#49: Gilead Sciences’ Murali Vridhachalam and ZS Associates’ Mahmood Majeed on the Modern Data Stack and Data Mesh

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“Master data is so crucial, for the interoperability and the integration of enterprise data. So we have focused effort on making sure that master data is available so that there’s, we eliminate the point to point data sharing and data master data is easily available to create that 360-degree view of healthcare providers as an example.”

The data outlook is evolving in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Murali Vridhachalam, the Head of Enterprise Data and Analytics at Gilead Sciences, and Mahmood Majeed, Managing Partner at ZS Associates, offer their compelling perspectives on digital transformation in life sciences and healthcare and how data can be used in these arenas to make a positive impact. They explain why regulations do not have to inhibit innovation while digging into how this sector can adopt new paradigms such as the data mesh. Plus, Mahmood and Murali share their takes on how to effectively reskill data professionals and much more.

Key Insights

How do you create a data-driven culture on a legacy technology stack? (13:10)
“We are trying to disrupt that culture by enabling self-analytics. And by the way, we position parts part as that strategic tool to enable self analytics.” – Murali Vridhachalam 

The democratization of data and rise of self-service analytics in business means that time is ripe for meaningful cultural change. With easier access to insights, every business person on every team has the ability to be more data-driven. 

Why must modern IT pro’s expertise span cross-disciplinary boundaries? (36:28)
“Data scientists have to work in the business units that are central IT teams and gain that experience because having the knowledge of the business process, how the business works, and gaining the domain knowledge is absolutely crucial in developing good machine learning algorithms.” – Murali Vridhachalam

Although Mahmood and Murali each articulate it differently, they both agree data professionals need to have a diverse skillset that spans technical prowess and business acumen. As the world has grown more complex, workers are constantly required to learn more and adapt quickly to new concepts.  

How is data and analytics really delivering improved patient outcomes? (25:21)
“The ecosystem has been quite sophisticated, talking about the AI use cases, you actually can predict the likelihood of a prescriber writing a script before a script is being written. You can actually prescribe, can actually predict a patient dropping a therapy before it actually drops, or you can actually predict a plan changing their formulary status before it actually happens.” – Mahmood Majeed

The opportunities for greater healthcare system efficiency through the implementation of AI and machine learning are great. Already improved outcomes are seeing patients and providers benefiting from better and more timely care. 

What does the convergence of data, AI, and cloud mean for modern data leaders? (08:56)
“The convergence of data, AI, and cloud, and we have a lot of enterprise data on the cloud, and we will apply AI and machine learning on top of it. It yields special use cases. There was never before possible because data was always in silos, And the scale of the cloud lets us work on data better by scale data.”

We are in the early days of this data-rich frontier. So much data that has been in existence is finally now converging, and so much more potential lies still untapped. The life sciences and healthcare industries are moving quickly to increasing data and digital acceleration. 

Zhamak Dehghani
Data Mesh

About Mahmood Majeed
Mahmood is a managing principal and leads ZS‘s global digital and technology practice area. For the past 22 years, he has partnered with 100-plus global life sciences companies advising clients on delivering measurable business outcomes by realizing and optimizing value of investments in technology, digital and AI that directly contribute to the growth initiatives of the organization.

About Murali Vridhachalam
Murali Vridhachalam is the Head of Enterprise Data and Analytics at Gilead Sciences, a research-based pharmaceutical company. Prior to joining Gilead in March of 2021, Murali held several leadership positions at IBM in the areas of Data, Analytics, Supply Chain, Enterprise Services, and Software Development.

Get even more insights from data and analytics leaders like Murali and Mahmood on The Data Chief.
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Episode 52