Written By Jason McNaught
Contrary to what you may have heard, Donald Farmer did not direct the 1992 horror film “Invasion of the Scream Queens.” Alright… there is a Donald Farmer somewhere out there who did (and he was still riding high after blowing viewers away with his low-budget nail-biter “Scream Queens”) but I can assure you – with a reasonable degree of certainty – that the VP of Digital Innovation and design for Qlik is not that guy.
This Donald Farmer – the one who will be speaking at the upcoming Canadian Government Leadership Summit on November 18 at the Westin in Ottawa – has been pushing the boundaries of data strategy for close to 30 years.
When researching this blog post, I went to Youtube in order to seek out some of Farmer’s wisdom. He’s got a heavy presence on the site, and the first video I click on shows him in a flowery Hawaiian shirt holding a surfboard in front of a green screen depicting a lovely tropical beach.
Why? Well, it’s because he wants you to catch the Mobile BI (Business Intelligence) wave. For those who trust Wikipedia, Mobile BI is defined as “The capability that enables the mobile workforce to gain business insights through information analysis using applications optimized for mobile devices.”
In 2011, when Farmer shot this video, he warned that the mobile BI wave was coming faster than we might think. Almost five years on, I suspect he’d probably tell you that – if you missed it – you’d better hurry up and figure out where it went.
And that’d be accurate, because mobile devices have taken over. Apps, websites… you name it… are all being designed primarily for the tiny screen we’re addicted to pulling out of our pocket and checking every few minutes.
Farmer quotes a survey result produced by Howard Dresner (a well-known authority on Business Intelligence and Performance Management), referring to him as the “Big Kahuna of BI”.
Dresner – and again, this was in 2011 – surveyed users looking two years out and surmised that, by 2013/14, nearly 100% would be using BI… and almost a quarter would be working with mobile BI exclusively.
Now, Farmer might be able to fill you in on the accuracy of that prediction, but Dresner seems pretty close. And if you aren’t using mobile BI right now, well… pull out that smartphone or tablet and start doing some research.
Where should you look? Do what I did, and search for Donald Farmer and BI in Youtube. He’s got a treasure trove of information online, and knows how to get his point across without losing his audience in a forest of technical jargon. I’ve also include some links below…
If you’ve got questions, or want to learn more… I encourage you to come and hear Farmer speak on November 18. His “Catch the Mobile BI wave” Youtube video ended just as Farmer was being thrown offscreen by a giant rogue wave… but I assume he’s recovered by now.
Dresner’s Point: Mobile BI on the Move
Information Age: Forget data science, we need to get back to basics: Donald Farmer, VP Innovation and design, QLIK