Your Homegrown Spreadsheets and Databases Aren't Good Enough.

Trying to support a pharma client by using Excel spreadsheets and good intentions doesn't cut it anymore. To compete you need cutting edge technology.

If you’re a Medcomm agency, you know how critical data management can be to the compliance and success of your pharmaceutical client’s speaker program events. In this blog, we give you our top four data management technology requirements to ensure your speaker programs are not only compliant, but scalable and efficient.

Excel spreadsheets and the homegrown database that Tom built (even though he doesn't really have any idea as to what he's doing) tend to be the most prevalent tools for speaker event data management in most Medcomm agencies. The initial rationale makes enough sense. They’re inexpensive, and most of your team know how to use them. But as you attempt to adapt them to suit growing client needs, they become an increasingly complicated and inefficient solution.

 The problem only gets worse as your agency grows. The fact is, spreadsheets and databases are simply not adequate for the amount of workflow and delivery of integrated information that effective speaker program management requires. In particular, they’re unlikely to effectively meet the latest compliance requirements dictated by the Sunshine Act within our industry.

 Spreadsheets and databases also fare poorly when timely information needs to be accessed or changed on the road during speaker events. Excel and Access are not built for collaboration. If you’ve been depending on similar homegrown solutions for speaker program data management, the timeliness and accuracy of data may be in question.


Speaker Program Data Management Technology Guide

So, it’s pretty obvious by now that managing speaker program events with piecemeal internal spreadsheets is a bad idea. But with so many data management tools, how do you find the right one?

 More specifically, how do you find the right one for managing the specific intricacies and requirements of pharmaceutical speaker programs?


Here are the top four requirements to look for when selecting data management technology for speaker programs:

1) Your data management technology solution needs to support a “single source of truth.” 

This means it must provide a centralized repository/database that houses information about speaking events, speakers, their material, their honoraria, and transactions. It also means maintaining invitee and attendee data, as well as qualifying data around effectiveness. Spending information must also be included, and it should be matched with budget thresholds.


2) Support for a multi-client environment is a must.

This means isolating data between clients, but still having the manageability of a single portal within your agency. A multi-client environment should also be able to support multiple brands and business units within a client when necessary. The ability to customize branding is also an important aspect if the portals are ever customer/HCP facing.

3) Data must always be available.


Secure web-based access is fundamental. Your agency may still host its system in private hosting environments, but data within the portals must be available for access from anywhere, anytime to support the dispersed, transitional data that occurs when managing and measuring speaker programs.

4) Your data management solution should be securely accessible from mobile devices. 


To dovetail with the concept of data always being available, your data management solution must also be securely accessible from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. These devices are becoming the status quo and flexible web technologies (HTML5, responsive web designs, etc.) must be considered.

 Meeting these four requirements will help establish robust, transparent, standard processes that will enable your agency to make continuous improvements and unlock new value for clients.

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