Recently we have seen a dramatic change when it comes to deciding which screen size to design a new report or dashboard for. It’s always been a struggle for BI app designers to optimize applications to fit to the different sizes of desktop PCs and laptops, but adding mobile devices like smartphones and tablet PCs to the mix makes it even more complex.
The most natural solution of the past was to design two different views – one for the desktop and one for mobile deployment. But we no longer recommend this approach as the lines between different device categories are blurring.
Netbooks are encroaching on notebook and iPad territory, coming closer to their display capabilities. iPad has initiated a storm of new devices from other vendors with similar screen size. Even worse (from an app design point of view), Internet giant Amazon.com launched its Kindle Fire, whose screen size sits between traditional smartphones and tablet PCs. And now new devices like the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy III by Samsung, whose screen sizes are between the iPhone and the Kindle Fire, have found their own fans.
Although size does matter, screen size is not the sole point to consider when designing BI apps. There’s orientation to consider – which devices are optimized for portrait or landscape orientation – and on top of this, different vendors also offer a wide variety of pixel density – defined by pixels per Inch (PPI). For example, the new iPhone 4S with its Retina Display is able to display more pixels on its 3.5″ display than a decent netbook.
For app designers, it is impossible to create separate reports for every device, especially at organizations where BYOD (bring your own device) is the standard. This would end up being a total nightmare from a maintenance point of view. So what can we do? It’s time for a new and intelligent approach that will allow us to use one app and one report or dashboard layout for all devices.
Collaborative BI enables employees at every level to make meaningful decisions for their areas of responsibility, backed by easily-accessible information and analyses. With 15% of BI deployments containing collaborative elements by 2013 according to Gartner, it’s time to start evaluating the kind of Collaborative BI solution that will work for your enterprise. To help, we’ve defined the top 5 criteria you should consider:
1. Integration of disparate systems
Integration of varying systems is a challenge for most businesses, but one that can be overcome with the right Collaborative BI solution. Enterprises often have several different stand-alone solutions for BI in place as well as other decision-relevant – often unstructured – content that is disconnected from BI systems. Your Collaborative BI solution should act as a bridge between these disparate systems, connecting them with a simple search function that delivers results from multiple BI vendors, third-party systems like SharePoint or e-mail, documents, articles, and user-contributed content. It should also allow users to open and use any report, analysis, or document within the Collaborative BI interface so that switching between tools is unnecessary.
2. Flexibility & personalization
Collaborative BI systems must allow users to perform a variety of actions, from contributing content to bookmarking to knowledge sharing. The ability for users to submit content to enrich the Collaborative BI system is paramount for system affinity and adoption. Who better to contribute content than users themselves – those who are making everyday business decisions with their available data? Users must be able to upload relevant information and reports from external sources (Salesforce.com for example) as well as bookmark items as favorites. In our own Collaborative BI solution, arcplan Engage, users have BI Walls where they can pin frequently-viewed reports or snippets of dashboards. In this way, each user can configure their own personal Collaborative BI environment.
3. Availability on any device
Check out our free on-demand webinar, Collaborative BI: From Theory to Practice, presented by our SVP Dwight deVera. This webinar cuts through the hype to show you why Collaborative BI deserves to be on of the year’s hottest BI topics.
According to Gartner, improved decision making is by far the #1 driver of business intelligence investments in 2012 and beyond. Although companies continue to make significant investments in BI infrastructure, support for collaboration has been the missing component, often resulting in poor outcomes. So what can you do to ensure that your existing investments are being utilized, that adoption continues to grow, and that your BI system is contributing to improved decision-making? The answer might be Collaborative BI.
Collaborative BI is one of the hottest trends for 2012, but there’s a lot of theory floating around and not a lot of practical use cases being talked about. This webinar cuts through the hype around Collaborative BI and shows you its real-world implications.
View this webinar to learn:
- How Collaborative BI systems differ from enterprise collaboration platforms
- How Collaborative BI helps you decide which reports deliver valid, actionable information to aid your decision-making process and which reports are a waste of your time
- How the “wisdom of the crowd” can fuel confidence in your existing reports and entice regular business users to actively engage with them for better decision-making
- The main criteria you should look for in your in Collaborative BI solution
We also show a brief demo of arcplan Engage, the only Collaborative BI solution on the market that allows users to search and engage with structured and unstructured data from multiple sources, including arcplan, e-mail, SharePoint, and other BI systems.
Collaboration is the future of BI and that future is now. Watch this webinar to learn why collaboration is the key to helping knowledge workers make better business decisions based on the information that already exists in your enterprise.