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Why Unstructured Data is a Huge Opportunity for Pharma Companies

Like many industries, the pharmaceutical industry is drowning in data. Today’s enterprises are generating and collecting more data than ever before, but only 12% of the data gets analyzed. One reason for this is the fact that up to 80% of that data is unstructured data, like text, audio, images, and video. Unstructured data, much of which is Voice-of-Customer data, is chock-full of valuable insights.

Pharma companies are well-versed in getting value from the structured data (think Excel sheets) they collect; but for every piece of structured data collected there are four pieces of unstructured data collected as well. This data comes from medical science liaison notes, call center transcripts, Advisory Board notes, conference abstracts, market research transcripts, chatbots, social media, news, discussion boards, blogs, forums and more.

All of these sources contain valuable insights, but those sources are very time consuming to read through—and quite difficult to pull together into a holistic view. Whether you’re trying to understand sentiment towards a new product or discover trending topics in the data, the more information you have to work with the better.

As pharmaceutical companies collect more Voice of Customer data, they’ll have the opportunity to do more than ever before to improve the customer experience—whether the “customer” is the healthcare providers, patients, or internal stakeholders. 

To some, it may not seem like customer experience and related metrics like customer satisfaction would be a critical concern for the pharmaceutical industry. But like any industry, having a good product can only take you so far, and the way a customer experiences the brand plays a key part of the success of a pharmaceutical product in much the same way as any other consumer good. As research from McKinsey shows,

Focusing too narrowly on clinical value often leads companies to neglect a powerful driver of launch success: the customer experience. By addressing pain points along patient and prescriber journeys, companies can increase customer satisfaction, improve adherence, and boost revenues. … Creating superior customer experiences is particularly relevant at launch because the performance of a new drug in its first six months tends to determine its market share thereafter.

Good customer experiences can make or break the launch of a new product, but it can also help sustain a product throughout its lifetime. To understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of the what’s happening in your customer’s experiences, you need to be able to keep up with your VoC data. 

Breaking through the Status Quo

The reality for most pharma companies is that getting insights from unstructured VoC data is slow, expensive, and frustrating. Subject matter experts—highly trained PhDs, MDs, and PharmDs—are spending hours every week manually reviewing data. 

This manual process presents two problems:

     1. As the amount of unstructured data grows, companies will either have to hire more and more subject matter experts to review the data, or they’ll have to go without insights into a greater percentage of their data.

     2. With subject matter experts spending more time reviewing data, that means they’re spending less time doing the complex analysis humans excel at to come up with action-worthy insights.

The problem of relying on manual reviews of data is compounded by the fact that teams, technologies, and data sources are fragmented and siloed. This fact can make it easier to stick with the status quo.

But the advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing that calculus. Natural language processing has advanced to the degree that it can take the burden of reading VoC entries off your subject matter experts, freeing them up to focus on true insights generation. Not only can AI help increase the volume of data being analyzed, but it can also help do so faster than before compared to the status quo manual reviews.

There’s a lot to discover in all your unused or underutilized unstructured data. The untapped potential of this data can help give you understand your customers at a deeper level and make the changes you need to provide better experiences throughout the customer journey.

Pairing the best of humans and machines, pharmaceutical companies will be able to make the most of their VoC data. If pharma companies don’t unify their data through AI and automation platforms like Stratifyd’s Pharma Insights Solution though, they’ll be left behind by their competitors that do.

Interested in learning more about this topic? You can get more insights into the opportunities presented by unstructured Voice-of-Customer data when you tune into part one of our latest webinar series, How AI Is Transforming Insights Generation in Pharma. In this presentation, Seth Tyree, SVP, Strategy-Pharma Insights at Stratifyd, dives into the ways pharmaceutical companies can identify and overcome the challenges of generating insights from their VoC data. 

Prefer to read rather than watch? Download our latest eBook, Getting Executive Buy-In for a Pharma Insights Strategy.


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