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I have had plenty of conversations with people from companies that are thinking about (or in the process of) going mobile who show me their desktop-based dashboard and ask, “How do we put this on a mobile phone/tablet?”

Just because someone says you need to give access to your company reports on mobile devices doesn’t mean you should. 

Replicating existing dashboards/reports can create some challenges and ignores the mobile use case.  Going mobile is an opportunity to take a second look at reporting needs and start from scratch.  The questions you should be asking are:

  • Does this data need to be mobile?

  • How often do our sales people need this data?

  • What is that key piece of data they’re going to need minutes before meeting with their customer? For example:

    • Is the customer’s order stuck in shipping?

    • How close is this customer to hitting the next tier of XYZ promotion?

The difference between the desktop and mobile is not the difference between a 23 inch and 4.7 inch screen.  Mobile reporting is usually a different use case all together.  Data discovery or deep analysis that is done at a desktop typically doesn’t need to be mobile.

So, Where Do You Start?

Don’t get me wrong, the ability to put 100,000 rows of data, adjusting time periods, filtering, and drilling-down through the hierarchy on your phone is there—but starting with the most valuable data to the end user first will bring the best adoption.

Deliver data they may need  at a moment’s notice, regardless of where they are,  at any time of day.  Start there.

I’m interested to hear you thoughts on the subject of mobile dashboard adoption.  What has your experience been?