Breaking Data Silos

Three steps for implementing an integrated information strategy in oncology


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In oncology, as in many other therapy areas, data exists in silos. Companies working to answer critical business questions have to reach across functional teams in an attempt to coordinate analyses, and these discrete data sets—for example, claims data, specialty pharmacy data and market research data—often are so varied and distinct that integration on its own is a challenge. Business stakeholders often have to wait for months to get data-derived answers to their questions, and the functional teams involved often provide incomplete and conflicting answers. Both obviously are suboptimal outcomes.

Consider a large oncology manufacturer that’s preparing to launch a second-line treatment for patients. Two departments within the company have each purchased their own claims data: One department purchased specialty pharmacy data, and the other purchased patient claims data. Now the marketing team wants to know how to track the share of eligible patients in the first six months after the product launch, but with the company’s siloed approach to data, how can the marketing team get the answers that it needs?

To prevent these scenarios—or rectify them—oncology companies need to start thinking of managing data not just with a function-specific data strategy, but in terms of a more holistic “information strategy” that enables a much richer view of performance.

About the Experts

Arup Das is a manager based at ZS’s Pune, India, office. He has seven years of experience in providing sales and marketing advisory services through data-driven analytics. He leads ZS’s India oncology practice and has experience in both primary and secondary data analytics.

Arun Jain is a manager based at ZS’s New York office. He has more than 11 years of experience in providing sales and marketing advisory services through data-driven analytics and more than six years supporting oncology sales and marketing analytics and performance measurement.