PSI Strategy Day 2022

Dec 1, 2022, 14:55 PM
On November 10th the Board met with Committee members and representatives from different parts of the industry and academia for the annual Strategy Day. Topics included the digital strategy, ability of PSI’s current offering to meet the needs of our members, what the next generation of PSI will look like and how PSI should evolve to meet all our members’ needs. As the world is emerging from the pandemic, it is time for PSI to assess what it offers and provide value to a new generation of members.

The discussions were driven by PSI’s purpose statement:

"We are a community dedicated to leading and promoting the use of statistics and data sciences within the biomedical and healthcare industry for the benefit of patients."

The event was well attended and there was great engagement and energy throughout the day. Opportunities were identified in many aeras, and the feedback has given the PSI Board much to work on and prioritise for 2023! A key theme uniting the discussions was the importance of our Digital Strategy to grow our community, drive collaboration and optimise workflows. This will be a key focus for next year.

Members’ views on PSI
The member perspective on PSI offerings was quite different depending on their needs. The conference, events, and SIGs emerged as the three main benefits provided by PSI and were highly rated. Some members were not fully aware of what PSI is offering and wanted an easier way to see a comprehensive picture of PSI activities. In particular, linking activities to different roles, such as student, junior statistician, or senior leader, would be helpful. For physical events it was highlighted that as PSI expands beyond Europe, it becomes more difficult to offer something that is easily accessible for many members. One-day events are often located in the south of England and mostly only accessible to parts of the UK. Video on Demand may help make these events more accessible, but capturing and curating it requires substantial effort.

NextGen statisticians
Making contributions beyond the design and analysis of trials and having communication and leadership skills will continue to be key for the next generation of statisticians. Some parts of our work may become more automated and many new colleagues may be working fully from home or be located outside of Western Europe. However, personal connections, demonstrating our contributions, and providing critical thinking will still be necessary to have a seat at the table for strategic decisions. Many “Data Science” departments are emerging in companies and it will be important to align on their remit and methodologies. PSI training offerings will evolve to provide an ever-broadening methodological skillset, but for soft skills we may need to collaborate with more specialised training providers.

NextGen PSI
To empower both our existing members and NextGen statisticians, expanding our mentoring offerings would be useful as both 1:1 and group options. Especially in small companies internal trainings may not be sufficiently available and PSI can provide a lot of value with our existing and expanded trainings. Additional networking options would also be very helpful, potentially including social media groups or chatrooms. Local groups could also provide networking, but only work in areas with many pharmaceutical statisticians. As the PSI members become ever more diverse and geographically spread out, the question was raised on whether PSI loses the ability to provide value to all members and the need for local organisers and experts in different fields was highlighted. Especially in the UK medical statistics MSc courses lose funding and are discontinued. PSI’s apprenticeship scheme may be helpful to address this gap. The value proposition of PSI was discussed and options such as professional certification could help increase the prestige of the statistician role. Reaching out to stakeholders beyond statisticians would also help gain recognistion for our role. This could include offering trainings to clinicians, working with the media, and providing position papers or press releases.

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