Increase Data Visualization in Mobile Apps Using the Mobile Analytics Kit

The convergence of data visualization, mobile computing, and big (really big) data means that executives today have extraordinary oversight capabilities into the operational execution, sales planning, and financial management of their organizations. Dynamic data visualization and analytics offer trends, forecasts, exceptions, and abnormalities with deep drill-down capabilities both at the on-premises desktop level and in mobile device applications.

The realm of these capabilities is only limited by the ability to harvest and consume this information in an in-memory or real-time basis. Research firm Gartner Group suggests that this convergence of analytics, big data, and mobile computing may automate many decision-making tasks facing executives today, freeing up new cycles for strategy setting, business innovation,value creation. [1]

MAKit StackTo craft such a technology environment to enable development of visually rich, deeply analytic mobile computing apps, an organization needs to take stock of its “data inventory” and how this information needs to be used and consumed by executives, managers, staff, and partners to accomplish business tasks.

Using the SAP Mobile Analytics Kit (MAKit), data visualization — once the exclusive domain of the desktop — is now available on mobile devices. These elements can be used in combination to create a mobile decision support environment.

As part of their corporate mobile computing strategy,  large, multinational organizations need to address some of the same issues that a consumer-based mobile computing strategy would consider. When determining how to best create your mobile environment to support decision making, you need to consider some basic questions:

  • Which tasks are to be accomplished inside the enterprise?
  • How much information is required? How often is this information required to be refreshed? Does it need to be live data in a real-time, in-memory environment?
  • Who are the users who consume the information that is needed? Is it a small or large group? Do they consume the information freely and consistently throughout the day or only during particular decision points or recurring business cycles (e.g., month-end or invoice processing)?
  • Will the users of the information be operating on multiple mobile platform devices or only one? (While this is more specific to corporate mobile computing, many firms have had success with bring-your-own-device user adoption approaches.)

While many inside the SAP ecosystem advocate for a long-term move to real-time, in-memory, big-data computing, the fact remains that many industry sectors and companies within those sectors have non-amortized IT assets and low near-term infrastructure budgets that are obstacles to an immediate move into an SAP HANA-centric environment. Understanding this, there are different ways organizations can consider making data visualization available and accessible in on-premise as well as mobile environments.

See [1] Burton, Betsy and Allega, Philip. “2012 Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture,” Gartner Group  (Report ID:G00234608). 25 July 2012.  To learn about the best practices to bring data visualization to mobile apps, you may read the full version of this article by visiting the SAP Experts site (subscription required).  Many thanks to Scott Wallask of BI Expert (@BI_ScottWIS) for his enthusiasm for this article after my recent presentation with Anton Ansalmar (@Antona23) from Rapid Consulting at the SAP Insider Enterprise Mobility conference this fall.

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