Forming a moonshot investment thesis

Healthcare places a bet on the role of data science.


Will data augment the pill? Or kill the pill? These are two of the hypotheses that a global pharmaceutical weighed as it doubled down on its data science capability. But which direction would create competitive advantage for this company?


For the past two decades, the pharmaceutical industry experienced increased costs and lower productivity, while also addressing pressure to demonstrate superior outcomes. What we know, when we know it, and what we can do with it has the potential to drive business and health outcomes for the data-driven life-sciences organization.


We analyzed investments in early-stage health-tech companies, pharma-tech partnerships, and competitor data science operations, with an emphasis on separating signals from noise. Following the formation of three investment theses, we identified the forces, drivers, and strategic implications for each.

Equipped with three concise strategic paths, senior leadership selected the data science bet most authentic to the company mission and business vision, aligning people and resources to support the investment thesis.