Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) software is increasingly becoming indispensable to organisations seeking to be more data-driven. Accordingly, software vendors are working hard to ensure their products can provide actionable insights from analytics, communicate the results, and support internal communication and collaboration between functions when needed.
Learn more: Data analytics and its role in modern business
The race to provide the best-of-breed solution across devices and purposes has long been a neck-to-neck one among the Analytics and Business Intelligence providers. This stems from the customer demand of being able to observe and control the business from anywhere and anytime, through their mobile devices.
Therefore, many of the Analytics and Business Intelligence vendors are rolling out products aiming to provide the equivalent capabilities of their current products on a variety of mobile devices, for example, smartphones and tablets.
The adaptation of mobility in Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) software
Ventana Research’s 2019 Mobile Analytics and Business Intelligence Value Index report examines how the product supports display and usability when used on more mobile and smaller screens. Key features like ease of use, user experience, and additional interaction capabilities are the key points that set one product apart from the rest.
As the majority of Analytics and Business Intelligence software providers have already offered the mobile version of their products, Ventana's Value Index puts the most prominent vendors on the table and evaluates the vendors as well as their products.
Spanning from the product-related aspects to the customer assurance issues, Ventana Research has designed the Value Index so that it delivers a balanced perspective with a deep understanding of business drivers and needs.
In detail, the report looks into the products of fifteen vendors in seven evaluation categories including Usability, Manageability, Reliability, Capability and Adaptability to thoroughly evaluate the mobile analytics and business intelligence systems.
Birst is an overall leader in Mobile Analytics and BI solution
Brad Peters – Birst’s SVP and General Manager – stressed that the new generation and data-savvy workforce today is centred on mobility. According to Brad, the Birst Mobile application allows employees to access insights wherever they go, both online and offline thanks to the development of smartphones and tablets.
“We’re proud to be recognized by Ventana Research as an Overall Leader for Mobile Analytics and BI. Today’s data-savvy workforce is centered around mobility. Smartphones and tablets have untethered people from their desks, and every day important business decisions are made when not sitting in front of a computer. Birst Mobile gives employees access to insights anywhere they go, connected or offline.”
Brad Peters, SVP and General Manager of Birst
Using the similar cloud-based SaaS infrastructure of the Birst networked business analytics platform, Infor makes it easy and secure to deploy Birst Mobile on their customer’s devices.
Over the years, Birst has amassed considerable expertise in building mobile versions of its products. Birst Mobile maximises the device's rich interactivity and native gestures to provide a more enhanced, smooth and engaging user experience.
Integrated with the “design once, use everywhere” approach, Birst Mobile's dashboards are designed to fit automatically into the user's device screen responsively, while leveraging the interactivity and collaboration capabilities to provide true intuitive experiences for the users. Additionally, Birst Mobile's users can also access their data when offline, allowing them to stay on track even without an internet connection.
As the Ventana Research Value Index report stated: “Birst’s best rating is in Adaptability, where it ranks first due to the product’s flexible deployment and configuration options, including white-labelling applications for a custom look-and-feel.” Offering applications for both iOS and Android operating systems, Birst Mobile is easily integrated into the existing infrastructure, applications and processes of any business. Besides the Adaptability strength, Birst also ranked high in both the Reliability and TCO/ROI categories. Infor Birst earned leading (top three) scores in four of the seven categories evaluated, putting it into the top four Analytics and Business Intelligence vendors in overall performance.
On the other hand, Birst Mobile ranked lowest in the Usability category, implying that the product still needs improvements and adjustments in its user interface. In the report, Ventana Research also noted that the usability for executives and IT personas could also be improved in Birst’s later updates. More specifically, other mobile-specific capabilities like location awareness and wearable device integrations can be substantial improvements for the Birst Mobile software.
The future of Analytics and Business Intelligence
As stated by Gartner, “By 2020, organisations that offer users access to a curated catalogue of internal and external data will derive twice as much business value from analytics investments as those that do not.” Therefore, the ability to connect between platforms and networks is highly valuable in the future.
We are at the stage of a new wave of disruption: augmented analytics, along with machine learning generating insights on increasingly vast amounts of data. Vendors that have augmented analytics as a differentiator will dominate the business intelligence, analytics and data science and machine learning platforms and of embedded analytics in the future.
Pros and Cons of Birst's Analytics and BI Software
Birst stands out from other platforms with its wide range of supported data sources. From on-premises to Cloud, enabling both centralised and decentralised analytics, plus, supporting both Mode 1 and Mode 2 usage styles on a single platform. Birst’s users are given all kinds of approaches to interpreting data, from data preparation to dashboards, and the ability to schedule report distribution, ensuring that customers can access and merge multiple data sources while still providing governance.
Another reason why customers choose Birst is their Cloud Deployment and low total cost of ownership. Birst had the highest proportion of reference customers who said there were no limits to further deployment within their company.
Nevertheless, Birst still possesses multiple weak points, such as low scores in market understanding and customer experience. Moreover, Birst needs to fill the gap in its product roadmap in order to keep up with the next wave of disruption.
Birst Analytics and BI Applications: a case study
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world's largest provider of business travel services with over 16,000 professionals in more than 140 countries. With an annual corporate travel spending of over $19 billion, GBT serves 37 out of the 100 largest travel spenders in the US.
To differentiate its core services and protect its market share, American Express GBT collaborated with Infor Birst, the leader in cloud-based business intelligence and analytics. Infor Birst's cloud-enabled business intelligence platform is the most advanced tool in the market.
Read the complete case study here.
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