Reimagining Data Infrastructure for Commercial Life Sciences

Master data management (MDM) platforms can support better customer experiences, compliance adherence, and improved sales performance. Yet, many MDM solutions used by biopharma organizations rely on complex IT landscapes and heavy integrations between data and software. This blog post breaks down MDM’s inherent challenges and how we’ve reimagined the MDM-to-CRM data flow to simplify the process for commercial data teams.

Persisting challenges of MDM platforms

One of the biggest pain points IT and data teams face is the complex, error-prone, and scale-sensitive process of loading data into their MDM and then pushing it into their CRM systems.

Architecturally, this necessitates the incorporation of substantial custom logic into MDM, ETL layers, and the CRM to enable data migration between systems. It often requires constant data flow monitoring, troubleshooting, and a close eye on system continuity.

As a result, every adjustment turns into a resource-intensive project with potential for unforeseen consequences. Even routine business events, such as quarterly realignment processes, compliance updates, or the introduction of new product indications, can become challenging to manage.

Without meticulous and strategic planning related to the data flows and underlying integrations, these events can disrupt business operations. And the ramifications can be severe, often leading to blackout days in CRM when parts or the entire field force are unable to use the system, or fail to maintain compliance.

Even in companies where the impact is less tangible, there’s often a general hesitance to introduce any change due to the inherent complexity of the architecture design.

Data infrastructure as a solution

After discussing these challenges with customers, we decided to integrate a data infrastructure solution into our MDM platform, Veeva Network. This solution goes beyond mere data management and the creation of “golden” records; it undertakes the entire data flow process, integrating Veeva OpenData, Network, and Veeva CRM to remove the cumbersome process of moving data.

The straightforward interface simplifies the mapping of fields between systems, rendering complex data mapping obsolete. Setting up and maintaining more advanced requirements, such as attaching lists of restricted products to accounts, is streamlined and hassle-free.

Moreover, as new compliance regulations surface — such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Ohio’s Terminal Distributor of Dangerous Drugs (TDDD) licenses, or California’s Consumer Privacy Act — we promptly integrate these into our standard product. This spares our customers from spending significant time and effort to stay compliant, further enhancing the value and convenience of our solution.

Freeing up time to provide more value

Today, nearly 250 customer instances of Network are in the production environment, serving an approximately equal number of CRM production orgs. These instances are linked to six OpenData environments, which provide reference data for over 85 countries.

Every month, tens of millions of records are processed through our infrastructure, which are backed by:

  • Advanced software functionalities that facilitate integration between various systems. Veeva holds several issued and pending patents related to these features.
  • Dedicated teams of product managers, developers, QA teams, data analysts, and dev/tech ops that are constantly monitoring the health of the system. They continue to enhance Network by integrating new features and refining existing processes.
  • Standard operating procedures, honed over the course of more than eight years, that guarantee exceptional service quality for our customers. For example, in the event of alerts or errors, these SOPs ensure a swift and effective resolution.

Using this new data infrastructure helps remove the friction of traditional MDM platforms and allow organizations to get more out of their data. It also relieves departments like IT from burdensome tasks and frees up resources to focus on areas that make more impact.

As one early adopter responsible for global commercial data and integrations once told us after switching to Network, “No one lost their job. We can now work on smarter things.” Indeed, as AI and other innovations pick up steam, data management teams everywhere will be all the better for it.

To learn more about the benefits of integrated data and software, read this blog post on making the most of your customer master data.

Interested in learning more about how Veeva can help?