App experience to reinvent BI

Read time 2min 30sec

Despite all the successes he has witnessed in the areas of cloud, big data and business intelligence (BI) over the years, Dataways' director, Bill Hoggarth, still sees some pretty bad business decisions being made on a daily basis.

Speaking at ITWeb's Business Intelligence Summit yesterday, Hoggarth suggested that organisations that invest in analytics and BI will be more successful than those that do not.

Hoggarth pinpointed Google, Apple and Twitter as the three international companies that have been the biggest innovators in the BI space in the last several years, none of which are BI vendors.

"The reason I believe these three organisations have totally re-engineered the BI landscape is because, between them, they have totally revolutionised end-users' expectations in terms of speed, reach and ease-of-use when it comes to interacting with the computing world in general."

According to Hoggarth, this is important for business because users are taking these expectations regarding speed and ease-of-use into organisations. "We need to accept that users have a level of expectation when interacting with apps and the speed of Google and the breadth of Twitter," he said. "If we deliver information to business users, who in their personal capacities have become used to this kind of user experience, we have to match that experience."

For Hoggarth, the need for a reinvention of how businesses handle BI can be compared to how Apple's Steve Jobs changed the way the world listens to music. "It is that same level of reinvention that we need to bring into our thinking about how we are delivering BI to our end-users," he said, adding that static dashboards, boring charts and PDFs no longer meet the user's experience expectations.

It is critical for CEOs and key decision-makers to remove any barriers to their ability to interact with the data and garner what they need from it, said Hoggarth, suggesting this can be done by embracing the app-style experience, making the data more exciting and simpler, and encouraging immersion. "We need to create an experience that allows users to freely explore the data."

During his presentation, Hoggarth described the user of today as being too savvy to put up with outdated experiences. "We need to be embracing the challenge and the need to unlock what is hidden in a data set via a user experience that the users really want to use," he said. Without which, businesses will see little improvement in user adoption.

"We need to start with the end-user in mind and not with the BI fraternity in mind."

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