Historically, business users wanting to consume analytics and metrics to gain insight from big data had to head to Excel or another reporting tool. The problem was obvious, but the solution—an easy, visual tool for understanding data—was a bit more difficult. The initial solution ended up in the form of dashboards and reports for employees—which, as it turned out, no one looked at.
Dashboards Are the Black Sheep of Analytics
Why weren’t people looking at those reports or dashboards? It was because it took too much time, and the content was dumbed down for a general audience, thus providing little value for decision-makers who needed it most. What became obvious was that after an initial spike in traffic, when new reports or dashboards were announced, usage dropped to just five percent. So almost 60 percent of the enterprise population was being ignored.
The functionality of reports and dashboards hadn’t been updated to reflect the new requirements of mobile devices. The self-service model was also ineffective for long-term mobile adoption, which needs to be about the user experience and tailored to any device.
Self-Service Isn’t for Mobile
The onset of mobile led to a unique user attitude of always being “on” and just tuning in to the stream of information at their fingertips. This delivery model is less about the idea of dumping a bunch of data in your lap and asking you to find your own insights. It’s more about creating a flow-through shortcut to deliver meaningful information quickly.
A great example of a natural opportunity for metrics delivered via mobile is ranching. Large cattle ranches span hundreds of thousands of acres, and cowboys tending the herd don’t have the time or place to pull up a laptop. They rely on tablets to stay up to speed on KPIs so they can take action quickly.