To Buy or To Build Your People Analytics Platform?

How should we evaluate the options of buying or building a PA platform?


Technology is essential to delivering people analytics value at scale and the ‘buy or build’ debate continues to consume many organizations. This paper breaks the debate down into some very useful frameworks (and a surprisingly effective analogy to cookies, believe it or not).

The paper includes a story of two hypothetical teams that are contemplating the buy or build options and looking to understand the value they will be able to generate for the business in each scenario.

A Story of Two Teams:

  • The 'Scrappy Geniuses' deliver valuable research and insights using data they gather and integrate through brute force. They are beloved, but now running out of capacity and determined that technology ('buy' or 'build') will help them scale up.
  • The 'Cathedral Builders' have been building a data warehouse for years and not delivering much to the HR or business teams. They have a new PA leader and need to decide to double down on the 'build' or switch over to a 'buy.'

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