The medical and scientific innovation and research that is core to life sciences companies is reflected in large and continuously expanding volumes of data. Most often, research and scientific data is generated and managed in applications that are purpose-built for the industry and primarily used by program managers and research and data scientists. A subset of that data also needs to be available to company executives and planners, who typically use their own business productivity and management applications. Some business roles are mostly data consumers who rely on the reports and findings presented to them to make decisions. Others are both consumers and creators of data that are important for a company’s business management, and some of which may also be relevant for program and research managers.
Data Management Challenges Exacerbated by Silos
That complexity of data creation and data consumption scenarios in life sciences companies can almost naturally result in disparate data storage and management technologies and practices. When company cultures foster team identities and encourage employees to focus most strongly on their immediate team’s goals, people and processes may also function in a silo-ed manner that makes it difficult to move the company forward and make evidence-based decisions.
In addition, life sciences companies may experience very specific data management challenges. Those can include limited scalability of data storage resources, lacking or inconsistent standardization of data formats, conflicting or unclear data ownership, data security, and the high cost and functional limitations of analytical tools. Together, these factors can impede a company’s ability to gain the full benefit of its digital assets in operating and growing the business.
The Right Insight and Management Tools for Data Consumers and Producers
In our collaborations with life sciences companies, we address these issues with NetSuite in the cloud, where storage resources are practically unlimited and cybersecurity is increasingly powerful to stay ahead of digital threats. We will always optimize the solution for the business processes that are characteristic for life sciences companies and fine-tune it to the workflows and operating conditions in individual organizations. We also create two types of solution user roles. One group includes those that need access to information and reports to make decisions and manage the company. Such data-consumer roles could be the CEO, the CFO, a key business partner, an investor, or an auditor. They might access a relatively small part of the solution’s capabilities and not use it every day. Another group are people who need to access information and solution capabilities and also produce data. Those might be managers of programs, operations, finance, or compliance, and they are likely to be in the NetSuite environment every day, often using it together with Office 365 or other software tools that integrate with it.
We connect both types of roles to the data sources and business insight tools they need in their jobs. That often means less worry and greater confidence for users who are used to manual workarounds and informal processes. Data consumers may need access to secondary analytics tools that build on data presentation and reporting already performed by data producers. Their analytical requirements can be complex and the outcomes could be highly consequential for the company.
Data creators need powerful resources to process and manage data and stay on top of the company’s burgeoning data stores. For both groups of users, we design analytics and reporting functionality that suits their roles, including KPIs and dashboards. We also provide them with the most productive ways to receive information and to disseminate data and reports. Those can include email notifications and instant-message alerts in response to certain program events or financial thresholds. Or, project-based financials and program-level performance management tools. What’s more, all users see data and capabilities in an interface that makes sense and that is easy to navigate, no matter whether they access it from their desktops, laptops, or smartphones, at the office, remotely, or in transit.
Connected Business Foundation Increases Transparency and User Productivity
As we design the life sciences application environment, we integrate with your existing specialized software tools and data storage resources. You don’t need to replace or abandon the legal software, contract management or document management system, or any other tools that serve the company well. NetSuite comes with a highly versatile integration layer that makes it easy to connect with almost any software tools that are present in a business. In the interest of the often small IT departments in life sciences companies, we keep integrations simple and manageable. Business users can easily make adjustments to their role-specific capabilities and data access on their own or together with IT.
At the end of a Sikich-managed life sciences deployment of NetSuite, business roles across the organization enjoy better decision capabilities and control. Planning and decision-making are based on timely, relevant data, and are therefore more reliable and advantageous. Compliance-related and operational transparency of data and processes is at an unprecedented level. Enhanced NetSuite security measures and company-specific data protection we implement keep users, information, and applications secure.
Contact us today to learn more and get in touch with the Sikich life sciences team.