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October 11, 2021

What is insights management?

Gathering impactful insight is key to life science success. How can technology help translate insight into business value?
Illustration of the insights management concept

Insights management may sound new to you, but you’re likely already doing it. From pre-clinical activities through medical affairs and to product launch and beyond, pharmaceutical and medical device organizations rely on expert insight to guide important strategic decisions.

But insights management isn’t just the activity around planning and executing advisory board meetings, steering committees, publication development, and other types of insight-gathering activities. It begins before that – by selecting the right KOLs, digital opinion leaders, and other experts – and continues beyond, into understanding a more complete picture of scientific and market signals that allow for better decision-making.

In the wake of a global pandemic, life science companies are facing new challenges. Many industry leaders are prioritizing tech and digital transformation as strategic imperatives for their changing business landscape – here’s how insights management fits in.

Selecting experts and understanding disease communities

Pharmaceutical and medical device teams already have an understanding of how regional and global KOLs can inform strategy and impact decisions. This understanding lies at the heart of why MSLs, for example, work to build and strengthen relationships with prominent KOLs. It’s also why clinical teams might engage patients to get feedback on a proposed study protocol, and the reason commercial teams conduct market research.

But relying on the same experts for different projects, or as work progresses through the product development lifecycle, can lead to a kind of myopia. Defaulting to the same list of KOLs can narrow an organization’s view of a particular disease community, or ignore critical perspectives. And while outsourcing KOL selection or influence mapping removes some of the burdens from life science teams, it might not line up with internal timelines or miss rising stars, emerging digital influencers, and audiences that could offer important feedback.

Effective engagement, with plenty of flexibility

We all learned a thing or two about virtual engagement and tech-enabled collaboration over the last year and a half. Online interactions offer plenty of benefits, but there are also drawbacks for teams that aren’t using the right tools. Standalone video calls augmented by email chains and file sharing can’t take the place of peer-to-peer exchange.

Human nature and busy schedules mean that many people implicitly opt-out of video calls by multitasking or letting more outspoken participants dominate the conversation. This means that pharmaceutical and medical device teams are missing out on important contributions.

As the pandemic progresses, pharmaceutical and medical device teams are learning when to deploy different types of virtual engagement. Within3 clients see the benefit of hybrid virtual engagement and are combining webcasts or in-person meetings with asynchronous discussions. Organizations discovered how to design these interactions to produce a high volume of dialogue and high-quality discussion. And even as in-person meetings resumed, people still wanted the option of more convenient ways to provide insight.

From insights to action

In the aftermath of a successful engagement, it’s tempting to think the bulk of the work is done. But for many life science teams, this marks the start of another labor-intensive process. Insights from experts, patients, and influencers must be transcribed or collated, shared with other stakeholders, and examined to reveal key insights.

It’s at this point that the process bogs down – because in many cases, there is no process. Time-consuming manual transcription, scattered email chains, information stored in disparate systems across geographies and lines of business – all of these factors make it difficult to get a complete picture, let alone make strategic decisions.

A single problem, a single solution

In the Within3 Insights Management Platform, asynchronous or hybrid virtual engagements are connected to technology that transforms insights into action. Life science teams can ensure they’re identifying the right experts who influence communities they want to reach. Post-engagement, they get real-time insight into prevailing sentiment and can more quickly identify positive results or areas of concern.

These capabilities are critical when it comes to business value. And while the majority of companies aspire to be data-driven, fewer than a third are actually able to connect analytics to action. This is because there’s no technological or cultural system in place to bridge the gap from data to execution.

The first step in realizing the true value of an insights management platform is viewing all of these issues – expert selection, effective engagement, and instantly understanding sentiment – as a single challenge best solved by a single solution. Organizations can more easily go from insight to action when they understand this and adapt accordingly.

To learn how life science teams can identify and solve insight gaps and improve speed-to-market, download our white paper.

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