The Future of Mobile Data Visualization and Mobile Analytics

Mobile Man / Thursday, July 9, 2015

Big data’ has been an upcoming trend in enterprise technology for a number of years now. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman at Google, said the following in 2010:

“There were five exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days.”

(For those wondering an exabyte is a billion gigabytes)

Eric’s point was that we are creating more and more data than ever before in human history. The typical enterprise is responsible for a huge portion of this - with emails, documents, files, social data, HR records, financial data, analytics, reporting and much more.

In short big data is very much with us, and the sheer volume of it is going to do nothing but increase. But data alone is of little use to companies. Actionable insights are key, the ability to deliver tangible benefits from this wealth of data. Two really interesting areas within this disciple of delivering insights are mobile visualization and mobile analytics.

The Democratization of Data

Firstly it is important to understand that data analysis, visualization and analytics are no longer confined to the IT department or a technical sub clique of users. Cloud computing, BYOD, and the consumerization of IT have all driven enterprise applications, data tools included, to new levels of simplicity and usability and directly into the hands of end users.

Data visualization and analytics are now activities business users can get involved in - and the results are all the better for it. Business users typically know at first hand the problems IT needs to solve, they are often working right in the problem domain itself. Giving them the tools to address these areas cuts out swathes of possible confusion, misdirected requirements and other failings of traditional old fashioned ‘Enterprise IT’. Waterfalls project models and developers locked in dark rooms are things of the past. Ordinary workers, those who never formally considered themselves technical, can now deliver detailed insights and analytics with the right data sets.

Mobility is the Next Step

Basic democracy was a first step, putting tools directly in the hands of end users. But wider IT trends are also at play, and none are currently bigger than mobile. More people now use mobile devices to access the Internet than those using traditional fixed computers. Email is now almost exclusively a ‘mobile first’ technology, and people think nothing of using their own smart devices (be those phones are tablets) to get real work done.

Mobile Data Visualization

So what of mobile data visualization? Up to now it is fair to say that mobile devices have been used to transfer insights or display finished results. Rarely have they been considered as a means to actually work on data, to develop and polish insights. Steve Jobs once said he thought the iPad was a device for consuming content, not creating. He was wrong, the future of mobile data visualization is very much about working on the data as it is viewing the results.

Obviously the ever increasing power of mobile devices is key here. The latest iPhone features up to 128GB of storage, a high definition display, and a 64-bit processor that would have been unthinkable in such a small device even a few years ago. Even the cheapest of tablets and larger form mobile devices feature impressive specifications, and when coupled with keyboards or second displays are very much ‘real’ computers capable of doing real work.

Software has also developed at an incredible pace as well. Our own ReportPlus allows people to create dashboards directly on their iOS or Android devices. UX and usability plays a big part here. ReportPlus has been designed from the ground up for touch screen modern devices. It is easy to drag and drop widgets, swipe data in and out, and customize the way data is displayed.

Mobile software can no longer be cut down or limited. ReportPlus allows data to be imported and synced from a wealth of ‘full fat’ enterprise and analytic tools. Want to connect to Dropbox or SharePoint? No problem. SQL or MySQL server. A simple process. What about IMAP Mail servers or OData Services? Sure that is supported.

Mobile Analytics

Mobile analytics is another very exciting, and related area. With the combined mobile app stores offering over two millions apps for download, and enterprise IT increasingly moving to mobile working - understanding what people are doing and how they are doing it is a growth area.

The future of mobile analytics is tied inextricably to mobile data visualization. Assuming the right data is being collected delivering the right insights is key. Again our own ReportPlus has a role to play. But increasingly developers are looking to present analytics on mobile devices within their own dedicated apps. Our comprehensive selection of mobile controls is here to help. Offering performance across every platform, modern styles and design, and the ability to handle thousands of data points - Infragistics mobile controls have everything devs need to excel in the area of mobile analytics.

A Bright Future

Moore's law, the doubling of computer processing power every two years, has held since it was coined by the founder of Intel in the 1970s. Even if this rate of progression slows slightly, mobile devices are going to get smarter and more powerful with every release and new iteration. If the software can keep up, and our own ReportPlus and developer controls, are at the forefront of usability and productivity, mobile data visualization has a very bright future indeed.

Infragistics’ ReportPlus provides you with mobile access to any data, anytime, anywhere with the ability to quickly create stunning dashboards and visualizations that turn your data into insights. Try ReportPlus for iOS today and help your data come to life!

ReportPlus - Your Reports on iPad