Pauwels Blog

Nathalie Wellens (Pauwels Consulting) advocates data governance programmes during Knowledge for Growth 2021 panel discussion

07 Oct 2021

On 27, 28 and 29 September, Knowledge for Growth was back for the 17th edition. Pauwels Consulting was not only a premium sponsor again this year, but also provided a panel member for a plenary discussion: Nathalie Wellens was invited to participate in the Understanding Data discussion. It goes without saying that we’re proud of Nathalie! After the event, we wondered how Nathalie felt about Knowledge for Growth 2021 and what she had learned. That’s material for a fascinating conversation!

Nathalie, first and foremost: congratulations on your panel discussion! What did you think of it?

Nathalie: I thought it was an interesting experience! I’ve given pitches on Data Integrity on many occasions, but it remains a challenge to give a 5-minute pitch on a topic you can talk about for hours.

The panel discussion itself was completely new to me, but it went more smoothly than expected. Bringing experts from different fields of data together made for an interesting discussion. Methodology, standardisation and connectivity around data proved to be a common thread between the various industries. 

“It’s not easy to get data aligned. That’s why I advocate data governance programmes to standardise and harmonise the digitalisation of data, without compromising on data quality, integrity or the GDPR.”

What was your contribution to the panel discussion? Was there a specific message you wanted to get across?

With my experience as a Life Sciences Consultant at Pauwels Consulting, I have a deeper understanding of the integrity and quality of data in the pharmaceutical industry. I wanted to convey that data integrity is not only linked to regulatory requirements, but to many different aspects of data.

In addition, I’ve noticed in recent years that digitalisation within Life Sciences has accelerated enormously, partly due to the COVID-19 crisis, of course. Increasing amounts of increasingly diverse types of data… Getting all this aligned is no small task. That’s why I advocate data governance programmes. Such a methodology can standardise and harmonise the digitalisation of data, without compromising on data quality, integrity or the GDPR. 

Nathalie Wellens

Is data integrity neglected in the digital transition?

Data integrity is certainly neglected in the digital transition. True, there are regulatory requirements within certain industries, but the transition is so rapid that some sort of “wild proliferation” is emerging within digitalisation. Again, organisations really need a data governance programme.

“It is critical that data integrity is not only built in with technical controls, but really becomes part of an organisation’s culture".

We get it! What is the impact of non-integrated data on a company?

A non-integrated approach to data can have major consequences. For example, a drug may not be allowed on the market because the data is partially unreliable or even untraceable. Or what if a poor back-up means that data from pioneering research into medication for a particular cancer is lost? People’s health or even their lives may be at stake. That’s why it’s crucial that data integrity is not just built in with technical controls, but really becomes part of an organisation’s culture. 

Did you attend any other workshops or keynotes? 

Data integrity is about continuous improvement. I also apply this philosophy to my own life. That’s why I attended the Knowledge for Growth 2021 session on ‘Farm to Fork’ and ‘Data Availability & Use’. And since Knowledge for Growth has also posted all the sessions online, I will certainly watch other sessions too!

Good plan, Nathalie. And thank you for your insights and this conversation!

Do you have any questions about data integrity within Life Sciences?

Do you also want to work on data integrity, or go ahead with a data governance programme? Our consultants will be happy to help!

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