It shouldn’t come as any shock that the era of running businesses or departments by being chained to a desk is quickly fading. But what you might not see is how the concept of “remote” is expanding beyond the capability of working from a different location than the headquarter office. What you will see is the evolution of “Going Mobile”.
Now you might be thinking, what other technical buzzwords can we feed the executive soul to convince them to always demand more technology? But if your stack of smartphones and tablets haven’t persuaded you already, let me assure you that ‘Going Mobile’ means more than the ability to be “remote”. And it means more than eliminating the risk of missing an afternoon tee time.
Imagine having access to all your key performance indicators anywhere and anytime. The information is targeted and formatted for the person who needs it. It’s simple and easy enough that all departments can use it. The Production Manager can get on their iPad, open an app, and read their planning stats to ensure the current assembly run is on schedule and profitable. They quickly see that a small change to the order queue will save about 100 hours in production time and $10,000 in materials. They call to make the change. Perhaps while waiting for the lunch bill?
See, the demand for how business information is acquired is coming from the same once I think about it; I want it to appear instantly place. Before, the technological barriers required to obtain metrics on key business objectives were bottlenecked in IT. It was rare to find access to data or analytic tools in the hands of Sales Managers, HR Managers, Controllers, Production Planning Managers, or Customer Service personnel. You know, “those people” in charge of acquiring new business, employee retention, keeping customers happy, balancing the books, and making sure there is product to deliver when someone wants to buy. With “Going Mobile,” that is all changing.
The evolution of mobile business analytics is accompanied by an increased focus on simplicity.
And that simplicity means expanding the access to data and paying more attention to every facet of the bottom line.
A recent blog article written by my colleague Grzegorz Motriuk, from Jet Reports Eastern Europe, titled 5 Reasons Why Business Analytics is Coming to your iPad Soon, does a great job at illustrating not only the causes for demand in mobile BI, but also the positive impact it can have on business. In particular he cites the case of an HR Manager identifying the minimal wage increase needed to reduce sick leave by 12%. And it boils down to that mobile recipe: access and simplicity.
The humbling truth is: if you aren’t interested in being in the business of calculating returns, you really aren’t interested in business at all. And this doesn’t just apply to top executives anymore. The charismatic salespeople and the creative marketers are not immune. Determining where and how profitable operations are achieved applies to each department, and not just to those who lead it. Every aspect of investment for a company must be examined for optimal return and the only way to get there is to give these individuals the information they need to apply such scrutiny. And so the value of your data asset greatly increases the more agile and simple it becomes.
Today, mobility in business most accurately refers to expanding corporate visibility and proactive capability. It means putting business intelligence into the hands of those who were traditionally excluded due to the complexity of set-up and use. It means having it built for the specific user. And it also might mean checking yesterday’s sales performance instead of Facebook as you have your morning coffee or ride the bus to work.
Perhaps you’re starting to see the limitless ways to gain strategic advantage by providing meaningful data, targeted for anyone, anywhere. You might even be ready to wave the magical iWant iWand and have it. Poof. Appear. While mobile solutions are getting closer to that, the substance of a successful mobile deployment is powerful BI and reporting built from the data in your business systems, targeted to your business objectives, with a quick deployment and a ridiculous amount of ease-of-use.
The rewards of a comprehensive mobile-ready BI solution are quickly realized when the VP of Sales is adjusting regional marketing efforts based on trending item sales by holding his iPad in one hand…and a golf club in the other.