Because analytics has become a requirement in today’s B2B applications, R&D leaders are faced with a strategic decision:
Do you build or buy your BI solution?
Not only are there a variety of factors to consider (including market, resource allocation, and product longevity), this decision also has a wide-ranging impact on product development, your go-to-market strategy, and even your bottom line.
So, as an R&D decision-maker, where do you start?
At first glance, the DIY solution often seems to make the most sense. So, let’s start there.
The big benefit of building a custom solution can be summed up this way: Developing a proprietary analytics solution gives you complete control. Control over your analytics tool. Control over its features and functionality. Control over how it integrates with your offering.
Unfortunately, this is usually overshadowed by the need to divert already strained R&D resources to a non-core activity—building a BI solution. This includes redirecting resources (budget and development) away from a core offering to an ongoing (and obligatory) non-core activity. It also includes hiring a dedicated team to build and maintain your analytics solution. And don’t forget about regularly upgrading the tool’s speed, functionality, and support to meet new (and unanticipated) user needs… for the life of the app.
Faced with the need to get to market quickly along with tight timing, budget, and resources, it makes sense that many R&D leaders choose to buy an analytics solution over building one.
The reality is most independent software vendors don’t specialize in analytics and business intelligence solutions, nor are they interested in diverting resources to building these BI solutions.
So, many R&D decision-makers find the cost and time it would take to develop and maintain a custom analytics solution is better spent on core activities, making it more effective to buy and embed a third-party BI solution instead.
Here are five ways buying third-party analytics is easier and more cost-effective than building a custom solution. With embedded analytics, you can:
- Keep your focus on your core offering – instead of diverting resources to ancillary activities, eliminating time, budget, and staffing issues associated with a custom solution.
- Keep it simple by buying an analytics and BI solution that offers more advanced, pre-packaged functionality is less effort than building self-service analytics from scratch. Years of work and fine-tuning of the analytics and BI solution are at your fingertips.
- Get a best-of-breed solution by working with an established BI specialist invested in innovating and enhancing their technology to meet the needs of your market.
- Enjoy all the benefits of a custom solution (like seamless application integration) without the overhead, resource drain, or long-term obligations.
- Decrease time to market with a ready-to-implement solution that requires no time spent on additional development/upkeep.
So, what’s the bottom line for R&D?
Building a custom solution only makes sense if you can devote the same amount of resources to it that a third-party BI specialist can.
But if that’s not an option for you (or for a majority of other independent software vendors), choosing the right analytics solution to embed in your product/service is critical to capitalizing on the advantages of buying over building.