Pharmaceutical Leader

Provides a secure single access point to huge volumes of data for 30,000 global employees

Published on 31-Jan-2013

Pharmaceutical Leader

Life Sciences

Big Data


For decades, a leading pharmaceutical company has diligently sought to improve healthcare by developing innovative medicines, earning trust from doctors, patients and customers.

Business need:
Executives wanted to transform information and data sharing capabilities by providing access to huge volumes of customer, patient and research data stored in systems around the world.

IBM® InfoSphere® Data Explorer infuses transparency and provides authorized access to enterprise information for 30,000 global employees from a single access point.

· Improves R&D efficiency by 90 percent and reduces search time by 50 percent, saving millions of dollars in the first year. · Reduces new staffing requirements by 1.2 percent saving US$13.4 million yearly · Improves sales productivity to increase sales revenue by 4.1 percent

Case Study

For decades, a leading pharmaceutical company has diligently sought to improve healthcare by developing innovative medicines, earning trust from doctors, patients and customers. From a business perspective, the focus is on timely go-to-market strategies and improving sales for new products and services.

In the competitive pharmaceutical market, executives recognized the need to achieve greater transparency, agility and productivity throughout the global enterprise. Underlying these initiatives was the need to improve access to huge volumes of customer, patient and research data stored in various systems and locations around the world. Information and data sharing capabilities needed immediate transformation.

Challenges define global data access requirements
Senior executives, managers, research and development (R&D) staff, and administrators all needed instant access to information available from the company’s intranet, as well as many different applications and file systems. They also needed information for research from several external toxicity databases and subscription sources. Relying on disparate data sources made research laborious, slowed customer assistance and impeded the sales process.

R&D staff also needed a way to filter data quickly to uncover the connections that help lead to new discoveries. Scientists wanted flexible navigation and the ability to drill down into specific topics to explore content that might otherwise remain hidden. Additionally, they needed capabilities to scan multiple synonyms for medical terms and phrases.

Given the sensitivity of health records and other medical information, and the need to protect intellectual property, the most compelling issue was security. The company wanted a solution that mapped to its existing security model, allowing authorized employees to access specific data. Security was supported at the group, user, documents and even content level (for example, a row in a spreadsheet).

Satisfying data access, research and security requirements
After evaluating other solutions, only IBM InfoSphere Data Explorer withstood the scrutiny and stringent requirements. Within 10 weeks, the software was deployed as an enterprise-wide solution that infused transparency and provided authorized access to information. The developers created an intranet portal allowing 30,000 global employees to access the most recent and relevant content in real-time. InfoSphere Data Explorer preserved existing security parameters, so employees could access only the content they were authorized to view.

Using the InfoSphere Data Explorer interface, employees now have a single access point to networked file systems, the enterprise content management system, Microsoft SharePoint, an internal people directory and intranet pages, and external subscription sources. InfoSphere Data Explorer enables all touch points in the drug discovery process, from initial research to clinical trials, to access the same content stored in the same location. Alerts let users know when new or updated information is available.

InfoSphere Data Explorer enables easy navigation and discovery. Scientists can retrieve an overview of all information, including structured and unstructured results, and immediately pinpoint what they need. R&D staff can quickly browse through content and identify related themes or ideas that might have been overlooked.

In addition, InfoSphere Data Explorer collaboration capabilities enable users to comment and tag results to identify content that is most relevant to colleagues. For example, it is common to have multiple drug names and medical related terms. The scientific drug name published in an authoritative document and the common vernacular name may differ. Tagging content appropriately can help improve access.

Delivering innovation, agility and trust
Beyond resolving immediate challenges, InfoSphere Data Explorer delivers real business value.

In the pharmaceutical industry, sales representatives spend an average of 1.5 minutes with doctors, and regulations require that product information presented be current and accurate. With access to the most current information in real time, sales staff can maximize time effectively to discuss product details and answer questions. It is easy to view external news and information about new policies, as well as access the most recent marketing collateral and a doctor’s latest purchases. Increasing efficiency enabled sales representatives to be more productive, leading to a 4.1 percent revenue increase.

InfoSphere Data Explorer enables authorized users to have transparent access to all types of data. As a result, R&D staff can leverage past research efforts – specifically research around the history of compounds for formulation and noted effects. Global access to research data has drastically reduced duplicate efforts. After gaining insight from earlier research data, R&D can move forward to create new, innovative medicines and reduce time-to-market. R&D is conducted with 90 percent more efficiency and search time has been cut by 50 percent, saving millions of dollars in the first year alone.

Lastly, as employees transition, the company’s knowledge base remains intact. Hiring and training employees can be costly. Executives reported that InfoSphere Data Explorer helped reduce training costs by 10 percent and reduced new staffing requirements by 1.2 percent, saving US$13.4 million yearly. InfoSphere Data Explorer enables retaining and sharing knowledge, encouraging collaboration, and developing subject matter experts or knowledge workers to maximize the company’s most valuable asset – optimized information.

For more information

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

InfoSphere Data Explorer

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America February 2013 IBM, the IBM logo,, and InfoSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at Microsoft and SharePoint are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.