Today’s typical business intelligence (BI) user increasingly prioritizes mobile, fast, and customizable platform options, and platform providers are feeling the pressure to evolve quickly to meet the demand from customers.

A new survey from Clutch (, a B2B ratings and reviews firm, finds that 70% of data analytics users consider a mobile application crucial to their use of BI software. Even those users who said they don’t consider a mobile application crucial have taken notice; nearly 60% of those users said they recognize mobile BI applications as increasingly important to their business.

User emphasis on mobility has grown significantly in a short amount of time. Clutch’s 2016 BI survey found that only 41% of data analytics users even used a mobile phone or tablet to access their BI data—now almost double that number believe mobility is crucial to their use of the software.

Hyper-paced work environments, the need to perform complex analytics ‘on-the-go,’ and the stronger processing power of smartphones and tablets have all led to greater demand for easy-to-use and powerful, mobile BI platforms. Users now look for platforms that seamlessly transition between desktop and mobile, beyond the basic mobile capabilities that many BI organizations already provide.

“Simple dashboards on mobile exist in most BI tools out there,” explains Yair Weinberger, CTO and co-founder of Alooma, a data warehousing and analytics platform. “But mobile BI software for data analytics users who want to research deeper, drill down into the data, or split the data according to some parameters or features, is still lacking.”

Data analytics users who increasingly see BI as a fast, mobile, and constantly available tool, are also concerned with the reliability of speed and simplicity when they access their data. Accessing their data is “not simple” according to 31% of users, while 36% say they wait, on average, more than a day to gain access to their data.

Less than 20% of respondents say they typically only wait a few minutes to gain access to their data. In the business intelligence industry, a time delay of hours or more to access data can pose a problem for employees attempting to collaborate quickly and efficiently with colleagues.

The desire to have more control over data accessibility may be why 85% of data analytics users are likely to use open source software in the future, according to the Clutch survey. Open source software offers users the opportunity to operate on the cutting edge of BI technology and play a more direct role in their data analysis. However, experts say they are confident that commercial options will remain competitive as a time-saving, safer, more supportive software option.

“The open source software community doesn’t have an advantage when it comes to the constant, quality support that commercial options offer,” says Derick Bai, global vice president of Engineering at DrivenBI.