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March 31, 2022

Business intelligence in pharma

The pharmaceutical and medical device industries are using data to change how they develop and launch life-changing therapies.
business intelligence in pharma

Health-focused organizations are transforming patient care and other operations with healthcare business intelligence. But how are their counterparts in the life science industry leaders using business intelligence in pharma?

What is business intelligence in pharma?

The term business intelligence originated in the 1960s to describe a system of sharing information across organizations and evolved in the 1980s with computer models for decision-making and turning data into insights. Now, BI is a specific type of technology that combines business analytics, data mining, data visualization, data tools and infrastructure, and best practices to help organizations make more data-driven decisions.

Business intelligence in pharma is often used to address challenges in new drug development and trials to achieve breakthroughs ahead of competitors. Other operational applications of BI in pharma, also known as pharma intelligence, include effecting change, eliminating inefficiency, and the ability to quickly adapt to market changes or supply chain fluctuations in the pharma industry.

What are the applications for business intelligence in pharma?

In pharma, the four primary areas where BI is applied are:

Life science organizations collect and monitor vast amounts of data generated by an ever-growing list of sources. This data is critical to business operations because it can be turned into actionable insights. It can also guide huddles in healthcare to reach data-driven decisions.

“Increased challenges in the pharmaceutical industry dictate that pharmaceutical companies stay ahead of the competition…With all this information integrated from multiple sources, they can operate more efficiently, optimize their competitive edge, and increase revenue.” – ChristianSteven

Clinical data analysis
Pharmaceutical and medical device companies are under pressure to bring products to market quickly, but at the lowest price possible. For this reason, effectively managing clinical data is a top priority. By gathering data from multiple sources, BI enables pharmaceutical companies to use data analytics to identify trends and inconsistencies. They’re able to understand the risks during product development and launch.

Marketing is a huge cost center for life science companies, and it’s essential to understand how this investment pays off in terms of sales. Tracking sales performance and consumer behavior is essential to improve marketing strategies including better distribution of budget.

“BI allows companies to identify the products that are the most profitable, monitor consumer behavior pertaining to prescription renewals and product purchases, chart the success of marketing campaigns, and analyze profitability by product, customer, demographics, and other factors,” – ChristianSteven

Financial analysis
Financial data is an integral part of any organization, and most businesses closely monitor this information to understand budgets, expenditures, and return on investment. Here, BI solutions help pharmaceutical companies monitor financial transactions and predict requirements and issues. This proactive approach helps companies remain nimble in the event of a disruption, and can make reporting requirements less stressful.

Business intelligence vs. insights management

BI tools can be applied across the entire enterprise – from research and development to finance and supply chain. Data warehouse, visualization, and analysis capabilities handle many aspects of managing and making sense of huge volumes of data.

By contrast, an insights management platform for life science organizations is built to collect observations and other data obtained during the drug or device development process. Insights management solutions might also feature the ability to show data on a specific disease community, provide insight into online conversations through the use of social media listening, and collect and analyze insights from discussions with healthcare providers.

Insights management is also less technologically disruptive than business intelligence – rather than requiring an overhaul or integration of legacy systems, teams in clinical R&D, medical affairs, and marketing work with their insights management technology vendor to set goals, plan engagements, and formulate next steps.

Dive deeper by learning more about the trends driving the adoption of insights management in our blog post, or find out the three things life science teams can do now to make better, faster decisions. Or – learn more about the purpose of medical conferences or how to run a successful virtual conference.


Tableau. Business Intelligence: What It Is, How It Works, Its Importance, Examples, & Tools.
What role does business intelligence play in the pharma sector?
Future Market Insights. Healthcare Business Intelligence Market Outlook (2022-2032)
ChristianSteven. 3 Powerful Applications of BI Technology in Healthcare.


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