The evolution of mobile devices as a business tool has reached a point where they are powerful enough and ubiquitous enough to change how businesses make decisions. Smartphones and tablets have made, time sensitive business data analysis available to executives and decisions makers with a speed, depth and access that was previously unheard of. Now, it is not a matter of waiting for a report, it is simply a matter of swiping fingers across a screen.
In the marketing industry, mobile devices have been used for years to acquire product or consumer data in the locations where the products are used or the consumers congregate. The acquired data is usually uploaded to a data warehouse and managed by an ERP system. Analysts would then clean the data, drill down to the relevant information (based on the questions they are seeking answers for), create a report, summarize it and present it to an executive. The executive uses the analysis to make a decision and then has the analyst or a clerk input the decision into the ERP or database.
However, using the newest generation of mobile business analysis tools, the decision maker can pull up the data, drill down to the information required, make a decision and instantly input that decision into the ERP. They no longer need to be in a board room or even at a desktop computer to obtain the analysis they require.
The speed at which the data and the analysis is available to the decision maker allows them to react to current and real world situations in which the data is critical to making a decision. The cost of the traditional work flow, and the loss of time waiting on the creation of these reports is eliminated.
Will Analysts Have a Place in the Future?
The evolution toward just-in-time delivery of business data analysis does not spell the death knell for professional analysts. Analysts of the future will still be responsible for setting the parameters of the business data analysis. They will still determine how to provide the data in the clearest possible terms so that the executive, on his or her mobile device, can understand and act on what the data is telling them.
Executives and decision makers will still need to rely on the expertise and experience of the analyst to tell them what the analysis means.