Business Intelligence Maturity Model

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By Shavindri Ratnayake

In today’s world Business Intelligence (BI) can be defined as the use of technologies, applications, and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. It involves the gathering and processing of data from various sources within and outside an organization to generate actionable insights that support informed decision-making. BI encompasses a wide range of activities, reporting, query and analysis, performance monitoring, and predictive analytics. The goal of BI is to help organizations gain a deeper understanding of their operations, identify trends and patterns, optimize processes, and ultimately achieve strategic objectives.

The importance of BI is further emphasized by the Business Intelligence Maturity Model. While some businesses may thrive at lower maturity levels, others need higher levels of BI maturity to succeed. In the lower levels in the maturity model, use of spreadsheets and simple reporting tools for ad hoc based analysis while in the top levels in the maturity model sophisticated data driven decision support systems are used. BI maturity models identify areas for improvement within organizations, focusing on reporting, analysis, and key success indicators, and suggest strategies for leveraging BI to create business value.

In the initial stage of business maturity, BI models are applied informally before the introduction of data warehousing, facilitating quicker access to timely information. As organizations progress to the second stage, they begin to grasp the significance of information and its relevance to their business needs, thereby recognizing the importance of BI data. Finally, in the advanced stage of business maturity, organizations fully engage in optimizing decision-making processes, managing business operations, and implementing organizational changes by leveraging the complete potential of business intelligence.

Gartner’s BI Maturity Model

Gartner’s BI maturity model is often regarded as superior to other maturity models due to several reasons. Gartner’s model provides a comprehensive framework that covers various aspects of business intelligence, including technology, processes, and people. It considers organizational maturity across multiple dimensions, offering a holistic view of BI implementation.

Gartner, as a leading research and advisory firm in the technology industry, ensures that its maturity model aligns with industry standards and best practices. This alignment enhances the model’s credibility and relevance to businesses worldwide.

The five levels of maturity, by considering, Gartner’s maturity model for business intelligence and performance management, are unaware, tactical, focused, strategic and pervasive through assessment of key areas such as people, processes and metrics and technology.

1. Unaware Stage

During the unaware stage, organizations struggle with inaccurate and inconsistent data interpretation, lacking the necessary changes to meet the information needs of individuals and departments. Spreadsheets are heavily relied upon, with minimal utilization of reporting tools or dashboards. The company lacks a standardized set of reports for informational and performance management purposes. Information management and reporting predominantly fall under the responsibility of the IT department, with minimal investment in dedicated information management initiatives.

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