Entity Resolution for ISVs: Build It or Buy It?
By Senzing, published November 17, 2022
Commercial software vendors looking to add high quality entity resolution capabilities to their applications or services can easily invest tens of millions of dollars, put in a decade of effort, and still not achieve competitive capabilities. We’ve seen companies with in-house development teams of 20, 50, even 100 people dedicated to building entity resolution algorithms. If you’ve tried it, you know it is not a trivial endeavor. Far from it. This is why a robust entity resolution solution for independent software vendors (ISVs) is critical.
Is there another option for independent software vendors (ISVs) that want to benefit from the competitive advantages that entity resolution offers? Until a few years ago, the answer was no. But, today, many companies are using the Senzing® entity resolution API to quickly add extremely accurate data matching and relationship detection capabilities to their commercial offerings. And they’re doing this in an extremely capital efficient way.
Integrating Senzing Entity Resolution is Fast and Easy
Depending on the scope and scale of your project, you can add Senzing entity resolution capabilities to your commercial software product in a few weeks. Even more complex entity resolution integration and deployment processes will only take a few months. Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
Just like many software vendors license third-party mobile communications, or payment processing capabilities – and easily add them to their commercial offerings – you can now add industrial strength entity resolution to your product or service. With the Senzing entity resolution for ISVs API, your customers will enjoy higher-quality results, you’ll gain an immediate competitive advantage, and your in-house development resources will be able to focus on other projects that further enhance your product’s core strengths.
Should you Build Entity Resolution In-House or Integrate Senzing Technology?
It depends. It might make sense to build it yourself if you’ve already started and made significant investments, you only need the “good enough” results your in-house technology is delivering, or you only have one or two people working on it. Otherwise, you should evaluate the significant cost reductions and benefits you’ll gain from using Senzing entity resolution. To name a few, you’re likely to get better matching results, greater scalability, lower latency, and the agility needed to quickly introduce new data sources, while realizing a rapid return on investment.
How much will it cost to build it yourself? We estimate, based on the 350+ person years our team has spent creating advanced entity resolution, that an organization might spend about $1 million building technology that includes 70 percent of the key features and capabilities found in a state-of-the-art solution, like Senzing. Getting to 80% may bring the cost to $5 million. Reaching 90% is likely to cost around $30 million and you still won’t be competitive.
Another approach is to simply embed Senzing entity resolution into your offering with a few API calls. This choice will cost you less, can be implemented much more quickly, and will deliver results that are almost always higher quality than you’ll get building it yourself. (We’ll provide more details in a future blog about the specific capabilities you’ll want to consider tackling if you decide to build entity resolution yourself. Stay tuned!)
The Bottom Line
Before Senzing introduced its entity resolution API, your only option may have been building these capabilities yourself. Why? There weren’t any easy and affordable ways to quickly add high-quality “off the shelf” entity resolution capabilities to your commercial offerings. But now, with Senzing software, in a couple of sprints and a few API calls, you can add advanced entity resolution capabilities faster and for much less than building it yourself. And the Senzing API is safe and secure – you deploy all logic and data locally in your environment and no data flows to Senzing, Inc.
In our opinion, the build-it-yourself approach to entity resolution just doesn’t make sense anymore. It is too expensive, takes too long, and is likely to deliver inferior results that make your products less competitive. With Senzing you’ll get a faster time to value, higher-quality results, and a lower total cost of ownership than any other entity resolution option. And you can try it yourself for free.
Schedule a call with a Senzing entity resolution expert to learn more about what we offer independent software vendors. We’ll sit down and discuss your product and entity resolution requirements. We’ll explain how Senzing entity resolution can help. If we don’t think we’re the right option for you, we’ll tell you that too.