ICON Reloads Data Warehouse in Three Hours, Delivers Near-Real-Time Management Information, and Provides Daily Drug-Trial Updates to Sponsors
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ICON Reloads Data Warehouse in Three Hours, Delivers Near-Real-Time Management Information, and Provides Daily Drug-Trial Updates to Sponsors

  • Oracle Customer:  ICON plc
    Location:  Dublin, Ireland
    Industry:  Life Sciences
    Employees:  10,000
    Annual Revenue:  $1 to $5 Billion

ICON plc is a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The company specializes in the strategic development, management, and analysis of programs that support clinical development—from compound selection to phase I-IV clinical studies. The company manages large amounts of data, and wanted to more quickly, accurately, and automatically share updates to clinical trials and other activities with its sponsors by consolidating data from multiple sources into one location.

The company implemented Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition to pull updated clinical trials statistics and management intelligence from multiple Oracle and third-party systems into its data hub. Replacing manual processes with Oracle Data Integrator’s automated extraction, synchronization, and transformation tools has cut data integration costs, improved handling speeds, increased IT team productivity, and boosted decision-maker efficiency in all functions, as the new solution can reload thousands of data tables and completely refresh the data warehouse in less than three hours. Following the adoption of Oracle Data Integrator as the enterprisewide platform for all data integration requirements, ICON is now using the solution to improve its competitive advantage by making up-to-date trial statistics available to their clinical research sponsor organizations on a daily basis.

ICON uses outputs generated by Oracle Data Integrator to make consolidated, consumable intelligence available for reporting to its employees in functional areas, ranging from human resources and financials, to clinical operations in near real time. Approximately 1,000 employees, 10% of the company’s workforce, use the Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition interface on a daily basis to make informed decisions, based on timely, accurate data. With the addition of Oracle Data Integrator, the company can now build data marts that give specific user communities, or individual teams, essential insights relevant to their particular project or line of business.

ICON is also using Oracle Data Integrator to help its customers accelerate drug development by making clinical trials statistics available on a daily basis. The company uses intelligence extracted using Oracle Data Integrator to make up-to-date reports on subjects enrolled to date, and monitoring activity at each trial site available to sponsors. Data is refreshed every 24 hours and automatically made available to sponsors. Oracle Data Integrator’s high performance and low latency facilitates this new service and will help sponsors complete trials faster by identifying anomalies at an early stage, enabling prompt rectification, minimizing delays, and helping secure the maximum licensing time for new drugs. This new service also improves efficiencies for ICON by reducing sponsor information requests.

ICON is planning to further enhance the value of its new offering by providing sponsors with self-service access to data on their clinical trials via a portal built using Oracle WebCenter Portal. The portal will also enable drug companies to use Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to analyze trial information themselves, generate reports as required, and respond faster to requests for information.

A word from ICON plc

  • "Oracle Data Integrator enables us to align clinical trials intelligence with the information needs of our sponsors. It helps differentiate ICON’s services in an increasingly competitive drug-development industry." – Diarmaid O’Reilly, Enterprise Data Warehouse Manager, ICON plc



Oracle Product and Services

Why Oracle

ICON chose Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition following a proof of concept that demonstrated its scalable integration capabilities in complex heterogeneous data environments.

"Oracle Data Integrator offered an industry-leading, low-latency, high performance solution that was pre-integrated with our existing Oracle technology stack. It enabled us to combine real-time data movement, synchronization, and transformation into a unified platform," said Diarmaid O’Reilly, enterprise data warehouse manager, ICON plc.

Implementation Process

ICON implemented Oracle Data Integrator in line with Oracle’s information management reference architecture, which helps IT managers derive maximum benefit from their data by exploiting unstructured and semistructured data to gain new business insights.


Oracle partner Sonra’s expertise in Oracle Data Integrator helped ICON load data to its master data hub, enterprise data warehouse, internal and client-facing data marts, and sponsor integration XML files. The company’s in-depth knowledge of Oracle Data Integrator, combined with its knowledge of data warehousing architecture at an enterprise level, enabled ICON to carry out one of the largest implementations of Oracle Data Integrator in Ireland. Sonra helped ICON cut the time to benefit and realize the full potential of its investment.

"We chose Sonra for the high caliber and unrivalled technical expertise of its consultants in data warehousing and ODI," said O’Reilly. "Sonra has enabled us to greatly increase our knowledge and implementation of ODI. It continues to be one of our key partners in the development of our Oracle Data Warehouse."