I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Mobile Analytics and Data 2021 is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. See our prior post for a description of our methodology and which vendors are included.
For analytics to be effective, it needs to be available to line-of-business personnel as needed in their normal course of conducting business, which today means providing rich mobile access to analytics to support a mobile workforce seeking to conduct business in any location at any time. Workers today expect these mobile capabilities, so organizations must make choices to provide analytics platforms that deliver. Many of these workers switch between desktop/laptop devices when in the office to mobile devices outside the office, so integration between these two modes is important as well.
This Value Index assessment focuses on the challenge of enabling analytics and data on a variety of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. When it comes to the smaller of these devices, smartphones, it may not be realistic to expect full-blown analyses due to the small-form factor. But screen resolution on larger devices such as tablets can support nearly any type of functionality that mobile personnel may need. These needs are substantial: more than two-fifths (45%) of organizations report that it is important or very important to address data-preparation tasks on mobile devices. Nearly two-thirds of organizations (65%) provide support for both smartphones and tablets.
Analytics vendors are divided in their approach to providing mobile capabilities. Some vendors have invested in developing applications native to the two platforms that dominate the mobile landscape, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system. Other vendors have opted to invest in an HTML5 approach, often in combination with a helper application that provides some of the native capabilities such as participation in the store or marketplace where applications are distributed. Our research suggests that both approaches can be effective.
The small-form factor of these mobile devices, especially smartphones, has helped push the boundaries on ease of use. Users cannot be expected to make multiple selections and accomplish complex interactions using a small display, so vendors have simplified how tasks are performed. In addition, mobile devices offer capabilities such as voice interaction, location information and cameras that enhance the user experience. Voice interaction can be used for natural-language query and natural-language responses, and we are starting to see multilingual natural-language capabilities. As support for wearables becomes more prevalent, voice-based queries and responses could make those devices much more interactive. Mobile device information can be used to initiate queries or charts based on a customer’s or vendor’s location information. Cameras can identify products on retail store shelves, and their location, to help drive sales analyses and projections. Mobile devices also make it easier for workers to collaborate with each other. Using mobile device notification capabilities, workers can be alerted that their input is needed and can easily participate with single tap on the screen.
The Value Index for Mobile Analytics and Data in 2021 finds Qlik first on the list, with MicroStrategy in second place and IBM in third. Our evaluation includes seven categories: five relevant to the product experience ﹘ adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability ﹘ and two related to the customer experience ﹘ TCO/ROI and vendor validation. Companies that place in the top three in any of the categories evaluated earn the designation Value Index Leader. MicroStrategy and Qlik have done so in four of the seven categories; Yellowfin has done so in three of the seven categories; Board, IBM, Oracle and SAP are Value Index Leaders in two categories, and Information Builders and Tableau in one category.
The results from our research have placed vendors into one of four overall categories: Assurance, Exemplary, Merit or Innovative. Exemplary vendors were those that did well in both Product and Customer Experience and include Domo, IBM, MicroStrategy, Qlik and Tableau. Vendors with Assurance were those that performed quite well in Customer Experience but not as well in Product Experience and include Board, Infor, SAP and SAS. Innovative vendors with good performance in Product Experience but less so in Customer Experience include Information Builders, Microsoft, Oracle and Yellowfin. This representation of the Value Index helps organizations better classify vendors and how they could use them to achieve business goals.
As your organization evaluates analytics and data vendors, consider your requirements for mobile capabilities. Our Value Index assessment provides a valuable source of information to include in your evaluation process. We make it freely available to all. And if you need additional assistance, please fill out our contact us form.