John Terra
John Terra 25 June 2015
Categories Data & Analytics, Mobile

Building A Budget-Based Analytics Platform

Build an analytics platform cheaply, and reap the benefits of better-informed business strategies.

There are a lot of buzzwords out there today: Big Data! The Internet of Things! Analytics! VoIP! The Cloud! Problem is, some of those buzzwords can get pretty expensive if you want to implement them, and yet, if you want your company to keep pace with the competition and embrace the latest and greatest, you may find yourself having to drink the Kool-Aid, no matter how much a cup of it costs.

Take analytics, or to be more specific, an analytics platform. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? And certainly, it has some really great uses and will be a big help for your business, right? Alright then, so what is it, and how can you build one without breaking the bank?

You’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know.

Analytics Platform Defined
An analytics platform is a unified solution, bringing a number of tools together with a database engine, that takes large amounts of stored information and turns it into contextual analyzed data for the purposes of making informed decisions and cost-efficient policies. Users can take the analyzed information and use it to spot trends, check out sales figures, and a lot more.

A good analytic platform has three important elements: support for analytic database queries, support for analytic processes that aren’t queries, and solid integration between the first two elements.

Analytics On A Budget
Now that we see what an analytics platform is, and it’s clear that it has the potential to really help a company make smart, informed decisions, how do you build one inexpensively?

The best way to start on the way to a cost-efficient analytics platform is to look into one of the actual low-cost offerings out there. For instance, Woopra, Mine, and Yahoo! Web Analytics are three good candidates for inexpensive options. Some other names to keep in mind are BIME, Qlikview, and Jaspersoft.

Bear in mind, there’s a chance that many of these tools can’t do every little thing you want them to, so it would be prudent to take a few of the more versatile, low-cost solutions and have them working in tandem.

In fact, a prudent approach to building an effective analytics platform on a budget is to start off small, with just a single analytics tool, and add to it as your business reaps the benefits of better marketing decisions made as a result of better data.

Getting Someone Else To Do It
Sometimes, in the long run, it’s more cost-effective to have a professional take care of building your analytics platform, for pretty much the same reason that it’s usually smarter to have a contractor build your new deck rather than you tackling the job yourself (unless of course you happen to be a carpenter, in which case, go for it!).

As the article "Barbecue & Big Data: Dickey’s Journey into Analytics in the Cloud" points out, building a world-class analytics platform without shelling out big bucks is a common issue for mid-market companies that want to grow.

Fortunately, there a lot of companies out there in the business of analytics platform building, which means a field of competitors, and there’s nothing like competition to help the smart shopper find a good deal.

At the end of the day, it’s clear that any business that wants to create a sound business plan or sales strategy needs to have the most accurate data available, and analytics is the key. If you want to increase your knowledge on analytics, check out "5 Ways Google Analytics Can Help You To ’Growth Hack’ Your Business"

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