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Emanuel Kuhn
Home | Big Data - a curse or a blessing?
February 16, 2016

Big Data — a curse or a blessing? Explosion of Digital Data

The high-content microscope for the 4D imaging of our customers produces data volumes of up to one terabyte in a few hours.

It is a symbol of the explosion of data that companies have been confronted with for several years. No weakening of this trend is in sight.
On the contrary: Estimates assume that over 90% of the digital data existing today was generated only in the last three years.

Big data represents data volumes that cannot be evaluated with manual and traditional methods. The three “V’s” are characteristic:  The data volumes are large and complex (volume), they change continuously and quickly (velocity) and they vary greatly in the data condition (variety).

Big Data Pharma & Life Sciences

  The 3 “V” of Big Data

Chances for Big Data

The ability to make big data usable is an elementary factor for business growth, especially in pharma and other life sciences companies.
Because the intelligent use of big data offers the potential for improvements in various areas of value creation:

  • Accelerated research of new therapeutics and their development
  • Optimization of the efficiency of clinical studies
  • Better insight into patient behavior and their environment in order to increase the application and efficacy of medicine
  • Improved medicine security and risk management
  • In-depth insights in marketing and sales performance


An example from research: With next generation sequencing, a human genome can now be completely sequenced in a few days and with about 500 gigabytes of data volume. With the technological advance, the effort has been so drastically reduced that data from about one million genomes is expected by the end of 2016. In addition there are millions of patient documents, clinical study data or scientific publications that supplement the picture.

It is therefore a significant task to save all of this data, to transfer it between distant locations and to make it available.

However, the actual challenge is not only to hoard and manage the data, but also to encrypt the information stored in this raw material and make it usable. 


Reducing the noise

The collected data usually comes from different sources with varying context and is frequently hardly structured or is not structured at all.

Using suitable strategies, relevant information can be filtered out of this unstructured flow of data, which is usually superimposed with lots of “noise.” For this purpose, the data is integrated, cured and then reduced to the main elements. Only then is the data structuring, the supreme discipline so to say, meaningful!


Big Data Pharma & Life Sciences

Big Data Approach in five steps

Big Data as a Support for Business Goals

The data structuring first makes it possible to make hypotheses and verify them. It lays the foundation for the development of predictive models, which serve as the basis of decisions on current business situations and future business strategies.

A big data initiative is not a purely technological project. Of primary importance is the development of a sophisticated strategy that harmonizes the planned big data implementation with the desired business goals. Only in this way can the hoped “return on investment” be achieved!


Rise to the challenge!

We experience challenges in dealing with big data in our everyday consultation in the most varied of process stages. Our experts repeatedly develop solutions that are ideally suited to the situation of our customers and allow them to keep up with the “big data challenge.” In this way, optimal conditions are created for improved decision-making and value creation.


Are you facing similar challenges in your organization? Get in touch with us!