Dissecting SMAC: Big Data Plays Well on the Small Screen

This is the second in a series looking at how Mobile relates with the rest of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud). My previous post looked at Mobile and Cloud. Today we look at Mobile and Analytics (i.e. Big Data).

Mobile Data is a treasure trove of customer insight

The most obvious connection between Mobile and Analytics is exploring the masses of interactivity and usage data generated from mobile apps.  Innovative applications like MyIT don’t just provide an easy to use self-service experience; they also gather critical data on what resources get the most usage. With MyIT, users have an engaging way to access the Knowledge Base. The resulting bump in KB usage informs areas of focus. Subjects consistently topping the most read list may warrant a special section/tab in the UI or an app all their own.

App Stores Data Unearths Critical Apps

It is not uncommon for corporate app stores to feature 100s of choices of internal and externally approved apps. Store curators can look at download and usage patterns to see what suites of apps users collate on their own. By using tools like AppZone and MDM, I.T. can see what apps really get used and which are just “screenware” (mobile’s version of shelfware – apps that are downloaded and never used). Cost savings can be had by eliminating these unused apps from volume purchasing programs.

Big Data on The Small Screen

One of the key benefits of Big Data is uncovering non-obvious and actionable insights from vast stores of information. Nice looking dashboards surfacing insights in charts and eye-catching visuals pair well with tablet or smartphone’s inherently glanceable nature. The next logical step is to give on-the-go users easy ways to take action based on the data. For example, if that new marketing program performs better than expected, a simple click of a button on the iPad screen pushes more content out to the market. Mobile’s simplicity focus will force the big data wonks in lab coats to distill analysis into actionable insights.


Location as a filter

Smartphones and tablets lean on location for almost every type of app. My sons new Fishing games wants to have access to the phone’s location so it can present local fishing holes in the game play. Big data apps must be location aware as well. HQ team members on plant tours can get filters for the region they are currently visiting automatically. Tools for sales reps automatically call up account info the moment they enter the customers building.

They key to the Mobile/Analytics tango lies in creating mobile experiences that generate actionable data as well as finding ways to winnow down the insights conducive to the compact and mobile form factor.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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