The Three Critical Questions That Underlie All Great Business Decisions


The seeds of every business success or failure are rooted in the answers to three questions:

  • What is our opportunity?
  • Where do we focus?
  • How do we win?

These questions all guide decision-making and are foundational to everything we do. When we can concisely articulate the answers to these three questions, ideally in an elevator pitch, we put you in a position to grow your business. 

Consider the alternative. Without a meaningful question to direct your inquiry, you risk missing the mark with the information generated. The mark always needs to be actionable insight. 

Question One: What is Our Opportunity?

There are some fundamental questions whose answers can make the difference between a successful or a failed drug launch. Should you pursue clinical endpoint A or B? Should compound X or Y be acquired? How likely is it that an asset will be a 500 million, 1 billion- or 5-billion-dollar drug? These questions have enormous implications for business development, clinical decisions, financial performance expectation setting, and required investment levels.

A myriad of uncertain marketplace variables can influence business outcomes. There are endless scenarios to consider. At the same time, it is critically important to cast your net broad and consider all potential factors. The problem is that the required input is usually contained in multiple research reports and disparate databases. It is easy for researchers trying to provide answers to these queries to become overwhelmed and lost in the weeds.

How we help: We use data integration and advanced analytics to create a cohesive and comprehensive answer rather than having a collection of answers from a variety of sources.

Question Two: Where Do We Focus

In essence, question two is all about the allocation of resources. Which physician and patient targets, what indications, and what customer types do you invest in? Where are the best leverage points in the patient journey and market map? No company has the resources to be all things to all people.

Ideally, the targets identified have been verified both in terms of their expected behavior and how they think. This requires combining primary and secondary data, where primary data clarifies how they think, and secondary data clarifies behavior.  But connecting the two is often problematic. Most companies try to make the link through with a typing tool they give their sales representatives to fill out. That approach fails because it is time-consuming and awkward to execute.

How we help: We use advanced analytics rooted in behavioral economic principles to find connection points in the diverse data sources. This approach provides a single set of cohesive insights about how targets (HCPs or patients) behave and think.

Question Three: How Do We Win?

Winning is all about execution. And to win on a consistent basis, you need to establish what works and what doesn’t. This requires tracking your initiatives and having objective measures to determine success or failure. Often many information sources are collected into a dashboard to provide easy access. While that’s great (and the easy part), dashboards are often just a collection of data points, rather than actionable information about what you should be doing, and even more importantly, what you should stop doing.

How we help: We use a four-step process for determining the best KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your business. We interrogate each potential KPI with four questions:

  • Is it simple to define and understand?
  • Can it be easily quantified?
  • Can it be influenced?
  • Does it drive a key business objective?

We then use advanced analytics to integrate the data associated with each KPI to create better insights. More specifically, we use advanced analytics algorithms (e.g., Bayesian belief network) to combine sales data with primary research to assess which activities are most likely to impact customer attitudes and behaviors. With our robust analytics, our clients get a clearer picture of their KPIs over time and are better able to drive organizational accountability.

The Bottom Line

Over time, most business-critical issues can be addressed by answering these three questions. By tackling the questions in a deliberate fashion, you are setting up a strong foundation for ongoing business success. The simplicity of the three-question approach brings clarity and cuts through complexity. Our use of advanced analytics helps further streamline the process by integrating the mountains of available data to provide you with crystal clear insights. Research results with a purpose, to help create new strategies and drive concrete decision making.
Do you want to discuss how we can help your enterprise focus on these three questions? Please CONTACT us so we can connect with you right away.


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