Mobile devices, the iPad in particular, offer a next-generation dashboard for busy executives and other mobile workers who need to tap into Big Data repositories. GoodData, a cloud business intelligence startup, is offering customers two methods for tapping into corporate data that they store in the GoodData platform.
Using the HTML 5 app
Hubert Palan, GoodData's VP of Product Management, explained in an email that their overall mobile strategy focuses on an HTML 5 app, a browser native application they have right now with an optimized user interface for touch devices. The full GoodData functionality is available across mobile platforms. The company is investing development time and resources into additional touch screen optimized UI components, with offline access coming available in the first half of 2014. Figure A shows the GoodData HTML 5 app running through Chrome on an Android tablet.
HTML 5 app access via Chrome on an Android tablet.
Figure B is an example of using the HTML 5 app on an iPad:
HTML 5 app access on an iPad.
Using the GoodData app on your iPad
The GoodData app is free from the App Store, and it’s optimized for viewing dashboards. However, users will need to have a user account in their organization’s GoodData cloud platform.
Going the iPad app route for a Big Data dashboard is a great method for democratizing mobile access across an organization, because it’s such a consumer-like experience. This is an ideal tool for executives, mobile sales people, and knowledge workers that an organization is cultivating for an internal Big Data team.
GoodData enables you to access your dashboards from anywhere you have connectivity. It packs some powerful features for mobile access to Big Data reporting, including:
- Dashboards and reports
- Tracking of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Ad hoc analysis
- Collaboration and sharing
I tested the GoodData app on my iPad using a GoodData trial account. When you login to your GoodData account, you'll see the Projects screen (Figure C).
The Projects screen.
From the Projects screen, I tapped on the Good Marketing demo. The screen that opens is testimony as to why the iPad is a better dashboard (Figure D):
Lead to Revenue dashboard.
This is a well-executed report that doesn’t require having to task a programmer every time an executive wants a report run. With the GoodData app, you have pinch and zoom control over what you’re viewing. You can’t edit data, but this iPad dashboard beats any internally-developed dashboard for presentation and productivity power over the old ways of doing things. Figure E shows an example of a Pipeline Analysis report.
Pipeline Analysis report.
Figure F shows an example of a Sales Management breakdown report.
Sales Management breakdown report.
When you tap on the Total Lost tab, you can drill down into a Total Lost report (Figure G).
Total Lost report.
There are no configuration controls available in the GoodData app, so you don’t have to concern yourself with an executive or other end user getting themselves into trouble with configuration or security settings.
Overall, I liked the GoodData app. However, it frequently crash on my iPad running iOS 7. I'm sure that GoodData will deliver an iOS 7 update to their app, but at the time of this writing, that hasn't happened. Regardless, this app is a definite candidate for some of the new iOS 7 features, including per app VPN, SSO, and the remote configuration of managed apps.
Put the GoodData mobile strategy to work for your enterprise
The GoodData mobile strategy is basic yet flexible, and it can enable an enterprise standardized on GoodData for Big Data and Business Intelligence (BI) to open mobile access to authorized users across their organization. Benefits include:
- Android tablet users can access their GoodData account through the Android browser
- Less technical users can be directed to use the GoodData app on an iPad to access their GoodData account
- Less IT department time spent on producing reports for executive management and others
- Secure access to data reporting and dashboards in the cloud through the users' GoodData account
- Big Data teams can setup reports for knowledge workers and deploy them out to the iPad app for consumption
They cover all the bases in their mobile strategy, which is important because many organizations are still trying to implement a mobile BI or Big Data strategy, and staying with one vendor is a saner option when it comes to support and integration costs.
GoodData’s mobile strategy — and their iPad app, in particular — show that the convergence of Big Data and mobility is upon us. It’s up to the enterprise to use this convergence to equip their executives, sales teams, and knowledge workers for a competitive advantage through anytime/anywhere data access.
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.