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Take the Guesswork Out of Pharma Sales Forecasting: Leveraging Predictive Analytics AI Solutions

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Published on
September 28, 2023

Over the past three years, supply chain issues and drug shortages have become regular headlines and major stressors for pharma companies, HCPs, and patients. While pharma companies want to avoid this kind of press, there is also a great financial risk in overproducing medications that could expire before they are prescribed. 

Accurate sales forecasts help companies know how much of a drug is likely to be prescribed so they can prepare for what is ahead, as well as ensuring that every patient gets the treatment needed without excessive surplus. Predictive analytics tools can utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to help companies make better forecasts1, among other benefits, such as more optimized marketing.

What is predictive analytics?

Predictive analytics is a powerful tool that can help pharma companies forecast customer behavior and predict when they are most likely to take action. It involves using large datasets that include customer demographics and market information related to competing drugs and treatments. When these datasets are combined, a predictive analytics platform can forecast how many potential customers are likely to be interested in a particular medicine and identify additional groups that may benefit. AI also gets smarter with each iteration by comparing forecasts to actual sales thereby identifying trends that improve future projections.

Certain AI tools can also help pharma marketers by enabling them to effectively tailor their campaigns to the right customers. With predictions about customer behavior and purchasing decisions, pharma marketers can more easily target their budgets on the optimum channels to reach their intended audience, increasing ROI and overall success of campaigns. This ensures their messaging resonates with the right customers at the right time.

How has forecasting changed with AI?

Before the advent of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, forecasts for pharmaceutical companies relied heavily on data that was often siloed or too historical to be relevant once the analysis was complete. Companies could use market research techniques such as surveys and interviews to bring in new forecast data and insights, but these were often time-consuming and costly to collect. This meant that forecast accuracy was often limited due to a lack of reliable data, sometimes leading to delayed or misinformed decisions and lost revenue opportunities. 

Predictive analytics has revolutionized the process of pharma sales forecasting. By leveraging multiple large data sources, such as market trends and historical performance, predictive analytics can accurately forecast expected outcomes. By bringing the data sources together for analysis in one platform, data silos no longer hinder big-picture insights. This helps businesses by empowering them to make well-informed decisions faster with less research effort. AI-based predictive analytics can also provide insights into future opportunities or risks that could impact growth, helping companies better plan for the road ahead. These platforms have quickly become invaluable resources for pharma companies that want to take the guesswork out of forecasting.

The forecasts provided by these systems are sometimes startling in their accuracy. For example, a top 10 pharmaceutical business recently utilized the ODAIA MAPTUAL tool to generate predictions for new-to-brand prescriptions (NBRx) volume. MAPTUAL’s six-month NBRx forecast was 91% accurate within one unit and 98% accurate within three units, and its predictions for the volume of total prescriptions (TRx) were 90% accurate within eight units. The forecast estimated NBRx and TRx down to the level of the specific HCP, demonstrating the incredible power of predictive insights.

How do predictive analytics platforms help pharma companies grow?

Predictive analytics and AI tools have opened up many possibilities to pharmaceutical companies, enabling reductions in time to market and resourcing requirements, improving the accuracy and speed of forecasts, and offering real-time insights into how a product is performing. This is all thanks to AI’s ability to rapidly learn from existing datasets, analyze data from disparate and unstructured sources, and identify patterns humans can’t easily see. 

These insights offer tangible results:

Saving time & money

Predictive analytics and AI can help companies save an immense amount of time by automating tasks and speeding data analysis. Forecasts and trend reports can be viewed with near real-time updates. Complex work, like customer segmentation and channel selection, happens faster and with greater accuracy. This rapid analytical speed helps companies work faster and smarter without wasting resources. 

Precision targeting

A key component of utilizing forecasts effectively is getting strong messages in front of the right potential customers. AI-based predictive analytics tools offer incredible power for developing well-targeted campaigns. By analyzing customer data and past behaviors, as well as their peers' behavior, intelligent platforms can accurately predict which messages, channels, and timing will most likely result in a customer taking action.

Growing your customer base

One of the most powerful capabilities of predictive analytics is identifying ideal customers, even those that aren’t yet in a sales rep’s network. By comparing HCP databases to information and demographics of current prescribers, AI platforms can accurately predict which prospects are most likely to be responsive to your products and messaging. These tools are powerful for helping both reps and marketers connect with future customers with the potential to drive big sales.

Deeper connections

Today’s HCPs are inundated with marketing content from pharma companies. Messages and sales calls only stand out when they feel personally relevant to an individual HCP’s needs and preferences. In the past, this could only be achieved through a lot of time and effort of dedicated sales reps. Today, AI-enabled predictive analytics tools make it possible to personalize at scale in real-time. AI platforms empower sales reps to gain quick insights about their customers, while equipping marketers to more effectively deliver relevant messaging.

“MAPTUAL is a powerful tool that enables our marketing team to get insights that can be used to drive our larger strategy, communication plans and our messaging. MAPTUAL holds all our data and is our one stop shop for understanding the effectiveness of each channel we are using to disseminate our messaging. It allows us to create individualized plans for each of our customers. MAPTUAL actually helps us mine insights that will ensure we are differentiating ourselves and that we are winning for the patients” - Pharma Marketing Manager, Top 10 Pharma Company, MAPTUAL Customer

The new standard of pharma forecasting

AI and predictive analytics technology advances have been revolutionary for the pharmaceutical industry. These tools help companies save time, money, and resources while delivering precision marketing and forging deeper connections with their customers. They enable teams to use more accurate forecasts that inform both manufacturing and sales efforts, and reach lofty goals by expanding their customer base. AI-driven predictive analytics empower pharma companies to discover opportunities and make decisions with confidence.


The ODAIA MAPTUAL platform is an AI-driven predictive analytics solution for better forecasts, marketing, and sales in pharma. MAPTUAL’s flexible platform is suited for both the head office and field, delivering stronger connections with customers at every scale.

“Those surprises when you see people unexpected in your top 10 or top 25, before MAPTUAL Field I wouldn’t have necessarily recognized them but with MAPTUAL Field it flags it for me” - Pharma Sales Rep, Top 10 Pharma Company, MAPTUAL Customer



Leader in life sciences predictive analytics and commercial insights. Leveraging AI to deliver quality products to our pharmaceutical customers.

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