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BI prescription: take two tablets
Beverley Head 270005GK4J firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  communications_collaborat... business analytics head app beverley cloud ipad intelligence tablets collaboration smartphone
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iPad. It's the four letter word that will change the face of business intelligence forever. Tablet devices like the iPad are being adopted in record numbers by business people (1.2 million Australians will buy one this year according to Telsyte) because they provide fast easy access to information on the move - and that includes business intelligence.
Smartphones and tablet computers have captured the imagination of the market so quickly because they are reasonably inexpensive, light, easy to use and have a rapidly expanding applications base. The touchscreen interface also lends itself to intuitive information interrogation and drill downs.
The problem with the smartphone as a business intelligence window though is that too many of us suffer fat finger syndrome. You know the drill - you plan to call for a pizza only to find yourself talking to Aunt Patty. The increased screen size of tablets reduces the problem. They are still light and reasonably cheap, make content easier to access and read, and are ideal for show-and-tell sessions that might help close a deal or work through a problem in the supply chain.
Not surprisingly apps for business intelligence on tablets are multiplying fast. In the main they turn tablets into a window on business intelligence applications and data which are stored back at head office.
Even for the smallest business, the idea of running the entire business from an iPad is limiting. Tablets aren't designed for massive data uploads through the soft keyboard. And if a tablet gets lost and is the sole source of corporate wisdom then you're lost as well.
(One of the most intelligent things you can do if you use a tablet is to ensure that you've got a security app loaded so that if it's lost you can wipe the content.)
So tablets are good, BI apps are good but working out which is the best app can be a real challenge. The problem with most apps is that what's flavour of the day today may have disappeared from the top of the list tomorrow and sometimes it's hard to know what's good and what's not among the tens of thousands of apps out there. Let me know about your BI app experience what's hot and what's not?