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The Decision Factor offers insightful comments and observations on analytics—from views on new technology approaches and market dynamics to the latest industry trends driving demand for faster, smarter information analysis. This blog contains personal views, thoughts, and opinions from SAP employees, mentors, and friends working in the area of analytics. It’s not endorsed by SAP nor does it constitute an official communication of SAP.

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Mobile BI Design Framework: Making the Case for Small

DFactor4.16

In mobile business intelligence (BI) design, the “case for small” stems from the need to effectively manage performance and response time for mobile experiences. The concept has nothing to do with smaller screens or device sizes. Instead, it deals with the delivery of the content onto those screens.

One of the common denominators of all mobile user experiences deals with what I call the “patience factor.” Mobile users tend to be less patient about performance and response time than PC users, since they’re on the go with less time to spare.

On the other hand, the unmatched …

5 Ways To Drive Value with BI Proof of Concepts

Proof of concepts (POC) specifically designed for business intelligence (BI) projects can be invaluable because they can help to mitigate or eliminate the risks associated with requirements whether we’re working with a new BI technology, asset, or data source.

POCs (sometimes referred to as proof of principle) may be presented with slightly varying interpretations in different areas of business and technology. However, a BI POC attempts to validate a proposed solution that may cover one or more layers of the BI spectrum through a demonstration with a small number of users.

There are many reasons why a BI …

Self-Service BI: Let Your Users Lead but Keep an Eye on Them

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-child-climbing-fence-trying-to-climb-sport-playground-image37914103

When I take my little boy for a stroll in the park, I like observing how small, growing children interact with adults. You can tell the different parenting styles: the protective mum that isolates her children from others, the one who just lets them be but keeps an eye on them at all times, and the one that has no idea where her kids are but relies on the playground fence—she knows they won’t be able to go very far.

Governing self-service business intelligence (BI) is a bit like being a parent of a child that has grown fast …

Mobile BI Design Framework: Performance with a User Focus

DFactor 3.26 blog

When we discuss performance in mobile business intelligence (BI), we often talk about two components: response time and availability. I discussed the response time in detail in a previous blog. Today, I want to expand on availability.

Availability is sometimes referred to as “up time,” but it goes beyond that. We need to manage performance with a user focus to make sure our priorities support business execution, not hinder it.

Managing performance of any technical solution is a tricky business and mobile BI is no different. We primarily deal with two elements: …

Mobile BI Design Framework: The Art of Support

Mobile BI Design Framework: The Art of Support

When it comes to supporting mobile business intelligence (BI) implementations, what we do after we go live is as critical as what we do before. Technology support is art as much as it is science. If you add to the mix global deployments, remote access, language and cultural barriers, we face a daunting task especially when supported by virtual teams without on-site personnel. Two key elements should guide your approach: quickly identify the root cause for immediate relief and put in place safeguards to prevent future occurrences.

Let’s take a look at several mobile BI support best practices.

6 Tools to Make Your Mobile Design Teams More Effective

6 Tools to Make Your Mobile Design Teams More Effective

I joined a consulting firm just as I came out of the private sector where I was the customer of technology. In my new role, I found myself on the opposite side of the intersection of business and technology where I was looked to as the expert. I realized quickly that I had to be agile and innovative instead of demanding a solution to problems that were both challenging and complex.

I see many parallels between my challenges then and mobile ambitions of many young design teams these days. Whether we are talking about mobile app development, …

Mobile BI Design Framework: The Use of Colors

Mobile BI Design Framework: The Use of Colors

In mobile business intelligence (BI) design, the use of colors plays an important role because colors are some of the easier components to incorporate into our mobile assets. However, this ease of use often leads to misuse and, subsequently, ineffective design of our mobile solutions.

I often find that the oversight happens not because we lack the knowledge or technical capability, but because we make the wrong assumptions. I always argue: simple is beautiful if we want our design to resonate with our customers (users). And as I discussed in my last blog of …

Mobile BI Design Framework: Impact and Utility

Mobile BI Design Framework: Impact and Utility

In mobile business intelligence (BI) design, two elements are always in play. I refer to them as “utility” (not to be confused with utility in economics) and “impact.” At the micro level, they influence directly how we develop our mobile assets (reports, dashboards) in order to effectively deliver actionable insight through the mobile user interface and experience. At the macro level, they influence how we design and execute our mobile BI strategy.

Utility Is About Efficiency

Mobile BI is about faster, better-informed decision making through the use of mobile platforms. In this …

Everyday BI: My Stocks

Everyday BI: My Stocks

In the last installment of this series, I described the three key steps that everyday business intelligence (BI) users typically go through when they consume data: Observation, Perspective, and Insight. These steps often take place in an ad-hoc manner without the same degree of precision and requirements that one expects in corporate BI environments. Nevertheless, everyday BI users follow a similar process to achieve the same end goal—insight through data for better-informed decisions.

Let’s take a look at a great example that demonstrates these three steps before I continue with our experiments in future …

Everyday BI: 3 Steps to Insight

Everyday BI: 3 Steps to Insight

In the last installment of this series, I described everyday BI users as data consumers who use technology to drive insight from diverse data sources. I want to further expand on this idea that everyday BI users are insight-driven data consumers, and articulate what I consider the three key steps to insight.

This final piece sets the stage for our analyses and experiments in the coming posts of the Everyday BI series.

Step One: Observation

In this first step, we’re re primarily occupied with gathering basic data to answer rudimentary questions. At this early stage:

Our …