Written by Zahra Saeed
Posted on 11/02/2015

Has the use of mobile business intelligence plateaued?

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Back at the end of 2013, information technology research firm Gartner predicted that confusion around big data would inhibit spending on business intelligence and analytics software until at least 2016. Indeed, the American company has noticed that only around 25% of workers in any organisation have actually been taking advantage of the business intelligence at their disposal. In a similar vein, the adoption of mobile business intelligence has increased by just 2% over the last year, according to a survey by the Business Application Research Center (BARC). Is there hope for the technology?

What is mobile business intelligence?

Business intelligence (BI) is an umbrella term for the processes and tools used to collect and analyse large amounts of data. It encompasses online analytics, data mining and reporting, amongst many other processes, and is used by companies to provide tangible insight into business decisions.

Mobile business intelligence allows users to access BI-related data on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. In this age of wireless technology, mobile business intelligence can mean real-time bi-directional data access that provides the ability to make decisions both outside and inside the office and at any time. And it can be the ideal solution for busy executives constantly on the go.

Has mobile business intelligence stagnated?

According to BARC’s CEO Carsten Bange, although there has been a lot of hype and enthusiasm surrounding mobile business intelligence, companies have been very reticent in actually making use of the technology at their disposal.

Speaking to website Enterprise Apps Today, he said: "It is normal to have a difference between plans and actual adoption, but I have never seen such a large rate of people not doing a project after saying they want to do so."

But why is this the case? Bange believes one reason might be that, for some businesses, the cost of implementing the mobile tools may not justify the benefits of the technology. In addition, he thinks that some companies did not realise that making use of the software involves more than just buying it. For instance, when you’re dealing with apps involving sensitive data, you also have to think about implementing procedures to ensure that the information is kept safe.

A more optimistic view

However, not everyone is as pessimistic about the prospects of mobile business intelligence. Howard Dresner, CEO of Dresner Advisory Services, believes that the future of the technology is looking bright as business owners gain a better insight:

"I think they understand it better now, so they are taking a more balanced approach," he explains. As a result, there will be more focus on direction, and more effort put into application development, meaning companies will be investing in more usable and practical software.

Dresner also believes that new ‘wearable’ technologies such as smartwatches could be key to the advancement of mobile business technology.

With the International Data Corporation predicting ten-fold growth of new data to a whopping 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, what is certain is that companies who change their attitudes towards these crucial analytical tools will be the ones staying afloat amid this deluge of information.