We live in a big-data world, so it’s no surprise that data-driven apps are the next big thing in mobile. In fact, they’re already here --- for example, apps that accompany wearable devices are data-driven. But not all data-driven mobile apps are equal.
While it may be easy to gather data, it’s tough to design good data-driven apps. OpenText, a leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM), has some very good advice on designing data-driven apps in its new white paper, “5 Best Practices for Designing Data-Driven Applications”. Following is a brief summary of its recommendations.
Understand How Data Affects the Customer Experience
Key to building a great data-driven app is recognizing what information customers need. So first determine what data is most valuable to deliver in the app. For example, if you were building a travel booking tool, useful information would be advising customers the best time to purchase travel. As the white paper puts it, “For the customer, it’s all about getting the data they want, when they want it and how they want it.”
Concentrate on the “Last Mile” of Big Data
The so-called “last mile” of big data is the means by which the vast ocean of big data is turned into useful information. The paper recommends keeping these things in mind when designing for the “last mile”:
• “Consider immediacy when defining data access and consumption needs”
• “Apply best practices to make apps simple, smart, responsive, and social”
• “Use data to drive smarter decisions and more responsive campaigns”
Build for Scale
Data-driven apps should be able to access data from multiple format, including RDBMS, NoSQL/NewSQL, Hadoop, cloud, social media, and document archives. And in the words of the white paper, “Apps must be easy to use, engaging and delivered securely to web browsers and mobile devices. They also must integrate seamlessly with existing branding and appearance.”
Listen to the Crowd
OpenText says the open source community has been a great resource for the company, offering feedback for improving OpenText offerings. So it recommends that developers and companies build community around their data-driven apps as a way to ensure the apps can be continually improved.
Agility and Focus Are Key
OpenText recommends following these four key principles to make sure any data-driven app is agile and highly focused:
• “Make It Simple. Apps should be straightforward and easy to use.”
• “Make It Smart. Apps should be smart enough to handle role-specific tasks.”
• “Be Responsive. Apps should deliver value on a variety of platforms.”
• “Be Social. Securely connect users and data to the larger world.”
We agree with many of the points OpenText makes in this white paper -- it's similar advice we give to our customers building business apps and mobile optimized forms. Alpha Anywhere is a great product for building data-driven apps, especially for service-based businesses which need scheduling tools to graphically display and select dates on a calendar. To see how to Alpha Anywhere can build data-driven mobile apps in minutes rather than weeks or months it might take with other products, click here.
To read the full OpenText white paper, click here.
To read how mobile-optimized forms written with Alpha Anywhere can help build a data-driven field service operation, click here.