To me, mobile business intelligence is just like getting broadband for the first time or taking those first few swipes on your Apple iPad or tablet. Once you've tried it, you'll never be able to live without it.
In recent years, the numbers of businesses using mobile BI has grown.
In their 2013 survey of 3149 BI software users, leading software industry analyst BARC found that 16 per cent of companies are currently using mobile BI, compared with 13 per cent in 2012 and 8 per cent in 2011.
So, usage has risen? What's driven this change?
According to the Aberdeen Group, companies using mobile BI are 68 per cent more likely to get business data on time than companies not using it. The business landscape is arguably more competitive than it ever has been and having quick access to company insight is critical.
Let's look at two different scenarios where mobile BI can be useful.
Picture this. You are the hard working CEO, MD or National Sales Manager and are due for a break on an exotic island, let's say the Bahamas.
Can you smell the water? Where once you had to find a computer to view your latest sales figures or have the information communicated to you on the phone or blimey, rely on printouts, you can now access and drill down on your latest business data on-the-go. You have more flexible access to explore and manipulate critical data to make fact based decisions. All while relaxing in the sun. Is it 4 o'clock already? It must be time for a swim.
It's the monthly review. Chris from Sales is there, Cletus from Marketing and Steve from Finance.
Have you ever been caught on the spot and asked for information right there and then in a meeting? I have and I know how it feels.
With mobile BI, you can get the information you need and provide a fact based response in an instant. Gone are the days of learning complex reporting tools, being caught off-guard or asking your assistant to fetch the latest business insights on paper. You can now access the latest business information through a mobile device and drill down on the data you need to make important business decisions.
No longer physically tied down
As the Aberdeen Group states: "Lifting the burden of being tied down to a physical desk allows mobile BI users to discover and act on critical insights before the window closes and the information becomes moot."
See where I was going with my earlier analogy? Once you have mobile business intelligence, you can't live without it.