I recently read this in another article and found this extract very useful so thought I’d note it down. It’s a guide to developing a BI roadmap and I find the diagram, the BI Ladder to Success, especially helpful for just showing the things I believe BI should supply. I don’t necessarily they should be a ladder as such as this implies one is dependent on the other, but if your company is very strong on Step 1 – Standard Reports, for example, then the other things further up the ladder become far easier. If standard reporting is weak you’ll find the other steps are still possible but are likely to be far more complex and time consuming.

This is the BI Ladder to Success and can be used when trying to evaluate where you are right now in your organisation and help guide to where you want to get to. If you are working in a business intelligence role it is definitely worth having annual or bi-annual reviews of your BI roadmap.

Accompanying the ladder are the following directions to developing a BI roadmap:

  • Vision/Goal – State the Business Goal and IT Goal side by side and show how your BI goals are aligned to the Business priorities
  • Current State – Using a pictorial representation, display the current state architecture or process through which the Business is currently accessing data for reporting and analysis. You may also show the different business groups/divisions and their current data needs and their current business process. This should also show the type/nature of data the different divisions report on. Display the level of organizational BI maturity on a scale or in reference to the Level of Analytics.
  • Business Problems – List the different problems/issues faced by the business in accessing the data for reporting and analysis. Also list the shortcomings of the current system.
  • Objective/Purpose – State the objectives by relating them to what you plan to do to solve the Business problems and the level of BI maturity you and the business wish to achieve. Define the success criteria and ways of tracking the progress.
  • Future State – With reference to Levels of Analytics, pictorially represent the future end state architecture along with the future end state business process. State the different questions that the business will be able to answer, the analysis they can perform, the impact that will have on the overall business.
  • Plan – Develop a plan (timeline/schedule/milestones) that shows the multi-phase approach that you wish to take in developing the BI infrastructure.  Each phase is a major milestone and a building block with well-defined objective and purpose. Pictorially display how the intermediate milestones look like. Refer to the industry standards for building the IT infrastructure (Inmon/Kimball approach, MDM if any, etc.)
  • Challenges/Risks – State the challenges and risks that you foresee and the mitigation and contingency plan

Credit for this post goes to the Ashish Mirji who wrote the post Tips for Developing a BI Roadmap