Three major benefits of implementing mobile BI for SMEs

Here, Hugh Owen of MicroStrategy, tells us why there is an increased focus in investments in Business Intelligence.

Whether at the office, in the field, or even on a flight and working offline, today’s employees need the ability to access company systems from any location, on any device. Gone are the days where employees need to be tethered to their physical office location in order to access systems and accomplish their tasks.

To ensure and maintain this high level of staff productivity expected in today’s corporate climate, businesses need to deploy powerful mobile applications that deliver data-driven insights to their employees—empowering them to get the job done, fast. This is the single-most important factor in enabling and encouraging high degrees of productivity across an enterprise. As evidenced by industry leaders, organisations that provide mobile BI to their end users can expect to see three major benefits:

Interactive analytics at their fingertips

Businesses that rely on paper-based reports suffer from an intrinsic disadvantage, as these documents and assets risk become outdated the moment they are printed. For employees working remotely, “stale data” can pose a particular problem – especially when teams are collaborating on complex projects that depend on having access to the latest information.

By pursuing a strategy of digital transformation, leveraging an enterprise platform, and moving away from paper-based reports, organisations can start to realise benefits from increased interactivity. Mobile data and analytics are interactive and editable, a big benefit over PDFs or other file formats.

By injecting this flexibility and functionality into the workflow, interactive mobile dashboards allow users to explore data while away from the office, respond to queries, leverage write-back capabilities, and make more informed decisions.

Equipped with the ability to access and explore up-to-date data, employees can make decisions with higher degrees of confidence, improving productivity no matter their location.

Improved adoption rate

Even the best technology will be ineffective if employees fail to use it on a regular basis. Slow response times and disruptive security requirements can frustrate users and can slow operational workflows to a standstill. That’s why it’s important to deliver intuitive, interactive tools that ensure employees have ready access to information and make it easy for users to create their own reports and visualisations.

Empowered with these tools, users are more likely to continue to use the technology their company has invested in.

Research shows that making analytics more accessible by deploying it on mobile leads to significantly higher usage—helping to ensure that businesses are getting the most out of their investments in enterprise analytics and mobility.

By allowing applications to be accessed via mobile devices, an organisation undoubtedly increases the ROI for its BI programme because it ensures that employees are using data to drive a tangible impact on the business.

Empowered employees making data-driven decisions

Providing employees with data on the go enables them to act immediately based on the latest insights. Building on this foundation, organisations can add transactional and write-back capabilities to their mobile BI apps that help accelerate processes and transform workflows—resulting in even greater productivity gains. Even when working remotely, users can maintain a fast pace of work – submitting and updating records and images to ERP systems, CRM systems, and operational databases.

By deploying mobile BI, organisations allow individuals across the enterprise to easily connect to and analyse data from any location and device. But there are other indirect benefits as well. It also frees up bandwidth for the IT team, so they can focus on other critical issues.

Mobile BI is essential to encouraging greater collaboration and better alignment with common, organisation-wide goals, which translates to a more agile, responsive, and productive business.

Hugh Owen is senior vice president of product marketing at MicroStrategy, Inc.

Further reading on BI for SMEs

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Freddie Halvorson

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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Business Intelligence

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