed easily. Using its associative technology, QlikView is able to ensure that users can derive insights on demand.
  10. BIME
    BIME is easily deployable and creates interactive visualizations that help steer businesses in the right direction. Real-time commenting enhances the capability of collaboration. The product is highly scalable and requires almost no IT support.

The BI vendors listed above are based on rankings from one report. While the list has mild variations in other surveys such as Gartner and Forrester, they are more or less the same. Apart from these BI solutions other highly recommended mobile BI vendors include:

The need for mobile BI has become an inescapable reality. The key is to find the vendor who can offer a solution that is right for your specific requirements. The end goal of the entire exercise is, of course, actionable insights.