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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog


Collaborative BI: Trends & Mobility Factors

Although face-to-face meetings, email and phone calls are the top “mechanisms for collaborating with BI insights in 2013,” those mechanisms are not necessarily the future for mobile collaboration on big data projects.

Collaborative BIDresner post 150x150 Collaborative BI: Trends & Mobility FactorsThat’s according to a recent survey on the collaborative BI market by Howard Dresner, founder and president of Dresner Advisory Services.

Let’s look at some of the findings of Dresner’s “2013 Wisdom of Crowds Collaborative Business Intelligence Market Study.”

The Definition of Collaboration

Collaboration is different depending on the size of the organization. “Smaller organizations have strongly adopted collaborative BI and are using it to their competitive advantage,” according to Dresner.

Another note on small businesses is that they’re really collaborating more outside their organizations – specifically through file sharing.

The report shows that when it comes to collaboration the opinions of larger companies have more to do with an internal focus and efficiency because many larger organizations are “co-located with their peers and share information via face-to-face meetings.”

Value Factors

It’s clear that some verticals value collaborative BI more than others – sales and strategic planning think it’s more valuable than finance, IT and marketing, according to Dresner’s survey of 1,182 participants at small, mid-size and large organizations.

Dresner says that this makes sense for strategic planning because its “scope is enterprise-wide.”

How Companies Use Collaborative BI Today

Moving into the usage of BI for collaboration, it’s clear that “keeping up with what’s going on with teams” is important.

“One of the most interesting findings in the study is the prioritization of core BI collaboration features. Respondents ranked the ability to ‘follow BI objects’ as number two in importance [in features],” Dresner notes.

Dresner says that when users are able to follow BI objects three things happen:

  • It simplifies and automates the process a little more and helps projects move forward faster.
  • Users don’t have to take extra steps to log in to see if something’s changed.
  • Mobile users know when they have to act because of object notifications.

Leading Users to Collaborative BI

Dresner points out that vendors are leading the way with features like mobile collaboration and versioning (or history).

We’d like to point out here that we’re invested in seeing this become a reality for our customers. We put specific emphasis on the “last mile” of the enterprise in our latest Spotfire release.

For instance, with Spotfire Mobile Metrics you can get alerts on changing business conditions on your mobile device. Additionally, you can monitor personal KPIs from your mobile device. It’s important to us because we know our customers want to understand the health of their organizations anywhere and everywhere.

Tying It All Together

In organizations that have a collaborative culture, applying collaborative technology enhances and enables the effectiveness of collaboration,” Dresner notes. “Organizations that utilize these sorts of collaborative capabilities can better leverage more scarce resources and can come to decisions much more quickly.”

The takeaways of Dresner’s report include:

  • Establishing a collaborative culture is imperative for all BI projects and particularly mobile BI investments.
  • Monitoring “BI objects” will help your organization improve productivity and more quickly move business and decision making forward.
  • Collaboration is much more than sharing files through email. When people combine their questions with their data insights, real competitive advantage is achieved.

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