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Harnessing big data — it’s challenging, but it can be done

Posted on February 12th, 2018 by in Pharma R&D

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Today’s big data has the power to drive innovation in ways that the pharmaceutical industry could previously only dream of. Yet harnessing that power comes with an equally sizable challenge: it will require an enormous shift in how research is performed.

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, the biggest challenge is “upgrading skill sets from those sufficient to analyze relatively small amounts of clinical trial data to those required to gain insights from the vast amount of real-world data, including unstructured data such as physicians’ notes, scans and images, and pathology reports.“ As we know, big data is messy. So, while the potential it holds is unprecedented, opportunity will remain out of reach until companies dramatically expand their capabilities. Big data can only be utilized once it’s been integrated and analyzed.

Integrating big data is much easier said than done; some companies have taken years to build even partial capability, while others are wary of the costly investment it requires, since there are still so few examples of peers generating value from it. And yet, according to an article from McKinsey, “applying big-data strategies to better inform decision making could generate up to $100 billion in value annually across the US health-care system.” So, it’s clear that no matter how long it takes — or how much investment is required — great rewards lay ahead for companies that succeed.

One company, Rubius Therapeutics, has already taken a number of steps in the right direction. They’ve found fast access to high quality scientific information — all from the same trusted source — and it’s already helped them push their innovative technology forward faster.

Read the case study to learn more.


All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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