Life.Sciences.Philadelphia.Summit.2016.jpgParagon's Jim Kane shares his perspective of the 2016 Knowledge Management Life Science Summit, which he attended with Paragon's Gretchen Nadasky during August 2016.

Paragon Solutions was honored to be invited to the Annual Life Sciences Knowledge Management Summit in Philadelphia in August 2016. This conference is unique in that it brings together Knowledge Management professionals from one specific industry to share their projects, case studies and lessons learned in the process of turning information into insights and innovation. Additionally, in sharing experiences it is clear that the relationship between knowledge management, content management and culture continues to deepen.

What did we notice? Experienced thought leaders in this field convene at this event to help their colleagues find a balance between designing knowledge management systems that influence and are influenced by a company’s culture. 

There were participants from Shire, Pfizer, Astrazeneca, BMS, Eli Lilly, Roche, Allergan, the FDA, Shire and a number of other organizations.  

Interestingly the job titles of presenters and attendees varied widely. 

Some examples:

  • Global Head Discovery Workflows in Research Informatics
  • Manager Info. Security & Risk
  • IT Manager
  • Legal Business Technology
  • Global Governance Lead
  • Associate Director Search Services
  • Director Knowledge Management & Technical Services
  • Director Knowledge Management
  • Business Capability Manager

The Business benefits for Knowledge Management were also diverse:

  • Use KM practices to controls information and prevent hacks.
  • Leverage semantic search to decrease time for clinical trials. The Pharmaceutical industry needs to decrease development time from 8-10 years to five. Need to connect results and knowledge to gain speed to market.
  • Develop a consumer-focused UX and UI on existing platform extending to social media
  • Validate that marketing information that goes out on the web is correct.
  • Track changes in corporate strategy at all levels and benchmarks results.
  • Build a collaborative platform to collect lab data and provide personalized dashboards.
It's important to know that the event delves into the relationship between knowledge management, content management and culture.

Paragon's Gretchen Nadasky

5 key takeaways

  • Knowledge Management Matters: There is still a passion for the concept of knowledge management although the definitions are broadening.  Many presenters made the case that the discipline is finally evolving from organizing information to creating knowledge
  • Context Matters: The term “knowledge management” is not always used in organizations because it doesn’t describe the ultimate benefits to the organization.
  • Developing Solutions: IT Business Partners/Liaisons  play a key role in developing knowledge solutions- this is great!  When business, IT, and change management come together most life sciences organizations see increased ROI.
  • Taxonomy Rocks: There is a big focus today on taxonomies and ontologies, and semantics-huh?  This means search is easy and the relationships between types of information become more evident leading to new innovations. Auto-classification is also coming of age.
  • Change Management and Information Governance Rules: Governance means mastery of information through people and process. It brings control and all speakers at the conference said their initiatives would have failed without great planning.

From a Life Sciences perspective, my colleague Gretchen and I listened to presentations and saw real-life demonstrations of KM applications designed to speed R&D and reduce time to market, provide personalized dashboards into scientific data, capture decision making in the Discovery Phase, and delivery of KM value in digital governance processes. Anyone interested in innovation, efficiency, collaboration and rights management in life sciences should attend this conference. The generous presenters shared  pragmatic, tactical and actual examples illustrate that at various levels KM is alive and well within the Life Sciences domain

For more information contact us at Paragon's Jim Kane and Gretchen Nadasky at and