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This content is part of the Essential Guide: Mobile BI tools, trends and best practices guide

Imhoff: Build programs at intersection of collaboration and mobile BI

By now, businesses are familiar with collaborative business intelligence (BI), and they're no strangers to mobile BI either. But what happens when you combine the two?

Claudia Imhoff, president and founder of Intelligent Solutions Inc. in Boulder, Colo., and founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, addressed that topic during her session at the 11th annual Pacific Northwest BI Summit. She presented alongside Donald Farmer, vice president of product management at QlikTech Inc.

Mobility and collaboration -- or collaboration on the go, as Imhoff refers to it -- are natural partners, but each brings its own set of challenges to the table. On the one hand, businesses will need to build bridges between the multiple BI tools they're using, and on the other, they will have to address how to handle all the moving parts that come with mobile BI. And, Imhoff warns, it's not as simple as picking a BI tool and running with it.

Businesses have to address technological questions when they're setting up for this collaboration: Native application or HTML 5? Standardize on one type of device or create a BYOD (bring your own device) environment? They'll also have to accept that they can't control every aspect of a mobile environment.

"And then there [are] the telecoms themselves," Imhoff said, "and we have no control over the telecoms."

While the challenges can overwhelm, Imhoff advises businesses to start off slowly. First, she said, they should devise a mobile BI strategy and determine what they can handle. "And then, second, [ask] how you'll bring collaboration into the environment," she said. "I think you do it gradually."

Imhoff spoke with’s news editor Nicole Laskowski about where collaboration and mobile BI intersect against the backdrop of Grants Pass, Ore.

In this video, viewers will also learn about:

  • The three types of collaboration
  • Why collaborative decision making is the most difficult to achieve
  • Why mobility is so challenging to BI environments
  • Tips on how to create a "collaboration on the go" environment
  • Why mobile devices are the killer application for mobile devices
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