BI tools are ideal for allowing certain user populations to generate their own reports and analysis or create their own visualizations, but they can sometimes be too complicated for the typical business user. Only analysts and power users have the skills and knowledge to take advantage of them, leaving a large portion of the BI audience—executives, managers, frontline employees, customers, and partners—in the dark. This can result in low adoption rates and minimal ROI.
BI apps address this issue, complementing BI tools by offering casual users a simple, intuitive way to engage in advanced information analysis. They offer the ease, simplicity, and convenience of consumer apps, so anyone, even stakeholders with little or no technical expertise, can perform precise, focused analysis to drive operational improvements.
Organizations need both BI tools and apps to succeed. BI tools will always be needed to satisfy the more complex information requirements of analysts and other power users; however, business users require enterprise data to be delivered in ways that are simple, purposeful, and easy to translate into action.