Are you revisiting the implementation of BI within your organization? What do you need to know about the broad trends affecting Business Intelligence in order to stay ahead of the game? Let’s talk about the most important intel on intelligence.

You’ve likely heard some talk about the rise of mobile-first BI apps. There are a lot of excellent reasons for this, mostly based around the fact that users interact very differently with mobile apps than their desktop. The best mobile apps offer a streamlined experience based on processes. This is almost a necessity on mobile devices, where a cluttered interface is a source of frustration.

The flexibility of mobile access also simplifies working remotely or at odd hours—and there’s a wow factor involved in pulling up analytics on the fly to impress a potential client.

But the truth is, use of BI apps isn’t limited to one device. While someone might pull out a phone for a quick dip into analytics, today people move fluidly from laptops to tablets to other mobile devices. So the real focus shouldn’t just be on mobile first, but on how to ensure that workflow continues unimpeded from device to device, moment to moment. Be prepared for apps with the best “flow” to outperform other mobile apps.

Customization

When an interesting idea strikes, we want to pursue it all the way to the end, no matter what platform we’re on. Outdated BI apps tend to have specific ways of sorting and viewing data. Outside-the-box thinking gets hampered, and the creative process breaks down. By allowing your employees to relate data in a wide variety of ways, you ensure that they have the tools they need to act on their instincts.

Real-Time

Real-time apps provide an opportunity for action when you’re relating sets of data. This has obvious benefits: retailers can track fluctuations in warehouse stock, hospitals can monitor intake speed and turnaround time, and banks can detect fraud early. But beyond this, real-time apps can help your workforce correlate data with factors such as activity on social media. This can help determine why you’re suddenly seeing an activity spike on your website—and capitalize on it.

Broader Use of BI

When you consider the diverse tools the average smartphone user has access to, it only makes sense that there will be more big data-related third-party apps on the market, available for purchase by anyone who’s interested. Expect small business owners to exploit this opportunity!

Regardless of what Business Intelligence applications you choose, it’s all about adaptability. If your platform can’t function in multiple ways, for multiple user types, on multiple platforms, you won’t be serving tomorrow’s customer.