Mobile BI Design Framework: Design Elements

The advent of the mouse and large screen-dependent design elements of the PC era influenced the makeup of traditional business intelligence (BI) solutions. Similarly, mobile BI comes with its own design elements that replace the mouse with touch screens, which merge the input and output components into a single device.

The “mobile BI design framework” promotes the idea that mastering these mobile design elements can benefit mobile developers (not just mobile BI teams) in order to deliver on the promise of mobile.

Here are several key design elements that I’ll cover in more detail in this series.

Mobile BI Design Framework: Environment

Anyone who has designed or developed a new product knows that understanding the environment in which the product or solution will be used by its end users is extremely important.

The environment is where we can successfully connect audience and purpose not only to leverage the technology’s strengths but also to minimize its weaknesses within a supported infrastructure.

The “mobile BI design framework” promotes the idea that we need to go beyond just identifying the basic parts of our environment and instead taking a holistic view of the entire system in order to deliver an integrated mobile solution that is consistent and predictable at each layer.

Many of the considerations for the environment may largely be influenced by your organization’s build vs. buy decision on BI or mobile BI solutions. A close review of the key components that make up the mobile BI environment can prove to be beneficial.

Mobile BI Design Framework: Purpose

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the purpose as “the reason why something is done or used: the aim or intention of something.” Although the reasons for a mobile BI project may appear obvious on the surface, a re-evaluation of the initial assumptions can often prove to be invaluable both for the design and longevity of mobile projects.

Here are a few points to keep in mind before you schedule your first meeting or lay down a single line of code.

10 Common Mobile BI Assumptions You Should Avoid

If organizations are going to utilize mobile business intelligence (BI) to drive growth and profitability, they must take a holistic approach that leverages technology’s strengths and minimize its weaknesses within a supported infrastructure. Moreover, organizations must deliver the power of mobile BI through innovation and without disruption. Just as we know that mobile isn’t just about one or two sexy apps, the step to gain the ability to deliver reports on a mobile device alone doesn’t guarantee success with mobile BI.

Here are the ten most common mistaken assumptions people make with mobile BI projects.

Mobile BI Design Framework: Audience

It goes without saying that when we design anything, we must know and understand our audience well. But I often find that in mobile business intelligence (BI) projects, this is where the first oversight happens—not because we lack the knowledge, but because we make the wrong assumptions.

The “mobile BI design framework” promotes the idea that we need to go beyond just knowing our audience by creating every opportunity for greater user interaction right from the onset of our engagements.

A Bucket of Wings: A Case Study of Better-Informed Decisions

Since my family likes to take a day off from cooking on Fridays, we recently visited the deli of our favorite organic grocery store. At the take-out bar, I noticed an unusually long line of people under a large sign reading, “In-House Made Wing Buckets. All You Can Fill. On Sale for $4.99, Regular $9.99.” Well, I love wings and couldn’t resist the temptation to get a few.

The opportunity was to add wings (one of my favorite appetizers) to my dinner. But instead of using the special wings bucket, I chose the regular salad bar container, which was priced at $8.99 per pound regardless of the contents. I reasoned that the regular container was an easier-to-use option (shaped like a plate) and a cheaper option (since I was buying only a few wings). My assumptions about the best container to use led to a split-second decision—I “blinked” instead of “thinking twice.”

Use Data To Support Arguments, Not Arguments To Support Data

The concept of “better-informed” decisions is distinctly different than the concept of “better” decisions— the former is generally a choice, whereas the latter often results from an action. Better-informed leaders don’t always make better decisions, but better decisions almost always start with better-informed leaders. Business intelligence (BI) can be the framework that enables organizations of all sizes to make faster, better-informed business decisions.

Mobile BI Design Framework: Design Thinking

When we design for mobile business intelligence (BI), we need to apply the mobile mindset to all facets of user interactions, not just what we do when we are online but also what we do offline. In my first blog of the series, I discussed the importance of embracing a mobile design philosophy that will be unique to each of us and the environments we work in.

This is important because our design philosophy will be the guiding light when best practices alone may not be enough to help us navigate in uncharted waters.

Mobile BI Design Framework: Introduction

Successful mobile business intelligence (BI) solutions demand a mobile mindset. When we design for mobile BI, we aren’t just building a report or a dashboard. We’re designing to deliver a superior mobile user experience each and every time. This means we need to consider all facets of user interactions and take a holistic approach when dealing with all aspects of the “mobile user life cycle”. This life cycle starts before installation and does not end after the mobile asset is downloaded and consumed.

Top Ten Signs Your Users Are Mobile Ready

Whether you’re planning a project for a mobile business app or developing a mobile business intelligence (BI) strategy, it’s critical to gauge your users’ overall mobile readiness. Even though sales of mobile devices continue to increase, some mobile users show chronic use of PC-era habits.

Yes, the mobile savvy Millennial Generation is taking the workforce by storm, but they don’t necessarily represent the largest portion of business users. Mobile-ready users, on the other hand, will display at least some of the following characteristics.