Despite all of the talk about self-service business intelligence, Chris Warner, VP of marketing for business intelligence software provider JackBe, insists most business intelligence software today is used by "BI black belts" and IT organizations to produce dashboards and reports for executives.
Those kinds of reports aren't useful for managers and analysts who need less predictable data, he says. "An executive is going to ask about the same KPIs every quarter throughout the year. The operational manager may have to solve a different problem, in a different part of the country, every day."
JackBe is stressing an operational approach to business intelligence with Presto 3.2, the latest release of its flagship real-time analytics platform. It offers a point-and-click interface and direct access to data sources, including ERP and CRM systems and data warehouses, so users "can answer their own questions instead of waiting in a traditional BI queue," Warner says.
These operational managers, not executives, are the key audience for mobile business intelligence because they don't spend much time behind desks and "need the answers wherever they might be," Warner says.
Presto 3.2 also employs what JackBe calls "HTML5 intelligent presentation detection" technology that automatically detects and adapts to different native environments like smartphones, tablets, browsers and enterprise portals such as SharePoint and Liferay.
This means organizations won't have to devote scarce development resources to creating multiple versions of applications for different environments, says JackBe CTO John Crupi.
Creating multiple versions of apps is an approach that simply will not scale, especially in a constantly changing mobile environment. JackBe's approach is to create a native "container" that provides all of the needed security and authorization features while offering dynamic data views in HTML5, Crupi says.
"If you have a single app for your organization, it is essentially the mobile portal into your internal app store that controls all of the security and the authentication. There is no data holding. You don't have to worry as much about mobile data management," he explains. "It allows you to build and deliver apps much faster than if you were to do them completely native."