Advanced Bio-Logic streamlines clinical trials with Tableau

The team at Advanced Bio-Logic Solutions provides insight into cutting-edge technology trends to advance their biotech clients’ competitive edge. We spoke with CEO Jeff Epstein and Director of Business Development Jon Denne to learn how Advanced Bio-Logic Solutions is using Tableau to get pharmaceuticals to market faster.

Tableau: What does Tableau mean to your team of clinical trial consultants?
Jeff Epstein, CEO: It’s a tool that allows everybody on our team to come to work and get excited about what they do. To know that there's no limit to what our goals are to help streamline the clinical trial process and allow our clients to make more effective decisions.

Jon Denne, Director of Business Development: We didn't think that there was a single product on the market that would allow us to accomplish what we needed to accomplish with one relationship. We needed a product that was gonna enable us to connect to disparate data sources. We wanted a fast visualization engine. We wanted something that was going to be flexible for the customer so that as they needed changes, we could respond to them quickly, or they could potentially make those changes themselves.

Tableau absolutely accomplishes that. We were looking for a little bit of a solution, and we think we hit a home run.

We were looking for a little bit of a solution, and we think we hit a home run.

Tableau: How does ABLS use Tableau to help pharma clients get drugs to market faster?
Jon: In the biotech, pharma, and medical device industry, if you're not managing your process effectively, then you're not getting to market as soon as you can. There’s a lot of disparate information out there. There are a lot of siloed data sources. There's also not a lot of cross-channel communication. Our goal is to help bridge those gaps and bring opportunities to the customer.
Jeff: About 25 percent of the cost to develop a drug is the enrollment of subjects in a clinical trial study. If we can decrease that time and identify some of the high-risk sites that are creating a lot of problems, then we can hopefully decrease the cost that it takes to develop the drug.

Tableau: Can you give us an example of a specific way Tableau helps with clinical trials?
Jeff: When you have these rather large studies, there are many moving components, so many people trying to meet their deadlines; it’s really hard to always keep a good eye on what's happening at all times. When you have a global study, you need to know what's happening in each country and having oversight of all the staff in each one of those countries or cities is vital to the efficiency of a study. The people who use Tableau are primarily the clinical study teams. They want to see how resources are being used and be able to shift things on the fly or anticipate the amount of workload needed to accommodate the study.

If we can start to help our clients identify and have oversight over the development of the product, how fast enrollment is happening for new subjects, how well the product is doing on patients that are getting the product itself vs. the placebo, it allows them to identify whether or not the product is effective. If it's not effective, then they can stop it immediately.

Tableau: How does working with Tableau help you decrease time to market for drug manufacturers?
Jeff: Using Tableau would decrease the amount of time it takes to get a drug to market for the mere fact that it helps the end user or the clients to make decisions on the fly. When you can make better, more active decisions on the fly and have oversight of the clinical research organizations or multiple sites that you’re conducting, then it will absolutely increase the enrollment process.

Jon: There are a lot of inefficiencies in a lot of the companies that are involved in the clinical trials process. A lot of different pieces that are not coordinated effectively. Our opportunity is to take analytics and sail through those channels to help people see more of a big picture of what's available to them.

Tableau: What’s it been like working with the folks at Tableau?
Jon: Tableau has been phenomenal in that the support has been tremendous. It's surreal. I come from a sales background where I've had multiple channel partners that we've interacted with and I keep thinking somebody pinch me, because this isn't how relationships work with traditional companies.

Once we started going to some of the user groups and interacting with the community, we knew it was something unique. Whenever we have questions or problems, everybody's been fantastic. They respond quickly and they just go the extra mile to make sure that we have everything we need to represent the product the way that the product should be represented.

Tableau: How has Tableau impacted you personally?
Jon: Personally, I come from a sales and marketing background and I’ve seen for years how data has been manipulated without the benefit of analytics, without the benefit of really having any type of tools that will help you make better business decisions because you're looking at numbers. And numbers don’t tell a story. Visualizations can tell the story and then empower you to make better business decisions. We see so much opportunity that’s out there. The use of analytics in data is going to drive us to the next level. I guess I just regret that it didn't come along sooner.

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