Bring business insights to more people with SQL Server 2016 mobile reports

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In today’s competitive business environment, organizations invest in business intelligence (BI) capabilities to drive the business forward.

Improving customer satisfaction is the top reason for investing in business insights, closely followed by making better business decisions and gaining a competitive advantage. Now, if customer satisfaction is the top reason, wouldn’t it make sense to deliver business insights to all the employees in an organization – particularly those who interact directly with customers? These people are by no means limited to sales, accounting, services and support roles. Unfortunately, the reality is that insights are most often stuck at the executive level. According to Forrester Research, while 71% of business owners and C-level executives have access to insights and can apply them to operational processes and actions in a timely manner, only 44% of individual workers can do so. On top of that, only about 1/3rd of the data that organizations capture is used for business insights. This includes both structured and unstructured data. (Source: Forrester – Maximize your chances of business intelligence success in a customer-centric world, (Sept. 2015): What you need to go from data-rich to insights-driven (Feb. 2016): The Forrester Wave™: Agile Business Intelligence Platforms, Q3 2015 (Sep. 2015)).

The question then is: How can you deliver business insights to more people working within your organization?

Based on an IDC U.S. Mobile Forecast, 70% of US workers are mobile, which includes both office and non-office based mobile workers. In the coming years, this number is only expected to increase, as are the number of mobile devices being used (IDC U.S. Mobile Worker Forecast, 2015-2020 May 2015 #256194). Consequently, companies need to ensure that business insights can be delivered to employees across mobile platforms – be they Windows, Android or iOS. With mobile BI you can bring insights to more people at the necessary speed to help increase customer satisfaction.


Figure 1: Infographic – Why mobile BI.

But the shift to the mobile user experience brings its own set of challenges – the way a user interacts with his or her PC is far different from how one interacts with his or her phone. Having reports that are optimized for a mobile experience means that a different set of design principles must be applied. Traditionally, reports that have been built and designed for PC screens won’t translate well, if at all, to the experience one expects on a mobile phone or tablet. Our phones are the devices we pick up multiple times each day, quickly switching between apps and checking in while commuting to work or in-between meetings. The mobile BI experience needs to match that type of user interaction, by having the information available in an easily consumable way that’s designed for touch vs. a keyboard and mouse.

Let’s take a look at how SQL Server 2016 and its built-in mobile reporting capabilities can help.

To meet our customer needs, SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services has introduced a new report type called mobile reports. Built on the Datazen technology that Microsoft acquired in 2015, these reports address the need for responsive-layout reports that adapt to different screen shapes, sizes and orientations. Mobile reports dynamically adjust the content depending on whether you’re using a phone, tablet or PC, and even as you rotate your device. You can create mobile reports using the SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher app and you can view them using either your browser or the Power BI mobile app (available now for Windows Phone, iOS and Android devices).

The SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher also offers a design-first approach that allows the major consumers of mobile reports to work collaboratively with the report designer and provide feedback around the report, using sample data that adjusts “on the fly” to simulate the experience they have with the finished report. Once they’ve settled on the exact report design they’d like, the report publisher can hook up live data to the elements from their report server and publish the final product to the server. This completely eliminates the lengthy back and forth that frequently happens as part of the development process, and isn’t factored in when estimating the overall cost of a vendor’s solution.

In addition to mobile reports, key performance indicators (KPIs) have also been added as a new item in Reporting Services. These are a great way to monitor your important metrics and trends at a glance, either at your desk or while brushing your teeth! In addition, the ability to favorite your mobile reports and KPIs allows you to easily access the items most important to you both online or offline, thanks to built-in, offline sync capabilities in the Power BI mobile apps for favorited reports. This helps ensure users’ access to their most important data, no matter where they may be.


Figure 2: End-to-end mobile BI capabilities in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services

With the introduction of mobile reports in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services, you can benefit from the proven scalability of Reporting Services, share data sources and data sets across all reports (paginated and mobile), manage permissions based on Active Directory groups, use a single modern web portal to access KPIs and all reports (including the ability to set favorites), and use the Power BI mobile apps to consume mobile reports in a consistent and secured manner.

To get started, try SQL Server 2016, the SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher, the Power BI Mobile Apps for iOS,  Android and Windows, along with the new mobile experience in Reporting Services today.



[Source:- blogs.technet]

Improving Business Outcomes in a Networked World

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Leo McCloskey, Chief Customer Officer for Actual Experience, on the importance of digital quality experience for the success of businesses.

Global acceptance of digital commerce, cloud, managed, and networked services and the resultant need to rapidly conduct business across a constantly changing landscape of providers, applications, and services has businesses scrambling to keep up.

Businesses are transforming into smart users of connected devices, applications and technologies and yet the metrics that are used to monitor performance of call centers and retail outlets are not being captured for on-line systems and automated services that perform those same functions.

As each new service or application is launched, monitoring and management solutions are added to ensure the quality of the digital service, and while that is absolutely necessary, there are visibility gaps being created between the experience that the user sees and the infrastructure that these systems affect. That gap is preventing the capture of important digital experience metrics and the business is being adversely affected.

Attempts to align the views from individual monitoring systems to understand the end-to-end performance and quality of digital services only widen the visibility gap and create blind spots that become more prominent and more difficult to minimize as more of the business goes digital. The tools available to track and improve the health of the underlying infrastructure and services are critical, but those tools are meant to manage and improve the digital experience – not measure it.

The measure of end-to-end performance of networked systems for customers, employees, and partners is known as digital experience quality. Understanding the quality of a digital experience can improve employee productivity, help IT solve problems faster, and keep customers from leaving.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Businesses are awash with data; yet measuring digital experience quality remains difficult. Executives at every level are investigating and investing in strategies to improve access to and analysis of this data, yet the return on that investment remains elusive.

Business leaders overwhelmingly believe that digital experience quality is important to their customers and employees, yet only 22% believe they are actually delivering a consistent experience.

Based on a survey of 403 business leaders conducted for Actual Experience, the strategic focus for many companies looking to understand and improve the quality of the digital services they use and provide includes three things.

57% Data and analytics – More than a trend, businesses of all types are embracing the possibilities created by complex analysis of large quantities of data. When it comes to managing the applications and infrastructure used by customers and employees, the business is only as responsive as the data allows. Having the right metrics and analytics in place to support decision making is a top priority for executives as they determine budgets and identify priorities for the business.

51% Quality – If the systems don’t work, the business doesn’t work. Every hour of every day there are critical connections with suppliers, customers, partners, and employees that depend on the quality of the applications, systems, and networks being used. And many of those applications, systems, and networks reside outside the business. Top priorities are having digital interactions that work consistently well, combined with the ability to make continuous quality improvements.

42% Culture – Understanding the end-to-end experience is only possible when the whole business is joined up and focused on customer and user experience. Creating that culture starts at the top, but executing on that culture requires reliable and capable management systems to deliver an end-to-end view of the digital interactions that support daily operations. While 78% of C-level executives believe they are responsible for digital quality, less than half believe they can identify the specific quality issues that need to be improved.

While core functionality may be solid, the ability to navigate the visibility gaps between management systems and create a seamless end-to-end view of what users are experiencing is missing. Metrics that describe the performance of each component of the user transaction are valuable, but without a reliable measure from the user’s point-of-view, the picture is fragmented and far from clear.

Improving Business Outcomes
When serving customers, executives want the experience to be fast, reliable, and frictionless. Measuring and analyzing all the pieces of the customer or user journey is a daunting task. There are numerous connections to dozens of things that can go wrong all along the way. At any given time, a transaction can be disrupted by a wide variety of factors that might be a one-time occurrence or an indication of a larger problem. How do you know?

Establishing a digital user and executing a process the way they would, constructs an outside-in, end-to-end measurement of what happened, when, and whether it matters. Doing this for multiple processes enables rapid response to problems and, over time, measuring digital experience quality reveals performance bottlenecks that show where technology investment would add the most business value.

Something as minor as spotting a slow responding timekeeping system can improve productivity and reduce the frustration of employees who should have more important things to do. Improving the systems used by those closest to the customer ultimately improves the customer experience as well.

From the first customer inquiry to the final delivery of products and services, there are multiple systems and providers that make up the digital experience. Understanding the view from the outside-in for every type of user is digital quality experience and that measurement is critical to your business and your brand.



[Source:- CBR]