Buying BI

Build vs. Buy: Budgeting for Manpower

By Logi Analytics
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Searching for methods to modernize your business and maximize return on investment are two never-ending processes in today’s digital age. Implementing embedded analytics improves visibility, turns data into actionable information, increases efficiency, and offers good customer insight. Analytics improves the user experience and assists in increasing end user adoption while also differentiating your product from the competition.

Building vs. Buying Analytics

There are currently two common strategies when it comes to strategizing and deploying embedded analytics in your application. Building your own solution internally, often with open source UI components, or outsourcing to an established analytics platform to avoid internal development of analytics.

Planning and implementing a do-it-yourself embedded analytics project will take up to 20 percent of your team’s resources over three months, according to a report from the ESG investment group.

With outsourced analytics solutions, platforms are thoroughly documented, freeing up the IT and developer resources needed to maintain UI components. There is no need to worry about technical support, product training, and documentation – saving overhead for your company, while reducing number of workers required per project. In fact, there is an 83 percent lower cost of supporting analytics-related issues when using Logi over a DIY analytics build.

When it’s better to build:

  • Significant IT resources that can be dedicated to building, testing, correcting, and maintaining the application once finished
  • Flexible time schedules and time to market isn’t a significant issue
  • Only need basic requirements with limited feature functionality from UI components

When it’s better to buy:

  • Need a BI tool which is competitive and ready to go straight out of the box
  • Scalability is easier with an established platform
  • Support and stability with current integration and upgrades that third-party UI components typically cannot keep up with

Conserving Your Team’s Resources

When users begin to ask for more functionality, flexibility, and other helpful functions for their analysis, development teams can quickly be overwhelmed. Open source UI components and readily available solutions may help – to an extent – but may begin to falter rapidly. For example, components and data libraries are often piecemealed together as stakeholders lose control of broadening requirements.

Business uncertainty means finding the right people to solve the problem. However, there are tremendous personnel costs related to building a platform, including hiring – or contracting – with developers with analytics building experience.

In addition, there is elevated project risk when relying on your own build – your team is completely dependent on internal development resources for current maintenance and the future development roadmap. Additional manpower suddenly needs to be involved, so funds that could be used for other campaigns are diverted. Another thing to note, your employees and developers could leave at any time, but were their analytics processes properly documented?

Even if your company starts off by building the first generation of analytics but later chooses to outsource, there are methods to keep your developers engaged in the process. Even with the addition of an outside solution, don’t hesitate to ask developers about roadmap forecasts, any potential issues, and other key insights during rollout. This ensures your developers stay engaged in the process, while freeing up time to focus on core application functions.

Final Thoughts

There is nothing wrong in choosing to build your own solution, but understand the underlying risks involved in the decision. Know when your development process has outgrown your own analytics capabilities, and what the next steps are in the process.

Choosing to buy instead of build means reaching the market faster and stronger customer retention. Provide your development and IT teams with a less stressful deployment process with Logi available to assist with support. If your company is currently in the build vs. buy discussion, learn more of the hidden costs of building analytics with UI components.

Originally published December 3, 2021

About the Author

Logi Analytics is the leader in embedded analytics. We help team put business intelligence at the core of their organizations and products.