Using Big Data to Make your Compliance Program Smarter


One of the key areas of focus for compliance teams is pre-empting and managing risk across the organization before it becomes a compliance issue. Given that there could be many different sources of risk, especially in large global organizations, compliance teams need access to tools that can help them monitor and manage risk in a timely manner. This is where digital transformation, including the use of big data, can be uniquely helpful.

Simplifying compliance

Historically, small, mid-size and large organizations have had challenges complying with regulations due to a of lack of automation. Repetitive manual tasks are onerous, error prone and can get out of control very quickly, especially as organizations grow and businesses become more diverse. Given that regulatory compliance requires reviewing and validating the data (sometimes across multiple sources) for accuracy prior to submission to regulators, manual labor-intensive processes quickly start adding risks.

Automation and consolidation of compliance processes using digital technologies can significantly reduce the resource needs within the organization, reduce the time to identify risks and make monitoring simpler and actionable. Compliance documents require significant legal expertise to translate them into “business speak”. The business teams have to be trained to make them aware of the new regulations. The frequent changes to regulations make sticking to a process quite difficult. Managing change and ensuring compliance without tools is time consuming. Digital technology can assist in “translating” the complex compliance documents into business rules that can be automated which enables delivery of actionable insights.

Digital transformation has been a key area of focus for most progressive organizations given the fact that digital technologies and supporting processes offer competitive advantages to the business. Not only do digital technologies eliminate the time-consuming manual processes, but they also enable organizations to stay informed and compliant with regulation changes and innovations. The key is to assemble, aggregate, reconcile and showcase data in the form that is meaningful to the compliance and business organizations. This will allow them to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

Using the power of big data to enable compliance

The term “big data” involves storing large amounts of data for analysis and downstream processing. Historically, big data has been characterized along four different dimensions:

  1. Volume – refers to the amount of data and number of sources of data
  2. Velocity – refers to the speed and frequency at which the data is delivered from the data sources
  3. Variety – refers to the different formats of structured and unstructured data that is delivered
  4. Veracity – refers to the uncertainty about the accuracy associated with the data being delivered

Given the complexity with managing multiple sources and types of data, technology-led compliance programs take significant time to develop and take off. So, instead of leading with data and technology, a use case-based approach is recommended. Compliance teams should partner with business teams to identify key use cases for compliance monitoring and other helpful areas for managing the business effectively. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and key risk indicators (KRIs) should be developed to enable management of business risks more effectively and efficiently. Once this blueprint of KPIs and KRIs is available, the next step should be to assess available solutions that offer out-of-the-box KPIs and KRIs. This is the fastest way to automate rather than developing them from scratch.

Some important KPIs and KRIs that we have seen discussed across multiple compliance and business teams are associated with monitoring meals related expenses vis-à-vis the company approved limits, tracking potentially “off label” events, monitoring spend across products and specialty, managing compliance thresholds required by various states, identification of key opinion leaders and other metrics associated with healthcare professional (HCP) engagements.


As regulators identify risks and bad behavior, compliance teams may be stretched thin to deliver more with less. However, given the tools available in the market, there has never been a better time for compliance and business teams to deliver both business value and stay compliant at the same time. We believe that using big data and analytics can help organizations position themselves as leaders in the market and deliver superior value to their stakeholders while leading with compliance.

Neeraj Singhal

Vice President, Product Management, MediSpend

Posted on Aug 20, 2020 2:00:55 PM

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