Should You Build or Buy Your Embedded BI Solution? 3 Reasons For and Against

At Yurbi, we receive a lot of interest from companies that have their own software who want to incorporate Yurbi into their systems via embedded analytics, white label, or an OEM license. These companies have the capabilities to build their own BI software, but it doesn’t always make sense for a company to build.

So the question remains: When does it make more sense for an organization to partner with a BI vendor and buy embedded BI, and when does it make the most sense to build? Keep reading for our take on it.

When to Buy Embedded BI

Software vendors might lean toward building their own set of dashboards and reports because they have developers and know what they need out of the product, but basing the decision to build a BI solution solely upon having the resources to build it isn’t always the best decision. Here are a few scenarios where you should buy, rather than build, your BI solution:

  • Business intelligence isn’t core to your software. If BI isn’t a core aspect of your business and your goal is to use your dashboards, reports, or ad-hoc analytics as a way for users to better leverage the data you collect, but not as a critical function of the solution, it’s generally best to purchase the software because your developers’ time is better used elsewhere.  Especially if there are critical roadmap features of your product that hasn’t been delivered.
  • You haven’t considered scope creep. Building dashboards and reports may not seem that daunting to a developer team at first, but once the team begins building a BI solution they will soon see all of the details needed to make it fully functional. This results in some serious scope creep – a project that started as a small effort just grew to several quarters worth of work.Yurbi and other vendors produce beautiful, dynamic dashboards that seem simple, but behind the scenes you’ll find robust multi-tenant security, SQL query generation, analytics engines, libraries, and more. There’s a lot of effort put into making BI software easy to use, visually appealing, and secure.
  • You need to take your solution to market quickly. If you’re in a situation where you need to get your software, or specifically analytics features, to market quickly, you should partner with a good vendor and buy BI. If you don’t want conflicting branding messages, Yurbi and other vendors provide the option to white label their products.

Click here to download “Top 5 Challenges of Embedded Reporting”

When to Build Your BI Solution

Though it often makes sense to purchase embedded BI, sometimes building your own is the better option. Here are a few scenarios in which you should build your own dashboards, reports, and/or ad-hoc reporting solution:

  • You have a very specific look-and-feel to achieve. If you want to display your reports in a precise manner and have a unique display that you need to develop, it’s better to build your own dashboards and reports. Any embedded BI solution you purchase will not have the unique look you’re going for, which means you will have to build it regardless of whether the backend is from a vendor or was built internally.When we see prospects that develop survey tools and want to display the survey data, we typically recommend that they build their own reporting.  Displaying survey data effectively generally requires a very specialized look and feel.  Plus the analysis of the survey data tends to be a core function of the software.   Many CRM and marketing tools fit into this category when they want to display pipelines, funnels, or lifecycle analysis.  These all have very important aspects to their product and specialized layouts.
  • You have a well-defined set of requirements. If your team has nailed down the core number of dashboards and reports you want to display and that data is static, and if your team is confident that you won’t have scope creep, build your own BI solution. However, if you desire dynamic reporting or ad-hoc query capabilities you will probably want to partner with a BI vendor and buy vs. build.
  • You’re a more mature and/or larger company. Larger, more mature companies often have additional resources, longer (and more controlled) development processes, and strict brand standards. If you are a large company and need your BI solution to match your brand perfectly so that users have a seamless experience, and you have the resources to develop a BI tool, you should build your own.Companies like Facebook and Google don’t buy or embed BI solutions from other vendors because they can handle the process. But if you’re a newer company that needs to get your BI solution to market quicker, you will want to partner with a vendor.

The Bottom Line

A common misconception among companies is that embedded BI solutions are really expensive, which is why companies will attempt to build their own tools. It’s true that the big BI brands are costly, but when you look at the more affordable and agile tools like Yurbi, the time someone internally would spend on building just one dashboard or report typically will pay for Yurbi. This is because if you look at the cost of a Yurbi license and the assistance you get from our Customer Success team versus the time and resources it will take for a developer to build the BI solution in-house, Yurbi is clearly more cost effective and efficient.

Don’t be pennywise and pound-foolish – building a dynamic BI solution is no easy feat. Unless your BI use case is a one-off report or if your company falls into any of the above “when to build your BI solution” categories, it’s best to purchase your BI solution. The cost of purchasing a BI solution versus the cost of your internal resources won’t even out, and you’ll free up your developers’ time to address projects that are core to your software.

To find out more about how your organization can make the right decision when it comes to buying vs building your BI solution, read our free eBook “The Top 5 Challenges of Embedded Reporting” Then, contact us to find out everything you need to know to help calculate your BI costs and develop your usage strategy.

Click here to download “Top 5 Challenges of Embedded Reporting”

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