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In a Dimensional Research survey of corporate decision-makers on smartphone use, 93% of survey respondents said they continuously had a smartphone available for use during business hours; 66% said they used a smartphone most often when they were traveling; and 55% reported that if they could access data more readily on their smartphones, it would help decision-making.

“Executives want insights into all activity that moves their business forward—be that sales metrics, personnel data, or manufacturing insights,” said Jay Heglar, chief business officer at Domo, a cloud-based company that specializes in business intelligence.

SEE: Special report: Harnessing IoT in the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Unfortunately, executives with harried schedules have not historically been provided with data outside of top-level metrics, dashboards, and regular reports.

This is changing as more C-level and middle managers want the flexibility to drill down into what they see at the top level of their dashboards, as well as the ability to develop their own reports. The demand for more comprehensive real-time information is challenging IT departments, which are still primarily delivering content in batch reports and are not staying in step with the on-demand, real-time, probe-enabled metrics and analytics that executives want.

This is an area where mobile technology and data reporting can help. With mobile, you can create your own no- and low-code apps to acquire the data that you want real-time access to, and you can also instantly share this data with others.

“We’re seeing that almost 95% of business stakeholders agree that they want instantaneous reports and collaboration wherever they are,” Heglar said. “For the Internet of Things (IoT) and more common areas of the business, we’ve created specific apps that users can plug their business data into and immediately start seeing insights being pulled. IoT data that sits in spreadsheets doesn’t have a voice or cannot effectively tell a story, but apps that enable users to consume and unearth IoT data can.”

For companies interested in finding ways to enable mobile apps to be customized by end users to produce actionable analytics from IoT and other data sources, Heglar has these recommendations:

  1. “Make sure that the data and apps you’re delivering are intuitive and interactive so business leaders can get value quickly. Apps should also speak the language of the end users.”

    5G: What it means for IoT (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

  2. Make the apps flexible and easy to use.
  3. “Apps should use tools that don’t require you to create separate mobile versions of the data you’re developing for different mobile platforms. You should only have to create a chart of your data once, and it should be able to be deployed in multiple formats that are optimized for different mobile devices.”
  4. Apps should not just present a number, but explain a position with the data. In other words, an app should provide a means to take action from the information, as well as provide a recommendation.

    I would also add these thoughts:

  5. Mobile apps, and the ability of end users to develop the types of apps that they want, provide an enormous gateway into IoT data that is now underused. Mobile app development should be encouraged.

    Special report: The rise of Industrial IoT (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

  6. The development of mobile apps by end users does not do away with the need for IT support and app monitoring. Mobile apps and reports should be catalogued and tracked in the same way that standard apps and reports are.
  7. Although vendors provide governance and security, it doesn’t relieve IT from ensuring that corporate governance and security standards are met.