Big data, Big Profits
“[Hiring] 2-3 analysts costs £250,000 over the year, but they’re adding a value of 1-2%, which is 15-20mln per year. That's for our size of business, but if you look at other players, it would be exponentially larger,” said Niall McConnell, Associate Director, Business Excellence at Celgene Ltd.
The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that applying big-data strategies to better inform decision making could generate up to $100 billion in value annually across the US health-care system, by optimizing innovation, improving the efficiency of research and clinical trials.
Without data you’re not able to quantify how you are doing.
What is analytics
Analytics is making sure that the various areas across the business have the information that they need in order to maximize the efficiency/value of what they're doing. That could mean supplying analytics and insight for sales, or information to people on the ground for other things that are going on inside their accounts to provide a unified front, or summarized statistical information for economists to build economic models, or medical with background for pipeline drugs opportunities, call centers, etc. Analytics is making sure you understand what the various departments need and what they want to achieve, and finding the best way to supply the information in what format in order to achieve that.
“I’m a strong advocate for not supplying generic information,” McConnell stressed. “Part of our job is making sure that the data is complete, available, robust, high quality, but once we have that it's going to the individual stakeholders who are actually going to use that information, what are you going to do with it? what do you hope to achieve business-wise? This is just about making it more efficient by suppling the most useful information.”
Logistics in customer service is an interesting example. “We took the data we had, created a database that covered all the customer interaction around logistics: issues people have with their stock, where its going what's happening with it. We allowed visibility across the team for it, so if someone started something, anyone can finish it. The system also provided [the team] with feedback reporting on level of performance, time to respond, information if the order has been completed, if the issue has been resolved, has the product got to its destination. Without it you're not able to quantify how you are doing, it's only 'it's good/it's bad', so now we can statistically say: look, these are the calls that come in, this is how we’re dealing with them, this is how long it takes to come in. If there's ever a complaint, we can say this is an isolated case, and here's the evidence to back that up.”
Where we are now
In traditional pharma terms, someone who does analytics or reporting of the business information would gather activity and sales data and produce that in reports down to a territory. That way, an individual person on the ground would know where they're going, whom they've been seeing, and might be involved with targeting and segmentation. All very sales-focused, and all important, but if you look at e.g. marketing and medical department there’s less tracking or reporting there, even though those departments are assessed on the same measure as the whole business is being assessed, which is the sales performance.
“There's so much more information around [marketing and medical] area that you could track and measure that massively enriches your sales forecasts and targets. As you do more other areas, you're enriching the core work you're already doing: what is marketing creating? where our medical liaisons going? You have to be really careful because marketing and medical can’t talk, so you can’t use that information in a detailed sense, but in a generic way we can include it in our forecasting."
There's so much more information around [marketing and medical] area that you could track and measure that massively enriches your sales forecasts and targets.
The real CRM
What pharma calls a CRM is a tool that allows them to capture where the sales teams are calling on, who they’re seeing, how many times, etc. But with analytics, you can do better.
“The tools that we generally call CRM tools are not geared up for an entire organization, they're geared up for sales. So we put in a product to run alongside that tool, which has all the same data and shares, so they transfer data back and forth, but we were able to provide that data to all areas of the business, marketing, medical, logistics, finance, HR, all have access to the same information, but they only get to see the view of it that they need to do their jobs,” McConnell shared.
“We're doing the basics, and we're doing them very well, and we're doing it across the organization instead of focusing on the key areas. As opposed to doing what we think we should be doing, we're engaging with our customers across the organization to make sure we deliver what they want, not what we think they want. What we’ve tried to do is create a group of people who can interface with the business and understand what the business is trying to do -- essentially partnering -- in order to improve the offerings that we're delivering with fantastic success,” McConnell concluded.
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