The Next Generation: Putting TDWI’s BI Maturity Model to Practice

Practice makes perfect; and perfection breeds excellence in business intelligence.

TDWI’s BI Maturity Model shows the journey that most organizations undertake when implementing business intelligence and data warehousing (BI/DW). The model shows how the initiatives evolve from low-value, ancillary projects to high-value, strategic services that drive market share. Most organizations resonate with the narrative because it helps them identify where their BI/DW initiative is now, where it needs to go, and how to get there.

How the Model Works

The TDWI BI Maturity Model consists of five stages: Infant, Child, Teenager, Adult, and Sage. There are also two major obstacles: the Gulf, which occurs between the Infant and Child stages, and the Chasm, which occurs between the Teenager and Adult stages. As organizations progress through the stages, they reap greater business value from their BI investments and achieve greater consistency in the way they define shared terms and metrics. BI professionals whose programs are stuck in the Gulf or Chasm often tell me that the TDWI Maturity Model helps them put their problems into perspective and revitalizes their approach to tackling these obstacles.


TDWI's BI Maturity Model
TDWI's BI Maturity Model

The Next Generation

In 2005, TDWI created a poster based on the BI Maturity model that has been one of TDWI’s most requested deliverables. As a result, we decided to extend the model from its theoretic foundation to an online service that enables organizations to assess their BI maturity and benchmark themselves against other organizations. The free service enables participants to assess their maturity across eight dimensions: scope, sponsorship, funding, value, architecture, data, development, and delivery. And they can compare their results to others by industry, geography, BI budget, and scope. The service also provides a Benchmark Guide to help participants interpret their scores.

To participate or learn more about TDWI’s BI Benchmark Service, click here.

With the creation of the new online benchmarking service, TDWI decided to offer a complementary series of Webinars designed to provide BI/DW professionals with a better understanding of the model and strategies for moving past the two major sticking points in the evolution of any BI program—the Gulf and Chasm.

This three-part Webinar series consists of:

Part #1 - Benchmarking Your BI Maturity

This Webinar provides a refresher on the five stages of the BI Maturity model, plus the Chasm & Gulf. The goal is to demonstrate how this model can be used to help assess and evolve your BI/DW program.

Part #2 - Spanning the Gulf: Getting Traction for Your BI Solution

This Webinar reviews the symptoms of the Gulf and provides prescriptions for making a clean crossing into a BI environment that delivers tangible business value. If you’re having difficulty getting traction for your BI solution, you’re probably stuck in the Gulf — a confluence of obstacles and challenges that affect early-stage BI projects – and this Webinar is geared to you!

Part #3 - Crossing the Chasm: Delivering a Strategic, Enterprise BI Solution

This Webinar explains the key challenges facing more mature BI programs and provides tips for creating an agile architecture and organizational structure that can help you cross the chasm to deliver high-value strategic solutions across the enterprise. If you are struggling with reconciling together the different BI/DW deployments and dealing with issues of scalability in terms of people and processes, this Webinar is for you!

In summary, the TDWI Benchmark Service provides a quick way for organizations to assess their BI/DW maturity and compare themselves in an objective way against others in the industry. Accompanying the service is a three-part Webinar series that will provide an overview of the TDWI Maturity Model and drill down on the Gulf and Chasm, the two key sticking points in any BI journey. Hopefully, these new services from TDWI will enable you jumpstart your BI initiative and take it to the next level.

About the Author

Wayne Eckerson is director of research at The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI), a provider of in-depth education and research in the business intelligence and data warehousing industry.