What’s your business intelligence maturity? What needs to happen for you to mature? Why should you care? These topics make for the most fascinating conversations in my business intelligence mentoring sessions. If these are questions you find yourself pondering, read on.
I could discuss Gartner, TDWI, or BI Insider but I don’t like the way none of these commonly used maturity models allows for a variety of maturity within an organisation. I’ve also fallen foul with managers thinking their linear maturity graphics mean the effort involved is also linear. Blatantly unrealistic!
I want people to understand that substantial effort is needed to gain business intelligence maturity, and I want this effort to be anticipated ahead of time.
I view gaining business intelligence maturity as a mountain climb, a BIG mountain! Mount Blanc! It attracts more tourists per year than any other mountain, but it kills more people as well. Attaining business intelligence maturity is not for the ill-prepared.
I use my mountain sketch to show 5 variable ascents to Ladder of Business Intelligence (LOBI) levels of business intelligence maturity. LOBI levels relate to the type of business intelligence required to answer the important business questions.
What does this mean for you? If your available business intelligence answers the most important questions within a reasonable time then you are mature.
Pragmatic business intelligence, like this, means you don’t waste money building an elaborate business intelligence system if the business doesn’t need it. And if you’re not mature, you can use LOBI to help prepare a successful business case.
To plan to mature your business intelligence start at ground level with the facts.
Statistics New Zealand gives us top statistics every year. These are great facts.
Facts answer a “how many ….?” question using numbers, text etc. Fact questions need an immediate response.
Organisations with a functional Operational Data Store (ODS), or beyond, deliver facts quickly earning fact maturity.
Few of the people I mentor fall into this category.
For most of the people, I mentor the time and effort to generate a fact is extensive.
Their easy questions are hard work, these guys spend a lot of time locating the fact, requesting extracts from IT- waiting for the extract, all before they get to work their own magic to provide the requested fact.
All this effort for a fact that will only be seen by a small group of people.
No surprise dealing solely in facts is low maturity business intelligence.
My next blog looks at taking fact business intelligence to the next level: Data. Exciting!
It would be great to hear any feedback you have regarding this blog in the comments below.
Data – Mel
We run regular business intelligence courses in both Wellington and Auckland.