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Better insights come from better evidence

With the current data overload, it is critical that marketers have data literacy

EY Berna Demiray and Marshall PillayOver the last few years, healthcare has moved towards an outcome-driven and patient-centric ecosystem. This era is driving patients, payers and healthcare providers to become super-consumers, with pharmaceutical companies needing to create real information evidence from all the data that they have at their disposal. However, with the exponential proliferation of digital data and the increasingly fragmented nature of enterprise systems, organisations everywhere are suffering from data chaos.

Research indicates that 77% of companies that are good with data also lead in financial performance. In Life Sciences we have seen typical analytics programmes reinvent themselves on 18-24 month cycles that are driven by the excitement of new data and/or the challenges in understanding and analysing the information. In fact at least 75% of initiatives over the last three years have failed.

Gaining better feedback 
So what are the six elements that would enable marketers to consistently ask better questions, achieve better answers and get an A*?

Awareness: bringing marketing and IT departments together at early stages of planning enables a better understanding of what is required to ensure that the organisation's analytics management systems are fit-for-purpose and high impact.

Arrangement: ensure that there are people, processes and platforms in place at the beginning to start sourcing, capturing, transforming and enabling data for the programme. Build for scale from the beginning and make sure that the governance is there from the start. Failure to prepare properly will set you back 18 months when you start asking questions about the data.

Acceleration: broaden your data remit as soon as you can. The markets and franchises will each have their unique stance on data: its quality, format, provider, schedule, etc. Limiting the range and breadth of data from the beginning will reduce the programme's credibility to scale, and will lose countries to their own process and platforms in this fast-changing environment. Organisations need to have the ability to integrate agnostically.

Access: everyone should have controlled access to their own and shared data as soon as possible. Early access to the data drives upfront quality processes from the source and makes the data fit to consume. Lack of access drives fragmentation, and this in turn will drive local solutions and investment.

Asset: start treating data as an asset, a commodity, and not as an overhead. Reusing single sources of data across the organisation not only drives efficiency and quality, it also reduces confrontation on numbers and increases the data's value. By approaching data as a resource, just like you would a team of people, you will see areas in which to invest, address areas of duplication and prepare for the future.

Adaptability: having the organisational mindset of 'Optimise in Market' and embedding a continuous learning culture. The quality of the data and analysis will improve over time and programmes are often halted early when initial expectations aren't met. Everybody needs to have the goal of improvement and setting up an infrastructure that allows iterative process facilitates better refinement of the data management by optimising in market.

These six A's will enable marketers to have 'data literacy' which is critical to them being able to ask and answer better questions.

Improving data literacy
The good news is that the data literacy process can be a self-fulfilling business case in itself. On average for every $1 a company spends on data, it spends between $4-$6 using that data. Imagine the budget of misusing $500K worth of data because it is not trusted, held in duplication with a variety of quality controls in different silos, each with their own invested programme and team.

However, even with the advancement of technology in terms of cost and access, many organisations simply aren't moving fast enough to keep up. This increasing opportunity to achieve better commercial outcomes and financial savings can be achieved by aligning the commercial and data strategy across the organisation to optimise data spend and analytics to deliver significant value. Once this has been achieved, life sciences and healthcare organisations have the opportunity to drive true patient-centricity that drives outcomes and delivers success, as well as delivering 15% savings on data spend.

By delivering an effective literacy programme now, pharmaceutical companies can reap both insight benefits and save costs. Early adopters of this approach will have a strategic advantage that differentiates them from their peers because they can see both the better questions and get the better answers. Patient-centricity and enterprise transformation powered by analytics is a reality, but only for those who are ready.

Marshall Pillay is a director and Berna Demiray is a senior consultant in Life Sciences at EY

In association with EY

1st April 2016

From: Sales

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