Analytics have been part of the world of business since the concept of business first emerged as our species developed. It might have not been called analytics, but people who did business have always analyzed different ins and outs, their position, the people they are dealing with and so on. If not for analytics, business would not exist. It would be gambling.
For quite some time in the modern times, analytics were mostly reserved for big players, corporations which operated with enormous budgets and who could afford to have analysts work for them 24/7. As technology advanced, business analytics became much more “democratic” and today, even smaller companies can benefit from it. The only choice they have to make is whether to outsource it or to purchase business analytics software for their needs.
Option #1 – Outsourcing
When you outsource your business analytics operations, you are effectively going to an outside partner, a company which employees analysts who work on a number of clients, including you and who have been doing this for years.
The advantages of outsourcing your business analytics are quite obvious. For one, they are much cheaper than in-house solutions, but that is not what we are talking about today. We are talking about the kind of service you are getting from such partners. In short, you will be getting amazing service that you will have to pay for. You will be working with experts who have worked in this field for a long time and who know everything about analysis.
You will also be able to precisely define what you are looking for and what you expect their results to do for you. They will also be bringing their experience with them, providing valuable insights into aspects of your business that you hadn’t even thought about.
Outsourcing your business analytics has some bad sides too, unfortunately. For instance, it can be a daunting experience for inexperienced managers and owners to deal with these, usually, very large corporations and agencies which work on a global level. Their services might not be tailored to smaller organizations like yours.
Furthermore, there is always the issue of data security. Namely, in order for them to be able to do their job, you will need to send them the vast majority of the most pertinent data your company works with and unless you are totally, 100% sure they know what they are doing, you will never be sure that your data is still only your own. Finally, there is the issue of mergers and takeovers that are quite common in this field due to the offshore nature of outsourcing business analytics companies. You might end up with an analysis company that has been working for your main competitor for years which may result in all kinds of negative consequences.
Option #2 – Business Analysis Software
Of course, you can always do it on your own by purchasing business analytics software and doing your analysis on your own.
The biggest advantage of this approach is that you are doing your analysis on your own and that you are absolutely certain that you are going to give your 100% when doing so. This is your company, these are your people and you are all in the same boat. In addition to this, you can rest assured that your data is secure since it never leaves your company. By employing this kind of software yourself, you will also learn a lot about your company, your field and your competitors. This will become more and more important as time goes by.
The main disadvantage of this is that someone is going to have to spend their time to master the software and achieve the results that you would be guaranteed with an outsourced partner. That being said, modern business analysis software solutions are much more intuitive than those from the past, allowing people who have never had contact with this type of software to use it. Of course, in order to reap all the benefits, you will need to get familiar with the software and to really learn everything there is about it.
In the end, it all comes down to how much money you are willing to spend, what exactly it is what you need and whether you have the time and the human resources to do your analysis on your own. The important thing is to think everything over and not rush into anything.