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Embedded Analytics Part 3: Complexity vs. Competitiveness—Two Sides of the Same Coin

Blog: The Tibco Blog

In-application analytics can make software more valuable to users and more profitable for your business but it’s not without its challenges. The most sophisticated solution might be customer friendly but be unachievable for your development team. This leads us to the biggest question for product teams looking at embedded analytics: should we build or should we buy? Welcome to part 3 of our series on Jaspersoft’s all-new Embedded Analytics eGuide.

It’s hard to overstate the benefits of embedded analytics in software applications. It offers rich information which makes software stickier, increases value for users, and even makes it more profitable. But they say that nothing worth doing is easy—and offering embedded analytics in your application is no exception.

Building analytic capabilities into your software requires substantial time, expertise, and resources from developers and the broader product development team. In a market where the demand for software developers vastly outstrips the supply, the impact of this should not be underestimated. In fact, last year a study suggested that there were over 506,000 open computing jobs in the US but fewer than 43,000 computer science graduates entering the workforce[1]. Businesses need their engineers to do more with less—and handing out complex new projects can stretch development teams to their breaking point.

Building an embedded analytics solution is not the biggest challenge, however. 90% of the life-cycle cost for software comes in the maintenance phase. If your product is to remain useful and relevant to the customer, each analytics capability you incorporate must be updated whenever technology or application features change. Software makers need to balance the benefits of embedded analytics with the resources that it will require to work smoothly into the future.

If a product team decides to go ahead with in-application analytics, the next decision to make is whether to build a solution or buy one. While building a solution gives you more control over the features and functionality, it takes valuable time away from your product development team. Buying a solution will generally be quicker to market and demand fewer resources, but any specialist requirements or niche functionality you need may not be supported.

The best analytics solutions offer a combination of pre-designed visuals that a user can view and self-service features that let users slice and dice the data to dig deeper into areas of interest. The balance of pre-existing and self-service features a software product needs to offer helps guide the build-or-buy decision.

Whether you are a product manager looking for direction on the best plan for implementing embedded analytics, or a software developer needing to understand the implications of a self-built in-application solution, you will benefit from checking out the Jaspersoft eBook. In addition to an overview of embedded analytics, the guide covers the benefits and challenges of building it into your software products. It outlines the alternative arguments for building the solution and for buying it, highlighting key technical considerations along the way.

Ultimately, there is no ‘right’ answer to whether you should build your own embedded analytics functionality or buy ‘off the shelf’. The ebook will help you understand which is likely to be best for your team and your product.

Catch up on the first two posts in this series here, and stay tuned next week for Part 4 of the series on Jaspersoft’s Embedded Analytics eGuide.

[1] – November 2016

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