Build in-house or choose a third-party SaaS solution?

January 22, 2024

In most industries, the debate between building and buying is much less nuanced. When it comes to a customer-facing application, it's fair to expect that individuals will have specific requirements and preferences. Consequently, the buying option must be exceptionally flexible.

Of course, the challenge with building your own analytics capability lies in the expertise, resources, and time required to deploy, maintain, and evolve this capability. It's incredibly expensive because your reporting capability is a product in its own right. If you don't treat it with the necessary respect, it won't yield the impact you hope for.

For reference, here’s a few things you’ll need to consider if opting for in-house:

  • Building the underlying API
  • Optimizing query performance
  • Wrestling with chart libraries
  • Implementing interactivity (filters, sorting etc.)
  • Optimizing web rendering performance
  • Building multi-tenancy & authentication
  • Testing, refinement, management & maintenance

The build is considerably more complex if you want to offer a self-serve experience (i.e. custom reporting).

Now, if reporting isn’t a core aspect of a company’s product or value, then why do they frequently bring the build process in-house?

The answer to that question is simple:

Traditional embedded analytics offerings may be easy to integrate, providing a quick route to market, but there are a range of items that’ll hurt anyone in the mid to long-term.

  • iFrame-based embed; not extensible with your code
  • Limited customisation; barely any control over UI or UX
  • Performance limitations; can’t optimize what you can’t control

These reasons alone are enough to push most folk to build in-house. Those who prioritize short-term gains may disregard these concerns, but eventually, they will transform into significant limitations and sources of frustration.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Which is why we built Vizzly.

Vizzly offers the advantages of in-house development without the need to start from scratch. We prioritize the developer in our relationship, which enables us to offer a better end-user experience and mitigate the frustrations associated with traditional embedded analytics products. For instance, some of the benefits we offer include:

  • Powerful query engines; self-hosted and in-browser options
  • React-based embed & highly extensible with your code
  • Offers complete control over theme and experience
  • React hooks for direct API access
  • Built-in multi-tenancy and authentication

The trade-offs between building in-house and opting for off-the-shelf software are now a thing of the past. At Vizzly, we recognize your need to maximize control while minimizing developer effort and cognitive load.

Next time someone tells you that you can’t have your cake and eat it too...

Tell them about Vizzly.

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