Written by Ted Snyder
Recently Tamr hosted our first user group meeting for life sciences customers. As adoption of Tamr in this sector has grown we’re focused on supporting our customers’ desire to learn from each other. It’s exciting to see how many of the top pharmaceutical companies are using Tamr to tackle data unification in many areas ranging from R&D to commercial applications. Despite the breadth of use cases there are some common themes emerging, specifically:
- The realization is dawning that data standards aren’t enough. We’ve always known customers share similar challenges with data scattered across various systems, formats, and standards. While real progress has been made with data standards initiatives – like adoption of CDISC standards in clinical research – this only takes their data so far. The fundamental dynamics of their business (mergers and acquisitions, development partnerships, etc.) mean change will be constant. They realize they can’t standardize everything at the source and are now applying tools like Tamr to reduce the cost of integrating non-standard data. Don’t get me wrong, their work on standards is a fundamental requirement to enable curation, but it’s not enough to solve the data variety problem.
- Legacy data has a new life. As pharma companies have begun to see their data as a core asset, we’ve seen a number of projects where customers retrospectively pulled together “legacy” data from clinical trials or other sources, where previously tools couldn’t support the scale of variety. Our early customers now have a tremendous volume of highly curated data in the hands of data scientists to guide the discovery and development of new therapies. Now that the technology has been proven we see more customers applying Tamr software to incorporate Tamr’s curation tools into operational business processes and data pipelines.
- The “scale out” architecture applies to people too. Just as modern big data architectures make use of distributed compute power to scale large jobs, we should think the same way about the subject matter expertise (SME) in data curation. While many data unification initiatives are more centralized, we now see more customers creating distributed curation teams to tackle many smaller projects with common infrastructure. This strategy leverages SME knowledge more effectively but also requires changing the focus from technology to people – how do you enable more users in the enterprise to curate data. At Tamr we’ve always seen this need to involve a broader set of subject matter experts and data consumers in the curation process as fundamentally important and it’s one of the factors behind the Steward product we introduced last year.
We are excited to continue to grow our user group and to continue to help our customers tackle these and other challenges. If you are interested to learn more about how Tamr is supporting leading biopharma companies such as GSK and you would like to see how enterprise data unification can help your business become quicker, faster and smarter, click here to contact us.