BI is going mobile. For Nustad, mobile BI is a priority "because everybody wants Nustad herself wants access to reports on whether her organization is meeting its service level agreements "served up on my iPad when I'm very mobile and not at my desk." She also wants to deliver mobile access to data for her firm's customers, to help them monitor and manage healthcare expenses. It's "a customer delight feature that was not demanded five years ago, but is demanded today," she says.
For CIOs, addressing this trend has more to do with creating user interfaces for smartphones, tablets and touch screens than it is about sophisticated analytic capabilities. Maybe for that reason, Kellen dismisses it as fairly easy to address. "To me, that's kind of trivial," he says.
Rotella doesn't think it's that simple. "Mobile computing affects everyone," he says. "The number of people doing work off of iPads and other mobile devices is exploding. That trend will accelerate and change how we interact with our computing resources in an enterprise." For example, Verisk has developed products to give claims adjusters access to analytics in the field, so they can run replacement cost estimates. That's a way to "leverage our analytics and put it at the fingertips of the people that need it," he says.
What makes this challenging is how much more quickly technology changes, Rotella says. "Two years ago, we didn't have iPads. Now everyone is running around with iPads." With multiple device operating systems in play, "we're trying to understand how to best leverage our development so we're not writing these things three, four, five times over," he says.
On the other hand, the requirement to create native applications for each mobile platform may be fading now that the browsers in phones and tablets are more capable, says Island One's Ternent. "I'm not sure I'd invest in a customized mobile device application if I can just skin a web-based application for a mobile device."
5. Social Media in the Mix
With the explosion of Facebook, Twitter and other social media, more companies want to analyze the data these sites generate. New analytics applications have emerged to support statistical techniques such as natural language processing, sentiment analysis, and network analysis that aren't part of the typical BI toolkit.