“First-time founders are obsessed with products.
Second-time founders are obsessed with distribution.”
According to an old startup adage, first-time entrepreneurs are obsessed with developing their products while those running their second business are obsessed with the distribution of their products. Often you have to learn the hard way that even when you have a top-class product or service, you will not be successful until you can deliver it efficiently and reliably to your customers.
The same principle can also be applied to data-driven management. If data required in decision-making must always be derived from different sources, emails or somewhere on a network drive, the risk is that the potential of the data will go unused.
It is also important that data is formulated so that it suits its users’ needs. The insight within data must be presented in a clear manner instead of flooding users with thousands of lines of information for interpretation. The easier it is to exploit data, the more it will be used in everyday work.
Companies’ use of data is often hampered by their services and decision-making practices that are built on unsustainable manual processes and irregular data sources. The management and maintenance of data becomes increasingly burdensome, until eventually it becomes impossible.
“Everything that can be automated will be automated”
In my career, perhaps the most efficient team I have had the opportunity to be part of worked according to DevOps practices tailored to customer needs. These practices came about partly by chance when the start of a project was delayed and the team was left with extra time to fine-tune the automated delivery pipelines of their code. The outcome was a reliable environment in which we could fully concentrate on solving the customer's business problems, as we did not have to struggle with “support measures”.
As a result of the Act on the secondary use of social and health care data, there is more than enough data available from various registers in the pharmaceutical and health sector. Consequently, it is essential to screen the high-quality data that enhances understanding from this mass and to use it efficiently and on a regular basis.
Intelligent data-driven management services combine multiple data sources
The Pharmaceutical Information Centre has invested heavily in the use of interfaces and the rapid use of data. Our cooperation with the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is a good example of this. We receive a steady flow of statistical information from THL, which is automatically transferred to our RWD service as clearly visualised views for direct access by end-users. In addition, the Pharmarket statistical service has carried out development work in which data from Google maps and Fimea is used continuously to automatically validate the content of sales statistics.
Of course, technology alone is not enough for data-driven management, and it is only worth developing data pipelines if the organisation is also otherwise ready to be data-driven. When sufficient commitment and maturity have been achieved, however, cutting corners no longer makes sense. Instead, you must lay down a sustainable foundation and build your data-driven approach on it.