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10 Common Mobile BI Assumptions You Should Avoid

by Kaan Turnali, Global Senior Director, BI, SAPTuesday, October 22, 2013

If organizations are going to utilize mobile business intelligence (BI) to drive growth and profitability, they must take a holistic approach that leverages technology’s strengths and minimize its weaknesses within a supported infrastructure. Moreover, organizations must deliver the power of mobile BI through innovation and without disruption. Just as we know that mobile isn’t just about one or two sexy apps, the step to gain the ability to deliver reports on a mobile device alone doesn’t guarantee success with mobile BI.

Here are the ten most common mistaken assumptions people make with mobile BI projects.

1. Executive Sponsorship Doesn’t Matter

It starts and ends with executive sponsorship. As with any engagement, this not only ensures alignment with business strategy but also the attainment of required resources. But more important, the executive leads by example—using the technology demonstrates firsthand the mobile mindset desired from the rest of the direct reports and their teams.

2. Security Is Synonymous with Device Password

Security is critical for mobile BI because mobility offers an unmatched convenience that comes at a risk. We need to consider all of the three layers of security: device(s), mobile BI apps, and data consumed on the app. We can’t afford to jeopardize one of our most strategic assets— enterprise data— as business transactions become ever more digital and connected.

3. Enterprise Mobility Isn’t Related

Enterprise mobility needs to exist in some shape or form that can serve as both a prerequisite for mobile BI execution and as the foundation on which it relies. When the development of a successful mobile BI strategy is closely aligned with the enterprise mobility strategy, the organization benefits from the resulting cost savings, improvement in the execution of the mobile strategy, and increased value.

4. Technology Infrastructure Is Only About Hardware

Although hardware is a critical component of the technology infrastructure, it needs to go beyond just the hardware to include both the current information technology (IT) and business intelligence infrastructure as part of an end-to-end mobile BI solution.

5. Design Is No Different For Mobile BI

Designing for mobile is different. When we talk about design in mobile BI, we must go beyond what a report or dashboard looks like. We need to consider all facets of user interactions and experience. It should include not only soft elements (like engaging UI), but also hard elements (like optimal mobile format).

6. Talent Management Doesn’t Play a Role

Talent management plays a pivotal role. We need to identify the right talent with the required skill set that includes not only technical expertise but also soft skills such as critical thinking. The mobile BI team members have to be passionate about mobility. Technical know-how alone will guarantee neither successful outcome nor adoption of the mobile BI solution. It’s the mobile BI team’s talent, ingenuity, and dedication that will make a difference.

7. Support Infrastructure Equals an Installation Guide

An installation guide is not synonymous with support infrastructure. The longevity of a mobile BI solution depends on a solid support infrastructure that is consistent and predictable. We need to think beyond just the technical support issues but also address business challenges that can occur as a result of the use of technology. Technology, by its nature, is bound to fail or be misunderstood by some users. And when this happens, the support infrastructure—online or offline—will keep it alive.

8. Communication Is Synonymous with E-Mail

Just as we know that social media analytics isn’t just about counting Facebook likes or Twitter tweets, we should know that in mobile BI, an announcement e-mail alone isn’t synonymous with communication. We must consider all facets of communication, including not only multiple channels but also different formats. Moreover, we must pay attention to both quality (effectiveness) and quantity (volume and frequency) of the content to ensure its maximum effectiveness.

9. Business Processes Can Be Ignored

We can’t ignore the role that business processes may play or take existing processes for granted. The current business processes may require you to change your mobile BI approach. Or, the mobile BI solution may highlight gaps that may require a redesign of your business processes to improve your mobile BI assets and your business operations.

10. System Integration Isn’t That Important

System integration is very important because the true value of mobility can’t be realized until these devices take advantage of the necessary integration among the underlying systems. More and more mobile devices are becoming connected with the software that runs on them. We must find a way to capitalize on opportunities for system integration that can enhance your end product.


What other mistakes do you see in mobile BI projects?

About the author:

Kaan Turnali is a Global Senior Director, Business Intelligence (BI), for SAP’s Global Customer Operations (GCO) Reporting & Analytics Platform, Kaan is responsible for the development, oversight, and execution of strategy for the BI platform across GCO’s worldwide user base. In addition, he manages special mobile BI projects for the Office of co-CEO Bill McDermott and the GCO senior management team. His background and experience in the integration of business and technology span over two decades. He is also an adjunct professor, teaching BI in the doctor of business administration program at Wilmington University. Read more at http://www.turnali.com/ or Follow @KaanTurnali on Twitter or on LinkedIn

Originally posted in The Decision Factor Blog

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