Why Success With BI Remains Elusive for Pharma?

Nov 01, 2021 | Commercial Reporting
Sayantani Sen
Success With BI

Why Success With BI Remains Elusive for Pharma?

Why Success With BI Remains Elusive for Pharma? 1024 540 deepak

Business intelligence (BI) solutions have been gaining a lot of attention lately since they are helping us transform our business in surprising ways. It is why several industries and companies are continuously exploring strategies and to get ahead of their competition. One such sector is pharma, but the pharmaceutical sector has traditionally been slower to adopt business intelligence platforms than many other industries.

However, the past few years have witnessed a significant increase in investments in business intelligence platforms by pharma companies. Growing at a CAGR of 15.3%, the healthcare business intelligence (BI) market is projected to hit $8.9 billion by the end of 2023. This figure stood at $4.4 billion in 2018.

With digital transformation taking over the world and making data increasingly available, more pharma manufacturers are leveraging the latest technologies and approaches like business intelligence to maintain or improve the quality of that data.

While pharma companies spend millions of dollars on setting up BI platforms, cloud storage and advanced analytics capabilities, they often end up having little to show of it. It usually is the case when the investments are done with little deliberation and limited understanding of the end-user needs, which is one of the main reasons why success with BI still remains a big challenge in pharma. However there are other factors that impact the effective adoption of BI technologies in pharma companies such as:

  1. Choosing the Right Platform
  2. Most companies struggle with making the right decision regarding the platform they need, which can not only meet business needs across the enterprise, but aligns with cost objectives as well

    The technology decisions are made mostly based on the IT functions, during which the decision-makers have limited considerations for factors such as data maturity, analytics prowess of the users, lifecycle stage of the company, etc. In the absence of these parameters, it becomes a decision pushed down to the users who fail to see the real value.

  3. Understanding the Users
  4. Not understanding your target audience, their behavior, needs, and expectations are some of the key challenges faced by pharma companies. You need to understand all the pain points of the user groups thoroughly.

    The “one size fits all” approach does not work well since every business function is unique, with a unique user base and varied needs. The key users of commercial reporting platforms are non-analysts from pharma sales and marketing looking for maximum value and insights without spending too much time and effort.

  5. Faster and Scalable Insights
  6. Once a BI system is put in place, you need to keep evolving and updating it with changing needs. Any enhancement or change results in a 4-6 week-long project, including data extraction, building the data model and creating the dashboard. This high TAT and complex IT processes hinder adoption and usage of the platforms. In this highly competitive modern landscape, business users rightfully look for a system that’s flexible and agile to meet their future needs, both known and unknown.

  7. Self-Service Data Discovery
  8. Self-service access to content is a dichotomous challenge. On one hand, sales representatives or brand teams should be able to find answers to common questions without sifting through reports or dashboards.

    While, on the other hand, power users aspire for the ability to perform data exploration and deep dives into the data directly. The BI platform that your company chooses, should be able to cater to both these needs seamlessly.

  9. The Journey From "What" to "So What"
  10. As companies progress in their BI journey, users need to look beyond what has happened to uncover why it happened. With the increasing number of available datasets, BI platforms should be able to eliminate "white noise" to get to the relevant information and hidden patterns. This can be achieved through seamless integration of BI with machine intelligence capabilities.

BI for Pharma

Here is how you can harness the power of BI for getting a strategic advantage in pharma:

  • Market Analysis
  • The BI-powered market analysis can offer you external market data from various trusted sources, such as Insight Health, IMS, and WHO. It can also get you data from various internet sources to provide you with a better view of the entire industry.

  • Sales Analysis
  • You can conduct sales analysis using BI to monitor sales performance and consumer behavior to identify seasonal demand, outliers, slow-moving products, etc.

  • Marketing and Financial Analysis
  • BI marketing analysis provides you with a better view of the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. It also helps you analyze and visualize financial information to maintain expenses and create efficiency.

  • Operational Analysis
  • Operational analysis powered by BI is your way to get valuable information on business operations while identifying general areas that you need to improve.

  • Clinical Data and Regulatory Analysis
  • Clinical data analysis allows you to use available information from clinical trials and extract valuable insights from them while interactively visualizing the same. Not only this, but by constantly tracking regulatory compliance with the BI regulatory analysis, you can adhere to certain regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA.


Other than the issues we just discussed, there can also be some other factors that make succeeding with BI in pharma difficult. For instance, not having a single source of leadership, high time to deploy solutions, and spending the majority of time in data extraction rather than on analytics. Hence, to succeed in pharma using BI, one needs to tackle all of these problems, and it all starts with identifying and acknowledging them.

DataZymes DZXSightTM is a business intelligence (BI) based reporting and descriptive analytics suite that helps commercial teams understand the health of their businesses, identify potential opportunities, and mitigate risks. Ready-to-use modules of DZXSight have the flexibility to be deployed as-is or after being customized to a business’ needs. Learn more.

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