What Does Business Intelligence Really Mean?
“Business Intelligence,” or BI, isn’t one specific thing that can be put into one specific box. In fact, it can mean anything from a single open-source business intelligence software application to a customized corporate infrastructure to a suite of targeted business tools geared toward analysis of information and designed to aid decision-making and improve performance. For the life sciences industry, business intelligence is all about Big Data—the mountain of complex information (clinical, R & D, market, adverse event, sales) analyzed to provide actionable insights. Big Data is a potential treasure trove of cost savings, untapped efficiencies, and enhanced consumer understanding, but as Todd Skrinar, Principal in the Advisory Life Sciences Practice of Ernst & Young LLP, stated in an issue of Forbes BrandVoice: “While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to effectively harnessing and applying actionable knowledge from big data, there are three guiding principles that would benefit nearly every life sciences organization: 1. The organization must have a culture of analytics, 2. Analytics must be managed as a portfolio vs. discrete projects, and 3. Analytics efforts need a clear definition of the business questions that need to be answered.” Using this approach, pharmaceutical companies can effectively manage BI to circumvent an increasingly challenging regulatory environment, ever-more-complex reimbursement structures, and downward pressure on prices to improve their bottom lines. Learn more here.
Beyond the Pill
The array of complexities that accompany the average life sciences product launch (pharmaceutical or medical device) is staggering. Long before companies reach the launch stage, they have already invested huge amounts of both money and time. It isn’t enough anymore for companies to simply focus on product volume, to cast a wide net and hope their message finds the right customers. Nowadays, health insurance companies and government regulations emphasize value-based care and improved value-based care, which forces companies to engage with patients and ensure they’re using the new therapies to maximum advantage. To make it even more challenging, all the stakeholders use different channels to receive information, which demands that life sciences companies must develop a deep understanding of who their customers are and how to influence their behavior. Many of these valuable insights can be found on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, others through the savvy use of Google Analytics, still others in more traditional ways. The key to a successful product launch and life-cycle is the ability to access and analyze all this disparate data, identify trends, determine which marketing programs and sales initiatives resonate most with consumers—and act on the information. Many companies choose to seek out expert assistance with the process of data integration, aggregation, and analysis. A comprehensive, cloud-based solution can provide life sciences companies with a 360 degree view of sales and CRM data, sales and marketing performance metrics, market conditions and trends, patient-reported adverse event data, and more to help marketing executives craft successful strategies.
One life sciences company did just that, seeking out Liaison Solutions for assistance with analyzing their digital marketing campaign effectiveness and clickstream data using the Liaison web analytics tool. The challenge faced by this company was simple: they had too much data coming in from too many sources (Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, YouTube, etc.) and no cohesive way to aggregate and analyze it. Liaison consolidated all campaign metrics data from a variety of digital assets such as web sites, banner advertising and social media to enable the company to compare their effectiveness data with defined key performance indicators (KPIs) and make strategic decisions fueled by that business intelligence. Liaison’s solution retrieved data from the seven most popular web analytics providers and made it available to the customer via a client-facing dashboard, demonstrating just one way life sciences companies can benefit from Liaison’s services. Using that easily accessible detailed data, the client was then able to focus marketing dollars on initiatives that generated actual revenue, while reducing overall marketing dollars spent due to improved targeting of potential customers.
Next-Generation Data Integration
Business intelligence tools have proliferated in recent years, and it’s easy to understand how life sciences marketing executives will look to them to help hone in on their market. But regardless of the analytics tools being used, or the research being performed, the business intelligence derived has to come from good quality data delivered from all the right sources. Liaison’s ALLOY™ Platform for Healthcare makes that data part easy. Using a revolutionary approach to data integration and data management, top business intelligence tools or even predictive or prescriptive analytics tools can benefit from better data. Better data can improve the quality of care delivery, streamline pharmaceutical R&D, operations and boost sales outcomes as well.
Whether the challenge is connecting two application end points (such as medical device data and a patient’s Electronic Medical Record or EMR), pulling insights from a mass of sales data, or aggregating data with regulatory compliance and privacy standards in mind, Liaison’s ALLOY Platform has the answer. Liaison’s CEO, Bob Renner, spoke recently of launching the ALLOY Platform for Healthcare in Europe, but now more than ever, his words apply to the US market as well: “The… healthcare sector is in transition, and we recognize the growing demand for the sort of approach ALLOY represents. Data is the critical factor in creating tomorrow’s value-based healthcare, and we want to be the technology partner that enables this future together with our customers.”
Collaboration First—Translational Research
In the increasingly competitive life sciences environment, it is crucial to speed R & D, which is fueled by collaboration. One of the least heralded—but most interesting—aspects of business intelligence is that it encompasses tools that greatly facilitate life sciences research and the collaboration it requires. Life science professionals may believe reporting tools can only be used after-the-fact, to aggregate and analyze data from events that have already taken place. In truth, however, solutions that enable collaboration within and across disciplines and organizational boundaries pave the way for co-development, licensing, and joint venture. Liaison’s ALLOY Platform research and data analysis capabilities feature intuitive high-volume clinical and omics data import; robust processes for genomic analysis; comprehensive translational research tools; and connected access to public databases and reference data. The availability of this information makes bench-to-bedside discoveries more seamless than at any time before.
From Insights to Actions
For pharmaceutical companies, the adjustment to the rapid increase in data has posed a number of challenges. To cite just one example (and it’s one that has vexed the healthcare industry as well), the analysis of comprehensive EMR patient data collected during doctor or hospital visits provides an opportunity for life sciences companies to better understand diseases, treatment patterns, and clinical outcomes in an uncontrolled, real-world setting. These valuable insights complement those gained from clinical trials and can provide an opportunity to assess a broader range of patients, including those who are traditionally excluded from clinical trials (e.g., elderly, frail, or immobile patients, as well as people with rare, or “orphan,” diseases rarely studied in clinical trials). They also let life sciences companies evaluate real-world challenges that cannot be observed in a clinical trial, such as drug compliance and the utilization of healthcare resources. While these advances are generating great opportunities, they also pose resourcing and capability development challenges.
IMS Rx reports… market trend reports… patient EMRs… click through rates… genomic data warehouses… there has never been so much data available in any industry as there is in the life sciences industry today, and this accumulation of data has often outpaced our capacity to use it to improve operating efficiency, clinical quality, and financial effectiveness. The good news is that as this stream of data has become a flood, the data aggregation and analysis industry has rapidly formed and grown. The seemingly endless possibilities offered by “the cloud” have ushered in a new Golden Age of Data—and Liaison Technologies has the experience and expertise to be a trusted partner to its life sciences industry clients.
Are your data driving insights?