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11/28/2005
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BI: A Worthwhile Use For Cell Phones?

Like many of the technological devices I own, I've got a love-hate relationship with my cell phone. That said, I'm sometimes staggered by the new capabilities being built into mobile phones. Do I really want to watch TV on my cell phone? Does anyone? Is that really necessary?

Like many of the technological devices I own, I've got a love-hate relationship with my cell phone. That said, I'm sometimes staggered by the new capabilities being built into mobile phones. Do I really want to watch TV on my cell phone? Does anyone? Is that really necessary?But there's a fundamental truth about business intelligence that points to a new use for cell phones, PDAs and other mobile devices. That truth is this: Many of the people who need BI-based reports and analysis are rarely physically located in the same place as the data warehouses and analytics systems.

So one thing that's next for cell phones--besides the ability to watch sit-com re-runs--is the capability to deliver business intelligence. One of our most popular stories this month brings us up to date on getting hold of business intelligence on the go.

Mobile BI isn't without its challenges. The small screens on mobile devices are obvious impediments. Bandwidth limitations, security worries and network compatibility are others.

But it's undeniable that as BI spreads throughout the enterprise, it's also going to permeate to people and places outside the enterprise walls. As our story, from InformationWeek, points out, the building of BI apps on wireless networks isn't a big departure from the way business intelligence is traditionally structured. It's doable. It's going to happen. And it's a more worthwhile use for a cell phone than watching car commercials is.

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