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Data Diaries: Eric Olsson, SpringWorks Therapeutics

Last month, we sat down with Eric Olsson, Director of Data and Analytics at SpringWorks Therapeutics, Inc. to discuss all things Master Data Management and beyond. 

Eric’s career includes nearly 16 years as a digital leader with Under Armour, culminating in ownership of the Enterprise Reporting and Business Analytics functions while the business skyrocketed to incredible success. 

Today, Eric leads SpringWorks Therapeutics' efforts to build a powerful, scalable data foundation in preparation for its upcoming commercial launch.

In this interview, Eric shares his experiences, lessons learned as a data leader, and views on the master data management landscape today.

What's exciting about our space right now is the level of change and innovation that's going on. If you look at what we’re able to achieve with Master Data Management and modern data platforms… we're in a different world than we were 10 years ago. 

As a whole, the pharmaceutical industry tends to be a little behind the digital transformation curve and, unsurprisingly, the pandemic helped bring that to light. The very traditional model of having sales or field representatives meet in person with healthcare professionals went out of the window. Many companies have been scrambling to build the core capabilities necessary to operate in today’s digital world.

Our focus is to understand our market and give our operations team the best, most up-to-date information possible ahead of our launch. A doctor may work with six different organizations - the notion of their ‘primary’ organization may depend on who is asking and the context. Because we address rare diseases, we are interested in a very specific type of work with one organization or another. Having a foundation that allows us to gain and provide those insights in near real-time to our commercial operations staff is invaluable.

Data supports our mission to help underserved patients, and in many cases, the reason they're underserved is because they're misdiagnosed. Quality data helps us communicate with the right people, which in turn helps to educate patients and caregivers so that people maybe do get diagnosed correctly and avoid years of suffering due to a lack of a timely and accurate diagnosis of their disease. 

We decided that data and our data platform are fundamental to what we do as a company. Essential to any good data platform is clean, harmonized, and enriched data to act upon. One of the main pillar technologies we have is CluedIn which serves as our Master Data Management platform, as well as the major component of our customer data platform.

Everything is driven by clean, accurate data and that data is constantly changing in today’s world. We like to think deeply and act quickly, so we need systems that can adapt to, process, and transform different sources of data for a clean and accurate perspective of our partners.

As a new company, we have the benefit of being able to plan from the start and build a data foundation that will serve the needs of the company now and in the future. Hopefully, we're avoiding the pain of building up 10-20 years of technical debt and accruing multiple sources of master data that needs cleansing later.

The traditional approach has always been wrong. Traditional Master Data Management is very tied to the idea of a set schema that's not going to change. It takes a very long time to build a static sort of interface for your master data. By the time it's built, it's going to be out of date and wrong. The sooner we accept and plan to live effectively in a world where things are constantly changing, the better off we are.

If you think of your record as static, you're just fooling yourself. A golden record implies that you work to achieve something final. Instead, I promote the idea of a Mosaic record that’s made up of little information ‘tiles’ which change constantly. You enrich Mosaic records by making each tile smaller and more precise until your ‘big picture’ comes into focus.

Having a Master Data Management and customer platform that's built from the ground up to accommodate that agility makes a world of difference. It lets us develop use cases quickly, put them into our ecosystem, and test the results. That freedom lets us pivot and take advantage of those things that work well, and abandon those things that don't work so well. 

My advice for Data Leaders? Make sure your organization understands the data estate you’ve built and how to take advantage of it.

These are just the highlights of our conversation with Eric, click here to watch the full thing.


By Natasha Scott
Head of Demand Generation at CluedIn

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