Moderna: AI for Targeted & Actionable Medical Insights

Moderna's on-demand AI model designed with Dataiku revolutionized the company’s day-to-day operations by surfacing insights in days while also saving analysts 40+ hours per month.

40 hours

per month saved vs. previous manual processes

only days

timeframe to analyze shifting sentiments from healthcare providers


Employees have completed Moderna’s AI Awareness literacy program


In the ever-evolving landscape of pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Moderna has emerged as a powerhouse, transforming from a research-stage company into a global enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio. With a focus on messenger RNA (mRNA) science, Moderna has not only pioneered breakthroughs in vaccines and therapeutics but has also played a pivotal role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic with one of the earliest and most effective vaccines.

Unleashing the Power of Medical Insights

For Moderna, the pursuit of medical insights is a crucial aspect of their mission to combat infectious diseases. Timely and targeted insights are essential, driving interventions and educational initiatives. However, the traditional approach of manual data collection, involving 200 to 300 monthly entries in free text, presented challenges of inefficiency, time consumption, and difficulty in scaling.

To tackle this challenge, a unique collaboration unfolded between a pharmacist within the medical affairs team and data engineers from the advanced analytics and data automation team. This dynamic fusion of pharmaceutical knowledge and data analytics aimed to optimize the generative medical insight analysis process.

NLP for Stronger, Better, & Faster Insights

Here’s where Nitro comes in. Nitro is Moderna’s on-demand AI model designed to analyze medical insights and sentiments from diverse data sources. Built to align with Moderna’s medical affairs strategy, Nitro leverages Dataiku’s natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to up the ante. The process involves a seamless integration of recipes, plugins, and Python code to generate insights, which are then visualized using Tableau.

Nitro’s capabilities have revolutionized Moderna’s day-to-day operations. Rapid response to shifting sentiments from healthcare providers (HCPs) is now possible, reducing the analysis time frame from months to mere days. The agility gained allows Moderna to stay ahead of the curve, adapting strategies and providing enhanced value to HCPs. Nitro not only optimizes resource allocation within the data science team but also enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of overall operations.

Operational Impact

The impact of Nitro on Moderna’s operations is profound, generating value across various dimensions:

  • Efficiency: Nitro automates the workflow, resulting in a significant reduction in time consumption. What once took ten hours per month is now accomplished in a fraction of the time, yielding approximately forty hours of opportunity cost savings monthly.
  • Speed: Running Nitro on a weekly basis allows Moderna to uncover impactful insights and knowledge gaps up to three weeks ahead of time. This early detection is crucial for informed decision-making, scientific alignment, and addressing HCP knowledge gaps.
  • New Insights: Nitro’s implementation of sentiment analysis has uncovered previously unexplored feedback data. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the analysis of vaccine hesitancy feedback has provided concise and significant insights, guiding strategic planning by senior leadership.
  • Reusability: Nitro’s versatility has led to the emergence of numerous NLP use cases across different departments within Moderna. The potential for long-term value is exponential, as Nitro can handle larger volumes of structured and unstructured data across diverse domains.

The ripple effect of improved efficiency extends beyond medical affairs, impacting departments such as clinical operations and the commercial team on a global scale. The collaboration’s success in generative medical insight analysis sets the stage for more informed decision making, optimized operations, and better outcomes across various departments.

Catalyzing Success With Dataiku

Dataiku’s role in this transformative journey has been pivotal, providing a platform that enables transparency, collaboration, and centralization. The user-friendly interface ensures all stakeholders understand the capabilities and opportunities presented by data analysis. The platform’s built-in data preparation steps expedite progress, fostering faster development. And the reusability of projects and workflows ensures ongoing advancements and insights.

Dataiku’s platform has proven to be a technological cornerstone for Moderna, facilitating the alignment of medical insights with the company’s goals. It enables the generation of targeted and relevant insights, ensuring that decisions and strategies reflect the sentiments expressed by HCPs. This alignment propels the success of Moderna’s medical initiatives and could be instrumental in future initiatives across the company.

Moderna’s journey with Nitro and Dataiku is a testament to the transformative power of collaboration and technology. As Moderna decodes medical insights at an accelerated pace, guided by the agility of Nitro and the robust capabilities of Dataiku, the pharmaceutical landscape is witnessing a new era of efficiency, informed decision-making, and meaningful advancements. This partnership not only propels Moderna to new heights but sets a precedent for the industry, showcasing the tangible impact of innovative solutions in the realm of medical insights.

Developing AI Literacy, in Practice

In addition to the specific use case with Nitro, Moderna also has a very comprehensive learning university where employee upskilling takes place. To develop AI literacy, Moderna created the AI Awareness program in 2022 to promote a general introduction to AI, how it is applied at Moderna, and how employees can leverage it in their role.

Dataiku is an integral part of the program as the preferred, easy-to-use solution at Moderna, promoting:

  • Upskilling and networking: Via the AI Awareness program and Dataiku, employees across departments interact with profiles and people who wouldn’t have interacted otherwise. This helps build a data-proficient culture across the entire organization.
  • Centralization and transparency: Participants take the outputs of AI Awareness back to their teams, which creates new conversations around data. Moderna has now centralized access to data using the same dataset, filters, and pre-processing ability, which enables employees to work for a single source of truth and empowers them to start their own projects.
  • Projects can be reused: Dataiku makes it easy to copy/paste projects, recipes, and any other steps to reuse across multiple workflows so that participants are sharing their use cases widely. 
Amazing opportunity and appreciate the support. As mentioned, I view the possibilities and application of data very differently now and adding value to my team, Moderna and ultimately patients. AI Awareness Program Participant at Moderna

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