One of the biggest decisions a CTO will make is whether he should build and track his or her own analytics program or user a third party provider.
Sunil Thomas, CEO for CleverTap recently answered a question on his Quora channel addressing why a company might integrate CleverTap or another provider instead of building their own suite of analytics tools.
Just like the web or a database server, creating an Analytics Server is a professional job and best left to people who will focus on it and keep progressing the solution ahead with the latest analytics, business intelligence, segmentation and visualization trends.
Of course, there are a variety of mobile analytics and engagement platforms to choose from, including CleverTap which combines the best of user analytics and engagement in a single cost effective solution. Also, allows you to the user the power of data for behavioral segmentation and in-app messaging.
Specifically, there are three primary reasons that you should NOT internally build an Analytics Solution:
1) It is a daunting task to build, and even harder to maintain and run your own Analytics Server.
- These projects start with a large fanfare in the beginning – everyone gets excited but as time goes by three months, six months you get to a state where it starts bugging everyone internally.
- Engineers on the project get bogged down with the expectations of scale; lack of proper specifications interactive responses to ad-hoc queries and growing feature expectations for data organization as well as visualization.
- Management starts getting disappointed at a speed of execution and unrealized expectations.
2) It takes away focus (and resources) from your business
Even if you get over #1 above and decide to move on; it will mean putting your best engineering resources on this project. This means not having them available to solve your core business problems — you should be thinking about that choice hard!
Before CleverTap, Sunil Thomas was a CTO for eight years at other high tech companies and he has seen this happen internally multiple times — and he strongly recommend against building your own custom tracking and analytics platform unless you have reasons where you can consciously make the decision to take it on, despite the two reasons above.