Reltio, the enterprise data-driven applications and modern data management company, today released the findings of a new study that dramatically illustrates the life sciences industry’s move toward optimizing the use of data. Of the companies surveyed, 55% describe themselves as ‘very data-driven,’ with new product development and customer satisfaction cited as the top business priorities. However, the study—the only research effort dedicated to the priorities and use of data in across pharma, biotech and med device in life sciences—also underscores the need and potential for significant growth. While almost 70% of biotech and pharma companies say they’re now using data very effectively, only 30% of medical device companies consider themselves in this category.
“What this research clearly indicates is that while the discipline is evolving, it’s still far from mature,” said Ramon Chen, vice president of Marketing, Reltio. “Data is the lifeblood of life sciences and forward-thinking organizations fundamentally understand that every internal team, not just marketing, needs a comprehensive view across all information sources to help understand markets, drive revenue opportunities and reduce risk exposure through actionable, real-time predictive insights.”
As the survey demonstrates, more than 70% of data now comes from external sources, including third party providers, as well as public and social media feeds. When combined with internal data, the sheer volume necessitates infrastructure that can guarantee data reliability, in order to uncover relevant insights across datasets. Specifically, almost three-quarters of the respondents, 74%, are worried that their data is incomplete or missing, while 50% say that insights are not actionable. A surprising number, 28%, report that they still have siloed data despite having an existing master data management (MDM) solution. Interestingly only 4% have put any mission-critical data into a Big Data Lake or Hadoop, highlighting the complexity and skilled resources needed to create such environments, despite its growing popularity.
An Industry in Transition
“These numbers offer a sharp picture of where the life sciences industry is now with regard to the use of data, but it’s equally clear that this is a dynamic discipline—a year from now, there will be far more companies describing themselves as very data-driven,” said Eric Newmark, program director, IDC Health Insights. “Those that don’t are missing out on critical opportunities, and they do so at their own peril.”
Drilling down into the numbers, it’s clear that patient data is becoming increasingly critical. In fact, a significant majority, 71%, of those who rated new product development and product launch as a top business priority also cited the need for quality patient data. Meanwhile, those who rated customer satisfaction as a top business priority rated customer affiliation and interaction data as the most-needed data sets.
The survey highlights the different priorities of diverse industry segments. Specifically, the prioritized data needs of biotech and pharma include patient; market research; R&D and sales. Whereas for medical device manufacturers, the focus is on: customer interactions; sales; and market research.
Opportunities for Growth
One optimistic sign in the study is that companies are thinking beyond data quality. While reliable data is now expected as a foundation for data management and analytics, respondents also want to get a better idea of how business is affected by market and customer dynamics. Correspondingly, they want to identify and interact with key influencers, and gain a shared single view of an increasingly complex customer, which can consist of healthcare organizations (HCO) and healthcare professionals (HCP) as part of Integrated Delivery Networks (IDN). This in turn should lead to more effective collaboration on customer affiliations and hierarchies.
The Reltio survey concludes with the top areas of investment in the next 18 months. For biotech it’s MDM; Big Data & Analytics; and CRM. For pharmaceuticals, it’s Big Data & Analytics; Key Account Management (KAM); and MDM. Finally, for medical device manufacturers, the ranking is CRM; Big Data & Analytics; KAM; and MDM. While the priority order varies by industry segment, the same core needs are reflected in the responses.
Finally, the Reltio study offers a view into the purchasing processes followed by the different organizations. As the use of data has gained in importance throughout the enterprise, there has also been a corresponding shift in responsibilities related to technology acquisitions. When asked who makes the final software purchasing decision in the organization, 50% of the respondents say that IT and business make it jointly, 32% cite business, and 18% single out IT.
Reltio’s survey, named the “Data-driven Pulse of Life Sciences,” will be an annual study contrasting the industry’s data-driven evolution and progress. “We believe new data-driven applications will allow information to become more accessible across the enterprise. This will lead groups to be more agile, collaborate in real-time, ultimately sharing insights that lead to better outcomes,” said Chen. “This is clearly just the beginning, and the best is yet to come.”