People Analytics Software: Build or Buy?

Most companies start their people reporting and analytics journey by building a few HR dashboards in BI tools such as Excel, Tableau, PowerBI, or Qlik. However, after initial success, it turns out that this approach is not sustainable. You require dedicated people analytics software to make lasting business impact.

Build or buy analysis visual

Build your own solution or buy dedicated software?

A typical sequence of events

😊 A positive start

The business is happy with new dashboards.

😅 New requests

Initial success leads to more and more requests.


😐 Request overload

Can you add more data? Can you expand visualization types? Can you adjust these models? Can you answer my ad-hoc queries faster? Can you ensure those employees have access to insights but not to salary metrics?

😔 The system can't keep up

Models become slower, logic starts to break, data privacy is at risk, waiting times on queries increase, people reporting and analytics teams get over-asked, adoption decreases.

Is your current solution future proof? Questions to ask:


  • Is the solution fast enough to handle 10x more active users, as more and more data is added?
  • Is the infrastructure and data model ready to perform more advanced analytics and run AI models?


  • Will the solution deliver on the growing list of feature requests and support tickets from the business?
  • Are there sufficient IT resources allocated to support HR Technology needs?


  • Can you take responsibility on data compliance and security to (internal / external) auditors?
  • Can you ensure that the results in analytics and reporting are accurate, also in edge cases?


  • Will there be a continuity risk in deliver to the users in case critical team members leave?
  • Is there proper version control and are back-ups in place as operational safeguard?

People Analytics at scale requires moving from Project to Product.

BI consultants and data scientists are good at building models, but you need different skills and competencies to bring these models to production and get ROI: architects, infrastructure specialists, dev ops, quality control, engineers, UI/UX, product managers and adoption specialists.

This is exactly why Crunchr was founded. Crunchr has all those specialists in-house and they have designed the most robust and intuitive software to productize people analytics.

BI tools are great for visualizing data, but they do not allow you to scale your people insights.

Customers choose Crunchr because they want us to take care of technology, performance and compliance. So that they can focus on human capital insights and the business impact those insights can bring.

Build vs. buy comparison

Costs | Build

Labor costs for building and maintaining reporting and analytics capabilities. Infrastructure costs, BI tooling costs and data warehouse costs.

Costs | Buy

Crunchr’s subscription costs are a fraction of this.

HR Expertise | Build


HR Expertise | Buy

Specifically designed for HR. Dedicated built-in modules across all HR domains.

Time to value | Build

1 to 2 years

Time to value | Buy

4 to 6 weeks

Organizing data | Build

Manually consolidate and validate all available HR data into one database.

Organizing data | Buy

All your people data consolidated in the Crunchr data lake.

Development | Build

Manually setup business rules/logic and develop a user friendly interface.

Development | Buy

Best-in-class software and UX comes out-of-the-box.

Maintenance & Performance | Build

With many users and lots of data, speed and performance are impacted. This also requires continuous infrastructure maintenance.

Maintenance & Performance | Buy

Robust infrastructure and no downtime. Additionally, no need to worry about maintenance.

GDPR & Security | Build

Impossible to design robust authorization & security layers to comply with rules on “who can see what”. No audit trails.

GDPR & Security | Buy

Enterprise-graded security model. Advanced authorization layers to meet GDPR requirements. Audit logs.

Data quality | Build

Manually test data quality while uploading files in the database. Risk of inconsistencies.

Data quality | Buy

Automated data feed. Autocorrect algorithms in place. Data quality monitor.

Metrics | Build

Manually load in relevant data, create correct formulas and choose visualizations.

Metrics | Buy

All meaningful metrics and visualizations come out-of-the-box.

Drill-down possibilities | Build

Little flexibility in drilling down – each follow-up query must be modelled separately.

Drill-down possibilities | Buy

Slide & dice your organization in every way possible and even drill-down to team and individual level (provided a user has the appropriate authorization).

People Analytics Innovation | Build

No people analytics expertise or innovation included. You should drive innovation yourself.

People Analytics Innovation | Buy

New functionality released every other week and made available to all customers.

Scalability | Build

BI specialists get overloaded by queries & follow-up questions. Impossible to scale.

Scalability | Buy

All HR insights in one flexible platform for self-service analytics. People Analytics for Everyone.

Adoption (Culture) | Build

No built-in decision support or adoption program.

Adoption (Culture) | Buy

Crunchr provides in-app question-based guidance for analyses. It also includes an integrated online learning environment (help portal, product tours, videos) and a tailor-made data upskilling program.

Teaming up with Crunchr allowed us to scale up our HR business support at a higher speed and focus on change management and upskilling of our HR community, instead of the technical development of a tool.
Maaike van Beijnen
Global Head of HR Analytics, AkzoNobel

Great companies trust Crunchr

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Let Crunchr's People Analytics Software empower you to take better people decisions.