How Tablets Are Transforming Business Intelligence

Editor’s note: Mitch Lazar is CEO of Taptu. He Founded CNN and Cartoon Network Mobile. He was a former journalist at CNN and one of the co-founders of Prior to joining Taptu, Mitch headed Yahoo! Mobile Europe.

Staying on top of your game and understanding the competitive landscape is essential to winning in the modern business world. A huge component to staying ahead of the curve is keeping a close eye on competitors in your market, which entails maintaining a watchful eye on industry news. Some companies turn to expensive news monitoring services to keep track of their respective industry, but in reality there are more viable options. Emerging tablet news and information services like Flipboard, Pulse and others are proving an incredible companion to business and consulting executives in staying current with industry changes occurring around them.

Jeff Cavins, CEO of Fuzebox, recently wrote in Business Insider that the explosive uptake of tablet computers is fueling the growth of what he called the new “iPad economy.” Cavins said: “The iPad is shifting the way businesses function, changing how executives interact and transforming the economics of today’s business operations.”

The iPad economy is a growing reality across the globe, and businesses are turning to enterprise apps to help them succeed. Simple RSS readers are used to condense multiple streams of content from a variety of sources into single channels, granting users access to diverse content all in one place. Some applications have further simplified news aggregation by using innovative search technology that goes beyond the function of RSS readers to deliver richer streams of highly targeted information to business users – a critical asset to businesses large and small.

Better Search and Filtering Offers Essential Time Savings

Improved search and filtering techniques make it simple and easy for a business to set up a Web-monitoring service. Google News and Google Alerts were an early step in the right direction, but anyone who monitors news on a daily basis knows that these services don’t always give you the news you want when you need it.

As users continue to adopt tablets as a primary reading outlet, there is a huge opportunity to create real-time, targeted news experiences. Apps like Zite, which was bought by CNN in 2011, aim to learn about users’ interests through the stories they read, and provide related content based on those preferences. News-reader apps give users the power to create their own streams of content based on keywords to offer analysis of the topic across any genre of content, keeping them constantly updated in the ever-changing world of business.

Recently we have seen innovative companies like Wavii launch to further personalize the way users get their news, and as this vertical continues to mature, we should see more sophisticated technologies making their way onto tablets.

By utilizing apps that filter and search, tablets are changing the way news is channeled and consumed. Best of all, once streams are set up, they can be shared business-wide or between colleagues so the wheel never has to be re-invented.

Gesture Based Information Consumption Increases Efficiency

Touting efficiency, news-readers give users the opportunity to scan hundreds of articles in a few moments and immediately delve deeper into the most interesting content. News-reading services do all the heavy lifting by aggregating the stories that match your interests, giving you more time to spend reading the news you care about rather than searching for it. The same way Evernote helps you save your daily thoughts and ideas all in one spot, news-readers concisely track what’s going on in every field that interests you.

Beyond increasing efficiency, news-readers also allow for easy sharing of any stories of interest with your community of colleagues or friends. Every blog and news site has its own way to share stories you enjoy with friends, but they are not always convenient for users. Tablet apps make sharing simple, while still driving traffic back to the original source.

Bookmarking Makes for Easier Follow Up

When browsing a vast number of stories every day, it’s often hard to keep track of the important ones, or to flag them down once you’ve flipped past. Easy in-app bookmarking tools such as Pocket or Instapaper make for a better overall experience because returning to a piece of interesting news is simple. Creating your own playlist through bookmarks is intuitive, as is sharing that list with colleagues, which is an asset for group collaboration.

Apps are abundant, but the ones with the potential to make a difference to the business world are those that improve productivity, efficiency and knowledge sharing. Discovering and utilizing these gems in a marketplace that has become a sea of apps is a difficult task. Apps like news readers set themselves apart by providing essential tools for businesses and adding value to help them win in their respective vertical.