Mobile BI Applications
I’ll write this post in English as it may also be of interest for non-Danish-speaking BI Professionals.
At our last community meeting in SQLBI.DK the main topic was Mobil BI. As a part of my preparation before the meeting I started researching the market of Mobile BI Applications. I ended up with long list of different products and decided to apply some characteristics for each product. Most of these characteristics are self-explaining, but let me spend a few words on “Application Type”.
Inspired by a Wikipedia article defining Mobile Business Intelligence, I found it useful to divide the applications into three different “Application Types”.
- Mobile Browser Rendered App Almost any mobile device enables Web-based, thin client, HTML-only BI applications. However, these apps are static and provide little data interactivity. Data is viewed just as it would be over a browser from a personal computer. Little additional effort is required to display data but mobile browsers can typically only support a small subset of the interactivity of a web browser.
- Customized App A step up from this approach is to render each (or all) reports and dashboards in device-specific format. In other words provide information specific to the screen size, optimize usage of screen real estate, and enable device-specific navigation controls. Examples of these include thumb wheel or thumb button for BlackBerry, up/down/left/right arrows for Palm, gestural manipulation for iPhone. This approach requires more effort than the previous but no additional software.
- Mobile Client App The most advanced, the client app provides full interactivity with the BI content viewed on the device. In addition, this approach provides periodic caching of data which can be viewed and analyzed even offline
The Application Type indicates how big an effort it will be to cover multiple mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone ect.), but also how well the features of the mobile platform is used.
Here is the result of my research.
You may notice that allmost all applications has the Application Type: Mobile Client App. But still I think it’s an important characteristic. J
If you know of a product that is not on my list or think that I’m missing or wrong about some characteristics, please let me know.