Business intelligence: To buy or not to buy?
October 30, 2012 —
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Related Search Term(s): business intelligence, reporting
When it comes to business intelligence and reporting—as with all other development resources—the challenge is to balance “buy” against “build.” The reasons for building are obvious: It’s your code, and nobody knows your business requirements and software resources better than you do.
Why buy, then? We talked to several providers of business intelligence solutions, and their arguments can be summarized as saving time, saving money, creating a scalable system, and leveraging existing business intelligence/reporting resources.
The costs involved don’t all have to do with licensing costs, either. The licensing cost is actually very minor regardless of which solution you choose, compared to the actual development and resource cost that it’s going to take to put it all together and maintain it. “There are many scenarios that need to be thought through when it comes to presenting and visualizing data,” said David Abramson, director of product management at LogiXML. “It’s one thing to be able to connect to data and know what’s in your data. It’s another thing to know the best ways to visualize and report on that data, how to optimize that experience for the widest variety of end users, from your C-level folks down to your managers down to your sales force or other operations people that need to get this information to make better business decisions.”
Organizations need a business intelligence reporting tool that can be widely adopted across many offices, time zones and devices. To create a robust solution, developers often need more than just programming experience.
“I think it takes an extraordinary amount of domain expertise and not just in software development,” said Nelson Ng, principal consultant at Dundas Data Visualization. “I think that’s an assumption that needs to be debunked. It’s not just about software development. Beyond making data available and accessible, data is only valuable once people understand it. To help people understand the enormous amount of data that you’ve conceivably spent an enormous amount of money collecting and warehousing, you’ve got to know how to correctly present that data.”