In this first of a two-part series blog, we highlight three of six reasons to choose an integrated end-to-end commercial data and analytics solution against siloed point-solutions. These solutions ensure scalable and sustainable success for Small and Medium Business (SMB) pharma.
“As big pharma struggles to discover new drugs under the dual pressures of faster speed and lower cost,
small pharma is stepping up with its entrepreneurial flexibility.”1
|In the US, SMBs are defined as “manufacturing companies with less than 500 employees, or non-manufacturing companies with sales less than $5M.”2 Similarly, Europe defines SMBs as “micro-entities of up to 10 employees, small companies of fewer than 50, or midsized enterprises up to 250, or those organizations with annual turnover under EUR 50 million.”1|
In a world where pharma market leaders envision improved patient lives, commercial success is critical to fuel the vision. Large and established pharma companies often set the fast pace of the life sciences’ ecosystem. To maintain this pace, they must ensure consistent product innovation, accelerated speed to market, and airtight commercial strategies for thorough market penetration. At the same time, discovering new drugs is often in the mix for achieving objectives at speed and lower cost. In contrast, small pharma companies have shouldered and succeeded in finding and launching products at speed.
Although, taking newly-approved drugs to market and following through with post-launch strategies can be daunting for SMBs, especially if it’s the first drug or even a new indication. These challenges arise from their small business teams, disjointed data infrastructure, and nascent analytics capabilities, unlike the more prominent pharma companies that have established mature systems. Sometimes, SMBs also succumb to short-sightedness by investing in highly siloed data and commercial analytics solutions that prove costly in the mid to long term. The inability to foresee future scalability exposes them to business compromises and sunken costs.
To begin with, most SMB pharma companies typically adopt one of these two approaches:
- The first approach focuses on putting together a “bare-bones” framework, which relies on ad-hoc data preparation to answer crucial business questions. Process efficiency is typically sidelined until later.
- The second approach resorts to building a collection of attractive but disjointed third-party point-solutions. They work independently with multiple agencies and data vendors.
Both these approaches are sub-optimal and severely compromise the ability to make the right and sustainable commercial decisions. SMBs lose control over pre-launch, launch, and the immediate post-launch cycles, each crucial for a drug’s success.
An integrated end-to-end commercial data and analytics solution is the best bet for SMB pharma companies. This solution eliminates the shortcomings of the approaches mentioned above; it also brings significant business efficiency and return on investment (ROI) opportunities.
This two-part blog series explores why an integrated end-to-end commercial data and analytics solution is the best bet by examining the following top six reasons.
- Integrated data management
- Customized reporting capabilities
- Self-serve commercial analytics and insights
- Faster go-to-market
- Airtight program governance
- Sustained flexibility and modularity
We will look at the top three reasons in this first blog.
INTEGRATED DATA MANAGEMENT
The ability to ingest, manage, analyze, and operationalize data from various internal and external sources is critical for commercial success. These necessary data steps also apply to SMBs because creating an end-to-end integrated solution is crucial to ensure unified analytics-ready data. An integrated technology software solution ensures business teams access all relevant data in one place instead of various siloed data pockets across the organization. Commercial decisions can be more holistic and well-informed, and business predictability more accurate.
Integrated solutions can significantly benefit SMBs with their end-to-end data management capabilities, including:
- Fully automated ingestion across various industry-standard data sources (e.g., prescriber, payer, patient, co-pay, marketing, trade, speaker programs, and internal) with vendors accomplishing fast data-onboarding and making vendor-switching a breeze. The right products are powered by hundreds of pre-built industry connectors and work smoothly with data variety, veracity, and volume. This feature brings efficiency to data cycle time and encourages prompt decision-making.
- Seamless data configuration and integration across business teams (such as medical, market access, and commercial) ensure transparent commercial planning and operations (such as field reporting, sales analytics, and marketing analytics) while keeping a consistent business objective in mind. This provides for better cross-functional collaboration for the successful launch of new drugs.
- Consistent, reliable, and business consumption-ready data is possible with an end-to-end data quality (DQ) module. A comprehensive DQ module can ensure trust in the data coming from various sources. Another advantage of a DQ module is a reduction in the in-house time commitment for vendor coordination and data inquiries from the field and other stakeholders. This is possible through built-in and automated business rules, data validation, processing, proactive anomaly detection, and data certification.
- Holistic customer Master Data Management (MDM) is one of the critical aspects of such solutions. As the SMBs’ universe grows beyond a smaller customer base, an MDM ensures future scalability along with seamless integration. A solution with built-in and light-weight MDM capabilities is an added advantage as it gives SMBs the flexibility to start scaled-down and then migrate to a full-fledged solution.
Customized Reporting analytics
Having the capability to create user-based reporting views can go a long way to make various decisions along a product’s commercial journey. For instance:
- Reports can be created for the field force to track performance and promotions.
- Executive-level dashboards can be created to track integrated sales, marketing, and payer reports at different geographic levels.
While good commercial data and analytics software provides a full range of reporting capabilities, a best-in-class solution offers the flexibility to modify your reports for relevant insights, making the information suitable for all business users. Additionally, business departments benefit from self-serve reporting and insights capabilities out-of-the-box, including field reporting, brand reporting, market access reporting, and customer and patient 360 views.
A pre-assembled library of industry-based key performance indicators (KPIs) can speed-up the report creation process. These KPIs can include critical performance metrics such as launch tracking, geography comparison, customer planning, market access, and patient insights.
SELF-SERVE COMMERCIAL ANALYTICS AND INSIGHTS
SMBs tend to lose out on some fundamental analyses and insights due to a small dedicated analytics team (or the absence thereof). Therefore, it is imperative to access a pre-configured analytics workbench that allows business users to build complex analytical models independently. Critical analyses, such as sales & brand analytics, payer analytics, forecasting, promotion effectiveness measurement, and segmentation & targeting, can be delivered based on use.
Search-based analytics capabilities help business users quickly find action-oriented answers to their questions without the need to be tech-savvy to use standard Business Intelligence (BI) tools. Such capabilities add to the workbench’s power of providing insights-on-the-fly and encourage citizen data scientists.
In Part 2 of this two-part series, read about the remaining three reasons for SMBs to implement an end-to-end commercial data and analytics platform to drive commercial success. These reasons will focus on overarching business benefits for the go-to-market strategy, program governance, and sustained flexibility and modularity.
- PerkinElmer Informatics’ “SMEs in Pharma and Biotech - Size Matters,” published online 2015 Dec 02, available at http://blog.cambridgesoft.com/post/2015/12/02/smes-in-pharma-and-biotech-size-matters.aspx
- G. Newton’s “The Role of Small- or Medium-Sized Enterprises in Drug Discovery,” published online 2007 Apr 11, available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7152157/