The Progress of Mobile Business Intelligence

This Infographic from Domo in 2011 tells a story about the ROI of mobile business intelligence. I’ve enclosed it as-is.  It reflects the fact that I’m always being asked, at the start of any Business Intelligence project, whether the data can be mobilised.

The optimism of the infographic is interesting, since the figures shown below should be borne out by the time of writing this blog, which is March 2013.


In order to get a better idea of mobile Business Intelligence adoption, I suggest that you look at Howard Dresner‘s Mobile Business Intelligence Survey, which he conducts on a yearly basis.  To summarise, despite the earlier optimism of the original infographic, penetration of mobile BI today is modest, with majority of organizations report that fewer than 10 percent of users have access. As you might expect, smaller organisations have higher adoption of the new technology, with 20 percent of small business participants report that their mobile BI penetration is 81 percent or higher. So penetration in the small organizations is significant today. The take-away point is that there is a disparity between ambition and reality, where businesses are concerned.
Dresner’s research makes a calmer estimate: half of even the largest of organizations will be in the 11–20 percent band of using mobile Business Intelligence by 2015. There is a great deal of enthusiasm for mobile projects. In my experience, people can get distracted by the shiny-shiny new devices or applications, but forget that they still require clean, tidy data. Putting bad data on a mobile device doesn’t make it any better, and this is a key point which the whole mobile Business Intelligence discussion seems to miss.
In other words, on twitter, I’d like to see the hashtags #CleanData and #RightData used just as much, if not more, than the hashtags #BigData and #MobileBI, which are fairly ubiquitous where Twitter is concerned. These problems are less fun, and are often hard to do, which explains why they are much less popular than projects which involve shiny gadgetry.


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