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PharmaLive Agenda 2016: Bigger, Better, Faster, More

Please go to http://www.pharmalive.com/special-feature-agenda-2016-bigger-better-faster-more/ for the full article.

Written by: Andrew Humphreys | andrew.humphreys@medadnews.com 

Or, why 2016 might look a little different than 2015 for pharmaceutical marketers.

Based on the early returns, 2016 is looking like the supersize version of 2015 for pharma marketers, with a whole lot more of everything. With the presidential election just eight months away, the candidates are certainly talking more, presenting a smorgasboard of health care policies with potential impact that remains to be seen. Drug pricing, an issue that’s been lurking inside the health care debate for a long time, has become much more prominent thanks to a few high-profile products and price jumps. Big data just keeps getting bigger, and marketers are beginning to find ways to convert it into actionable intelligence. Due to rising expectations from clients, marketing agencies are being forced to do more and know more about more. Biosimilars are about to present one more headache to innovator brand managers already fed up with traditional small molecule generics. And the rising tide of technology means more new media – wearables in particular – are becoming a part of the lives of more patients. For more about all this, read on.

But before big data can achieve anything close to its potential, its users have plenty of basic challenges to work through. “As data volumes continue to increase, companies are struggling both with the collection and storage of this information as an initial concern,” says Ramon Chen, chief marketing officer, Reltio. “Many are looking to data lakes, and the continued use of open source technologies such as Hadoop in an effort to house this data and process it at scale. Meanwhile sales and marketing teams need relevant, targeted insights that are personalized to their business objectives. They have a variety of legacy applications (CRM, Marketing Automation etc.) that are unable to store and manage big data, and are already struggling to identify and correlate information across these siloed systems.”

According to Chen, the new year will bring an increased emphasis on bringing all this data together, making it reliable and helping frontline business users make sense of it all. “This goes beyond IT projects using the latest open source technologies, data scientists exploring large data sets, and even BI visualizations for self-service,” Chen says. “It’s about a fully integrated and cohesive set of data-driven applications that can truly help business users on an ongoing basis. This is what is needed for all of this new data to contribute meaningfully towards better marketing of drugs.”

“Integrated” is the key word here – in order to best take advantage of big data, companies will have to find ways to unify their various data pools.

And the tools to achieve this are already at hand. “Modern data management platforms are now available that bring together and make data reliable across all sources, in any variety at scale,” Chen says. “These platforms are no longer standalone, with IT managing data and then distributing it to legacy applications.

A new breed of data-driven applications with the capabilities and ease-of-use of consumer products such as LinkedIn and Facebook, are now available across any use case and function within a life sciences organization. These applications deliver a personalized set of relevant insights that help the business user achieve their goals by using machine learning capabilities to recommend the right course of action to ensure better outcomes. Because these are applications, and not just reports, any activities taken and feedback provided around the data they use is shared for continuous refinement, benefiting everyone across the enterprise.

The ability to use the right data, to address the right problem, by role and goals of user, and to have the data be augmented and refined in concert is an unprecedented innovation that will alter the competitive advantage of every company that adopts this new technology.”