Mobile reporting tools can have a huge effect on productivity and profitability in the enterprise. Few other developments in the business world have the transformative potential of mobile, which is a disruptive technology platform as well as a game-changing philosophy. The consumerization of IT and bring-your-own-device movements have had their detractors, and while security remains a concern, the opportunities it affords enterprise performance are unparalleled.
Personnel are no longer restricted by the rigidity of the 9-to-5 job or the unfamiliarity of working with a digital device not to one's liking. Instead, employees have more flexibility as to the kind of environment they like to work in and the hardware they would like to work with. These settings provide an ideal launching pad for ad hoc reporting, which is key to kicking data driven decision making into overdrive. It is important for software developers to take note of the kinds of worker preferences and strategies specific to their organization and fellow staff to develop customized reporting tools. That way, programmers and employees establish a mutually beneficial development and reporting process, in which they work together to achieve a higher standard of ad hoc reporting.
For business intelligence tools, speed, dexterity and flexibility are key. Employees enjoying BYOD and remote working create an atmosphere for themselves in which they feel most adaptable and can work at an accelerated clip. While an application may see a higher degree of success in this environment than it would in the regular office, customized reporting tools can drive insight generation even further. In a recent interview with ITWeb, business intelligence expert Julian Ardagh observed that adaptability and customization would be hot topics in the enterprise in 2014.
"We will be seeing a lot more mobile BI users and this will lead to the creation of customized mobile business intelligence applications," Ardagh said. "Predictive analytics, gaining momentum, will need faster processing capabilities because predictive analytics is inherently about speed and quick decisions and the ability to swiftly respond to large quantities of data."
The value of customization
Every business is different, which is why it seems impractical for a company to rely on the basic tools that many other businesses - including its competitors - may be using as well. Using customized mobile reporting tools ensures that the best manifestations of business intelligence applications get into employees' hands at the best time. It also drives convergence, which is an important point in the mobile-centric world. While a common cultural complaint is that mobile devices divide people, it does ring true in the enterprise. A workforce scattered to remote offices and separated by a wall of devices can have trouble communicating, according to Business 2 Community contributor Mark Connolly. This creates another challenge for enterprise reporting tools developers - drive meaningful collaboration between departments.
Overcoming the silo hurdle is an important step in allowing customized mobile reporting tools to flourish. Without effective collaboration and communication, a company risks becoming a group of separated users tapping away alone at applications, drawing insights they are not as likely to share. Increasing communication between software developers and enterprise end users is a good first step to creating an atmosphere in which collaboration is a high priority. This allows companies to get the most from their mobile investments.