Did you know that, according to a recent business survey, the typical slideshow presentation and its often-accompanying spreadsheets kill productivity more than drinking at lunch?
Or that equipping staff with IT-supported smartphones and tablets has been shown to boost productivity more than a cup of coffee?
These are certainly the kind of details that any department can use when talking about the hardware and apps that a company uses to interact with its data. So, let's take a moment to dig into the numbers and have a look at what else survey respondents had to say.
Data in a Post-Spreadsheet World
If the poll of businesses and professionals that app-maker Roambi conducted tells us something universal about the people who answered, it's this: big data and business intelligence are the buzzwords for 2013 (67% said so). Right behind that? Mobile hardware was on the minds of 46.9%.
But it's how those two components come together that respondents said mattered most. Some 81% of them said that they were moving away from the old sawhorses of static charts and slides, and into the realm of interactive graphics.
"The results of this survey further confirm to us that a more consumer-like and design-driven approach to business intelligence is becoming increasingly important when it comes to interacting with key business data," said Santiago Becerra, CEO at Roambi. "Dexterity, grace and ease-of-use are replacing struggle."
The point is, it's a post-spreadsheet world, and the people that an IT department supports know it. There will always be some resistors to new tech, but Roambi's survey strongly suggests that adopters are, right now, already looking for ways to visualize and mine data in meaningful and useful ways.
Mobile Gear and Software: Survey Shows Newer Tools Now Standard
In light of that desire, perhaps the other results one finds in the survey are not surprising. Business professionals are characterizing 21st Century data tools as being less and less confined to that space behind the conference-room door. And they're indicating that ideas about working smarter are actually on the rise.
The New 'Office Space'
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 40% of respondents estimated that more than half their business takes place outside the office, on laptops and mobile devices. The new 'office space' isn't a row of cubicles with a conference room, but the world at large. Nearly 16% report presenting data in restaurants, 11% in airplanes and 6.5% each in bars, golf courses, and other locations.
Fueling this shift is the increased reliance on mobile technology. When asked to rank their top productivity boosters, respondents' top three were all mobile: laptop (40%), iPad (30%) and iPhone (26.5%). To put this in perspective, coffee came in fifth.
Mobile Tools: Intelligence on the Go
The shift isn't just where people are working, but also what tools they're using. While e-mail is still the most important mobile tool, business intelligence apps ranked second. This is ahead of two other buzz-worthy technologies, customer-relationship management tools and social media platforms.