Welcome to the Real Life Series. In this section, GlobalMBAcareer brings you real life experiences of various MBA professionals who work across various roles from around the globe. Through this series, we intend to share with you what it means in real life to have a certain role and what it takes to be successful in it.
In this series, Robert – Director of Commercial Analytics of Actelion shares what it takes to have a successful career in the Commercial Analytics field through a 3 part series.
Commercial Analytics – Dr. Robert Siegmund (Part 1)
My name is Dr. Robert Siegmund and have been Director of Commercial Analytics at Actelion, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company specialized in orphan diseases until February 2014. Currently, I work as an independent consultant in the areas of market research, competitive intelligence and market analytics and I love to build my career in biotech and pharmaceutical industry.
I was born in Brazil but grew up in Linz, Austria. I went to Zurich, Switzerland to study for a Master of Science in Biochemistry. After completing my Biochemistry studies, I went back to Austria and did my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Genetics while doing basic research in cancer biology at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna. This research institute belongs to the Boehringer-Ingelheim pharmaceutical company, so this was my first exposure to the biopharmaceutical industry. After my time working in research, I decided to complete an MBA degree at London Business School, the leading European business school. Since graduating with my MBA degree I have worked in roles of increasing responsibility in the pharmaceutical industry in areas such as strategic planning, market research and competitive intelligence, working for leading companies including AMGEN, Hoffmann-La Roche and Actelion.
I live in the Basel area of Switzerland with my wife and three children. My hobbies are family and friends, history, philosophy and the arts.
In this 3 part series, I would like to share my real day-to-day experience of working in an Commercial Analytics or Market Insights role, its challenges, the aspects I enjoy the most and what I think about the skills and capabilities required for being successful in this role.
My Role/ What I do
As a Director of Commercial Analytics I headed up a team that generated insights by primary market research, competitive intelligence, market analytics and forecasting. Commercial analytics provides strategic advice and decision support to global marketing, business operations and global business development.
In the below diagram, I have tried to describe the different disciplines that define commercial analytics
The aim of Commercial Analytics is to provide forward looking decision intelligence, meaning that any insights or intelligence are only useful if they can support a business decision.
At different points in the development of a pharmaceutical product different type of analytics have to be performed in order to obtain relevant and timely market insights:
As you can see from this introduction this role works very closely with different functions inside the organization, especially global marketing, clinical development and senior management. At Actelion I particularly enjoyed the close cooperation with many senior decision makers in the company including the executive board such as the Chief Operating Officer (COO).
This means that in this role not only technical expertise in market analytics is required but also skill in communicating with senior management. In order to master this challenge I trained my team and all the external suppliers of intelligence in the art of story-lining, i.e. how to communicate precisely, succinctly and timely. This discipline proved very important in extending the reach and and influence of commercial analytics across the organization.
To access Part2 click here – Commercial Analytics – Dr. Robert Siegmund (Part 2)