Member Spotlight: Shreyas Murthi

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Our inaugural edition focuses on Shreyas Murthi, Associate Principal, ZS Associates. Shreyas’ presentation at the 2015 PMSA Conference was voted best abstract presentation by attendees, for his talk "Micro Targeting in Orphan Markets: A Patient Focused Approach and Case Study". We caught up with Shreyas this summer to learn more about his professional background and to hear his predictions for the future, and plans for visiting the seven wonders of the world.

PMSA: How many years have you been in the industry?
Shreyas Murthi: I have been in the industry for over 10 years now. I started off on the east coast working with larger pharmaceutical companies, then focused on launch commercialization for emerging biotech companies in the Bay area, and I am now mainly focused on helping with commercial analytics for mid/large biopharma companies.

PMSA: What attracted you to the field?
SM: While finishing my Masters, I worked at an animal bioinformatics lab for 2 years which peaked my interest in the world of healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Healthcare consulting seemed liked a good way to accelerate my learning in this space and build expertise, and that’s how my journey started.

PMSA: How did you first hear about PMSA?
SM: ZS and PMSA have a long history of collaboration and sharing new ideas with industry professionals. I was referred to PMSA by several team members at ZS and my clients, when we were discussing the latest practices in using patient level data for commercial decisions.

PMSA: How many years have you attended the PMSA conference?
SM: 2015 was my second year attending the conference. I attended the winter symposium a couple of years ago as well.

PMSA: What did you enjoy the most about this year’s conference, besides your own presentation?
SM: I was very interested in this year’s theme of big data analytics, and enjoyed the diversity of topics discussed, including some interesting new ideas on how the industry can push for standardized unique identifiers across data vendors. It was also great to have multiple opportunities to network with other industry professionals – I particularly like the design of the exhibit/poster areas, and of course the dinner cruise!

PMSA: How was the experience to present in front of the PMSA audience? Any advice for future presenters?
SM: I have a lot of regard for the industry professionals who attend PMSA, and it was very exciting to present in front of that audience for the first time. Especially since I was the last speaker on the last day of the conference, and I assumed it would be challenging to keep the audience engaged. But I was pleasantly surprised by the attendance and the questions I got after the session. In terms of advice for future presenters – there is a wide spectrum among the PMSA audience. There are those who want more technical details of the approach/algorithms and those who are looking for a broader understanding and the impact they can bring to their organizations. It is important to strike a good balance, as well as to use the conference time outside of your presentation, to connect with particular individuals and answer specific questions.

PMSA: What are some current projects you are excited about?
SM: I am currently helping one of my clients build a cross functional advanced analytics platform using big data technologies. This project sits at the perfect intersection of predictive analytics, big data and change management – all the areas which I have been passionate about in the last couple of years. All of us in pharma know how challenging it is to quickly do high quality analytics. Without the right data available or the right technology, we end up spending more time preparing the data then doing analysis! I am excited to be in the middle of this journey to develop the next generation of analytical processes to guide commercial decisions – faster, deeper and better!

PMSA: Do you have any predictions for the future?
SM: I predict that industry consolidation among providers and payers will continue to shape how we evolve our customer engagement model and supporting analytics. New emerging data sources, such as EMRs, social websites etc.., will get utilized by pharma sooner than expected, within the next 1-2 years. And, the 49ers will win the 2016 Golden Super Bowl!

PMSA: What are your hobbies outside of pharma analytics?
SM: For now, I spend most of my free time with my wife and our 16-month old son! We love travelling and exploring new cities around the world – one of our goals is to visit all the 7 modern wonders of the world. We have visited 4 of them, and are really looking forward to experiencing the remaining ones in the near future!