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This content is part of the Essential Guide: Mobile BI tools, trends and best practices guide
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As BI mobility takes off, don't get left behind -- or unprepared

Deployments of mobile business intelligence tools are spreading rapidly. Before you take the mobile BI plunge, read advice on how to make it work.

Mobile business intelligence tools are already popular with iPad-toting executives, smartphone-wielding sales reps and other groups of business users. And BI mobility is likely to become much more prevalent in 2013 and beyond, according to a pair of surveys conducted in the second half of 2012.

In one, 61% of the 634 organizations surveyed by consultancy Forrester Research Inc. said they had deployed mobile BI tools, were testing them or planned to launch programs within 12 months. In the other, nearly two-thirds of 250-plus respondents told BI consultant Howard Dresner that less than 10% of their users had mobile access to BI data. But deployments are expected to expand rapidly: More than half of the respondents said the penetration of mobile BI software in their organizations likely would exceed 40% of users by 2015.

So the need to enable and support BI mobility is likely to crop up sooner or later, if it hasn't already. But plunging into the mobile BI deep end without knowing what you'll find there could be dangerous -- to your company and your career. SearchBusinessAnalytics recently published several stories with advice on building and deploying mobile BI apps from consultants and IT managers who have been there and done that. In one story, we catalog mobile BI design and development tips. In another, we look at what needs to be done on the back end to provide fast mobile BI performance. And in a third, we examine the mobile BI deployment trends highlighted by Dresner's survey.

Craig Stedman is executive editor of SearchBusinessAnalytics. Email him at

Follow SearchBusinessAnalytics on Twitter: @BizAnalyticsTT.

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