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Mobile business intelligence is the ability to access data from an enterprise business intelligence software application on a mobile computing device. Business intelligence refers to software programs that gather, store and analyze data that comes from a business's operations. A primary example of business intelligence is customer relationship management software that identifies customers' buying preferences and behaviors with data obtained from their purchases.
With the introduction of business intelligence software, managers and executives have typically had access to necessary information on traditional computer desktops and laptops. As mobile computing device use has increased, including the use of Internet-capable mobile phones, business intelligence applications have been developed for these devices. Mobile business intelligence applications allow users to gain access to the software that stores the information they need.
Many technology users find that mobile computing devices are more convenient due to their smaller size and portability. In a fast-paced business environment that may include extensive travel to various company locations, mobile devices allow managers to communicate and complete essential work tasks in a more efficient manner. Mobile business intelligence applications can keep managers informed about what might have caused certain operational issues.
For example, a mobile business intelligence application might allow managers in a telecommunications company to find out why a major client's orders for new voice and data lines are delayed. The software would most likely keep track of when the orders were placed, what stage they are in, who is handling the current stage and what steps have been taken to correct the delay. A mobile business intelligence application would also most likely provide managers with an analysis of the type of order, the average time it typically takes to complete and the top reasons why it might encounter some trouble.
Some of the applications integrate server software while others import graphs, tables and reports. Information that is sent to mobile devices through business intelligence applications can be forwarded through e-mail and social networking software directly from the device. In addition, applications such as global positioning software and maps can be combined with the intelligence applications to automate data entry functions.
As of 2011, there are a few brands that have cornered the market on mobile business intelligence. There are others that have potential and are working to expand the capabilities of their devices. Like any emerging technology, mobile intelligence has its early adopters and its laggards. Some companies do not yet see the value in these applications.