Mobility meets Business Intelligence

By Craig Stephens, SAS Principal Solution Manager, Information Management Practice

One of the on-going trends this year is the continued need for people, on both the private and business front, to be mobile. They want to have their information within arm’s reach, or better yet, in their pockets. They want to be able to make decisions immediately without the hassle of accessing their desktop PCs or waiting to have the printed materials in their hands.

Companies have to adapt their systems as their employees demand a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) enabled environment. An exercise that has an impact on everything from the organisations security systems and software, to its everyday office equipment like printers.

It’s likely that mobility will continue to be a game-changing factor for the foreseeable future. The number of mobile users is set to reach more than 54.2 million by 2017 according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast, with mobile data traffic growing tenfold over the next five years.

From a business intelligence point of view, imagine just how powerful a data analysis tool could be when the benefits of mobility combine with the sourcing of business insights, on the go and in real time. While there are applications available in the market that have helped us dip our toes into business intelligence mobility, until now these have basically been front-end applications with no real power in terms of actually delivering analysis and insights.

SAS recently released its SAS Mobile BI application for both iPad and Android that is more than just a front-end window to business intelligence. With SAS Visual Analytics powering the application at the back-end you can now have access to very sophisticated analytics at your fingertips, including results from correlations, regressions and forecasting to make insightful decisions while on the go.

This means that answering questions and making decisions doesn’t have to stop just because you are away from the office. Business Analytics mobility gives decision makers access to servers, allows them to navigate folder structures and download selected reports with ease, without having to depend on others. Having on-the-go access to current, relevant information means faster decision cycles and uninterrupted workflows without delays.

From a collaboration point of view, mobility allows the easy sharing of idea while saving valuable time. For example, screen captures of reports can be annotated and emailed to a group who can add their thoughts as well. Or comments can be captured via video and audio and then shared.

An important added benefit of a powerful business intelligence mobile application is based on the fact that internet access is never a guarantee. Even in todays wired and wireless world there are times when internet connectivity fails and that is when mobile tethering allows people to explore and interact with reports and visualisations wherever they are.

In a nutshell: Business Analytics + mobility = uninterrupted business.


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