When is it the right time to invest (more) in a Business Intelligence solution and what kind of BI solution is needed?

Within an organization there is different needs of reporting or BI solutions. Some departments in some organizations are really helped by a well designed BI solution, while some departments in another organization might not need a BI solution at all. In this Blog post I am presenting one way to understand more about where to invest, why and to what extent.

What it comes down to is the departments need to be able to answer some basic questions.

  1. What happened?
  2. Why did that happen?
  3. What is happening now (and why)?
  4. What is going to happen in the future?

So depending on which questions needs to be answered, different solutions and tools will be needed. And basically, for each question, complexity and cost increases.

It is wise to not make an investment on a BI solution that is targeting to answer a question your department really don't need to have answered, right?

Going forward, I will name the 4 questions and categorize them into 4 basic Headlines, and doing so we get the RAMP model name explained:

  1. (R) - Reporting
    Looking back in time to answer the question: What happened?
  2. (A) - Analytics
    Looking back in time to answer the question: Why did that happen?
  3. (M) - Monitoring
    Looking at the current events to answer the question: What is happening now and why? 
  4. (P) - Prediction
    Looking into the future to answer the question: What will happen next?

Visualizing those 4 steps in a basic chart where we can start to think about measures by Complexity (or Cost) vs Business Value:


The area (R) is covering the need of Reporting tools. Area (A) & (M) is covering the need of a more and more advanced BI tool, and finally the area (P) will require BI platforms for Predictive Analysis and Machine Learning.

The first goal is to define where is your organization or department right now? What question are you able to answer, and how well do you think it is answered?

Does it sound complicated? On the next page, I explain with an example: