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DataIQ 100: Who in pharma made the power list?

The list of the 100 most influential people in data for 2020 has just been released. The list compiled in partnership with Google Cloud, includes chief data officers, chief analytics officers, data scientists and data governance experts among others, leading in their implementation of data and analytics.

But who and how many in pharma made the cut? Surprisingly, only four out of the full one hundred come from pharma and biotech sectors. I’ve included the highlights from each of their interviews with the judging body and their LinkedIn profile, if you fancy a nosey.

Andy Nicholls, Head of Statistical Data Sciences, GSK LI

What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?

When I joined GSK, the wider themes and concepts of data science were still pretty alien to Biostatistics. We were reliant on the SAS language for our analysis and reporting and had no way of effectively developing, sharing or reviewing code. At the end of 2018, I started the Data Science User Community and from there we have begun a data science revolution which is transforming the way we work and collaborate.

James Weatherall, Vice-President of Data Science and AI, R&D, AstraZeneca LI

What is the biggest tech challenge you face in ensuring data is at the heart of your digital transformation strategy?

The biggest challenge is around what we call the “control” and “organise” areas of data. These are foundational capabilities – such as standards, governance, policies, ethics, provisioning, curation, formatting, tools and infrastructure. It is challenging and hard work to get data analytics-ready, but it is critical to do so. Without data that is suitably clean, linked, understood and contextualised, it is difficult or impossible to turn that data into information, and the information – in turn – into knowledge. It is enhanced knowledge that we are ultimately after in order to make the decisions that improve lives and businesses.

Philipp Diesinger, Head of Global Data Science, Boehringer Ingelheim LI

What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?

Together with my team, I have demonstrated significant impact on the top and bottom line for Boehringer Ingelheim, by improving the company’s marketing efforts, payer relations, global supply chains, optimised pricing strategies, business steering and clinical operations. We have found new approaches to utilise artificial intelligence in healthcare and demonstrated significant impact through the “Angels Initiative”, a programme to improve stroke care across Europe, in collaboration with the WSO and ESO. Up to May 2019, the scheme had saved over 100,000 lives.

Wade Munsie, Global Chief Data Officer, GSK Consumer Healthcare LI

What do you expect 2020 to be like for the data and analytics industry?

To be honest, not hugely different from 2019. The cloud will continue to dominate large-scale transformations and open-source will continue to pressure the big boys. I think the regulators haven’t acted as quickly as they could have on data breaches and this will increase in 2020, but, alongside that, I believe that consumers will start to trust us more with their data again and the knee-jerk reactions from GDPR will start to wane.

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