Skip to main content Skip to Footer


UCB: Innovative analytics data lab helps determine business insights and value

Establishing a strategic council to set the long-term analytics strategy and roadmap, as well as guide decision-making.


In a fast-evolving healthcare ecosystem, UCB wanted to use the diverse, growing range of internal and external data sources at its disposal to improve patient care and business value. It selected Accenture to help establish an innovative, cost-effective analytics “Data Lab” that would answer key business questions and identify tangible, untapped pockets of business value across the company. Together, Accenture and UCB established a strategic council to set the long-term analytics strategy and roadmap, as well as guide decision-making.

The project was recognized by Data News, Belgium’s leading IT magazine, as the 2013 winner of the “ICT Project of the Year—Large Enterprises” award.


UCB Pharma wanted to use the diverse range of internal and external data at its disposal to better focus on patient needs and adapt to a changing healthcare ecosystem. It launched an ambitious advanced analytics program that would help treat data as an enterprise asset and encourage collaboration between IT and business. The program would require UCB to transcend the company’s organizational boundaries to help create an open innovation model and capture the business value behind the growing number of new data sources, such as real-world evidence data and machine-to-machine data. To turn its vision into a reality, UCB collaborated closely with Accenture on an innovative analytics Data Lab that helps generate valuable business insights.


Together, Accenture and UCB pursued a cost-efficient, flexible Data Lab approach to identify pockets of value across the company quickly and with only a modest initial investment. They set up a strategic council, composed of senior UCB leaders and Accenture analytics specialists. The council helped define the program’s vision and road map, conduct innovation workshops, and guide the analytics organization and IT architecture decisions. With the council, UCB could tap into Accenture analytics thought leadership, innovation and specialist capabilities throughout its analytics journey.

The Data Lab team answered key business questions pertaining to media sentiment toward UCB, NPS (Net Promoter Score) measurement, sales resource allocation for a specific brand, and raw material tracking, among others. It explored each business question in time-boxed, 50-man-day “sprints.” Each “sprint” used a broad range of internal and external data, applied advanced analytics and reached an answer. The approach was flexible, so each “sprint” delivery team could redirect or fine-tune its efforts to work with available data sets and help achieve the best possible business value. Data discovery and visualization tools also helped the teams see, in a concrete way, the business value that could be achieved from each “sprint.” Based on the results, UCB could then decide whether it wanted to set up the “sprint” as an ongoing analytics service.


The agile and flexible Data Lab has helped turn UCB’s initial analytics vision into a tangible reality with demonstrable insights and business value. By making a small initial investment in a “sprint,” UCB assessed the value that could be achieved in each area before paying for a larger, broader rollout. Tapping into cross-functional internal and publicly available external data also helped UCB bridge strategic knowledge gaps.

As a result of the program’s success, business leaders from across the organization have submitted new business questions to the Data Lab, encompassing market access, competitive intelligence, legal, market research and HR.

The project has also generated broader acclaim. It was recognized by Data News, Belgium’s leading IT magazine, as the winner of the “ICT Project of the Year—Large Enterprises” award in 2013.

The innovative approach to assessing analytics value has helped UCB rethink its business to deliver better patient outcomes, improve patient service and drive shareholder returns.