How does data discovery benefit pharmaceutical companies?

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Data has become the differentiator for pharmaceutical organisations - it's the fuel that powers business. Yet only 12% is useable, 23% is redundant, obsolete and trivial, and 65% is 'dark', lying forgotten and unused, yet potentially containing valuable information.

Watch Exonar CEO Danny Reeves in conversation with David McClelland, Life Sciences Knowledge Hub Presenter, to find out how Exonar's data discovery technology benefits pharmaceutical organisations, enabling them to find and use the valuable information they know they've got, as well as the data they didn't know they had. 

 

 

 

Haven't got time to watch? Read the transcript instead.

DAVID:

Tell me what Exonar is. I know it is a data discovery technology. How does it benefit pharmaceutical companies?

DANNY:

Firstly every company on earth today is a data company so they all need to understand what's in their data. The world has moved on to where data is not just a regulatory responsibility but its a moral one from a privacy point of view, but also from an ability to power their business, it's become more and more the differentiator. Every company suffers the same problem. If you think about it like a 'databerg', only 12% sits above the surface and is useable, 23% is redundant, obsolete and trivial, and 65% is 'dark', lying forgotten and unused, yet potentially containing valuable information. Pharmaceutical organisations are no exception to this rule. 

DAVID:

So how would you say the awareness of this is within the pharma industry? Do people 'get it' and make moves to make better use of the data or is there still a need to educate?

DANNY

There's definitely still a need to educate! There's an explosion in the understanding that this is a possibility - being able to see all of that 'berg'. 85% of the companies we talk to say they are daunted by that berg because they simply don't have the tools. The question of whether the tools exist has gone away but the education that takes place now is helping organisations understand how to use those tools, including data discovery, to best effect. There's so much data in a pharmaceutical organisation, in so many different parts of the business that's required across the organisation, that it can be seen as an unmanageable challenge. They all have policies and governance in place but the ability to get all that data visible, democratised, protected and useable is the big challenge. The education we are undertaking is less about whether the technology is available to do this, but more about how they would use it and how they would eat the elephant in bite size chunks.

DAVID:

We talk about the 3 Vs of data that address the challenges: Volume, Velocity and Variety, but it's the Value that's the important thing there. You mention the silos spread out, being able to connect that is one of the keys to unlocking the value. Is that how you see it?

DANNY:

Yes especially for those companies that are in research. The issue of silos and being able to connect them is one of the keys to unlocking the value. Especially in organisations in research, suffer from with all the very powerful tools and data science techniques and capabilities that reside these days, data gets downloaded and detached from structured databases, shared and used for lots of different purposes and not necessarily brought back into a central use. Those silos of data are not going away even regardless of how good a job data governance policies and programmes are, they are always there and always exist. In research, the ability to see all of the data associated with a particular programme or development is absolutely necessary and pharmaceuticals we work with today are recognising that bringing together those silos in cases where they wouldn't necessarily have known it was there, or where data was lost, through being part of a locked down, centralised data store, they are seeing the opportunity to bring those things back into play. 

DAVID:

Have you got an examples of projects you've worked on with pharmaceutical companies?

DANNY:

We are working with pharmaceutical companies where research data has got detached from the central store and we are helping them to bring that back centrally. We worked with a pharmaceutical recently that was involved in an intellectual property challenge. They needed to find conversations between people about a particular formula at a particular time in unstructured data. It was a massive challenge to intellectual property so there were legal people involved with all the time, cost and effort that goes into that. In less than two weeks we were able to find data that was over 10 yeas old, described as being 10 layers deep which was exactly what they needed to evidence. The lawyers were able to go bak to the source data and use that in court and were able to lock down that intellectual property challenge. They simply couldn't have done this previously and couldn't see a way of doing it.

Another direct example is pharmaceuticals today recognise the power of working in joint ventures with other organisations and research divisions. We are helping customers bring those data sets together, find similarities and connections between that data and also filter out all the stuff they don't need to bring together, that isn't relevant and useful for collaboration internally and externally.

DAVID:

Where is this evolving and where is the opportunity?

DANNY:

Where we see this heading next is that it's enabling organisations of scale and complexity to allow its people to focus on the job they are employed to do. We don't expect them to be data scientists or governance specialists but we can enable them to find information and data from research and bring it all together in ways that are faster and more effective and focus on enabling them to do what they do best without having to intervene. It's like democratising the data within the realm of the requirement. It's really about how we help pharmaceuticals collaborate to get best effect from the data in ways they haven't done before, and that's developing and evolving all the time.