“Without a doubt, leveraging advanced analytics presents a real and significant opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry,” reports McKinsey in a 2018 article. Pharmaceutical companies know this, they just don’t know how to achieve and quantify business impact beyond hiring the data scientists and investing in the IT infrastructure. McKinsey puts forth five key principles companies should follow for leveraging advanced analytics:
- Choose your analytics battleground and set a bold, quantifiable aspiration.
- Treat analytics as a new innovation capability, not a function.
- Recognize that analytics takes a village—and then mobilize one.
- When you don’t speak the same language, get a translator. (Or put more clearly, embed employees in your organization that can translate sophisticated analytical skills to non-technical decision-makers.)
- Look for the ROI before you leap into tech investments. (The sheer cost of some IT tools can make any analytics project tough to justify.)
PEX or process excellence network is a worldwide community formed “to provide information on continuous business improvement to our users.” Their article on the 6 Ways Pharma Companies are Using Big Data to Drive Innovation and Value is one of the most cogent and concise summaries of how pharma companies should be or are leveraging advanced analytics in their business.
Accelerate Drug Discovery and Development
Intelligently searching vast data sets of patents, scientific publications and clinical trials data will help accelerate the discovery of new drugs by enabling researchers to examine previous results of tests and gain insights into which avenues are likely to yield the best results.
Optimize the Efficacy of Clinical Trials
Through analysis of demographic and historical data identify the appropriate patients to participate in a trial. By taking into account even more factors, like genetic information, niche patient populations can be effectively identified to speed up and reduce costs of trials. Remote patient monitoring, reviewing previous clinical trial events and helping to identify potential side effects before they become a reality are all viable via more extensive data analytics.
Effectively Target Specific Patient Populations
With genomic sequencing, medical sensor data and electronic medical records more readily available than ever before, pharma companies are able to dig into the root causes of specific pathologies and come up with more targeted medications for patients that share common features.
Improve Drug Delivery, Effectiveness and Outcomes
Through better insight into patient behavior big pharma can leverage advanced analytics to design services targeted to different demographics or at risk patient groups in order to improve the efficacy of treatment.
Improve Safety and Risk Management
Signals coming from the analysis of unstructured data via social media, google searches and even you tube can act as early warning signs for pharma companies about product safety issues.
Insights into Marketing and Sales Performance
Probably the area where leveraging advanced analytics is the furthest along within the pharmaceutical industry, increased competition from generics is pushing this area to get even smarter about analyzing the effectiveness of sales and marketing programs.