There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to building customer relationship management analytical tools internally instead of buying third- party software. However, Colin White, founder of DataBase Associates, told attendees June 20 at DCI’s Data Warehousing Conference & Exposition in Boston that their best bet for building a truly integrated platform is using a combination of both. If built internally, CRM analytical applications are more likely to match pre-existing technical and business requirements. But project will take longer to implement and will likely cost more. Likewise, software acquired from an outside vendor is potentially cheaper to install and may be based on industry "best practices." But integration can take longer. The key to a successful project is implementing a plan that accounts for internal staff expertise and buying outside software when needed. "The answer is building, buying and integrating," White says.

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