BI & Analytics Maturity Models, why it is important to find yourself?


Grow, improve, evolve, boost, enhance, these are the words you will always find in the visons, missions and objectives of companies, areas and departments. So, if you take Information Management and any of these words, how can you set a strategy if you don’t know where you are? What is your starting point and target, so you can define the roadmap?

A maturity model aims exactly in providing tools for you to find yourselves. But before the maturity model itself, IT must define the importance of Information Management on its strategy. If IT still struggles to provide users consistent systems and a reliable infrastructure, then a maturity model definitively is not what IT must focus. On the other hand, if systems are stable and infrastructure is trustworthy, then IT should focus in seeking for BI & Analytics Maturity Model to provide consistency to its BI & Analytics strategy.

The models I like the most are provided by TDWI(, although Gartner (  and BARC ( also provide good ones.

One of the advantages of TDWI models is that you can do it by yourself without the need of hiring their consulting services, the other is that TDWI provides 2 different models one more BI specific and another in a wider scope for Analytics in general.

Since in both TDWI stablishes the Chasm concept to separate the earlier stages from the more advanced, I like to exercise using both for my clients.

Bellow I present a figure of each one of TDWI Maturity Models with legend for the concepts. The first one is the BI Maturity Model with the concepts oriented only by Business Intelligence. Note that in this we have 2 “interruptions” in the evolution path. The first being very slim and easily to be overcome, on the other hand, the second is extremely thick and can become almost impossible to overcome.

The second is the Analytics Maturity Model, here TDWI advocates the concepts in a wider spectrum, where BI is included in the Analytics. Another difference is that here there is only one “interruption” point. The “Gulf” concept is not present, only the “Chasm”.


The model to be used will depend more on the company’s culture than anything. If you want you can even use both. The classification in the model, must comprise a detailed assessment on the systems and within each business area reporting processes. In one front, the system assessment must aim the reporting processes against the productive systems inventory and infrastructure. And on the other the reporting processes must detail systems involved, manual process/steps, and integration with other business areas.

The most difficult is to make IT and business areas that hold some IT like experts to accept a bad/not good positioning, and at the same time make the Board believe that now, with the new investment roadmap the company will be able jump over the chasm and be ready for the Information era.

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