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Fighting Data Urgency: Analytics in the Palm of Your Hand
Michael Lock
JAN 12, 2016 18:15 PM
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Fighting Data Urgency: Analytics in the Palm of Your Hand

iStock_000054244238_SmallToday’s decisions are all too often a fight against time. But the most powerful weapon at our disposal may just fit in the palm of our hands. Mobile capabilities for the consumption (or creation) of business insight have taken center stage for companies looking to arm a diverse workforce with timely information.


Aberdeen Group’s recent report, Analytics on and off-Premise: Insight without Borders, demonstrated that organizations extending analytics to the cloud or mobile devices saw greater analytical adoption and engagement. For mobile devices specifically though, three main factors drive the need for insight outside the physical walls of the company.

1. There is more (relevant) data than ever before.

The research shows that the average organization manages an influx of data growing at a rate of over 50% per year. This is not archive data stored for regulatory requirements — this is active data used for analysis. Moreover, the typical enterprise-level organization draws from 36 unique data sources to populate their analyses.

While mobile devices may not be the tool of choice for sophisticated big data analysis, mobile is an ideal delivery platform for organizations capable of sifting through that morass of information and finding what really matters.

2. There are more people with a need for intelligence.

The typical creator-consumer model of yesteryear might have included IT professionals or business analysts creating relevant dashboards and views of the data, and then serving them up to a select group of executives. Analytics has evolved to bring about an environment that welcomes more people into both camps — and a few new ones in between.

Sales directors, marketing managers, operational leaders, and a multitude of others are now staking their claim for better decision support and timely information. This broadened base of analytical users has raised the bar of insight-driven decisions for many organizations, but has also created inflated demand for more relevant information, delivered on time.

3. There is less time to make critical decisions.

The increased data urgency is a bit of a “chicken and egg” quandary. Some would say that the natural course of life and business has accelerated the flow of knowledge and information, forcing the technology to keep up. Others would argue the opposite — that the increased amount of digital information and data-creating business applications has caused an increase in urgency for that very information. Whatever the case, the fact is that our decision windows are shrinking.

An operational manager accustomed to producing an end-of-day productivity report might now be required to do so two or three times a day. The flood of Internet of Things (IoT) data from connected devices is forcing the monitoring and management of KPIs at a faster rate as well. Hourly updates might now be required on a minute-by-minute or even real-time basis. Aberdeen’s research shows that whether you’re an operational or strategic decision maker, there is a 71% chance that you have less time to make critical decisions.

Mobile to the Rescue 

In the fight against this shrinking decision window, many companies are augmenting their on-premise analytical installations with mobile capabilities. The research shows that these users, who typically have a greater need for fast information, are actually much more likely to get it on time:


From Novel to Necessary

Mobile capabilities for decision support may have started as novel, but in many cases have morphed into necessary. Companies that extend analytical activity from a purely on-premise environment to one that includes mobile interactivity are able to manage the unavoidable changes to today’s decision environment.

With more data to manage, Best-in-Class companies are able to parse and prioritize in order to find the right information for the decision at hand, leveraging mobile devices as yet another platform to deliver that information. Moreover, since mobile devices are so ingrained in our culture, they have become a powerful tool for connecting a growing diversity of users to the data they need, and in time to make a tangible impact to the business.


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