Your application helps customers solve problems. You’re proud of its role in your customers’ operations, problem-solving, or strategic decisions.
Yet you may hear reports from your salespeople. They’ve been losing sales — not because of anything wrong with your application. It’s from something wrong with how customers use the application’s data. Your competition has rolled out whiz-bang new visual analytics. They may call it data visualization, reporting, or dashboards, but the obvious features are shiny dials and colors. You know that their glimmering new analytics aren’t very useful, and that within a short time the thrill will fade. Or perhaps their new displays really are useful, and fast, too. How can your sales people win with analytics and reports that are old, slow, and limited?
Your decision to add new visual analytics, dashboards and reports is simple compared with the next decision: buy or build? Independent software vendors face this choice all the time, of course, and there are traditional criteria.
However, there’s nothing traditional about embedding visual analytics and business intelligence. This is a fast evolving discipline with high stakes. Done well, visual analytics help your customers start productive conversations based on the software you supply. Done poorly, visual displays reflect badly on your company and suggest an inability to keep up.
Though there’s no simple answer to “buy or build,” there are criteria — seven, in fact, that can guide you to make a well informed decision. This paper helps you identify and evaluate each one.