Business intelligence (BI) can help support decision-making processes and so contribute to improved BI assimilation and organisational performance. However, a BI undertaking may be effective and profitable for some organisations but not others. How can these differing outcomes be explained for those firms that have adopted BI systems? Drawing on the literature pertaining to absorptive capacity theory, IT competency, and BI assimilation we develop a conceptual framework to investigate the relationships between BI competency, absorptive capacity, and BI assimilation. This research provides insights for BI stakeholders in understanding the mediating role of organisational absorptive capacity within a complex BI environment, enabling many organisations that have implemented BI to leverage the benefits from their costly investments. The conceptual framework provides a sound basis for further research to shed light on the effects of BI competency and organisational absorptive capacity on BI assimilation. Contributions to research and practice are discussed.