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Most small pharma companies are not using advanced data analytics adequately

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Most emerging pharma companies report limited use of advanced data analytics and that may hamper their commercialization efforts and in retaining sales force, according to a new report.

Beghou Consulting surveyed more than 100 pharmaceutical companies, with 66 percent of  of them having annual sales of less than $250 million. Overall, nearly 60 percent of respondents reported using advanced analytics “somewhat” or “to a limited extent” to generate commercial insights.

“Deploying sophisticated methods to analyze the plentiful amounts of data in the industry is crucial to building and executing effective commercial plans, which includes designing incentive compensation plans that motivate field sales representatives,” said Beth Beghou, founder and managing director of Beghou Consulting that published the report, in a statement. “Companies must make advanced analytics the central piece of their incentive compensation processes to retain top performers.”

The report appears to be drawing a direct line between usage of advanced analytics, compensation and sales staff turnover — 63 percent said that analytics play only a moderate role in setting goals, incentive pay and commission. Meanwhile, 36 percent reported that their annual sales turnover was more than 20 percent

While not heavy users of advanced analytics, many respondents reported data management as a pressing concern. For instance 29 percent of respondents selected “organizing and storing data” is one of the top three challenges facing companies face.

The other two challenges were incorporating new data and metrics into business intelligence tools, and generating useful business insights.

The report also offered a few suggestions for effecting data management related to business intelligence.

  • Acquire specialized expertise for proper organization of data. Data scientists “must customize the company’s data” for that business intelligence tool.
  • Managing permission and access to the data is important. Especially when using industry data, rules such as Physician Data Restriction Program must be respected.
  • Design of such tools is key as an user-friendly and attractive interface will help sales team adopt it and use it more widely.

 

Photo: goir, Getty Images

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