Third Stage of Analytics Maturity: Analytical Aspirations

In my last post, I described the characteristics of organizations at the second, “Localized Analytics” stage of the analytics maturity model. In this post, we will dive into what an organization at the third stage, known as the “Analytics Aspirations” stage, of the analytics maturity model looks like.

These posts on analytics maturity stages are heavily influenced by the great work Competing on Analytics by Thomas Davenport. I’d definitely recommend picking up a copy for you or your BI department.

Common Traits of This Stage

The biggest trait of this stage is the beginning of data integrations from disparate systems. Through a data warehouse or some other analytics platform, data begins to get integrated into the platform.

This typically implies more collaboration and coordination between departments. As systems from different departments are integrated into the analytics platform, the beginning stages of data governance start to form.

Looking back at the “Data Mass-Value Curve”, organizations at this stage typically begin to experience the exponential increase in value that analytics can provide. By integrating data, these companies now start to see the complete, 360-degree picture of their customers and the interactions or engagements with those customers.

At the “Analytics Aspirations” stage of analytics maturity, companies start asking more questions about where they are today instead of asking where they were/what happened in the past.

The velocity of analytics starts to increase and the latency of reporting begins to diminish.

Technology Used at This Stage

At this stage, companies have developed a “phase one” version of a data warehouse or other analytics platform. Data enters the platform regularly and consistently. Likely, data is added or updated in the warehouse nightly but certainly not continuously.

The beginning stages of a BI Portal are now in place. Business users are not navigating through three different reporting systems to get data; silos are beginning to be broken down as consistency and transparency increase.

Everything is good, right?

While the third stage of the analytics maturity model is a signficant step up over the first and second stages, this is far from the end.

In the third stage, not all significant data is integrated into one platform. This still leaves pockets of siloed reporting throughout the company.

While a few members of the senior management team are bought into the analytics efforts, there are still some individuals that haven’t quite bought into the vision. This likely impacts the ability to generate enterprise-wide analytics objectives.

In the fourth and fifth stages of analytics maturity, these remaining challenges and obstacles are overcome.

Not sure if you are in the third stage of analytics maturity? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do we still have some members of the executive team that don’t believe in the power and value of analytics?
  • Do we only have a few key data sources integrated into our analytics platform?
  • Are we still only using analytics to assess where we are today?

If you answered “yes” to those questions, that your organization is sitting squarely in the third stage, the “Analytical Aspirations” stage, of analytics maturity. You’re doing great yet have plenty of room to improve!

Looking for motivation for the future of analytics at your organization? Check out the recent podcast I did with John Best of the Best Innovation!


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Posted in Analytics, DW/BI, Strategy.

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