The importance of BI maturity models

The importance of BI maturity models

An organization's BI goals and capabilities need to be compared and measured against a BI maturity model to better understand the current capabilities and the steps necessary to achieve an implementation that is as mature as possible. BI maturity models describe the stages organizations advance through while evolving their BI infrastructure to its greatest strategic level of implementation.

A number of generic BI maturity models already exist, from which an organization can specifically design a model unique to its needs. The model an organization adopts will provide more value if the model utilizes concrete benchmarks to benchmark the organization's BI maturity. An added benefit of a quantifiable model is the provision of a clear pathway for progressing to the next stage of maturity. Such a maturity model must address the scope, environment and technologies employed in complex BI implementations. At the least, the model should detail implementation of tools to transform and load data from disparate sources into the BI target data warehouse, historical and current business data storage, and front-end BI applications used to provide querying, reporting and analytic functions to an organization's knowledge workers.

The articulation of a BI maturity model lays the strategic blueprint for developing a BI tool that meets the business current and future needs. It guides the timing of and investment in BI development. Additionally, using a maturity model improves the probability of a successful BI implementation by selecting the most effective approach to implementation, establishing a method to identify technology to support data collection and analysis, and selecting a BI solution based on business goals.