Business Intelligence in Mobile Applications

Gone are the days when the use of a mobile phone was restricted to connecting to your family and friends. The scenarios have changed now, and it is no surprise that mobile technologies have advanced beyond recognition. The users of the new mobile applications have access to more than thousand applications online and mobile manufacturers are trying to tap this opportunity by developing solutions for smart information.

Over years BI (Business Intelligence) service providers have spent time and money to deliver best solutions to the users. Though the growth has been stagnant for a long time but now it has shown a momentum because of a rapid growth in technology and revolution in mobile based applications. The face of BI in mobile apps will change more when it will move from a dashboard providing application to a more sophisticated task specific feature. With improvement in the ability of smart phones the users not only enjoy interacting with mobile devices but also access useful information and sophisticated analysis.

BI in simple terms means technology, application or software that is used to extract, store, analyze data so as to help the management make better decisions, and BI through phones is sending business information through mobile.

It is helpful to business in several ways like:

1) Improving employee productivity – Today information system is used in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) marketing that will automate sales force management system, which involves huge cost and too much time on data entry. With implementation of these services in mobile BI, the users will get a structured management information system at less cost. This will provide accurate data for sales team as to where they are and what they want to achieve. BI applications also help sales team to represent how the services of the company can be useful to achieve targets. Moreover, it will be useful in supply chain management to form a distribution strategy for retailers and manufacturers. Several models can be proposed through mobile BI for product lifecycle management and information technology chain operations.

2) Faster decision-making – In current business scenario all the firms need information in a speedy manner so as to take accurate decisions and grab the right opportunity. The slow and inflexible business information may lead to major problems. For example, if a decline in sales has occurred in a particular region, the management cannot address the problem quickly without channelized information system. The accurate and fast information through mobile will be helpful in determining the actual cause of the problem along with quick decisions from the management front. The aim of mobile BI is not restricted to provide quality information but to enable faster decision making. Decision makers will be benefitted as it will reduce cost and increase profits by providing the historical trends and predict future estimates.

3) User friendly interface – The introduction of user friendly functions will definitely improve ROI (Return on Investment) in business. The decision makers can keep themselves updated with new trends and developments by subscribing for reports and alerts. These reports can be saved in certain formats and the mobile apps feature makes it easy to update the information from time to time. The information can be filtered by sort functions which save time. Moreover, the user can easily analyze different trends by changing the metrics or can breakdown the single report into different graphs and conduct a drill down research on the data.

In short, the applications are extended to be used in mobile device so that reports and graphs can be seen in small screen and more accurate decisions can be taken in real time.
BI through mobile applications was a growing concept few years back, but with the rising competition and need for accurate information, its demand is increasing at a faster pace. Once the end users can work on the technology with same accuracy and velocity as conventional systems, the thrust will increase further.

Choosing the Right Real-Time Live Traffic Information Application for Your Smartphone

Mobile Traffic Application Comparison

We’ve all been there – rushed to get ready for work in the morning, jumped in the car and no sooner have we selected our favourite radio station or cd, than we’re stuck in a traffic jam. Time is ticking. You’ve got deadlines to meet. Wouldn’t it have been great if your Smartphone could have told you there were delays, so you could have saved the petrol that is gradually being burned off whilst you sit there stationary, and taken an alternative route…

There is an increasing number of real-time traffic monitoring applications available for Smartphones. Real-time means that the traffic data is a representation of what is happening at that very moment, using satellite technology and the mobile data network. What this means is, that wherever you are, starting up the traffic app will show you a variety of information on roads across the country. Each app presents different strengths and weaknesses, and the cost varies immensely – so which one should you choose?

Traffic TV – £22.99

Traffic TV is available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Java at a rather expensive £22.99. The app has a great interface, reminiscent of the Tubemap application released by mxData. It is obvious how to use it, although sometimes the zoom in and out buttons get in the way of the portion of what you want to view and can also be pushed by accident, meaning waiting for loading and refresh times again, especially when the phone has poor 3G or mobile data signal. This also uses up your data allowance pretty quick. This aside though, there are no real issues with the interface.

The symbols that appear on the screen show speed and direction, and an exclamation mark presumably shows a standstill. There is also an estimated delay time.

By far the best feature of this app is the capability to view a list of incidents that may affect your journey. You can imagine how useful this is for quickly plotting a new route out in your head.

The ability to view CCTV cameras over motorways is nice, but a bit unnecessary considering you have traffic information on the map overlay. And so seeing the cause of the delay won’t actually help in any which way, and at £22.99, cannot be a justified expense. Luckily, the CCTV portion of the app is available for free if you fancy a test drive.

One major downside (despite assurances that these issues will be dealt with) is that this app’s traffic data seems amazingly inaccurate (at least in my local area). Wait until this issue is sorted if you choose to purchase this app.

Google Maps – Free

The Google Maps application is great. You can plot a route a – b, you can change the map image to be either a drawn map, a satellite image or a hybrid of the two and the interface is so much more intuitive, with the classic ‘pinch’ and ‘expand’ finger movements to zoom in and out, and the ability to drop a pin in a favourite location. The Traffic data button brings up an overlay on the map screen, showing thick pulsating lines along roads with no explanation as to what they mean. You can’t judge a blockage, traffic speed etc and it is difficult to judge how accurate it is (as I type this there should be a huge standstill outside my office – but I haven’t seen a car drive past in about an hour).

Google Maps is great and should be downloaded (if you haven’t already got it free with iOS or Android). However, it is advisable to use it only for route planning, finding a location, road name or point of interest (train station, police stations etc.) and NOT for traffic monitoring.

The Highways Agency Application – Free

This is a great little app for listing accidents, delays and road works in text format. It does suffer from an amateurish looking interface and longwinded menu system. It asks to use your current location, and yet you still have to navigate through countless menu options to get to a list of incidents in your area. This is frustrating if you believe you live in the East of England, and yet the Highways agency classifies your area as the South East, meaning constantly going back and forth looking for the information you want.

As it’s free, it is worth the download, but again, doesn’t fulfil all the requirements of the modern driver. In combination with a sat nav system, maybe this app would be useful, but they make it difficult to read the text and a scrolling ‘do not use this app whilst driving’ renders it all a bit pointless.

Trafficmaster Trafficview – £1.49

The Trafficview App for iOS has the most up to date, accurate traffic information of all apps tested. The map (powered by Google) has the same ‘pinch’ and ‘expand’ zoom feature and shows traffic speed and direction with coloured symbols (also a setting is available that switches to delay times).

Trafficview is quick to load and refresh, and to date has not frozen on me. The traffic data refreshes every 1 minute by default. Which is quick enough to keep up to date whilst on the move, but not so often that it eats away at your mobile data allowance.

Zooming out, you can get a view of the whole of the UK with the red, yellow and orange traffic symbols still appearing. The app is not complicated, which is perfect for when in a rush or on the move, and doesn’t have unnecessary extra features or difficult menus. It is also difficult to push things by accident as with the Traffic TV app.

This is the only application currently available that pulls information from Trafficmaster’s live data stream which is calculated and collected from a network of traffic speed sensory equipment by the roadside (you may have seen them hanging over motorway bridges, they are more often than not mistaken for CCTV or Speed Cameras). This is an assurance of accurate and real-time information.

For truck and lorry drivers, this app is a direct replacement for the Trafficmaster YQ system and so should make the transition from monitor to iPhone screen relatively painless, if you were previously used to this system.

This app is great all around, simple and easy enough to use without polluting the display with pointless other features that serve little purpose. For the commuter who drives to work every day and for the lorry or van driver who needs to quickly avoid delays in order to make an urgent delivery, this app really has got you covered, and is a bargain at £1.49.

So which one should you choose?

For everyday use or for avoiding rush hour or bank holiday traffic, the Traffic View app from Trafficmaster is by far the best. It’s cheap, and does exactly what it needs to do. It’s hard to justify spending £22.99 on TrafficTV when Traffic View is both more accurate and easier to use. It’s also difficult to give good reason for the expense when the CCTV portion is available free, and the free app from the Highways Agency also lists accidents in the same way. Google Maps needs a lot of work before it should even be considered as a real-time traffic app, and the Highways Agency app, despite being free needs a GUI redesign. I would recommend downloading the Highways Agency app alongside Trafficmaster Traffic View and using the two in combination. If you feel you need the CCTV cameras, download the free ‘Traffic View’ (with a space) by CLO Software, although in my experience, it freezes easily even when the 3G signal is strong.

Price Comparison Software – 4 Reasons to Download Today!

You are likely already well-familiar with price comparison websites. These are websites where you enter in a product, like a flat screen TV, and search. You will then get a list of participating retailers that sell the flat screen TV. You can click those links to open up new internet explorer windows to compare products and prices. This method is good, but there is a better way. Instead of using price comparison websites, use price comparison software. Why should you?

1 – You Get a Desktop Application

After downloading and installing the program, an icon will appear on your computer’s desktop. Load the program and start searching. A list of all items that met your search criteria, such as flat screen TVs, will appear. You should be able to click on each item that you are interested in and the retailer’s page will appear below. There is no need to open an internet browser window and switch back and forth between them to price compare. Do it all from your desktop and with ease.

2 – You Have the Ability to Set Price Ranges

Most price comparison websites don’t let you set a price range. After getting your first initial results, you can click on a price range, but that is an added step. Set your price range right from the get-go with easy to use desktop applications. If you can only afford to spend between $800 and $1,000 on a flat screen TV, you will only see those in that price range. With downloadable price comparison software, there are no unnecessary steps. Get the information you need to make a purchase right away.

3 – You Have the Ability to Remove Items from Your List

Lets face it, no search tool is perfect. Whether you use a software program or website, you will get a few mixed results. Your search for a flat screen television may include a miniature size television for doll houses. This isn’t what you are looking for, so eliminate it from your shopping list with the click mouse. That is really all it takes. Even the best price comparison websites don’t have this feature. Only see the products you want or can afford. Don’t waste time with anything else!

4 – You Get the Best Deals

Not only does price comparison software get you the best deals, but you can find these deals with ease. With the ability to set your price range, eliminate items from your shopping list, and view retailer websites right from your desktop application, saving money is as easy as one, two, and three.

As you can see, using downloadable software is great way to find the best products and prices. So what are you waiting for? Download the Price Watcher today at MotionT.com. Don’t let anymore good deals pass you by.