PAREXEL brings industry-leading analytics to clinical trials


Today, PAREXEL embeds Tableau Server into their Perceptive MyTrials Analytics® product, helping customers access data from clinical trials. PAREXEL also uses Tableau internally to drive the business.

With Tableau and MyTrials Analytics, customers access industry-leading dashboards that display the entire performance of their clinical trial. Additionally, they can ask questions of their data and quickly spot outliers.

Software Engineering Manager, Richard Pearson explains how Tableau integrates with PAREXEL’s single sign-on capability, allowing customers to move from one PAREXEL product to another without interruption—and most importantly, keeping data secure.


Tableau: Can you share a bit about PAREXEL?
Richard Pearson, Software Engineering Manager: PAREXEL is a provider of solutions to the clinical trial industry. We will provide technological solutions to pharmaceutical companies who want to run clinical trials as well as actually running the clinical trials on behalf of a client.

We had a very clear vision of where we wanted to go with our business intelligence strategy, and with Tableau we found a partner innovative enough to match our ambition.

We had a very clear vision of where we wanted to go with our business intelligence strategy, and with Tableau we found a partner innovative enough to match our ambition.

Tableau: Why did you choose Tableau instead of building your own BI solution?
Richard: The pure power and capabilities of Tableau really meant that we didn't need to invest in building our own analytics solution, but rather we could build around Tableau and leverage the power of Tableau and use our OEM partnership with Tableau to help us move forward in that industry.

Tableau: What data do you present to customers in MyTrials Analytics?
Richard: With Tableau and MyTrials Analytics, we're able to show the customer the entire performance of their clinical trial and even their entire portfolio of clinical trials—combining the data from multiple clinical trials in one visualization. This allows the customer to immediately see where there are any outliers.

We want to be able to spot problems before they become problems. For example, we can see the history of a patient's visit schedule. We might know that by average, this patient will probably be one or two days late for a visit. We try and flag that earlier so that the clinical team can make sure that there's medication on site. If the medication's going to expire, they can make sure that they have the right medication in transit—so by the time the patient arrives, there won't be any problems.

Tableau: How do you handle authentication?
Richard: We sync Tableau with our own single sign-on (SSO) capability, which means that if a customer's coming from one product to another product, or any other system, they don't have to login twice. They navigate seamlessly from their application into their visualizations. And regardless of the application that they're coming from, they're able to see data from all of the different systems that they have with PAREXEL.

So, when the user logs into the dashboard, even though it's one dashboard, it's customized for that particular user, both in terms of security and the type of data that they're seeing, the terminology used in the dashboard.

The pure power and capabilities of Tableau really meant that we didn't need to invest in building our own analytics solution, but rather we could build around Tableau and leverage the power of Tableau and use our OEM partnership with Tableau to help us move forward in that industry.

Tableau: Has Tableau been a successful partner?
Richard: I would say that some of the great value that Tableau is adding is just simply their relentless pace of innovation, and the new features that they're bringing in are matching almost perfectly with our own roadmap.

You see something interesting, you click on it and suddenly that data expands and you see a different visualization and you keep navigating through your data. And eventually, you know, you find what it is you're after. It lets people become experts in understanding their data immediately without really any prior training or knowledge.

Tableau: What impressed you most about Tableau?
Richard: The speed with which we can build those visualizations gives us a powerful capacity to react quickly to customer and business needs. And the power of that data engine behind Tableau lets us work with tremendous volumes of data without there being any negative impact on the performance of those visualizations.

Tableau: How has Tableau changed your approach to analytics?
Richard: It's sparked a passion in me for analytics and business intelligence, and visualizations that I never knew I had.

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