Back to News List


Introduction to the Pharmaceutical Industry and Business Intelligence Practice - course review

September 30th, 2021

This workshop took place via Zoom, on 16th and 17th September, and was aimed at those who were new to the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry in both pharmaceutical companies and agencies

Our aim was to help the trainees 'hit the ground running' with this overview of the pharmaceutical industry and where business intelligence fits in, run by experienced business intelligence professionals including members of the BHBIA Board and Ethics & Compliance Committee. 

This was the second time that we have run the session virtually; this year we split the content across two half days rather than one full day, to make it easier for the delegates to absorb all the information. We were delighted with the level of attendance and engagement.

The course was convened by Board Directors Dan Coffin, Research Partnership and Kate Stevens, KES Consultancy.

Kate commented:

"This year saw another engaging virtual workshop take its newest group of industry entrants on a guided tour of all things Business Intelligence. Many of this year’s delegates were days into new roles, so found the mix of introductions to the NHS, R&D, key sources and methodologies in primary research and data analysis, and the legal & ethical guidelines that underpin everything highly valuable. As conveners it was a pleasure to host yet another group of motivated delegates who will bring new perspectives, skills, and knowledge to our industry.”

Day 1

After an introduction from Dan, the first afternoon was focussed on understanding the background to the NHS and pharmaceutical industry environment in which we operate.

  • Paul O'Nions, Sanofi / BHBIA Chairman kicked off with an Introduction to the NHS, giving the delegates food for thought about our customers. One of the delegates commented: "I was, and am still, fascinated by the NHS Introduction - especially the day in the life of a GP which has left me completely speechless!". He also shared a video from the King's Fund outlining how the NHS in England works.
  • Sally Rajah of AbbVie explained the process of Molecule to Market - i.e. the drug development journey from the start of the clinical trial process through to the mechanisms for ensuring availability of a medicine to the patients who need it, and the role that business intelligence plays in this process.

In the afternoon's last presentation Aline Rogers, BHBIA Executive Officer outlined how delegates can make the most of the BHBIA with a range of resources and training opportunities to support their next career steps. She shared a video about the Rising Stars Connect Group, which those new to the industry are encouraged to join. The day ended with a discussion about Careers in Business Intelligence, with some of the speakers outlining their career paths and explaining the highlights of the various roles they've been in. "Valuable to hear the presenters sharing their personal career journeys"

Day 2

The second day went into some of the specific areas that delegates are likely to be involved in in their BI roles, in two 'What is MR' sessions:

  • Kate Stevens discussed Data, including the many types of data that are available and the role of the data analyst in helping to deliver insights.
  • Steve Lowery, Red Leaf discussed Primary Market Research, with a personal journey about the 'real sense of privilege' that he feels when he reflects on his career, and in particular the contribution that MR can make to improving patients' lives.

Our final speaker, Yuliya Fontanetti, Cello Health Insight (and Deputy Chair, BHBIA Ethics & Compliance Committee) brought to life the reasons why Guidelines and Legislation are so important in business intelligence.

Her concluding take-home points are shown here.

You can see the full programme details here. We would like to thank all our speakers and conveners. 

Here are some overall comments from the delegates:

"It was a great introduction to the Pharmaceutical Industry and gave the necessary details I needed for my new job"

"I honestly didn't know what to expect, as a newcomer to the industry I'd hoped it would give me some key background and overview to what to expect at both a high-level within the industry and also on a day-to-day basis and it certainly did that!"

"As new entrant in the market research and pharma industry, this course provided valuable information of what a career in this industry entails"

"Varied speakers giving presentations. A balanced engagement level among participants"

"It was also a great opportunity to build a network of similar people, new to this industry"

Look out for details of next year's course which will be available soon in the Events, Courses & Webinars section of the website.

Save the date now (15th / 16th September 2022) and be sure to book early to secure your place - we need to limit numbers to ensure an interactive experience, and this year we were fully booked!