Pharma data management: Revealing breakthroughs that lie in darkness

Jennifer Sexton , Director/CAS Custom Services

Abstract circular data tunnel

Data-rich, information-poor: The reversible curse of the pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry generates and retains abundant scientific and business information, from pre-clinical studies to sales. However, these documents are typically held in siloed sources and lead to substantial annual storage expenses, encompassing about 52% of a business’ storage budget .

Unaware of this dark data or how to maximize its potential, companies inevitably fall into the “data-rich, information-poor” or “DRIP” situation . This concept describes organizations with significant amounts of data but no processes to produce valuable information and gain a competitive advantage.

Thanks to the rise of digitalization, companies can implement advanced organizational tools that help them stop generating dark data and effectively transform currently latent information into evidence-based insights. However, cleaning, organizing, and exploiting massive data can become overwhelming. Engaging with an outside data expert offers a tailored, step-by-step approach to pharmaceutical companies ready to bring their knowledge management system to the next level.

Digitize and harmonize: Bringing structure to the dark data chaos

Pharma companies can retrieve and use dark data to direct R&D investment, optimize formulations, identify production bottlenecks, and assess quality systems and controls. However, the Nature article “Scientists losing data at a rapid rate” estimated that about 80% of scientific data becomes unavailable in 20 years or less, making proper information retrieval perilous.

Building up in binders, drawers, and unsecured virtual platforms, dark data can take many forms which are often disconnected. As years go by and teams evolve, a company’s knowledge can quickly become scattered and hard to retrieve. By digitizing your legacy documents and collecting all the information in a single knowledge management platform, you can increase data retrieval efficiency, reduce resource allocation towards data management tasks, and improve experience sharing within your organization.

A clear benefit is demonstrated through the launch of Pistoia Alliance Chemical Safety Library , which facilitates information sharing between scientists to improve laboratory safety.

Expertise can help digitize and harmonize data
Transforming latent data into searchable and exploitable assets requires expertise to perform proper document digitization, reliable quality checks, and safe integration into your company’s ecosystem. A good outside partner understands and masters every component to help create a unique data collection tailored to your need.

From abandoned drug development to market successes, your company’s past overflows with valuable lessons. By structuring and harmonizing this dark data, a data partner can help you transform latent information into evidence-based insights with endless opportunities for innovation.

Benefits of a data management partnership:

  • Properly digitized physical documents, including scientific articles, reports, lab journals, images, and videos into digital formats.
  • Harmonized digital content with consistent terminologies, abbreviations, and formats.
  • Confirmed data quality, accuracy, and integrity to ensure robust foundations for your knowledge management platform.
  • Custom designed search tools to improve data accessibility and retrieval.
  • Ensured long-term data maintenance and management by implementing tailored acquisition strategies.

Analyze and optimize: Finding patterns and opportunities in your data

Dusting off dark data and structuring your knowledge management platform can greatly extend your company’s value. By analyzing massive datasets, companies can identify previously unseen trends. Uncovering patterns in previous discovery R&D, formulation data, or manufacturing methods can significantly save time, improve processes across your value chain, and support critical business decisions.

A digital transformation effort of highlights how pharma companies can optimize the success of their unique internal platforms, databases, and workflows through the integration of quality curated data and technology. Through this initiative, updated its proprietary database to fuel its drug delivery AI engine, with an expected 70% reduction in resources allocated to molecular data acquisition and preparation.

As your knowledge management platform grows in accuracy and value, your team can confidently identify trends and start working toward their next discovery. Uncovering patterns becomes easier, quicker, and more rewarding.

How an outside partner can help pharma improve data analysis and insight generation
An outside partner will be an expert at designing comprehensive, fully-functional data platforms to offer companies a complete view of their data landscape. By teaming up with a data expert, pharmaceutical businesses can:

  • Establish a data foundation for analytics and insights with strong frameworks and data integrity.
  • Identify knowledge gaps and project opportunities to fill them.
  • Get support with data visualization and analytics to uncover patterns and trends.
  • Expand and supplement their internal data with additional content.

Connect and Innovate: Get the right information to the right people

Pharma companies gather many bright and knowledgeable individuals dedicated to revolutionizing healthcare. However, communication among the company's experts is often disjointed, jeopardizing growth opportunities and affecting innovation progress. In the era of digitalization, reports show that companies could increase workers' productivity 20 to 25% by using social technologies like data management.

From R&D, operations, and quality management to IT, marketing, and finances, departments must work hand-in-hand to provide patients with the best pharmaceuticals. Through a company-wide knowledge management system, you can provide your teams with a secure workspace to efficiently share data, past experiences, and best practices.

A cloud-based platform brings real-time collaboration to the next level, allowing researchers, engineers, and technical experts to search and retrieve information quickly, giving your teams the data accessibility and collaborative environment they need to make business-changing decisions faster.

How an outside data partner can help pharma companies connect and innovate
By partnering with an expert in high-level knowledge management systems, pharmaceutical leaders can:

  • Create a shared cloud-based knowledge management platform that is company-wide and suitable for all their teams.
  • Ensure data safety and minimize breaches by enforcing user access control and limiting third-party software use.
  • Facilitate secure exchanges of confidential or sensitive information through secure channels.
  • Promote interdisciplinary brainstorming and collaboration to multiply avant-garde visions and accelerate innovation.

Knowledge management and dark data: Essentials of the pharmaceutical innovators

While long considered “nice-to-have” in the pharma industry, a robust and secure knowledge management system now represents an essential breeding ground for innovative and collaborative work. Structured and harmonized in a company-wide interface, formerly unworkable dark data can quickly change into valuable insights for industrials seeking growth opportunities.

As digitalization continues gaining ground, leveraging dark data and cognitive tools in the pharma industry becomes necessary to stay on top of innovation in the drug development sector.

To learn more about digital transformation and data management, check out our case studies with CAS Custom Services.