Platform vs Purpose Built Analytics Solutions: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted under Blog by Sean Matteson, Director - Project Management Office

Analytics are becoming increasingly important in this age of Big Data. The correct analytics software system can mean the difference between success and failure. It’s easy to understand that your company needs an analytics solution to maximize your cost savings. The hard part comes when you are filtering through all the potential options and deciding on a Platform vs Purpose Built Analytics Solution.

One of the first decisions you will need to make revolves around the main framework of the analytics system you are planning to purchase: Will it be a platform solution or will it be a purpose-built solution?

Platform Analytics Solution

There are two main components of a Platform Analytics solution: the Data warehouse and the Report Catalog. With a platform based option, both the data warehouse and the report catalog must be built. You can build the product to your own specifications to ensure you get exactly what you need. If done correctly, a platform based solution can be grown and enhanced over time to keep up with your organization’s needs.

Platform based solutions pose a series of challenges that need to be addressed. A custom based solution requires expansive pre-thought and a detailed plan of action. Time needs to be put into detailing comprehensive specifications to ensure the solution is built to provide exactly what is needed. Further, you will require the appropriate skillset in-house to support the platform, and to handle development of the data warehouse and report catalog. With a platform based solution, costs are exponential with continued development and enhancement.

Purpose Built Analytics Solution

A purpose built solution leverages known platforms/standards such as OBIEE and SAP BO. It includes an out-of-the-box data warehouse and report catalog. A purpose built solution will be supported and enhanced via a software support model.

A purpose built solution is developed in a manner that caters to a broad spectrum of industry verticals and business processes. Most essential features are available out-of-the-box, including a pre-built data warehouse and report catalog. Purpose built solutions are the product of many years of expert development and experience. When you select a purpose built solution, you can be confident in the product’s ability to meet most, if not all of your organization’s analytics needs.

Although an out-of-the-box product caters to most of the essential requirements, there will inevitability still be some custom requirements for your specific business needs. If what you need isn’t available or supportable in the product’s data warehouse, then extensive customization may be required.

If you have done any type of maintenance work, whether it be working on your car, or as part of your career, you have likely heard the adage “the right tool for the right job”. When choosing between a Platform vs Purpose Built Analytics solution, you need to ensure you have found the right tool to fit your job. In general, there are a few positive features and many negative features of a Platform based solution whereas there are many positive features and few drawbacks to a Purpose Built solution.

For more information on VIZIYA’s WorkAlign Analytics Solution, Click Here to watch our “Measure your Initiatives with VIZIYA Analytics” webcast.

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