Early Adoption of Innovative Analytical Approach and Its Impact on Organizational Analytics Maturity and Sustainability: A Longitudinal Study from a U.S. Pharmaceutical Company

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Abstract. We investigate the impact of early adoption of an innovative analytics approach on organizational analytics maturity and sustainability. With the sales operation planning involving the accurate determination of physician detailing frequency, multiple product sequencing, nonlinear promotional response functions and achievement of the right level of share of voice (SOV), an analytical approach was developed by integrating domain knowledge, neural network (NN)’s pattern-recognition capability and nonlinear mathematical programming to address these challenges. A pharmaceutical company headquartered in the U.S. championed this initial research in 2005 and became the first major firm to implement the recommendations. The company improved its profitability by 12% when piloted to a sales district with 481 physicians; then it launched this approach nationally. In 2014, the firm again gave us its data, performance of the analytical approach and access to key stakeholders to better understand the changes in the pharmaceutical sales operations landscape, the firm’s analytics maturity and sustainability of analytics. Results suggest that being the early adopter of innovation doubled the firm’s technology utilization from 2005 to 2014, as well as doubling the firm’s ability to continuously improve the sales operations process; it outperformed the standard industry practice by 23%. Moreover, the infusion of analytics from the corporate office to sales, improvement in management commitment to analytics, increased communications for continuous process improvement and the successes from this approach has created the environment for sustainable organizational growth in analytics.

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