While shopping online in the past few weeks, I personally experienced the business value of data and analytics when the Amazon product recommendations included two additional items that I ultimately decided to purchase. It’s pretty impressive when the recommendations are so accurate. This is a real-world example of the potential competitive advantage organizations can gain from applying data and analytics to increase sales revenue.
Big data can equal big opportunity for pharmaceutical sales and marketing as well. There is a lot a data available for analysis in pharma sales and marketing today, and important new data sources are growing at a rapid rate.
Data rich, insight poor?
With all that pharmaceutical sales and marketing data available for analysis, one major challenge is bringing together the many available data sources, and then preparing that data for analysis. This need to integrate data sources is causing many pharmaceutical companies to be data rich, but insight poor.
And data volumes are increasing. Many companies are using data sources such as prescription data, CRM data, longitudinal patient data and managed care data. Some additional data sources that can provide key insights in pharmaceutical sales and marketing include:
- Social media.
- Digital marketing.
- Claims databases.
- Co-pay card consumer fill data.
The volume and complexity of all this available data is starting to overwhelm traditional approaches. Especially when business units request important, yet difficult, analyses that require the integration of marketing tactics with sales efforts.
Making the organizational commitment to harness available data sources for analysis can certainly give sales and marketing new insights. But sometimes, it may not be obvious what insights are possible. For example, health outcomes research and social media analytics are potentially rich sources of insights that perhaps were not previously investigated.
Health outcomes research
One big opportunity is to better quantify health outcomes in order to prove the value of medicines to health care professionals and payers. Today’s health care market demands evidence from health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) studies to inform payer and health care decision making. The ability to quickly explore and visualize real-world data sources is critical to decisions about treatment regimens, pricing, reimbursement and formulary access. Outcomes research can also identify any patient populations where your treatment can show a competitive advantage.
Separating truth from fiction in social media
A second big opportunity is to score internet sources and social media content to separate truth from fiction. The amount of information electronically available through social media channels about health care, pharmaceuticals and medical devices is staggering. But how much of this information is valid or truthful? How much is inaccurate or biased? What if you could use analytics to find the truth in social media channels?
Analytical methods can apply a “veracity score” to data that’s been collected and prepared for analysis from a variety of internet sources, including social media. The “veracity score” is in context of the source data (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, blog/comment, product reviews, etc.), and reflects a measure of confidence associated with the specific data collected.
The big opportunity
These are just two examples of different types of insights available to your organization by taking advantage of all your available data. Of course, you probably can find more. What Is Big Data? can get you started on finding your big opportunities from big data.