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RFP - Data and Analytics Professional Development for BHBIA Members

April 22nd, 2021


The BHBIA supports the professional development needs of its members through a comprehensive range of training workshops, webinars, networking events and professional certification1. These offerings tend to focus on professional skills related to market research, analytics, fieldwork and other relevant topics. A common critical success factor for the BHBIA is to link learnings to application in a healthcare and pharmaceutical environment, which is the business of its membership. Recent research with members2 underlined that the BHBIA is well-known for specialisation in ethics and compliance and market research, and that satisfaction is high in these areas. However, there is an increasing demand from members for support in the area of data and analytics, which is the primary focus of this brief. 

Advanced analytics and data science are now the most sought-after insight skills3, driven by the rise of digital marketing, availability of big data and customer appetite for easy to digest, insightful, online solutions. These are emergent capabilities in B2C and B2B marketing, although pharmaceutical companies are a little behind the curve. The relevance to healthcare analytics is that sophisticated technologies now enable collation, modelling and storage of meaningful data at scale, for example, the data gathered by Genomics England, UK Biobank and popularized by 23andMe, with the potential to identify health risk and disease outcomes. Outside of the medical arena the internet of things, for instance, fit-bits, wearable technology, smart devices, is generating increasing data about people’s general health and lifestyle. 

The data management and analytical capabilities required for these big picture developments are increasingly needed in the day-to-day commercial world of the BHBIA’s members, for example, used to integrate and interpret open health data, personalise customer journeys, analyse customer behaviour from research data, evaluate campaign efficacy and channel effectiveness and much more. In many cases, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare consultancies and research agencies are evolving their insight teams as they see the need to be more analytically savvy, embrace new technologies and develop new ways to harness the power of data. This change requires support and training to develop individuals’ skills and organisational capabilities. 

The BHBIA wishes to co-design and implement new training processes and materials, to address members’ professional development needs in this area based around a capability framework common to the membership. This would enable analysts to target their learning needs appropriately and potentially demonstrate certification as they acquire more advanced skills. The BHBIA’s differentiating factor should be to focus on the solutions that apply skills to commercial healthcare problems and educating on healthcare and pharmaceutical data sources. Generic learning resources on data and analytics are already offered from other organisations and, if possible, the BHBIA should identify where these might be helpful to members, rather than seek to re-produce them. 

Finally, there has been decreasing engagement from analysts in BHBIA training events, which is counterintuitive given the growing need for analytical skills and the creation of new analytical roles. It is supposed that consideration should be given to the format, channel and content, to support new analysts with new roles and upskilling existing analysts. The purpose of this first step of the project is therefore to develop a capability framework taking into consideration the points in the situational overview above. 

  • Co-create the capability framework in collaboration with BHBIA members. Define the criteria for the framework, examples of observable behaviours, practical examples of skills and the day-to-day application. 
  • Define expected levels of competence for roles and experience levels
  • Prioritise aspects of the framework business critical to our members for the BHBIA to gain maximum impact. 
  • Build on the concept of creating a professional standard for analysts and how this could be made attractive to members to allow them to demonstrate competency against the framework 
  • Explore and recommend channels for delivering training and resources to analysts to maximise engagement and create longevity for future training.
  • Explore how this might work as a modular programme, for the benefit of individual analysts and how it could incorporate new needs over time.
  • Explore the value in extending online certification for data analysts beyond the recent compliance/data protection modules. 

The BHBIA can help with shaping the sample and recruiting some individuals, but we would expect the successful individual to be able to use their own contacts and networks to supplement this 

Heads of Business Intelligence and leaders of analytics teams 

Analysts within Business Intelligence teams 

Analytical consultancies and agencies 

Experts in the field of data and analytics 

Data scientists 

HR development consultant 

Data Architecture Design people 


There is an initial budget of up to £10,000 to describe the capability framework and define the levels within it. This initial scoping part of the project should inform the BHBIA as to whether we should proceed with the proposed development idea and is so what the initial starting point should be. 

Further investment will be available to take forward the project based on the findings of the scoping exercise. 


Final report by July 30th 2021 

2-weekly updates required by BHBIA board during project 

Proposal Timelines
  • By 7th May - please let us know if you intend to pitch by emailing – we will be happy to answer any questions you may have before you finalise your proposal 
  • By 5pm on 14th May – full proposals to be received by 
  • We expect to commission the successful agency/individual by the end of May


  1. BHBIA website - 
  2. Adelphi, Sustainability of the Industry Research, 2019, see video of P. O’Nions and C. Mottershead 
  3. Murphy L. and Pospichal L. (2019b). Greenbook Research Industry Trends Report. Available from