Merck houses a huge number of researchers across the world and in various practices, always pushing forward and uncovering new, life-saving information. Unfortunately, organizing this information is tricky–there are many different departments, teams and silos, so getting the right research into the right hands–or even knowing that it exists–can be difficult. Merck had a more ambitious idea than simply improving findability and the request/approval process, however. In one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever worked on, I worked with them and data scientists to design a predictive, associative Data Store. Instead of simply displaying findings, we used big data to show how research had evolved over time, what research was related and predict what information would be most useful based on the user’s location, discipline, history and time of year.
We combined that with a “storefront” concept that allowed owners to easily publish, share and request access to Data Sets, to create a truly innovative product that will help Merck continue to improve their business along with the quality of life for the rest of us!