Cloud-based Data & Analytics Platform Becomes a Shot in the Arm for Pharmaceutical Leader

  • October 21, 2022

Today’s business world is undeniably driven by data. Companies in every industry have access to unprecedented volumes of information, collected from countless sources, forming the basis for deep insights about consumer behavior, customer demands, employee performance, and marketplace trends. But while the data is there for the taking, some companies are better than others at managing the technologies required to ingest, organize, and translate data into meaningful business value.

One NTT DATA client, a multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company based in Europe, fully understands the powerful potential of data analytics. Its data scientists constantly develop and evolve their data models to run simulations and predictions on trial and clinical data, such as drug interactions and patient outcomes. These insights give them the ability to form a more accurate picture of the world’s most pressing medical needs, accelerate new product innovation, and bring life-improving drugs to market in less time.

But, over time, as the volume of available data and corresponding storage and processing needs grew, the client knew they needed a more robust analytics platform. They called on NTT DATA and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for help in making a change.

Prioritizing speed and scalability

Though the client and its data science team had an existing data management and analytics platform in place, they recognized an increasing need for more speed and agility. Specifically, two important requirements stood out.

First, the company needed more scalability from its data platform to help it adjust to spikes in user demand. Having the flexibility to scale resources up or down as needed would allow the team to avoid missing out on critical business opportunities and forgo the costs of building out a larger platform on a permanent basis.

Secondly, the client was looking for the ability to rapidly deploy new environments within its analytics platform, so its data teams would always have the tools they needed to make fully informed decisions and take action quickly.

Analytics on the AWS Cloud

Partnering with NTT DATA, the client determined that reconstructing its data platform on the AWS Cloud would provide the needed performance enhancements and lead to lower costs. The team architected an upgraded data analytics platform and rolled it out onto the AWS Cloud in phases over the course of several years. The framework takes advantage of the wide spectrum of AWS products and services, including these foundational components:

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) provides various layers of data storage, and transformation is applied between each layer. A data lifecycle policy dictates that old or infrequently used data is moved to less costly storage tiers.
  • AWS Glue is utilized as a central metastore for data catalog needs. It serves as a repository for metadata and engages access via other analytical services.
  • Amazon Redshift is AWS’s data warehouse product in which the team creates data marts for frequently used data, while infrequent data is accessed from Amazon S3 using Amazon Redshift Spectrum.
  • Amazon EMR is the managed cluster platform that is used for ETL (extract, transform, load) operations and enables direct interfaces with other business intelligence tools.

Improved performance at lower costs

As intended, the client’s new data analytics platform has unlocked a number of important benefits that help the company work smarter and faster.

Automation in the AWS Cloud enables on-demand scaling, which means analytics user groups have access to powerful data analytics capabilities when they need them. With fewer delays in data capture and analysis, the business can make informed decisions quickly to build on its competitive advantage.

The new solution also offers rapid deployment of new environments. Where the old data platform typically required several months of planning and implementation, automations in the AWS Cloud, such as AWS CloudFormation, make it possible to onboard a new application in a single day.

NTT DATA also developed best practices for the client to reduce overall costs by optimizing cluster and data storage utilization. Incorporating Amazon Redshift RA3 instances and balancing data lifecycle allocations between Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier reduces their operations costs by 15-20%.

Serving the greater good

While the client’s commercial data scientist team was the first group to take advantage of the new data analytics platform, the benefits didn’t stop with them. Based on early success, the client has expanded the platform to make it available to its marketing, brand, and analytics groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Today, driven by a fast, flexible and cost-effective data analytics platform, this pharmaceutical client is better-equipped than ever to bring relief to millions of people in need, and produce healthier business results in the process.

Please visit our website to learn more about NTT DATA’s Data & Analytics Practice for AWS.

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