Marketscan by Merative Provides 10x Faster Access to Real-World Life Sciences Data

MarketScan gives clients near-instant access to real-world data for life sciences and re-architects its solution on Snowflake to fuel growth and potentially save millions.



Cost savings for clients accessing MarketScan real-world data via Snowflake


Faster access to research-ready data for clients

Doctor smiling and working at a desktop computer
MarketScan logo
Healthcare Technology
Ann Arbor, MI

Real-world data and analytics for life sciences

MarketScan® by Merative™ is committed to building a more connected future in health by helping clients unlock data’s value. Life science companies and other organizations rely on MarketScan’s real-world evidence solutions — a portfolio of data, services and analytical tools — to support health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), regulatory submissions and epidemiology research.

MarketScan data is heterogeneous, so it doesn’t come from a single health plan. It comes from a wide variety of sources, making it very representative of the U.S. market.”

Guenter Sauter
Product Management, MarketScan Real-World Data, Merative

Securely and efficiently sharing fully-adjudicated closed claims data is key for maintaining satisfaction with the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies, over 4,500 publications and other MarketScan users. MarketScan relies on Snowflake’s Data Cloud to accelerate client collaboration, bolster monetization strategies and lower data costs.

Story Highlights
  • Near-instant access to real-world data: Collaborating through the Data Cloud provides MarketScan’s clients with timely real-world data, improving time to value by up to three months.

  • Continual client collaboration: Sharing data via Snowflake Marketplace aligns with MarketScan’s “shift to SaaS” strategy and solidifies it as a portfolio of real-world evidence solutions — not just a data supplier.

  • Operational efficiency and cost savings: Replatforming MarketScan Treatment Pathways on the Data Cloud will yield significant cost savings and lead to new market opportunities.

Fast, easy sharing and analysis of de-identified health data

Balancing compliance with clients’ evolving data needs is complex, especially for a product like MarketScan that includes more than a dozen datasets and multiple release cadences and various subscription options. “Whenever you sell data in healthcare, you need HIPAA certification that the data is de-identified. There’s a lot of effort that goes into that,” says Guenter.

Before Snowflake, MarketScan manually shared data via Amazon S3 or FTP, which required considerable planning and coordination. Some clients lacked in-house data engineering expertise, delaying time to first insight by up to three months. Previously, clients only worked on MarketScan in their own environment. Merative wasn't able to help clients process the data more effectively because everyone had their own methods.

Improving data collaboration wasn’t the only challenge. MarketScan’s data architecture for Treatment Pathways — a tool for conducting cross-sectional and longitudinal disease and treatment pattern analysis — was costly to scale and inhibited the realization of flexible pricing models.

Seeking a more SaaS-like delivery model for MarketScan data, Merative turned to Snowflake’s elastic performance engine for a flexible, affordable solution. Snowflake’s extensive network of connectors, drivers, programming languages and utilities allows clients to connect MarketScan data to their analytical tools of choice.

MarketScan quote image

“One of the reasons we selected Snowflake is that we wanted a data platform that makes data sharing easy. The ecosystem available with the Snowflake Data Cloud is broader than the competition and we can also provide clients queries to simplify their work.”

Guenter Sauter
Product Management, MarketScan Real-World Data, Merative

Snowflake Secure Data Sharing and Snowflake Marketplace accelerate collaboration with MarketScan users. “Data sharing is basically free on Snowflake, and we’re not limited to one cloud,” says Sauter. “We tried to avoid a solution that mandates analytics to be run on it. By focusing on the data, we’re able to enter the conversation from a data-centric story with less resistance to change.”

Expediting time to value for clients through near-instant access to real-world data

MarketScan uses Snowflake Marketplace as an innovative solution that enables clients to securely connect to de-identified, longitudinal, patient-level and specialty data. With Snowflake, Merative’s clients access the latest MarketScan data 10x faster than before and can save up to 60% of their ingestion and processing costs. “There’s been a massive improvement in operational efficiency for clients,” says Sauter. “Instead of taking up to three months to ingest data, now it’s available in seconds.”

Connecting to MarketScan data via Snowflake Marketplace has led some of MarketScan’s clients to reevaluate their own data infrastructures. For example, a mental health biotechnology company achieved $30,000 in monthly savings by opting for Snowflake instead of a competing product. “They’re at a fraction of the cost that they would have spent,” says Sauter. “They love it because they don’t need to ingest.” 

Using Snowflake for data collaboration helps MarketScan to deliver the data faster and frees up technical staff to focus on higher value tasks. For example, migrating the MarketScan data dictionary to Snowflake reduced the team’s reliance on PDF files and made life easier for clients. Enabling frictionless experiences for MarketScan users aligns with their goal of building long-term, collaborative client relationships. 

“The advantage is you’re continuously engaging with the client, and the client is continuously engaging with you,” says Sauter. “Once you have a platform established and are delivering data through Snowflake, you can add functionality on top of that and make it available to clients — without resending files or re-engaging everyone.”

Expanding into untapped markets and reducing data infrastructure costs

Replatforming MarketScan Treatment Pathways on Snowflake — a project that’s nearly complete — is expected to yield significant cost savings and serve as a catalyst for new pricing strategies. As an example, we can offer more trials to more clients when we can reduce the cost for limited use.

With Snowflake, we get amazing performance at an extremely attractive price that’s fair. Consumption-based pricing is down to the second, and it’s very easy to use.”

Guenter Sauter
Product Management, MarketScan Real-World Data, Merative

Advancing data collaboration with the Data Cloud

Leveraging Snowflake Marketplace as MarketScan’s primary delivery mechanism for data will drive additional efficiency for clients and internal teams. According to Sauter, “It’s been a huge improvement to go from manual file delivery to a more automated mechanism in Snowflake Marketplace.”

Snowflake Marketplace also represents an opportunity to increase demand with life science organizations that already use Snowflake. Sauter plans to work closely with Snowflake to expand visibility for MarketScan WorkSpace and, ultimately, advance both organizations’ goals. “We’re extremely happy about the partnership, and we’re looking forward to strengthening that in the future,” says Sauter.

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