Indeed, information overload may be the biggest issue of our time. It is likely this will only increase. As Nigel Walker notes in this issue’s lead feature on ‘big data’ in the pharmaceutical industry, the world’s technological percapita capacity to store information has roughly doubled every 40 months since the 1980s, is now doubling every 18 months and, by 2020, it may be doubling every three months.
The concept of big data itself generates, well, big data. Googling ‘big data’ plus ‘pharmaceuticals’ itself yields over 1 million hits, as we found when compiling the article. Huge amounts have been written and said about this. The challenge is so mind-boggling that burying your head in the sand is an understandable response. But that response simply won’t do.
The pharmaceutical industry faces as great a challenge as any from big data. The reasons for this, put very simply, are that no industry is so awash in and so reliant on data, not least to satisfy evermore stringent and complex regulations. Big data touches every corner of what the industry does, and the savings potential from coming to grips with it is immense. Yet at the same time, pharma is years behind most industries of comparable sizes in how it manages this data.
Our own commitment to helping you through the morass of information out there remains unchanged. That’s Nice, the publisher of Pharma’s Almanac, has at its heart a giant research operation. Every year the Nice Insight annual surveys go out to thousands of companies in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and related sectors to reveal what they are seeking from suppliers in multiple fields.
Pharma’s Almanac also seeks to bring you real insight into the most important emerging trends and technologies by speaking to those on-site. In this issue, we look at continuous manufacturing for both drug substance and drug product, asking why it has taken so long to emerge and if things really are different this time around. The word count was a bit higher than expected but, hey, it’s a fascinating subject and this is the age of big data, after all.
Nice Insight, established in 2010, is the research division of That’s Nice, A Science Agency, providing data and analysis from proprietary annual surveys, custom primary qualitative and quantitative research as well as extensive secondary research. Current annual surveys include The Nice Insight Contract Development & Manufacturing (CDMO/CMO), Survey The Nice Insight Contract Research - Preclinical and Clinical (CRO) Survey, The Nice Insight Pharmaceutical Equipment Survey, and The Nice Insight Pharmaceutical Excipients Survey.