ZS Case Study: Shining a Light on New Insights

Business Issue

A compliance headache with an upside

The Physicians Payments Sunshine Act requires pharma and biotech companies to amass and make public promotional spending on health-care professionals and organizations. Most companies have been focusing Sunshine Act compliance efforts on interpreting the law, integrating diverse data systems and managing massive amounts of data.



There is an upside: Companies can pair spending data with other information, which can lead to insights for compliance officers (to anticipate risks), marketers (to track efficiency) and account managers (to complete a 360-degree customer view).

Unfortunately, this scenario is easier said than done. Meeting the Sunshine Act’s basic reporting requirements entails major investments. Transforming massive amounts of data into competitive insight is trickier still.

Yet, in this age of limited resources, thinning pipelines and promotional channels upending the traditional pharma rep-physician relationship, can pharma companies ignore the opportunity to see just how effective their spending really is—or how much more effective it could be?

The Problem

Getting insight from data

One of the world’s leading biotechnology manufacturers needed to make a sizable investment in tracking promotional spending for compliance purposes.

Just clearing that hurdle is difficult, as companies have never had to report spending previously. And it’s a huge leap from tracking data to making decisions based on it.

But despite the challenges, the sheer investment in Sunshine Act compliance made it important for the company to make the most out of the opportunity.

“We invest a lot of time, money and energy in ensuring compliance, and it results in lot of information that can ensure our efforts are more focused and better positioned,” says the project sponsor.

“It’s also important to learn from the data, so that we’re not only reacting to events but also becoming more active and preventing any issues from arising.”

The Solution

Combining strategy, analytics and execution

The company turned to ZS to build a solution that would enable it to analyze spending data beyond reporting, and develop insights for better decisions.

ZS’s approach combined deep subject matter and technology expertise to deliver the following:

  • Project management methodology that optimized design and development cycle times
  • Rapid feedback integration by using interactive workshops with company stakeholders
  • Analytics dashboard deployed in just 12 weeks, leveraging QlikView business intelligence software
  • Analysis that reveals insights as new data emerges


A real value-add for the business

The spending analytics tools delivered immediate results:

  • Improved anticipation of compliance risks that can have disastrous repercussions
  • The power to identify outliers and trends through analyzing terabytes of data on millions of transactions
  • Higher productivity by viewing data in context—the dashboard is “custom-tailored to you, what your question is and how you think about the problem.”
  • Improved customer understanding, resulting in better-targeted resources

“After seeing the dashboard, people start asking about how quickly they can access the tool,” the project sponsor says. “We can present the data in a way that’s easily understood and meaningful—it’s a real value-add for the business.”