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BI on the go --- on your tablet PC!
The new era of mobile business intellligence

Devices like the IPhone, the Ipad, the Blackberry have added a whole new dimension to Business Intelligence on the move. According to IDC, BI and Mobility in Asia Pacific is set to touch US$36.1 billion or a 9% growth in 2011even as organizations looking for more efficient ways to process the data that they have gathered into information which can be used effectively to drive business.

IndiaTechOnline spoke to Shankar Ganapathy, Global Vice President of Asia Pacific and Channels at US-headquartered MicroStrategy, a global leader in the BI Business, to get a feel for this developing business technology.

Shankar gave us an interesting insight: while BI has traditionally been a tool exploited by the middle management in any company, the availability of BI solutions on the new generation of user friendly form factors like the iPad – and other tablet PCs -- has subtly expanded their reach to top management…. The head honchos who in an earlier era, harnessed digital dashboards to maintain an overview of their company’s affairs. But BI on mobile platforms go beyond dashboards, says Shankar, they are proactive tools.

Another technology that may soon help extend the reach and utility of BI-on-the-move is Near Field Communication (NFC), a contactless short range communication tool that may soon be available on smartphones, much as GPS or cameras are available today. NFC chips have reached the tipping point – less than 5 cents -- which makes their deployment a distinct possibility in the near future, says Shankar.

“Our Indian customers will be early adopters of Mobile BI and we hope to have specific technology enhancements driven by emerging requirements from this market”, he added.

Our Special feature sourced from Microstrategy, is a white paper on the new mobile computing- BI ‘sangam’ or convergence: ( see also for a few days, our video on mobile BI in our Tech Video spot)The New Era of Mobile Intelligence: THE CONVERGENCE OF MOBILE COMPUTING AND BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE A REVOLUTION IN INFORMATION DISSEMINATION AND CONSUMPTION Computing is entering its fifth generation with desktop Internet applications giving way to a new generation of Mobile Internet
applications. The use of the Internet on smartphones and other mobile devices has changed the way people communicate and
consume information, creating an exponential rise in the acceptance, adoption, and usage of data. With the ability to access
information at any time, in any location, on a hand-held device, consumers can now make more and more decisions quickly and easily.
As consumers capitalize on the power of mobile devices, the same transformation is occurring in business. Business applications that were mildly successful when used on a desktop, have suddenly become highly effective and valuable when consumed on the go, whenever and wherever business is conducted.
Mobile business information access will likely eclipse desktop information access in the near future, leading to a new era of
Mobile Intelligence. The convergence of business information and analytics with mobile technology is empowering business
people in a way that was never possible, until now. Mobile Intelligence delivered through smartphones and other mobile devices has the potential to revolutionize business processes across every industry.
Mobile Computing: The 5th Major Technology Cycle of the Last Half Century Since the 1960s, there have been four major cycles of computing: mainframes, mini computing, personal computing, and
desktop computing. Mobile computing, the 5th technology cycle, is predicted to have a far greater impact and adoption than
any of the previous cycles.
Today’s mobile computing is best epitomized by use of the Internet on smartphone devices, including the Apple iPhone, Google
Nexus One, and RIM BlackBerry
. Smartphones are exploding in popularity and technical capabilities. The adoption rate of
smartphones is far outpacing previously observed adoption rates of Internet or desktop-based technologies. The reasons are
simple: these mobile devices provide constant connectivity and are convenient to carry, extremely powerful, and easy and fun to use. Unique capabilities aside, the number of people that can carry a smartphone is significantly greater than the number of
people that take a laptop with them when away from the office. Mobile computing will further expand its footprint with the arrival and adoption of mobile tablet devices. Static, at-your-desk computing using a mouse and a keyboard is quickly becoming outdated. Almost everything about today’s computers, for the majority of daily tasks, is obsolete. The future is mobile computing on light-weight, connected devices that use a Natural User Interface (NUI) and deliver information and applications in the palm of your hand.
Mobile Information and Mobile Applications Mobile Intelligence is poised to revolutionize the way organizations deliver, consume, and act on information. Carrying stacks of
business reports to meetings and conferences no longer provides the depth of insight needed for timely, smart decision-making. Without convenient access to business information, actions are postponed until workers return to their desks, introducing organization-wide bottlenecks and delays. These restrictions and delays are erased with Mobile Intelligence, which allows heuristic analysis and decision-making wherever a decision is required.
Decision Sweet Spot – Decision sweet spots are locations such as the aisle in a store, the line in a factory, or the warehouse
floor. Business people need to be able to make data-driven decisions in the sweet spot, rather than delay due to a lack of
Decision Window of Opportunity – Decisions have a window of opportunity when a choice or action can be made to maximize
the impact. The longer it takes someone to get to the information and completely evaluate the situation, the greater the
chance of missing the opportunity. This delay could result in the loss of a sale or even a customer.
Increasing the Velocity of the Transaction The convergence of business information and analytics with mobile technology is empowering more and more people to make
hands-on, immediate decisions. Users can sift through enormous volumes of data on their handheld devices and convert this
data into actionable insight.
In less than a few seconds, whether in a noisy restaurant, an airport terminal, an aisle of a retail store, or a conference room,
information is accessible without sitting down and finding a place to plug in a laptop.
Rapid decision-making is key to accelerating the profitability of business. In today’s fast-changing, competitive business
environment, it is imperative to provide immediate answers to both internal and external customers. With Mobile Intelligence,
decision makers now have the power to make these decisions immediately.

Mobile Intelligence is 400 Times More Powerful than Desktop Internet Intelligence The revolutionary impact of Mobile Intelligence is evidenced by three major drivers.
Driver Number 1: Mobile Intelligence Expands the User Population by a Factor of 10
Mobile devices will significantly surpass the impact and number of desktop Internet devices. The range and number of mobile
devices is showing explosive growth and the boundaries between these devices is blurring. Mobile computing devices now range from smartphones and NUI-infused tablets to handheld game consoles and fully functional in-car computers. For all their differences, these mobile device types harmonize across themes of connectivity, mobility, and information delivery.
Driver Number 2: Mobile Intelligence Expands Information Opportunities by at Least a Factor of 10
As mobile computing becomes pervasive in both personal and professional lives, people are discovering more and more opportunities to make complete use of these powerful devices. From the moment they wake, they can use applications that not only enhance their personal lives but also make them more productive and effective at work. The ability to access information at anytime in any location, easily in the palm of your hand, allows immediate decision-making.A typical retail store manager may spend only a few hours working at a desk. With Mobile Intelligence, the manager can process decisions and analyze the latest information at any hour or location.
Driver Number 3: Mobile Intelligence Expands Personal Query Relevance by a Factor of 4
Today’s mobile computing devices are revolutionizing how information is deposited into applications. Using a keyboard and a mouse is now outdated. A natural user interface allows users to point at what they want, touch where they want to go, and move the device to indicate how they want to explore the information. Mobile computing devices respond to how users move their fingers and arms, and understand their location, the direction they are moving, and how fast. Mobile devices use these natural actions as inputs. Touch screens dynamically change into convenient input controls to meet the user’s needs, such as a keyboard, a calculator, a map, and a data visualization control. As a result, the user’s inputs are faster and cover a greater range of options, all while being more intuitive. Why enter a house number, street name, city, and zip code when the device can locate the user automatically?

Query speed and query relevance are further enhanced with other rich capabilities such as visual inputs via a camera or audio inputs via a microphone. Technology is playing catch-up and already converts images into data inputs from barcodes, fingertips, fonts, and facial recognition.
The ongoing impact of the evolution in device inputs and natural interfaces is to make applications faster, easier, and more
natural to use, leading to greater usage and a higher user adoption rate.
The Impact of Mobile Intelligence will be Greater than what is Currently Imaginable
In the new era of Mobile Intelligence, businesses that presently don’t exist may evolve into industry leaders. Applications that
are moderately valuable with the desktop Internet may be billion dollar applications when fully applied to the mobile Internet.
The next YouTube or Facebook hasn’t been invented yet, but will be designed as a mobile application. Organizations that
stay with today’s desktop-based information distribution models may become obsolete, outpaced by those organizations that
choose to thrive on the mobile Internet.
Organizations that embrace Mobile Intelligence will become leaner, faster, smarter decision-making machines resulting in
more business, more revenue, and greater competitive advantage.
MicroStrategy 9: Designed to Meet the Challenges of Mobile Intelligence
MicroStrategy 9 is well-suited to support the emerging and demanding needs of the new generation of Mobile Intelligence
applications. Mobile Intelligence applications demand much faster performance and serve much larger user populations than
traditional wired Internet applications. MicroStrategy offers Mobile Business Intelligence capabilities for the Apple iPhone and
iPad, the BlackBerry Smartphone, and the Kindle DX, with an architecture that is engineered for the speed and performance
required to rapidly deliver information on a mobile device.

Link to the MicroStrategy whitepaper ( which contains illustrations and graphics for this feature)
March 17 2011