The Zebra VisibilityIQ Foresight dashboard
By Sharon Lee | August 23, 2022

If Your Front-Line Workers Complain Their Mobile Devices Aren’t Working Well, You Probably Just Need More “Context” on Your Device Analytics Dashboards

If you’re receiving too many insights and too few recommendations about device health and performance, you need to look at these new VisibilityIQ Foresight health reports.

I remember a time when there wasn’t enough data available to improve business outcomes. “We need more insights and visibility” became the universal mantra of business leaders, especially those hoping to surface and address issues that impact front-line worker productivity. Now, it seems there’s too much data available, at least when it comes to mobile device management, and that’s making it just as hard as before to surface and address certain issues. 

Of course, if you’re in the habit of using a proactive insights tool like Zebra’s VisibilityIQ™ Foresight to monitor your organization’s fleet or even a single device, you might not relate. You can simply pull up your VisibilityIQ dashboard and see any number of color-coded charts and graphs to confirm which mobile devices are in good health and which might need an intervention to get back to peak performance levels. Then again, it might be these color-coded charts and graphs that have you or your front-line teams feeling overwhelmed.

“Just Tell Us What’s Wrong and What to Do to Fix It”

I know many front-line workers are now being asked to keep tabs on the location, health, and utilization of their mobile computers as well as company printers. This isn’t something IT teams are handling as often anymore. Though a big change – and a big ask of front-line workers – I understand the reasoning. Nurses, retail associates, warehouse workers, utility technicians and first responders are the ones who use these devices all day long. Who better to recognize, troubleshoot or resolve a hardware or software issue than them?  

The problem is that most front-line workers aren’t IT specialists. They can pull up a device analytics dashboard and understand that green means all is good and red means they need to address an issue. But unless that dashboard also tells them what’s causing a red status alert and what they need to do about it, nothing will change. They’ll have confirmation that their battery is discharging faster than it should, as suspected, but the battery will continue to lose power and they will have to recharge it more frequently – and that will chew away at their productivity. At least until someone steps in to give them specific instructions on how to handle “red” alerts like this. 

And, let’s be honest, even IT teams still charged with managing device fleets don’t have the bandwidth to conduct a lot of research and come to their own conclusions about why a device may be experiencing an issue. 

That’s why dashboards full of pictorial data summaries aren’t sufficient anymore. Device health reports must be accompanied by recommended actions. 

That’s why we’ve been making some improvements to VisibilityIQ Foresight, including the addition of several battery, application, and performance health reports detailing reported or predicted device problems and recommended solutions. We want to ensure that your workers know: 

  1. What is happening with their devices or other devices in your fleet (i.e., certain apps are crashing, or a battery is running hot)

  2. Why these things are happening (i.e., a software update is needed, or a battery is reaching end of life)

  3. How to correct performance issues, even when IT isn’t available (i.e., push XYZ update or replace the battery)

We never want anyone to say, “there’s just too much data to review” or “we don’t know what we’re supposed to do with these insights.” 

What’s in the New Health Reports 

As of today, you can set your workers up to receive Battery Health and Application Health reports as part of your standard VisibilityIQ Foresight service. In the Battery Health Report, they will be alerted about things such as*:

  • Increase in Battery Discharge Rate from norm

  • Temperature too high or low

And receive recommendations such as: 

  • Investigate battery charging behavior issues 

  • Investigate environmental related issues

In the Application Health Report, insights will include information about:

  • App count, including extra apps or missing apps 

  • App versions, including differing app versions on devices

  • App stability, including high crash rates or memory usage 

And recommendations such as:

  • Install/Uninstall app 

  • Update app version

  • Investigate app crashes, memory usage

If you use a mobile device management (MDM) platform to push software updates or handle battery swaps, these reports can guide workers to take the appropriate actions in the MDM. If you use a different system – or three different systems – to manage your front-line mobility solutions, then the “recommended actions” guidance can point them in the right direction. No matter what, they won’t be left to figure things out on their own. They’ll have the actionable insights – the full context – they need to help keep mission-critical mobile computers and printers online and working 24/7/365.


Editor’s Note: 

There’s a great set of “how to” videos on YouTube that will show you and your team how to take full advantage of the VisibilityIQ Foresight platform. Check them out: 

How to Use Each Zebra VisibilityIQ Report to Improve the Performance of Your Devices and Business

* This list is not all-inclusive of the insights or recommendations that will be included in the health reports, but they should give you an idea of how these new reports will make the VisibilityIQ Foresight platform more valuable to you and your front-line teams. We’ll also be adding more insights and recommended actions to the Application Health report and rolling out new Performance Health and Battery Health reports in the coming months. 

Energy and Utilities, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Warehouse and Distribution, Transportation and Logistics, Retail, Field Operations, Hospitality, Public Sector, Banking,
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee

Sharon Lee is the Global Portfolio Manager of VisibilityIQ Foresight at Zebra Technologies. She has vast experience in product management across several B2B and B2B2C industries. She believes that delighting the customer is the key to product success and adoption. While not creating products that customers love, she can be found upside down at yoga studios. Her favorite yoga pose is the headstand – literally seeing the world with a different view. 

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