Pushing Business Intelligence out to the iPad

Michael Vizard

Imagine being able to skip through any number of reports from different business intelligence applications on your Apple iPad with the flip of a finger.

That's the premise of Blink, a new iPad application from MeLLmo, which created a publishing server called Roambi for pushing business intelligence reports out to iPad and iPhone devices.

According to MeLLmo chairman Santiago Becerra, the Roambi server can push slices of data in a "mini-cube" format that is familiar to most users of any OLAP database. Those slices of data can be easily manipulated via the touch-screen interface of the iPad, and each slice can be updated in seconds simply by sending a request to the Roambi server for reports that were originally created using BI applications from SAP, Oracle, IBM or Microsoft. The Roambi server can publish reports based on data stored in GoogleDocs or Microsoft Excel as well.



Becerra says applications such as Blink on the iPad will transform how BI data is not only consumed in the enterprise, but also significantly expand the base of business executives that want to consume BI information. Most executives today still prefer to consume business intelligence information via a spreadsheet, but Blink on an iPad makes it much easier to visually consume that information and readily identify business trends, said Becerra. In fact, MeLLmo has also made its software available on Windows in response to customer requests for a visually oriented approach to delivering BI data.

Blink also has important implications for how BI applications will be leveraged in business processes because executives will want to take actions based on the information on their iPads. Integration between BI applications running on mobile computing devices will become much tighter with the rest of the enterprise.

Another vendor making a similar BI push for the merits of the Apple iPad in the enterprise is Saama, which has its own middleware platform for building composite BI applications that are then rendered on the iPad. And some BI vendors, such as MicroStrategy, have built iPad and iPhone support for their specific application environments.

But Becerra says the key to getting IT support for BI on the iPad is the ability to distribute reports from multiple BI applications that IT organizations have already invested time and money creating. Becerra says the iPad makes it so much easier to consume that information that the investment more than cost justifies itself by helping the IT organization validate the millions of dollars already spent on BI applications and related IT infrastructure.

On paper, that may be a tough sell in this economy, but once executives are exposed to BI on an iPad, Becerra says the application sells itself.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 6, 2010 11:13 AM BI Software Reporter BI Software Reporter  says:

I think that while BI developers should eventually make the adaptions that will enable to them to transition onto the ipad/notepad market, there will still be a significant lag time between now (when it's a small niche market) to when it becomes a full fledged profitable user group. Everyone thought that people would stop using desktops once laptops came out, that we'd stop using laptops one smart phones came out, and etc...

Don't get me wrong, it's an important upgrade, but I feel there are plenty more things to focus on improving with current BI capabilities.

Oct 6, 2010 11:30 AM Ashley Richards Ashley Richards  says:

Mobile devices are changing the way we receive information and how we make decisions based on that information.  It's exciting that executives can benefit from these emerging mobile devices, like iPads, and as a result make better business decisions for their organizations. 

However, there are complex support, security management, and deployment issues that arise when businesses start to integrate such devices for enterprise use.  Businesses need to ensure that these mobile devices are effectively monitored and managed.  Asset and lifecycle management become increasingly important to organizations as the number of mobile devices increases and access to sensitive information becomes even easier, thus increasing device security risks.

I work for Absolute Software, and we recently wrote a post about how to best manage and secure Apple devices at work (including iPads).  We looked at the benefits of using a lifecycle management solution to support them and the value to businesses as they continue to further explore the integration of such devices into their organizations.

You can read the full post here: http://blog.absolute.com/managing-and-securing-apple-devices-at-work 

Ashley, Absolute Software


Oct 28, 2010 10:39 AM exif ipad exif ipad  says:

hey nice post...but according to me people prefer spreadsheets...


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