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Embedded BI: 10 Things to Consider When Asking “To Build or Buy BI?”

Organizations are eager to harness the power of their data assets by developing data-rich applications for their employees, customers, and partners. This often involves embedding reports, dashboards, and visualizations into the business applications that people inside and outside the organization use every day.

The benefits of embedded BI include increased application adoption, greater application usage, higher levels of user satisfaction, cost and time savings, and potentially revenue growth.

The majority of organizations use software vendors for their BI needs. But some organizations that have the in-house development talent also consider building their own.

To Build or Buy BI: That is the Question

In his whitepaper, To Build or Buy BI: That Is the Question! Evaluating Options for Embedding Reports and Dashboards into Applications, industry expert and Eckerson Group Founder Wayne Eckerson looks at why some organizations decide to build instead of buy. The top three reasons according to a featured survey are:

  • We can customize the functionality better (71%)
  • Our developers have the necessary expertise and time (50%)
  • We can customize the look and feel better (47%)

For the majority of the organizations that buy, their top three reasons are:

  • Buying enables us to provide best-in-class BI functionality to customers (51%)
  • We would rather focus our developers on our core product (49%)
  • Building takes too long (36%)

Is your organization wrestling with the question of (or does it need a second opinion on) whether building or buying BI is best? Eckerson Group, a research and consulting firm which serves the needs of business intelligence (BI) and analytic leaders in Fortune 2000 organizations worldwide, has created a short assessment that recommends what it believes is the best option based on the following 10 factors:

  • Market. Examines market forces driving the build-versus-buy decision
  • Demand. Evaluates usage and application requirements
  • Development. Identifies development culture and availability
  • Simplicity. Evaluates reporting and analysis requirements
  • Functionality. Evaluates complexity of functional requirements
  • Integration. Evaluates the need for bidirectional communication between the host application and BI functions
  • Budget. Examines funding and attitudes toward licensing
  • Software. Reviews available open source and commercial software
  • Complexity. Identifies advanced analytics features
  • Architecture. Identifies scalability and performance requirements

The recommendation, with Eckerson Group’s reasoning for the answer, is delivered in an online report which also lets you filter assessment data to benchmark your organization against peers.

Ready to get answers (or a second opinion)? Take the Eckerson Group online assessment here and read Wayne Eckerson’s companion whitepaper, To Build or Buy BI: That is the Question!

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