Build vs. Buy: 5 key questions to ask
Business intelligence and analytics software is fast moving from a ‘nice to have’ to a must-have solution, as businesses seek better visibility of key data to back up business-critical decisions, and to create standardised, easier reporting practices across all departments.
As businesses move towards slicker reporting, they often consider whether to build their own solution in house, or whether to buy in a proven solution from a specialist software developer.
- Should I buy an existing BI solution or build one from scratch?
- What are the issues with developing my own business intelligence solution?
If you’re considering developing your own business intelligence platform, here are five key considerations to think about before beginning work.
1. The BI product will have its own development cycle; what does this mean for us?
As with all kinds of development, there are common pitfalls in building business intelligence and analytics software, which leads to longer development times and more barriers to overcome and hurdles to jump over.
A specialist analytics software developer has the experience to avoid those pitfalls and has the manpower to cope with any unforeseen issues that arrive. After all, their entire Development Team is focused on evolving and innovating their product.
2. Will development will cost a lot more than buying the software?
BI and analytics software is now affordable, and at Panintelligence, our focus is very much on working with SMEs.
When building a solution in-house, there are often hidden costs that may not be obvious at the beginning of the journey.
You may need more developers and additional IT infrastructure, servers, and licenses, which can all significantly add to costs.
3. When will the first version of the product be out of date?
Reporting requirements change as the business grows, while there’s also the need to keep pace with innovations in business intelligence and analytics software.
This means that there’s an ongoing need to invest money and manpower in the software over time. If you opt to buy in a proven solution, you can be sure that there’s dedicated time and energy being spent on the software, which will always be at the cutting edge.
4. Will I need specialist BI software developers?
Bringing information from multiple databases – as well as information from the cloud – into one reporting dashboard is critical in gaining an overall view of business performance. This requires another level of specialised knowledge that few companies innately have in-house.
If you choose to buy in your business intelligence software, you need buy-in from your own Development Team. It's essential to work with an accessible partner who can keep your teams informed and involved.
5. Will the analytics software be secure and responsive across all devices and browsers?
With the rise of flexible working, staff who are working remotely will still need access to data. Therefore, it’s important that the BI dashboard can be accessed on any device and from multiple browsers.
A specialist analytics software developer can confidently deliver a reporting solution that works equally as well on tablet and mobile as it does on desktop.
With a strong history within the Finance industry, the Panintelligence Dashboard allows users to gain secure access to data no matter where they are.
Which will you choose?
These are just a few of the issues associated with creating a reporting solution in-house that must be taken into consideration.
If you buy-in and white-label the Panintelligence solution, you can benefit from the following points:
- Lower initial investment and total cost of ownership
- Less in-house expertise and manpower required to maintain it
- In-house teams learn new skills from the analytics experts
- More internal resource is available to enhance your core software product
- You have a shorter time to market
Get in touch to embed a proven BI and Analytics Dashboard into your core platform.
Written by Zandra
Zandra is the co-founder and CEO of Panintelligence. She not only drives the product and the Sales Team forward but is also instrumental in evolving the innovative culture of Panintelligence. When Zandra isn’t in the office she can be found with her family, as well as painting, running, and leading her Leeds Lean in Ladies Circle. Basically, she never stops.