The book, Sequential Drawings: The New Yorker Series will amuse you. Richard McGuire sketches little moments that are familiar but elegant in their own ordinary way. After several weeks on the road I can definitely relate. I need to sharpen my pencils and collate insights--there is much to share. There is an immediacy to the exchange of truly operational insights and innovative strategies. Immuno-oncology is exploding with technologic, clinical, and immune-profiling data relevant to patients and their care teams. Keep an eye here http://www.dataanddonuts.org/cancer-the-brand for conference summaries and reports from the World Vaccine Congress and DIA Statistics Forum.
Meanwhile, I bought a new mobile for my office. My friend Jay creates beautiful mobiles currently on display in over two hundred gift shops and over one hundred museum shops around the world. I can't show it to you because about 10 feet below the objet d'art are stacks of books, conference materials, and loads of editorial material needing my attention.
Although my husband is quite hands-on, my travel schedule seems to have overwhelmed the limits of the household. Unfamiliar items have displaced carefully selected almond milk, organic whole grain bread, and green apples on every grocery list. Lacrosse pockets are unstrung, birthday gifts are waiting to be purchased, and the remodel remains in that Middle-march provincial turmoil somewhere between ancient ruins and avant-garde design theory.
Life on the road isn't much better. I don't know what happened to hotels in the last few years but inconsistency in brands is alive and well. You pull up expecting a greeting and maybe a hand with your luggage and instead a group of business men "day-drinking," balance their mobile phones precariously while snubbing out cigarettes. Not one to be too precious, I make my way to my room and discover the coffee machine has aged horribly since my last visit, there aren't any water bottles in the room, and the pool is closed for maintenance.
I am not sharing this to depress you. I am building to the reveal. The big Real World Evidence reveal. We are all struggling. The travel is long, the technical tasks of leveraging and analyzing large data-sets is real. So what should your data plan include? Be willing to work harder, longer, and smarter. That is a given.
You don't often hear about the two strategies you need to run in parallel for a well-informed data strategy. The sexy part of your data--the predictive modeling is always invited to the party. The less popular guest is risk management. Have you defined data privacy--compliance with your organizations culture, and access (who can see what data)? To quote a recent HBR article, What's Your Data Strategy?, you need to "distinguish between information and data AND differentiate information architecture from data architecture".
A powerful reminder that real world data (RWD) is not synonymous with real world evidence (RWE). And if that isn't pithy enough--a senior statistician from the FDA revealed that the skills for integrating RWD into existing or emerging data governance strategies are evolving and certain not in the toolbox of the majority of old-school statisticians.
What can we learn? It isn't too late to bring unique skills to the data conversations. There is still time to catch up--doesn't the 5 second rule apply to data?
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
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