Business intelligence goes mobile

Corporate America is finally beginning to deliver BI where it's needed -- everywhere.

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Weisman says that the managers can't do as much data manipulation on their mobile phones as they can on their laptops, but he thinks that will change over time. "I don't think laptops will be around in five to ten years, at least in the form they are today," he says. While he notes that the BlackBerry has limitations as an application platform, he says "these aren't phones, they're handheld computers."

One major challenge for mobile BI is that its impact may be hard to measure. Steinmann says he couldn't put a monetary value on Fraport's application. The fact that it gets used is probably the best indicator that it's a successful tool, he says.

"These applications have soft benefits," agrees Prasad. But he says that despite the squishy ROI, the mobile BI apps will be undeniable drivers of productivity.

Fitzgerald is a freelance writer based outside of Boston.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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