The Importance of Human-Driven Mobile BI Collaboration

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mobile in enterprise

Today, one in every five phones is a smartphone. And, according to ZenDesk’s cool infographic on Mobile in the Enterprise, 43 percent of companies are seeking to grow their use of mobile devices.

A few interesting facts on mobile devices in the enterprise:

  • 13 percent of information workers use their smartphones for work at least weekly. This number is expected to hit 34 percent next year.
  • Half of the devices on corporate networks will be mobile devices by 2015
  • 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using or deploying iPads

The top three reasons for using mobile apps:

  • To increase productivity
  • To reduce paperwork
  • To increase revenue

What’s missing from this infographic? The stats on collaboration. Mobile apps and devices are great for increasing productivity and reducing paperwork if the collaboration strategy is working behind the scenes.

Do Tools Make Us More Collaborative?

Gartner recently revealed their top five myths that derail collaboration initiatives, and tools are at the top of the list.

Carol Rozwell, (@crozwell) vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, says technology should be at the end of the checklist in collaboration initiatives.

“IT leaders should first identify real business problems and key performance indicators (KPIs) that link to business goals,” she says.

Defining Real Collaboration

Jeff Jarvis, (@jeffjarvis) a media pundit and professor (City University of New York), recently expressed some eye-opening views on collaboration (which we discovered in Klint Finley’s Read Write Enterprise post on Gartner’s five myths).

He was discussing the role of collaboration in news media and consumers of that media. He says, “Collaboration is not allowing people to comment. Collaboration is not giving them opinion polls…”

Jarvis defines collaboration as two or three people working together “on the same document, the same presentation, for a client or some other deliverable.”

The Human Element in Mobile BI Collaboration

Technology can aid in collaboration, but it’s the human elements working together as Jarvis says that gets results. It’s not just adding another place for people to make comments or a feed sent to your email with updates on the latest project.

In business intelligence, collaboration is key to using the data to make intelligent decisions. Mobile BI apps (and Social BI) just make it that much simpler to collaborate.

It’s only when those people work together on mobile devices with clear expectations (as Rozwell points out) that real collaboration, productivity and decisions happen.

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team