How are companies using mobile business intelligence (BI), and when does it make sense for mobile BI to be part of our overall BI and analytics strategy – if not now, in the future?
Hey, what are you, anyway – a spy? How did you know we’ve been working on a mobile BI project for a large retailer? Huh? Spill the beans!
But, Clever Dredger-Upper of Secrets, since you’re so resourceful, I’ll let you in on the story. Our client is a retailer that recently deployed mobile BI technology in some of its stores. Sales associates use handheld devices to look up customer information while the customer is shopping. So instead of standing behind a register, sale associates can be out “on the floor” with their guests.
Customer looking at some fabulous black suede boots with bronze-tone grommets and wedge heels? “Those would go great with the leggings you bought online. And here are some matching tights.”
The sales associate becomes an adviser in the purchase – or a collaborator, if you will. She gives the customer her business card and gets the customer’s contact info – or enriches the information that the retailer already has in its systems. And then she can call the customer when the fabulous pair of shoe booties that she was eyeing but didn’t purchase go on sale.
You’ll hear people go on and on about the strategic promise of mobile BI. But its value really lies in the field, or in the stores, or on the manufacturing floor. It’s for users who are on the move but need information on demand.
By the way, any resemblance to actual persons in this answer is purely coincidental. (But I love my new boots.)
This was first published in November 2010