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Mobile BI: Crucial To Your Business Intelligence Strategy?

Mobile BI is one of the fastest-growing areas of Business Intelligence and it’s easy to see why. However, despite this high growth, satisfaction levels remain relatively low and this poses the question: how important is Mobile BI for your Business Intelligence strategy?

In today’s work environment, mobility is no longer a luxury, but a must-have feature for many business applications. Business Intelligence is no different. With busy executives always on the go, it is crucial that they can easily access management information wherever they are, on a range of different devices. This has led to a huge surge in the demand for Mobile BI capabilities – with the market for these tools growing by an estimated 42% in 2013 alone.

This high growth emphasises the latent demand that clearly exists for Mobile BI, and yet there are still signs that vendors are unwilling to invest significant amounts of resources into improving this technology to further meet user requirements. This has left Mobile BI in a situation where the potential benefits are widely known, yet in order to revolutionise the future of Business Intelligence, the technology needs to be improved significantly.

To examine how much of an impact Mobile BI has already had on the industry, we will look at some key trends in the adoption of these tools and explore some of the key reasons why companies consider them to be an integral part of their Business Intelligence strategy.

Mobile BI adoption rates: region

A recent independent survey conducted by BARC surveyed over 2,500 BI users worldwide and drew some interesting conclusions about the adoption of Mobile BI tools.

One of the most interesting findings concerned the adoption of Mobile BI tools in different regions of the world and how this varied from continent to continent.


(Mobile adoption rate (%) by region)

As the bar chart above shows, leading the way in terms of adoption rates is South America where over 30% of companies surveyed stated that they were already using Mobile BI tools to some extent in their Business Intelligence strategy. They are closely followed by the Asia/ Pacific region where 26% of respondents stated they were using this technology as part of their BI strategy.

However, lagging some way behind are North America and Europe where only 15-16% of companies are actively engaged in using Mobile BI tools. One explanation as to this may be that these regions have more stringent requirements surrounding the security of company data and this may result in lower adoption rates.

Mobile BI adoption rates: industry

Another interesting factor to examine is the adoption rates of Mobile BI in different industries.


(Mobile adoption rate (%) by industry)

As you can see from the bar chart above, current usage of Mobile BI is relatively consistent across the top four or five industries, ranging between 16-19%. Where we see a significant change is in the industries displayed towards the bottom of the chart where adoption rates begin to tail off significantly.

In the financial services sector, only 12% of respondents were found to be using Mobile BI tools as part of their Business Intelligence strategy already, and – perhaps more importantly – over 44% stated that they had no plans to look into such tools.

Again, the reasons behind these low adoption rates may revolve around the stricter data security measures that are in place in these industries, particularly when it comes to the financial sector and public services.

Mobile BI: reasons for usage

As well as examining the number of Mobile BI users, the survey conducted by BARC also explored some of the key reasons why Mobile BI is used as part of a company’s Business Intelligence strategy. The bar chart below depicts the percentage of respondents who used each feature of Mobile BI.


(Types of usage (%))

In the past, the use of Mobile BI was limited to simply viewing static reports but now there is a much greater level of interactivity involved. This is highlighted by the fact that 79% of respondents stated that they used Mobile BI tools to display interactive reports and dashboards, making this the most widely used function.


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