Big Pharma, Big Data

SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

November 19, 2014 08:42 ET

69% of Pharma Companies Look to Third Party Vendors for Big Data Collection

Drug Makers Turn to Specialized Vendors and Consultants to Complete Significant Portions of Big Data Initiatives

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC–(Marketwired – November 19, 2014) – The number of life sciences companies maintaining dedicated Big Data teams is growing. However, as pharmaceutical companies develop their internal Big Data capabilities, many organizations still look to specialized vendors and consultants to complete large-scale studies.

“Pharmaceutical Big Data Insights: Harnessing Real-Time Data to Drive Decision Making and Innovation,” published by Cutting Edge Information, found that pharmaceutical companies primarily outsource activities in three key stages of Big Data initiatives: data collection, data storage and data analysis. 

In particular, 69% of surveyed pharma report outsourcing Big Data collection. “Pharma companies often purchase data for these initiatives from a third party,” said Victoria Cavicchi, research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. “In these cases, the company is not responsible for storing the data in-house.” To a lesser degree, pharma companies are also outsourcing data analysis — at 51% of surveyed organizations. Because these initiatives are so data-heavy, specialty vendors may be more equipped to tease out findings than burgeoning internal Big Data teams.

Though outsourced groups play a large role in working with Big Data, pharma companies prefer to keep decision-making in-house. One interviewed Top 50 pharmaceutical executive underlined the importance of having internal staff make actionable decisions from collected data: “We may work with a third party to analyze or group data for us. But internally, we’re the ones that drive the analysis and decisions out of the data.”

“Pharmaceutical Big Data Insights: Harnessing Real-Time Data to Drive Decision Making and Innovation” ( examines the use of Big Data throughout the life sciences organization — throughout many stages of product development and across multiple departments. Highlights include Big Data’s usage and perceived impact of prospective and retrospective studies as well as marketing intelligence initiatives.

The insights and metrics within this report prepare clinical, medical affairs and commercial executives to embrace and enhance Big Data strategy within their respective departments and companywide. Executives have used this benchmarking study to:

  • Add dedicated informatics teams to maximize the value of Big Data within the organization.
  • Harness Big Data to improve the efficiency of data analysis during retrospective studies.
  • Leverage health outcomes, patient-reported outcomes and real-world data to drive a range of prospective Big Data strategies.
  • Implement social medial initiatives to supplement competitive intelligence and assess product performance.

Contact Information

  • For more information about pharmaceutical Big Data and informatics, contact:
    Elio Evangelista