Releasing the inner superpower by liberating your data

4th Apr 2013

I’ve been talking recently about the idea that every R&D organization has an inner superpower waiting to be unleashed – but most of them are yet to discover it. In fact, many are squandering their most fearsome competitive advantage. What is our industry’s most constructive weapon? Data.

R&D centric companies across all sectors, from pharma to food, create, use and monetize information. Their raw asset – data – has value. It’s a capital asset. And when that data is added to, interpreted and shared, it becomes increasingly more complex and valuable. The creation of data assets requires a complex inter-dependent community of projects, supported by various teams, each providing skills and insight from discovery to delivery: an ecosystem of ideas and information.

Collaboration within Complex Iterative Processes

Too often today’s data ecosystems are suppressed by ineffective collaboration. Something as simple as efficiently moving data from one person to another, and effectively aligning data from internal or external collaborators, is continuously hampered. This is real life for the vast majority of researchers today and this status quo must be challenged and changed.

R&D scientists know that treating R&D as a linear process from basic research to product is flawed. And dangerously so. This heritage concept in no way reflects how teams really generate the information asset and, in practice, serves to entrench a siloed mentality.

In reality, data, information and knowledge are created and shared across complex, iterative processes that span research, development, patent filing, manufacture and post-market analysis. It’s a collaborative data ecosystem and an increasingly globalised, multiparty environment. The volume and complexity of the information has grown exponentially. Accepting this truth and working with it has profound meaning for how we use and further exploit both our internal, and global, communities to increase R&D productivity.