Smartwatches are one of the most important trends of the next years. Moreover, smartwatches are continuously becoming an essential part of many people’s life.

Business Intelligence Software

As mobiles did 15 years ago, we are currently witnessing the advent of smartwatches. That’s it why it totally makes sense to think about bringing business intelligence software to the smartwatch. However, smartwatches are special. Accordingly, it needs new ideas and concepts to make the most out of your business intelligence software on smartwatches.

Business Intelligence Software On Smartwatches — Is It Really Worth The Effort?

Let’s start with some hard facts about smartwatches first. With a market size of $9 billion back in 2017, the current forecast estimate a volume of more than $30 billion in 2025 (Allied Market Research). In other words, the market size is expected to grow by 15% — annually.

And I know, many companies are still struggling to incorporate the smartphones into their business intelligence software strategy. However, the frequency of discussions I have with companies about smartwatches is steadily increasing.

High Level Of Uncertainty When It Comes To Business Intelligence Software And Smartwatches

Those discussions are often lead by a certain degree of uncertainty. Many companies are unsure if and how to integrate smartwatches into a business intelligence strategy. However, smartwatches are special. Very little space for visualization. No keyboard. Basic and simplified interaction possibilities.

Due to that, it needs some tailored strategies to bring business intelligence to smartwatches. With this blog post, we put together the 2 most essential Do’s but also 2 critical Don’ts.

Don’t #1 — Don’t Try To Re-Build Your Business Intelligence Software

Apps on smartwatches are special. They work for specific use cases only. That’s why even many big brands (Twitter, Slack, Amazon, etc.) stopped to provide a native smartwatch (in this case, AppleWatch) app. The biggest mistake is trying to re-develop or re-engineer your business intelligence app. That won’t work — promised.

The reason why is quite simple: People use smartwatches completely differently than smartphones. Again because of the limitations mentioned above (space, keyboard, etc.). That’s why you should think about tailored approaches about how to bring your business intelligence software information to smartwatches.

From my point of view, you don’t even need a native app (see Do 1).

Don’t #2 — Forget About Details

Limit the amount of information you provide with your business intelligence software on smartwatches. In other words: Don’t offer too many details. This can be tricky. For each kind of information, for each visualization, you have to ask yourself:

  • Is this required?
  • How can we reduce the content?
  • How can sharpen the layout

I know, it’s a tough exercise. However, it is so super important. Reduce to the max must be your rule number one when bringing business intelligence information to the smartwatch.

Do #1 — Go For Alerts & Updates

Alerts and updates represent the perfect business intelligence use case for smartwatches. Actually, that’s how we are using A:Wall information on the AppleWatch.

Instead of detailed information from you business intelligence software, you go for alerts and updates. The charming aspect: You don’t need to develop a native smartwatch app. How could that look? I give you an example: Instead of trying to visualize your most relevant business intelligence information or KPI on smartwatches, you send out alerts whenever this information changes significantly.

For example, your revenue figures drop by 3% compared to the last hour. In that case, you can send out an alert directly to the smartwatches of all involved colleagues. You can also use this for important updates. Let’s say the number of clients is 5% above the daily average of the last month. Simply provide this information to all relevant stakeholders as an update on their smartwatch.

I think you’re getting the point. And actually, the number of use cases are limitless. This approach reflects a business intelligence approach tailored to smartwatches. Making benefit of everything the smartwatch brings with it.

Do #2 — Provide Summaries

Another strategy you can realize without building a native smartwatch app. Send out daily notifications. For example, one in the morning and one in the evening. Those summaries contain the most critical information from your business intelligence software. Of course, the information must be extremely condensed.

For example, take the 2 or 3 most important KPIs and provide the corresponding values. Additionally, you can provide 2 or 3 super-important business intelligence information. That’s it.

Business Intelligence Software On Smartwatches — A Summary

I’m totally convinced that utilizing smartwatches and integrating them into a business intelligence software framework can be achieved without developing a native smartwatch app.

Moreover, you should think about setting-up specific business intelligence use cases for smartwatches — which probably do not provide detailed KPIs but essential updates, alerts, and summaries.

What Do You Think?

Always happy to receive your feedback and thoughts. Just hit me up on Twitter or get in touch on LinkedIn.


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Benjamin is an information-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the way companies use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned companies all over the globe.