April 19, 2013

Yellowfin’s New Android App Brings Powerful BI Measures with HTML5 Background

The idea of putting HTML5 and business intelligence (BI) together in one place got realized recently thanks to a new HTML5 app from Yellowfin, a vendor of global BI. Thanks to the slight retooling, the new app offers Android (NewsAlert) devices much the same level of operations and ease of use that would be found on the native iOS versions.

Currently available for free download on the Android Marketplace, the new Yellowfin app replaces the original Android version that came out back in February 2011. But the new Yellowfin app doesn’t just boast a reliance on HTML5; it also boasts a variety of new features that make it worth checking out for any version of Yellowfin. For instance, now added to the roster is support for a device’s multi-touch interface, as well as a completely redesigned user interface, along with improved ease of use in terms of switching between reports, tabs, favorites, charts and tables.

There’s a new dropdown inbox, the ability to save favorite reports, and the ability to add commentary to and e-mail the reports in question as well.

Additionally, there are a new set of analysis tools on hand, like the use of series selection to change metrics on a chart to help make better sense of particularly complex models, and section reporting to let a report be split into multiple sections for easier comparison to other reports.

Perhaps biggest in the new features set is the adherence to a philosophy referred to as "author once, consumer anywhere." When a user creates a report in the Yellowfin browser, it can be distributed immediately via mobile, making such reports rapidly accessible.

This is part of what’s being referred to as the "consumerization" of BI, making it more accessible, and thus more readily useful, to potential users.

Glen Rabie, Yellowfin’s CEO, describes the new Yellowfin app: "Above all else, we want to offer business people a genuinely enjoyable, collaborative user experience – so the application has been designed with a consumer mentality front-of-mind. We’ve looked at how people like to use leisure-oriented mobile applications, interact and share content on popular social media platforms, and replicated that experience in a business environment. As with Yellowfin’s applications for iOS, we wanted to ensure that customers accessing BI from Android-based mobile devices could also engage with their BI content, and each other, in an immersive and enjoyable fashion."

Indeed, Rabie has a point. No matter how incredibly useful a tool may be, if no one knows how to use it, or enjoys using it, no one will actually use it. With the rates of mobile BI adoption set to rise – Nucleus Research suggests the adoption rates for BI will double on a global basis – it’s partially thanks to BI apps that make the experience a lot easier for the user to work with.

Getting that user interface to work properly is a very important part of any application’s development, and apps like Yellowfin that use HTML5 to help shore up that user experience are likely to be at the forefront of that growth trend.

When a user can easily use a tool, it’s likely to be a tool that users more readily turn to in time of need. Yellowfin may well have just the tool that a lot of users will reach for when it comes to BI, especially on a mobile basis.

Edited by Braden Becker


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