Competitive intelligence for pharmaceutical companies made manageable by Guided Analytics

Staying on top of the competitive landscape in the area of pharmaceutical research is critical to both senior decision makers doing things like research portfolio management and scientists who need to know what’s going on in their field. The increasing volume of available information along with the escalating demands of what should be done with that information have made it impossible for the CI team to keep up.

Possibly more than in any other industry, pharmaceutical R&D is governed by trends and risks. Projects targeted at being first in class for a new indication or therapeutic modality, or fast followers aiming to be best in class have different requirements and risk profiles. What’s currently hot, what the competition is doing, what the latest scientific advances, are all factors that decide between a commercially successful medicine and a project that either runs for years without making headway or is a very expensive dud. Fortunately, there’s a lot of information to consider – perhaps too much.

Overlooking a key piece of information can be detrimental. However, sifting through the mountains of publications is a huge burden, costing both time and resources. The answer? Automation!

A Guided Analytics approach built on KNIME Server WebPortal helps the competitive intelligence team to triage the flood of incoming patent data. Tags are drawn from the text and “interesting compounds” identified automatically. Thus, the most interesting candidates are sorted to the top of the pile and interactive reports are generated. These can be called up by senior decision makers and bench scientists alike.

The scoring draws on the expertise of the internal data science teams and, due to the flexibility and openness of KNIME Analytics Platform, it can easily be tuned and refined as business needs and scientific understanding evolve.


Better access to relevant data speeds up decision making processes and ensures that decisions are based on relevant and timely information.

  • Automated ranking of “interesting compounds” in patent data greatly speeds up how information is categorized
  • Senior decision makers and scientists have better access to better data, more quickly
  • Interactive reporting increases engagement with the data, leading to more informed decisions
New pharmaceutical patent data is sometimes hightly relevant to one’s field – and sometimes not so much. However, when it is, it needs to get into the right hands without delay.

A Guided Analytics application delivered on KNIME Server WebPortal streamlines and operationalizes the process of categorizing patent information. A score is attached that indicates relevance to selected tags. The data are collected and held in a searchable store that makes them quickly accessible to senior decision makers and bench scientists alike. Subsequent consumers of the information can easily update or enhance the entries.

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