The Curious Case of Mobility and Business Intelligence

“Did you close your bank accounts when $45 million were drained from ATMs in a cyber-heist earlier this month?”
charu kirti jain

“So, why this rant on ‘Security’ and ‘Robustness’ every time we discuss mobile strategy and modern business intelligence over conventional reporting mechanisms? A rogue employee is also a security risk, but that doesn’t stop us from getting new people.”

“What do you say, young man?” I was pulled into this conversation, sandwiched between two bank executives on my flight to Delhi. It was important for me to be neutral.

Mobility, coupled with business intelligence, is an obvious game-changer for many businesses in light of the key benefits of employee efficiency, increased responsiveness to the customers and faster communications. However, for financial institutions, it is a totally different ball game as “Security” and “Robustness” are equally important.

“Yes, I’d agree it is essential to make better use of technologies to transform the business, and security is the main hurdle, especially in BYOD scenarios”, I started — on a cautious note — “but isn’t this security hurdle similar for laptops? Concepts like thin-client and virtualization firmly limit access to the data reflected on laptops and similar technologies are extensible to mobile devices now.”


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“True, and people are generally more careful about their personal tablets and phones owing to the 24×7 personal hooks on various social hang-outs.” My companions were attentive and the proponent of mobile strategy was thinking aloud. “I would feel more efficient and productive if I review information on my reports and dashboards through my tablet. Most modern business intelligence tools have the capability to distribute reports as scheduled e-mails to internal and external users of the enterprise.”

“Yes, and such basic report delivery and alerting functionality can be a really powerful service, if distributed through a variety of available touch points including browsers, e-mail, mobile apps and corporate portals,” I added my two cents. “You’d no longer be tied to the desks, courtesy of wi-fi hotspots available in your office, home, parks, restaurants, coffee shops and many other public places.”

“That’s the beauty of mobile technologies; you’re always in the network,” my companion added.

“And advanced BI applications provide relevant information whenever you want it. In fact, you can have it scheduled, like a daily 7 am newsfeed, or any ad-hoc dashboard checks, or even receive an event-triggered alert, say when your account balances fall below a specified limit.” I was well-versed on the evolving conversation. “Thus, coupled with mobility, BI is capable of keeping you informed, on-schedule, on-demand and for any events you may be interested in.”

“I’m sure you might have noticed that many mobile applications allow users to personalize the content they want to see. For example, people they want to talk to, discussion-groups, specific news outlets, et al.” Seeing a positive nod to my query, I continued, “Current BI applications also maintain a similar model in which users can choose the information they want to receive, the currency and date formats, language preferences and specify their own schedules. Report content can also be tailored to include appropriate data elements suited to user-roles within their enterprise.”

“Umm, that’s interesting insight.” Both of my companions were nodding in agreement.

We were closing our discussion, when the flight attendant asked my aisle-side companion, “Sir, we have on-board the perfume you missed on your last flight. Would you like to buy it now?”

The three of us exchanged glances and smiled. The power of this concoction (business intelligence and mobility, not the perfume) had presented itself in the most unexpected fashion.

Proactive information dissemination needs visualization by enterprises to leverage BI tools for Predictive Analytics. Coupled with a well-thought-out Mobile Strategy, the proper set of modern BI applications can provide significant benefits over more traditional report development and deployment approaches.

Charu Kirti Jain
Charu plays a key role within Information Mosaic’s product management team identifying market needs and to determine specifications for new products. He has worked with financial institutions globally for last 12 years in various consultancy assignments for automation products and services.