November 22, 2023

Embedded Analytics: Build or Buy?

Embedded Analytics: Build or Buy?

In today's dynamic market, embedding analytics into your product is table stakes, but challenges in speed, scalability, and cost-effectiveness can arise. Companies must rapidly develop solutions that seamlessly integrate into their products and scale predictably to meet evolving customer demands.

The decision to build or buy hinges on a business's specific needs, resources, and long-term vision. Both paths offer advantages and challenges. It's crucial to make an informed decision, considering not only the immediate requirements but also the future evolution of your analytics needs and the broader business landscape.

We heard perspectives from several CTOs who have experienced both failed and successful embedded analytics deployments. From their chairs, the success of these projects is measured by development costs, time to market, and the overall customer experience, as well as ease of deployment, user adoption, and self-service for both technical and non-technical users.

Building Your Own Embedded Solution 

If you're considering building your embedded analytics solution, it's crucial to weigh the following factors in your decision.

Time and Resources

Developing a custom solution requires significant time and resources, which may not be feasible for all organizations. Where typical analytics implementations may take weeks, building from scratch can take months. Slower time to market not only costs money–it also delays your path to monetizing data and generating additional revenue streams.

Maintenance and Support

Once the solution is built, ongoing maintenance and support is crucial for immediate and long-term success. Having full-time resources dedicated to providing regular updates, security patches, and troubleshooting can be time-consuming, and hiring and retaining appropriate staff can be costly. 

Lack of Expertise

Building a robust and effective embedded analytics solution requires expertise in data analytics, visualization, and software development, which may not be readily available within your organization. CTOs are often responsible for building a team of technology experts, but that doesn’t always translate into expertise in building products.

Technological Obsolescence

Technology evolves at a rapid pace, and solutions built in-house may quickly become outdated or incompatible with emerging technologies and standards. These solutions then require continual upgrades and sometimes complete overhauls, removing valuable resources and diverting focus from core business objectives.

Data Governance and Compliance

Ensuring proper data governance and compliance with evolving legal and industry regulations is a critical aspect of any analytics solution. Building a solution in-house requires a thorough understanding and implementation of data privacy laws, security protocols, and compliance standards, often requiring specialized legal and technical expertise.

Buying an Existing Embedded Solution 

We've heard the challenges associated with building an embedded analytics offering. Next, we'll explore the advantages of buying an existing solution.

Deliver a Modern Customer Data Experience

Providing self-service analytics within your existing product allows your customers to have a full range of experiences, from a prebuilt dashboard to the ability to create and share their own analyses. This level of customization differentiates your business from competitors, helping to retain your existing customer base, and attract new customers to your product. 

Accelerate your Time to Market and Reduce Development Costs

Where legacy BI and reporting tools are slow to deploy and cumbersome to maintain, interactive analytics can be embedded into your product in a few weeks. Modern analytics platforms offer no-code solutions, and iFrame embedding makes it fast and easy to deliver insights to your customers, saving your team development time. 

Increase Engagement

Offering your customers direct access to live data for ad-hoc exploration enables them to quickly filter and analyze huge datasets, uncover valuable insights, and confidently make better business decisions. Empowering your customers to self-serve not only increases their engagement on your platform–it also reduces the workload on your internal teams.

Performance at Cloud Scale

Modern analytics platforms have shifted from desktop tools and data extracts into cloud-based architecture that leverages the power of your underlying warehouse, providing unprecedented speed at scale. Not only can these platforms inherit existing security models, they also leverage your existing authentication workflows to ensure your customers have a seamless experience.

“It would have taken several days for a client to do these types of analyses, if they could do it at all. And, with Sigma we're able to provide the insights they need in just a couple of seconds. Sigma’s ability to tightly integrate with Snowflake coupled with high performance has been a game changer.” —Cary Sparrow, Founder & CEO at Greenwich.HR

Access to a Dedicated Support Team

Building an analytics solution requires hiring and retaining a dedicated internal team to resolve technical issues, provide best practices, or troubleshooting guidance.  Analytics platforms include day-to-day support with access to a team of experts to ensure success and minimize any operational downtime. 


Embedded analytics empower your customers with data-driven insights within your applications, products, or services. Not only will it provide a more valuable customer experience, but embedded analytics facilitate better user adoption and improve overall customer satisfaction. When done correctly, data-driven experiences that provide data with context enable your user base to make better, faster decisions and take immediate action—all from within their existing workflows.

Although the decision between building or buying an embedded analytics solution depends on your organization's specific needs, buying a pre-built solution offers a faster time to market, access to expertise and support, and proven scalability. 

Sigma’s holistic analytics solution can be embedded into your customer-facing application seamlessly and securely—without building it yourself. Where legacy BI and reporting tools are slow to deploy and cumbersome to maintain, Sigma’s self-service analytics can be embedded into your applications in as little as a few days. No-code analytics and iFrame embedding offer a seamless and efficient experience for your end-users, enhancing their interaction and trust in your application.

Try out Sigma’s embedded platform capabilities today. 

Sign up for a 7-day free trial →

Zalak Trivedi
Product Manager
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