Finding the Solution

By Michael Linhares, Dr.  |  Posted 2009-01-26 Print this article Print

Virtual data marts add flexibility, security and scalability to Pfizer’s rigorous drug development process.

Finding the Solution

To help PharmSci executives arrive at the answers they need for both short-term scheduling and long-term planning of assets and resources, we eliminated spreadmarts from the process and now build small, subject-specific virtual data marts, or “views,” with easy Web access using Composite Software’s Composite Information Server and Composite Studio.

These virtual data marts are sustainable at minimal cost, allow for adjustments in the field and expose production data from enterprise systems that might not otherwise be accessible. They also minimize our risks and costs by offering options to the business at all stages: initial prototyping, fulfillment of initial requests, shaping future requests and formalizing the successful results into long-term solutions.

As an example, at the beginning of 2008, a PharmSci team leader identified the need for current drug inventory data to be available in meetings with Clinical and Toxicology teams. Because this data was stored in our PeopleSoft supply chain solution and was available via an Oracle database, the supply chain project manager obtained access to the tables that provide a nightly report of current inventory. Using Composite, we set up a data service in less than one day and were able to send the data set to the team leader for verification.

On the second day, we extended the service to all teams by using a common Web data interface. Rather than build an individual spreadmart containing information isolated from the data sources, we created a data service that is sharable across the entire department.

What’s groundbreaking about this virtual data integration approach is that we are now focused on information delivery and deployment versus system development, and this fosters continuous process improvement. Probability dictates against getting it right the first time.

With so much at stake, we cannot afford to make missteps because of the delays and costs incurred. Yet we’re in the business of creating and developing new drugs that will benefit our global patients, so we need an environment that fosters new ideas that may represent the next breakthrough.

Dr. Michael Linhares is a freelance writer for Baseline magazine.

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