Mobile BI Solutions could Become Major Enterprise Investment, Study Finds

February 6, 2013

Business intelligence (BI) applications were an extremely popular investment in 2012, as companies tried to leverage these tools for their analytical and forecasting capabilities.

While organizations have experienced plenty of success with BI analytics, many have struggled to deploy adequate mobile BI solutions. As a result, 2013 could be a signature year in the mobile business intelligence sector, according to a Ventana Research study.

In a recent blog for SmartData Collective, Mark Smith, CEO and chief information officer at Ventana Research, suggested that mobile BI could become popular as more employees use personal laptops, tablets and smartphones for work. Currently, only one-third of companies are satisfied to very satisfied with their mobile BI technologies – a number that could increase as mobility benefits become well known.

“Only a minority of companies has deployed mobile BI, but for the ones who are successful, the adoption rate is at 39 percent. That’s about 15 percent higher than the industry average,” said Cindi Howson, founder of BI Scorecard, according to Information-Management. “I think it will be the technology that helps BI become more mainstream and impactful.”

Mobile BI initiatives underway
With acceptance for bring your own device (BYOD) already reaching the full-scale level, establishing the most effective BYOD strategies could be the next step. If successful, though, the benefits will be plentiful.

According to the Ventana Research study, 55 percent of companies expect that mobile BI deployment will make the workforce more productive, while nearly half believe it could improve customer service. In addition, 38 percent of organizations anticipate that these mobile solutions will improve customer service and expand employee collaboration.

The key, then, will be implementing the right technology – provided it is available. According to the BI Scorecard survey, mobile BI deployment has been less successful than the other sectors. However, because of how much companies value having these mobile solutions, BI professionals anticipate that the sector will achieve significant improvement in 2013. Meanwhile, a separate Ovum study indicated that the tools for full-scale mobile BI adoption may soon be in place.

“We expect BI vendors to enhance their mobile capabilities through in-house development and a continued wave of [mergers and acquisition] activity,” said Fredrik Tunvall, analyst at Ovum.

According to the study, 90 percent of business intelligence vendors provide solutions for Android devices, and 100 percent accommodate Apple operating systems. While one-third of BI companies support Windows devices, Tunvall anticipates that number will increase in the future.