The role of R in converting clinical trial programmers to data scientists


In 3 years Real World Data Science Analytics in Roche/Genentech transitioned from a small team of former clinical trial programmers supporting a real world evidence team to become the largest department within the Personalised Healthcare (PHC) Centre of Excellence. This transition was driven by industry-wide acknowledgement of the growing importance of leveraging analytics to support PHC, but this change necessitated radical changes in workflows and competencies. To adapt to this change, the team has moved from using a single proprietary software (SAS) to becoming an open source-focused, R based but increasingly programming language agnostic, department. A core driver of this transition was the development of an internal suite of R packages that handled markdown templates and database access through to wrappers for common plots and documenting git hashes of all code used. Bringing this diverse set of tools into a coherent eco-system is a meta-package modelled on the tidyverse.

Presented at 2018 Conference