True to their exemplary customer service all will be back to normal in 3 to 5 business days but in the meanwhile I am in exile--staying on schedule for a pending book release and dilly dallying over a proposal edit. Typically when I am in pre-conference mode, Women in Statistics and Data Science, I am working at a frenetic speed but this week I am forcing myself to slow down.
While fidgeting nervously at the Genius Bar yesterday, I observed the community of consumers--purchasing, contemplating a purchase, or attending curated workshops to better engage with their technology.
My mind quickly thought of data. The shelves are now stocked with self-guided ways to monitor your weight, blood pressure, heart rate, sleep cycles, glucose levels, temperature, and oxygen saturation of your blood.
The digital revolution has pulled us all along. Patients, business types, people of all ages are contributing to the data flotsam and jetsam sought after by multiple industries and stakeholders.
Part of my business day, often involves creating RFP strategies for clients. Request For Proposals, in my area of expertise, are often used to solicit grant requests for a wide variety of services to the pharmaceutical industry--agency work, continuing medical education, analytics, or IT services come to mind. Procurement departments are an evolving stakeholder as R&D pipelines shrink, complexity of mergers and acquisitions increases, and cost transparency creates an immediate need for differentiation in a crowded marketplace.
I am continually gobsmacked when potential vendors fail to create compelling proposals out of fear of innovation. They often scoff at format redesigns or context outside their immediate self-drawn comfort zones.
Below is one of the more robust RFPs I have read (this is an active RFP). I wanted to include it here to demonstrate the limitations of traditional data sources (Pub-med for example) and how strategies bringing available (often publicly available) data into the conversation provide context and actionable insights.
In this rheumatology RFP, the pharma company provides valuable guidance without too much specificity...
- Optimal medication selection
- Improved adherence
- Adverse drug events
- Coordinated prescribing among providers
- Clear timeframes for medication duration and follow-up
And toward potential gaps...
Health Care System Factors:
- Patients on five or more medications
- Multiple providers writing prescriptions
- Prescribed high-risk medications
- The strength of the patient/provider relationship
- Patients with three or more comorbid conditions
- Presence of memory/cognitive impairment
- Financial stress
- Behavioral health/mental health needs
- Ability to engage in decision making; level of understanding of health
- Level of social/family support
I don't personally know Fred Wilson but I have been following his keen insights over on Twitter for a long time. In fact, he is married to Joanne Wilson the author of the first blog I ever read with any regularity--Gotham Gal.
Think about the quick narrative he shares below. You have a few choices to make when building your data strategy--do what is expected--answer the same questions, the same way, for the same results.
Or skip the water...
I told this story to an entrepreneur last weekend and she loved it. So I figured I should tell it to everyone here at AVC.
I was a mechanical engineering major (course 2) at MIT. One of the best classes in the mechanical engineering curriculum at MIT is 2.70, Introduction To Design. And the highlight of 2.70 is the contest in which everyone is given a bag of stuff from which they need to design and build a product that will compete in a contest.
My year, the contest went like this. There was a huge water tank with diving boards on both ends and a rope swing in the middle. Two contestants would put their designed product on each diving board, jump into the water, and start moving toward the rope swing. The one whose product got to the rope swing first would move on.
The "bag of stuff" was a brown paper shopping bag with an empty large soda bottle, the spring mechanism for a music box, a bunch of rubber bands, and so on and so forth.
I did what you might imagine, with the help of my friend Jim. We cut the soda bottle in half to create a boat, used the spring mechanism to power a paddle boat style propulsion system, and used the rubber bands to launch the boat from the diving board. It worked and I made it past the first race.
In the second race, I came up against a student who had a different idea. His product simply launched, like a rocket, from the diving board, flew through the air, and grabbed the rope swing in about a nanosecond. He destroyed me and everyone else and won the contest.
The lesson is, of course, is to skip the water.-- Fred Wilson