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The Transformative Role of Statistics in the Era of Digital Technologies and Big Data

Posted by
Andy Grieve, Statistical Science & Innovation
28-Jun-2023


A vital factor of pharmaceutical innovation, from drug discovery to post-marketing surveillance, is the use of statistics to increase our understanding of the diverse and extensive data available to us in medical research. Amidst the rise of digital technologies and big data, the opportunities to innovate are increasing at pace, and statistics is playing a crucial role in driving this change.

The use of statistics in pharmaceutical research is not a new phenomenon and has been an essential part of the industry since the early 20th century. Initially, statistics were used primarily for quality control and to ensure the reproducibility of results. As the industry matured, the way in which we used statistics evolved and became increasingly important in clinical trials, where the practice was used to improve trial design, analyze data, and provide evidence of a drug's safety and efficacy.

Today, statistics’ role in pharmaceutical research cannot be underestimated. With the rise of digital technologies and big data, we have access to more data than ever before, driven by new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics. Statistics enable our researchers to analyze vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently, combining data from multiple sources and fields to efficiently support the generation of new insights and data-driven discoveries. 

An integral example of big data driving innovation is within the clinical setting. Digital technologies are being used to collect and analyze data in real time, providing researchers with immediate insights into the safety and efficacy of a drug. Put simply, digital tools allow automatic data cleaning and visualization, allowing our statisticians to focus on high-level analysis within the drug development process, reducing costs and most importantly, improving patient outcomes. 

Post-marketing surveillance represents another shift in data innovation, with big data analytics used to help monitor the tolerability and efficacy of drugs in-market, helping us to identify potential challenges quicker, and enabling regulators to take action to improve patient experience.

Find out more about how we are driving innovation here Innovation is | UCB.

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