Business Intelligence in Pharma


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Business Intelligence (BI) in Pharmaceuticals - An aid in informed decision making

Currently, the demand for BI solutions is largely driven by MNCs & large enterprises. BI solutions seem to have gained more acceptance and significance in pharma industry where time plays a pivotal role in the future of the company. The article from Modern Pharmaceuticals, reviews the importance of BI solutions to the
Indian pharma industry.

- Sanjay Mehta, CEO, MAIA Intelligence Pvt. Ltd.

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Business Intelligence in Pharma

  1. 1. S MART S OLUTI O NS Business intelligence in pharma An aid in informed decision makingCurrently, the demand for BI solutions is largely driven by MNCs & large enterprises. BI solutionsseem to have gained more acceptance and significance in pharma industry where time plays apivotal role in the future of the company. The article reviews the importance of BI solutions to theIndian pharma industry. An allocation of assets & resources relating to new product development, the mix and priority of sales & marketing initiatives are important. The vertical structure of organisation around product or therapeutic-specific silos has fostered the creation of multiple, disparate data sources and formats – islands of data. Real-time business activity monitoring across brands and functional departments require that these data be integrated into a single repository, which represents a significant challenge to the pharma industry. Further, the need for transparency has also impacted the way pharma CXO’s think about their particular business processes and continued heightened regulatory environment. BI for pharma companies has now become what Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is for Courtesy: manufacturers. Thus, it is difficult to keep track of important Sanjay Mehta information. For the pharma industry, BI offers a Management Information Systems (MIS) reports, s market pressures demand data analysis and allows them to monitor the vast increased innovation and shorter amounts of data. time-to-market product lifecycles, The availability of these patient-centric pharmaceutical companies need data, combined with the need to address the to re-think and evaluate alternative business decreased effectiveness of traditional promotions, models, focussing on technologies like Business has made pharma companies aware of the need Intelligence (BI) tools. to integrate information coming from both With the heightened competitive internal and external sources. BI solutions are environment among the new entrants in the being embraced as a means to translate and pharma industry, pharma companies need to interpret this information in support of strategic use all the tools at their disposal to operate more & tactical business decisions. efficiently, increase revenue and re-balance the In an increasingly competitive market, decision-making power. In order to build a pharma companies can utilise BI for growth by significant marketshare in an expanding and improving product development, enhancing competitive drug market, pharma companies go-to-market strategies, increasing operational need information management solutions that performance, optimising their supply chains, allow them to make better business decisions, regulatory compliance and driving revenue thereby maintain revenue growth. & marketshare.90 Modern Pharmaceuticals November 2010
  2. 2. S MA RT S OLUTIO NS Again, BI can provide critical data Sales & marketing analysis Penetration, adoption &analysis to pharma companies in order to BI allows companies to identify importance of BI in Indiansupport informed, strategic action. Data products that are most profitable, marketsacross functional departments can be monitor consumer behaviour in BI represents significant market opportunityintegrated, providing context for critical terms of prescription renewal & in terms of market size, mainly becausebusiness decisions. Thus, BI gives a true product purchases, track the success they comprise large organisations. Theseenterprise view across our value chain. of marketing campaigns, and analyse companies accumulate vast amount Enterprise-wide BI can integrate profitability by product, customer, of data through global discoveryand co-ordinate data from R&D, sales geographical area or other factors. As projects, numerous clinical trials and& marketing, with critical external part of their ongoing analysis of the cost-marketing activities. These factorsdata vital to real-time adjustments to market and competitive landscape create a more pronounced and immediateresources & priorities. Internal data, of the industry, pharma companies need for BI tools across the product lifecycleincluding information from product can regularly track the marketshare in the pharma sector. As a result, a growingdevelopment, territory management of individual drugs & drug groups. number of companies are turning towardssystems, sales force automation tools Companies can do this by considering enterprise-class BI solutions that provide aand consumer direct marketing can be the following: common underlying architecture & end-userexamined across brands rather than v Analyse the prescription activity in a interface and integrate data from differentwithin specific product areas. Thus, geographic region laboratories, both research & clinical.BI helps decision makers make more v Dissect buying trends of the largest The maturity of BI adoption can bestinformed decisions and supplies users customers be seen with the new economy companies,with critical business information on v Provide web-based analytics to a including those in the pharma sector.their customers or partners, including sales force Currently, many pharma companies haveinformation on behaviours & trends. v Target physicians having high deployed & stabilised ERP/CRM/SCM/HRM Furthermore, BI allows the comparison prescription rates of a certain or core business (transactional) applicationsand review of past performances, in drug or treatment with new and are thus looking for a tool that canaddition to looking forward with different drug information leverage the IT investment in these packaged‘what if’ models, where the user can Some of the companies who have applications. We are seeing great interestmanipulate the data. implemented BI software solutions from verticals, such as pharma companies, to Again, BI enables a clear understanding are Wanbury Ltd and Glenmark adopt BI for increasing their competitivenessof business, which is crucial. There is a Pharmaceuticals Ltd. MAIA Intelligence & transparency. In India, there is a generalneed for an instant view of current sales has entered into a partnership and awareness on the theory and concept ofagainst budget or break-even, and a view strategic alliance with ERP vendors BI. They are spearheading BI adoption byof administrative tasks that negatively like Soham for its Pharma Suite and going in for separate BI units within theaffect cash flow, including improper other consulting partners like Religare organisation to provide the ‘right’ producttracking of running items, drug returns for Technova to jointly offer this BI solution to the ‘right’ customer and at the ‘right’expired ones & timely replacement orders, specifically for the pharma industry. time & price. This industry is one of the earlytracking timely utilisation of materials to There are many other small - to adopters of BI in India. Currently, the demandavoid expiry, etc. medium-scale pharma organisations for BI solutions is largely driven by MNCs & that use 1KEY BI, which has been Courtesy: businessintelligencebi.comCustomer analysis bundled with their ERP. Most SmallBI can help to identify & target and Medium Businesses (SMBs) againindividuals and demographics that look for a value proposition aroundcould be considered ‘undiagnosed’, three aspects – whether the solutionwith educational campaigns whose is easy-to-buy, easy-to-use and easy-to-goal is to encourage these individuals install & get screened and tested for possible Further, BI helps them build reportsissues. It can also combine product that compare trade in particular monthssales information with customer groups with that in previous years, and alland customer channel information this analysis is available to the topto analyse what makes customers fill management. In today’s competitiveprescriptions at a more consistent rate market – whether SMB or enterprise –or what makes physicians prescribe customers are demanding better qualitycertain drugs at a higher rate. of service at lower prices. November 2010 Modern Pharmaceuticals 91
  3. 3. S MART S OLUTI O NSlarge enterprises. BI solutions seem to have economic slowdown. The overall BI Product analysis: BI analyses buyinggained more acceptance and significance in market in India is at a nascent stage, tendencies and treatment outcomes topharma industry where time plays a pivotal with a huge untapped opportunity for create more drug & product variationsrole in the future of the company. vendors to capture. BI can deliver on tailored directly towards different age Return on Investment (ROI): ROI on this promise if deployed successfully groups and risk factors.BI is high and fast. An example of Human because it can improve decision making Supply chain analysis: It improvesResources (HR) analytics can be considered and operational efficiency, which in turn production schedules by analysing whichhere. HR department, equipped with the drives the top line and the bottomline.As products stay on the shelves for the longestfacts & analysis, can plan and take the per NASSCOM ZINNOV INDIA Software time and how well each product is selling.necessary action. This is just one area Product Business Study report, BI is on the Regulatory compliance: BI’swithin an HR domain. Likewise, BI can third opportunity priority list for Indian analytical and reporting capabilitieshelp any pharma organisation for ad-hoc software product companies. allow companies to gather & integratereporting, dynamic MIS thus enabling cost- information from across the enterprisesavings, and increasing revenue. Hence, a and present it in easy-to-run &high rate of ROI happens quickly on BI. Some of the companies easy-to-understand reports. Pharma Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): who have implemented companies, besides conforming withContrary to the traditional BI (MNC), BI software drug testing and health certificationoperational BI leaders like MAIA norms, can comply with the often rigidIntelligence’s 1KEY have low TCO, solutions are insurance and government standards forconsidering the Enterprise License Cost, Wanbury Ltd payment and billing with BI.IT-user involvement during deployment, and Glenmark Clinical data analysis: BI’s analyticalIT-user involvement for support, capabilities enable companies toimplementation, training and overall Pharmaceuticals Ltd. track the large amounts of informationbusiness value delivered. Implementation from clinical trials, identify the mostof 1KEY happens as fast as within two days efficient practices, and optimise resourceand business users are trained in just few Visible trends for further allocation. By integrating data fromhours. Hence, the TCO is low in case of BI development of BI multiple sources, BI also helps companiestools like 1KEY. We are now looking forward to new identify trends & anomalies and analyse Based on Gartner research, only technology wave of Rich Internet risk during product development30 per cent of companies that have Applications (RIA)-based BI. Business users & launch.deployed BI consider their deployments have no experience of such an intuitive Financial analysis: BI integrates‘very successful’ – the vast majority is Graphical User Interface (GUI). We are both financial & operational information,labelled ‘somewhat successful’. releasing in coming months 1KEY Touch enabling companies to monitor and Moreover, most existing BI players Dashboard based on RIA platform. We forecast financial performance as well as(traditional BI) are primarily focussed have rolled out with couple of guinea produce statutory financial reports fromon Strategic BI alone. These tools pig customer for initial feedback. We the same platform that enables clinicalare expensive and used by only top want our customers to develop a deeper, data & quality control and the remaining longer commitment with our brands even Operational analysis: BI enables85 per cent of business user pyramid if they are priced the lowest in the market. companies to track their supplier networks,is deprived of a BI for MIS, analysis and Emotional customers are those who care, inventory stocks, product quality andmonitoring or gauging performances, share their views with the world, pay a production levels. In addition, BI’s abilitywhich, if provided, can help them gain premium for the products and stay for the to simultaneously analyse informationvisibility into the business. long run. In fact, they are often the most from multiple sources allows companies BI Market: There is still scope for profitable customers for a company. to monitor costs and operational efficiencygrowth in the BI market. It has penetrated Simply put, BI is definitely a space across the enterprise, examine employeeonly 10-15 per cent of the known user to look forward in coming quarters. productivity and allocate resourcesbase, but there is opportunity for BI well IInnovation in technology and delivery more effectively.beyond today’s known markets. model disruptions have made BI software Gartner Report ‘Hype Cycle for ICT in more accessible to a larger customer base. Sanjay Mehta, is ChiefIndia 2008’, expects BI market in India BI will be an integral part of the Executive Officer atto reach $46.8 million by 2012. India is software bond that binds relevant MAIA Intelligence Pvt Ltd.a huge market for BI and is fast growing information to intelligent decisions across Email: sanjaymehta@maia-with double-digit figures even in this organisations. 92 Modern Pharmaceuticals November 2010