Apps aren’t just for games anymore. A growing number of enterprises are realizing the positive impact of implementing internal mobile applications to facilitate processes. According to Adobe, “more than two-thirds of executives report the number of end-users of their internal apps has grown over the past year; they see apps playing greater roles in facilitating sales, communication and training processes.” As the statistic implies, internal apps are becoming more important to the enterprise and helping companies work more efficiently and effectively.
With any mobile app, examining mobile analytics are extremely important especially if you want your process to improve. For consumer apps, common metrics are the number of downloads, time spent using the app, and the amount of money being spent in the app. When designing apps that enhance business processes, these metrics are not as important. What are the key performance indicators that enterprises should examine for internal mobile applications?
Key Performance Indicators
Enterprise organizations need to understand how a mobile app can drive their business goals and connect the app with business metrics. The key performance indicators (KPIs) that enterprises should be concerned with can include two views: a macro level and a micro level. This is important because employees at varying levels will want to see different sets of information. For example, executives may be more concerned with macro level KPIs while mid-level management may only be concerned with micro level KPIs. Executives would want to know the overall impact that mobility made on the business such as an increase in revenue while mid-level management may care about increasing the efficiency of front line workers.
Macro Level KPIs
Some macro level KPIs that enterprises can focus on include:
Error Rates - These error rates apply to an overall task instead of the individual steps (micro level). Did the app help reduce the number of errors from a whole task?
Speed of Process - Did the app help speed up the whole process? (Ex. The app helped a warehouse move 50% more boxes than before the app was implemented)
Revenue - Did the app help increase revenue?
Waste Reduction - How much scrap have you reduced because of mobility?
Micro Level KPIs
Some micro level KPIs that enterprises can examine include:
Time on specific task - How long did it take to do a specific task? Did it take a shorter time to do a task?
Error Rates - These error rates are for the individual steps in a particular task. (Ex. How many times you attempted to complete a task)
Number of calls to Tech Support - Did the number of calls to tech support decrease?
Analyzing Results Before and After a Mobile App is Implemented
At ChaiOne, researchers go on-site to observe employee processes and tasks to see where mobile solutions can help and to establish benchmarks. Our company looks at how mobile solutions will impact an organization by looking at results before the app was implemented and after. If the results show that further improvement is possible, we use this insight in designing the next version of the app.
For example, let’s pretend that a warehouse wants to leverage mobility to make paper processes more efficient. Researchers will measure how long employees take to finish tasks with the existing technology (ex. pen and paper, clipboards, laptops) and then, along with designers, they conceptualize a mobile solution that will make the process faster. In doing this, researchers examine all the micro steps involved in the processes to establish benchmarks that the solution can be compared against at a later point in time. Before development, the solutions prototype is made and evaluated in usability testing to make sure that all steps of a process can be done faster with the mobile solution. The benefits of using a mobile app to do processes can include reducing the number of errors, decreasing the number of lost papers and files, and speeding up the documentation process for detected errors.
Enterprises Moving Toward Mobile
We’re seeing more industries and companies leveraging mobile technology to facilitate operations. As more industries demand mobile apps, mobile companies will have to fuse together mobile technology UI design to help operations and integrate various disciplines including human factors, traditional UX research, lean sigma, and sociology. It’s not an easy job, but if executed correctly, mobile apps will help enterprises improve processes.