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Managing Biotechnology by Glen Giovannetti, Francoise Simon

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Chapter 10Creating Agility Through Data and Analytics

Introduction

It is difficult not to get caught up in the statistics associated with big data. An estimated 2.5 billion bytes of data are collected daily by a growing cadre of sensor-based technologies, from mobile phones to the Internet of Things—from connected “smart” thermostats in homes to desktop computers [1]. Consumers worldwide used more than six billion connected “things” in 2016 [2]. As a result, analysts predict the digital universe, defined as the data created or copied yearly, will grow to 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, by 2020 [3].

That staggering amount of data has the potential to disrupt a number of different businesses, including traditional biopharmas. This phenomenon has already altered the retail, banking, and transportation industries in fundamental ways, as organizations such as Amazon and Apple mine customer-generated information for insights about buying habits and behaviors in order to offer customized buying experiences [4]. Change in healthcare has not been quite as rapid. Appropriate concerns about patient privacy and a highly regulated product development environment have made it more difficult for biopharma companies to extract measurable value via the large-scale integration and analysis of data.

Yet data, and the analytics platforms that are critical to make sense of the wide variety of relevant data sets, have the potential to address the biggest challenges in healthcare. As noted ...

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