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Transforming compliance in life sciences through intelligent data

In the global, fast paced, highly competitive life sciences industry, businesses are constantly looking for ways to move ahead of the pack.
A strong proactive view of compliance underpinned by intelligent data gets an organization ready to innovate, perform, and compete.


Life sciences faces significant challenges to growth 

The life sciences business including pharmaceutical, nanotech, and biotech sectors is showing strong underlying growth. This is in part a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to the mounting demand to treat chronic diseases in aging populations and the increasing personalization of patient care. Yet taking advantage of the opportunities to grow means overcoming considerable challenges in the areas of investment, R&D, digital transformation, increased regulation including ESG, and, not least, a skills shortage. Putting a business in a sustainable position to compete, as well as drive compliance, in the life sciences market means maximizing potential in R&D, technology, and people.


Compliance improves performance

The life sciences sector is heavily regulated. Every new product and research project needs to meet scientific and ethical standards. Complying to strict standards is clearly desirable and helps guarantee the successful operation of the business.  

What’s less recognized though is that compliance has direct relevance to an organization’s overall performance.  Enabling a proactive view of compliance and tying it to key business objectives lead to a greater awareness of its value and relevance. Employees who work compliantly perform better and are more engaged. Compliance helps meet the industry’s ESG obligations and creates a reputation for ethical behavior that appeals to customers, boosts sales, and attracts talent.


The industry is undergoing a digital transformation

Technology is at the core of life sciences, but it’s not confined to scientific research and product development. The pandemic revealed the industry lagged behind others in the area of digital transformation. Life science businesses were forced to quickly adopt cloud-based software solutions. The digital transformation has facilitated remote working, offered new ways of collaborating across teams and locations, and allowed the gathering of more data. Yet still more needs to be done in the areas of data and digitization.  


Data fuels further transformations

Big data has huge potential benefit to life sciences R&D. To give one example, the growth in wearable devices means access to real time data and less reliance on historical data gathered in lengthy studies. As digitization affects more business areas, big data can be used to provide a clearer view of current operations and to predict future trends more accurately. It can also be used to boost performance and compliance.


Data analytics can change compliance training

In the past compliance in life sciences has tended to be a tick-the-box exercise based on evidence of completion of training modules or certification. Its rollout across the organization was patchy and haphazard. With the digital transformation underway in the sector there’s the opportunity to use data to create a more robust, evidence-based, time-sensitive approach to compliance. The stumbling block is a lack of data analytics tools and expertise combined with IT legacy systems that are not fit for current purposes.


Intelligent data can tackle the skills shortage that threatens compliance

Compliance in life sciences has traditionally been seen as an insurance policy against risk. Big data and data analytics can transform the approach to compliance by basing it on real, up-to-date data. Analytics tools can move compliance beyond the focus on completion. It can generate reports that, for example, check incident data or policy systems to see how many times a policy was accessed or the last time a risk assessment was completed and by whom. When shared with a learning platform, that data can trigger alerts and notifications to prompt remedial action and close skills gaps.  


Digital learning needs to be part of the digital transformation

Using data to identify skills shortages and shortfalls in compliance is a vital first step to addressing performance levels. Digital learning can take the process further and transform the way the life science sector upskills its people to keep pace with industry challenges.  

Learning platforms provide digital content – off the shelf, customized, or bespoke – on a range of devices enabling learning from anywhere. Digital content can be quickly updated and instantly distributed. Consolidated learning content ensures standardization and quality, and helps set and maintain standards. Learning platforms provide digital spaces to facilitate collaboration and encourage experienced employees to share knowledge and best practices. Scenario-based online learning teaches compliance in action consigning tick-the-box exercises to history. Training can be tracked by learning analytics which measures uptake and performance.

Digital learning can support efforts to retain and retrain existing employees and attract new talent by offering paths to further development and reward.


Compliance can be a key differentiator in the life sciences market

The use of intelligent data is transforming compliance. It’s leading to a proactive, comprehensive approach to compliance that sets a business up to deal with the challenges to innovate and perform better. Commitment to operating compliantly, supported by data analytics and digital learning, helps create an environment that attracts and retains the human talent that is vital to business success.   


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