Software Analytics: Build or Buy?

Software is your business. But does that mean you should build everything yourself? Whether you work for a software vendor or develop applications for use by your organization, the temptation to “just build it ourselves” is always great.

software-usage-analytics-buyers-guide.pngLike many choices in life, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits before jumping in. Just because I’m good at digging holes doesn’t mean I should build a swimming pool by myself.

Software usage analytics can answer dozens of crucial “How and Why” questions about user environments, prospect evaluation and buying cycles, product conversions, renewals and upgrades, feature usage, and software reliability. You may be expert in developing engineering, graphic design, CRM, or ERP software, but that doesn’t mean you should automatically assume you should develop your own software usage analytics solution.

Consider some of the requirements of a successful software usage analytics solution:

  • Integrating software analytics functionality into your applications and supporting your client environments
  • Collecting, storing, and managing data
  • Analyzing data and converting it into actionable intelligence
  • Reporting and visualizing the actionable intelligence in a way that is easy to use and share among various stakeholders within your organization
  • Ensuring security and privacy as data is collected, stored, and communicated

The act of collecting data alone is relatively simple, but creating the underpinnings to transform data into actionable intelligence that is easily shared, studied, questioned, and interpreted (within a secure, scalable, cost-effective framework) is more involved.

Be sure to consider whether you have the domain expertise, resources and time before jumping in to build a software analytics program.

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