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Advanced data analytics and reduced “time-to-insights” for leading pharmaceuticals firm

Advanced data analytics and reduced “time-to-insights” for leading pharmaceuticals firm 17/08/2020

Expert Thinking delivers a proof-of-concept Azure data “lab” environment for a leading international pharmaceuticals firm to provide advanced data analytics and reduce “time-to-insights” of new analytical algorithms and measures.  Working with the customer, we implemented a fully integrated and secure data warehouse and analytics solution that used Azure’s compute capability to provide a safe and secure “lab” environment for unpredictable, experimental scenarios.


The existing legacy data solution is built to meet a very specific need for BI/MI reporting and is locked-down to assure consistency of service, data quality etc.

Our customer needed a “lab” environment to:

  • Increase velocity and reduce “time-to-insights” of new analytics requirements
  • Provide access to next-gen advanced analytics tools
  • Enable elasticity of services and provide burstable compute capacity needed to test unpredictable, experimental scenarios
  • Simplify patterns of usage, e.g. prototyping, scenario analysis etc.


Whilst our customer had several highly skilled individuals in data warehousing and analytics, they lacked knowledge and expertise in Azure.  Working closely with business and technology stakeholders, Expert Thinking:

  • Defined the future-state technical reference architecture to meet all the stated goals and requirements for the “lab”
  • Defined the necessary changes to data governance to ensure the lab did not become a way of bypassing existing data governance and controls
  • Built a proof-of-concept lab environment based on ADLS and PowerBI with integration into Active Directory
  • Generated a simple output based on ingesting data from a defined data source, understanding and resolving any technical integration issues with Alteryx
  • Provided our recommendations and next steps to build-out the POC environment into a “production-ready” state


We successfully delivered the proof of concept and supporting documentation within 10 days, clearly demonstrating the ease with which Azure could be utilised to deliver rapid solutions to test assertions and assumptions, and we provided clarity to data governance and control (initially overlooked by our customer) and supported upskilling the internal team with knowledge of the services available within Azure.

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