Back in social's nascent days, a few PR agencies built early technology -- and rightly claimed their position as savvy and nimble in our new world. But ultimately, a flock of competitors didn't follow suit for a few reasons. Mostly, it proved difficult to generate viable revenue from these tools to justify pouring resources into their continuous development and user support. Now, there seems to be a "why reinvent the wheel?" approach with most firms white-labeling off-the-shelf technology rather than building their own. In fact, some - like the Willis Collaborative -- are exploring new business licenses with marketing tech providers with a view towards upgrading to a full buy if the prospect signs on. So somewhat surprisingly, at the Big Data: A Source of Competitive Advantage For Small (and Midsize) Agencies, every panelist  said they're taking a hybrid approach of building proprietary tools and cobbling together an assortment of off-the-shelf options. The session, part of the Independent Public Relations' Forum in Miami, included W2O, the Lift Group, Blue Rubicon and Exponent PR. The full session, below, also touches on the banality of vanity metrics, selling data-oriented services to clients and balancing data with creativity.