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A Guide to Creating a Business Intelligence App


In today’s intense business climate, you need every edge you can get. And, if a business is not using all the business intelligence (BI) tools available, they’re not very…well, intelligent. Technology moves at lightning speed, and there’s always room for improvement. HiTech mobile app development is a similarly fast industry that’s always changing, and there’s lots of opportunity for success. BI needs the latest features to compete, so let’s look at a few crucial features that you should consider implementing as you ideate and develop your HiTech app idea.

Dashboards

No matter what material an app is covering, having an intuitive and nimble dashboard is essential. This is especially true in the complex data world of modern business, where numbers change by the second. This is where you should focus the lion’s share of your UX/UI powers, as it’s meant to present data in real time with graphs and data that’s easy to view, manipulate, and understand quickly on any variety of devices. Consider including simple templates for any level of user, so they can build and share important dashboard information with all teams. According to this survey, dashboards are the most important feature that business intelligence buyers are looking for. A basic feature, yes, but it needs to be incredible to compete.

Example: Klipfolio is a mobile BI app that lets you install and populate dashboards quickly and effectively. It has over 300 templates for over 50 services, which gives even basic users tremendous versatility. It also is cloud-based, so users can access data anywhere, and it integrates with thousands of data services to display on a variety of devices.

Reporting

Not far behind dashboards on the BI buyer wish list mentioned above is reporting. All levels of business management need to be able to create reports accurately and quickly using multiple data sets that change constantly. There are several types of reports that can be generated, depending on who needs it and why, and most have usually needed your IT department to put them together in the past. Let’s take a peek at a few different reports that your app can focus on.

  • Operational Reports: Also referred to as daily reports, operational reports give an instant summary of the day’s (or week/month’s) business to give executives and managers updated information so they can make crucial decisions. A fairly basic process, operational reports give a picture of a time period, so users can compare current numbers with past performances.
  • Ranking Reports: These let decision makers view various departmental numbers in a ranking system, so you can compare performances easily and contextually. This could be adjusted in several ways; among various sales teams, for example, or sales vs. marketing numbers. The more agility (among various criteria) you include in a ranking report app, the more data you can mine and analyze.
  • Ad Hoc Reports: This is the blue-collar everyman type of reporting, in that it’s accessible to all workers, even non-tech savvy folks. These reports are meant to be created quickly, often only using a few data sets that are specific to the user’s position and needs. Clearly, these reports need to be created with a minimum of technical steps, so templates and intuitive instructions should be integrated throughout.

Example: Ubiq has an amazing ad hoc reporting app that lets users build reports with drag-and-drop functions, multiple filters, and dropdown menus to create beautiful graphs, charts and reports that are easily shared through multiple formats and devices.

Predictive Analytics

Now, we are getting into more advanced and powerful features. Many initial adopters are hesitant to implement predictive analytics into their starting BI suite, because of either increased cost or lack of confidence/knowledge about how this technology can help them. It’s defined as this, as per TechTarget: “Predictive analytics is a form of advanced analytics that uses both new and historical data to forecast activity, behavior and trends. It involves applying statistical analysis techniques, analytical queries and automated machine learning algorithms to data sets to create predictive models that place a numerical value — or score — on the likelihood of a particular event happening.” So, yes…technical stuff, indeed. However, you should strongly consider taking the leap and implementing this revolutionary technology in your app. Controlling such powerful data can inform your future decisions in a positive way, and solve inefficiencies all along the way. Enormous industries like insurance, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and finance are using predictive analytics to optimize their business decisions, which equals plenty or opportunity for app developers.

Example: Sisense uses a browser-based predictive analytics app to deliver massively powerful data to any mobile device with all the features and clarity of a desktop. Considering many large companies are multinational, the ability to access and present these analytical tools with a mobile based application gives all members of your team the ability to make informed decisions on the go.

Final Thoughts

There are many other factors to consider when developing a HiTech app. These apps are highly dependent on which systems they are compatible with, whether they are browser- or cloud-based, and how accessible mobile devices are. You might want to focus on a specific operating system to try to capture that niche, or develop a widely accessible app that is compatible with multiple systems. You’ll need to consider various security measures also, as sensitive data might be transmitted, as well as the ability to easily limit the access to certain features to individual users. Additional data mining capabilities are also a consideration, as the popularity of advanced features is increasing.

Overall, it seems that businesses want mobile BI apps to be easy to use and accessible to all levels, getting more crucial team members involved in important decisions. Easily integrated apps to use with existing systems is also a high priority, and the ability to scale up from basic functions to more advanced analytical tools should always be a concern. There are very basic mistakes to avoid during development, and you can read more about that here. Do your research, partner up with a great app development partner, and get to work!

We hope you’ll consider Koombea as your app development partner for your HiTech app idea. You can read more about our experience and process here.



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