Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
February, 29th 2012
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by John Lucas, Director of Solution Delivery, BrightStar Partners Inc., Premier IBM Business Partner

Much has been written on how companies who embed analytics into their business outperform their competition. With the expansion of mobile devices, analytics has entered a new era — making the right information accessible at the right time to Marketers, Sales Personnel and the C-suite literally on their finger tips. Perhaps just as important to mention, is that the concept of mobile is helping analytics to become more “mainstream” – by connecting IT and the business closer than ever before.

Mobility is here to stay, and having the ability to now access analytics on your mobile devices is only making businesses smarter and more in tune with what their clients want. This is evident by recent industry research indicating that by 2014, 90% of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices, and as soon as 2013 80% of businesses will support a workforce using tablets. According to IDC, smartphone vendors have shipped more than 450 smartphones in 2011 compared to 303.4 million units shipped in 2010. Moreover, they expect the smartphone market to grow more than four times faster than the overall mobile phone market. With mobile data traffic now exceeding voice traffic (Wireless Industry News August 26, 2010), the move to a mobile culture is clearly upon the business world.

The evolution of analytics from complex tools once reserved and understood only by IT staff, to intuitive easy to use technology, has increased user adoption and allowed non-technical staff to gain immediate insight into their business to inform their decisions. For example, retail sales managers having access on the sales floor to what items consumers are purchasing together and what items in their inventory are moving slower so they can adjust merchandising to react to real-time business trends is now available through the use of mobile analytics.

In fact, with mobile analytics capabilities executives are now able to literally carry their business around with them – in meetings, while traveling, and even in disconnected environments. Never before have executives had access to deep, insightful information on the go – and away from the office. Additionally, executives are finding they can collaborate and share key information directly from their mobile devices, further increasing their effectiveness to react to their business on the go.

The Cincinnati Zoo turned to BrightStar Partners to help deploy IBM analytics software and a mobile analytics strategy. Due to high levels of executive sponsorship, a clear set of goals were set by the business, such as implementing unique solutions like mobile analytics. Through the implementation, the Zoo was able to deliver a Q1 ROI, and not only drive new revenues but also elevate customer service levels to an even higher level by tailoring the guest experience based upon the flow of real time data. For example, management is now able to see in near real time key performance measures, and even visualize where attendance is coming from on interactive maps– all while “on the go” and away from their offices. This enables the Zoo to adjust labor and inventory levels to ensure the highest levels of service are in place to capture the dynamic trends seen in visitation and spending habits depending on guest demographic makeup. This has allowed the Zoo to increase in-park spending by as much as 30%.

This type of advanced analytics technology enables companies to gain yet another competitive advantage, and perhaps even more importantly it takes a big step in the direction of truly making analytics “mainstream”. As more and more companies expand the use of mobile technologies throughout their organizations, I expect analytics to continue to move “into the boardroom and beyond”, where senior executives embrace trusted information about their business in a way that is intuitive and insightful.

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