Someone raised an interesting question at a conference hosted by the Business Development Institute (#BDI) that I went to last week. They asked how anyone could possibly keep up with all the Pharma news and information, never mind follow thousands of people and interact via social media?
The answer is I don't.
Obviously, we all dip in and snack sometimes, but for me, most of the time I aggregate my information sources and use it for intelligence purposes on demand, ie search.
It's faster, more user-friendly and ultimately, faster.
It also means I'm a lot more efficient and less overwhelmed this way. Just in the same way people find information on this blog through Google searches, I can do the same thing with my personalised Pharma database. If a drug is in the news for not being approved by the European CHMP in indication X, then I can search for relevant information in the database, as appropriate. Certainly, I don't have time (or the inclination) to read lots of news articles on the topic every day or my brain would simply fry with information overload.
What is interesting is that once you have a database then there is the ability to see and detect strategic trends more clearly, rather than isolated individual items or snippets of data. The more data you have, the more useful those pictures of the trends in real time will be.
None of us can truly predict the future, but getting some sense of change before everyone else is often very useful business intelligence that can give you or your client a competitive advantage if you can grasp the broader landscape better and faster than anyone else.
These days, I see a big craving by senior Pharma executives for better intelligence and smarter strategic decision making based on data and deeper expertise, rather than a growing shopping list of uncoordinated tactics.