Actionable Mobile Apps increase worker productivity

Rise of the Information-Driven App Part 3

By Su Young (Alex) Kim on the MicroStrategy Blog

Guided Workflows Organize Your App

Successful mobile apps often guide users with a series of embedded tabs. For example, a personal finance app opens on an overview tab and has subsequent tabs for budgets, transactions, and goals. These tabs were designed and placed in such an order that the user can move from a high level view of their personal finances down to increasingly granular analytic layers. Information-driven apps should be designed with the same embedded workflow concept in mind. The dashboards that make up an app should be matched to the workflow that end-users will follow to explore, analyze, and act on their data.

Let’s look at how a manager at a retail store might use such an application. A store manager’s primary goal is making sure that her store is open for business and is utilizing space, staff, and time to its maximum potential. In order to achieve this goal, she would use an app that includes a store performance dashboard, an inventory dashboard, and a staff dashboard. In this workflow, the manager first views their sales performance and trends. From there, she anticipates when the store will meet heavy traffic and what items will be most in demand, based on previous sales, current promotions, etc. Then, she is able to use the inventory and staff dashboards to determine what items to restock and how to adjust staff schedule to meet customer demand.

Without the structure of guided workflows, an information-rich app could be an organizational nightmare, ultimately causing more trouble than it is worth. However, by designing an app with intuitive and user-friendly navigation, you empower business users to take full advantage of their data and make well-informed business decisions.

Transaction-Enabled Apps Reduce Delays

Once users have explored and analyzed their data, they need to act on their findings. When it comes to taking action, immediacy and context is essential. How often have you had a task, written it down, but never got around to it? Perhaps you’ve tried to explain a job to someone else, but without proper context, your directions were misunderstood.

When this occurs in a business setting, the consequences can be serious. Imagine, for example, a large manufacturer who finds a shortage of a critical nut in his supply chain. He notes the part number, exits his dashboard, and enters the order into his purchasing system. Suppose, however, he mistypes the part number and mistakenly orders a massive quantity of bolts. As the result of this slight error, the business could experience weeks of production delay and millions in lost revenue.

This example shows the importance of transaction-enabled app, which without users would have to exit the dashboard and use another application to perform their duties, perhaps relying on coworkers. Doing so creates both communication gaps and time delays, during which much information can be lost or distorted, as in the case of the manufacturer. Enabling users to take action from directly within the app reduces potential gaps and boosts user productivity.

By combining MicroStrategy Transaction Services with the new MicroStrategy Analytics Platform, users no longer experience a long wait from gaining insight taking to action. The app provides a wide variety of action options, including e-mailing, scheduling, and directly writing back to the data warehouse. In short, the app allows the user to do precisely what they want, when they want, without leaving the app or depending on others.

The MicroStrategy Analytics Platform allows you to connect to multiple data sources, enabling you to combine different workflows. The platform also uses seamless linking between dashboards to organize them into one cohesive app. A user can work on one dashboard and have the work carry over into the next step in the workflow. With our numerous automation features, building wizard-driven processes directly into your app has never been easier.

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, it is increasingly important to eliminate delays whenever possible. Minutes of extra work wastes resources. Having a structured workflow to perform your analysis ensures that you make the most of your resources. The MicroStrategy Analytics Platform has been designed to maximize savings on time and resources, helping you stay up-to-speed for maximum productivity.