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Forecasting Excellence Leader/Director

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Wilmington, Delaware, United States Job ID R-073297 Date posted 02/05/2020

Forecasting Excellence Leader/Director

Location: Cambridge UK, Wilmington USA

Salary: Competitive

Opening date for applications: 5th February 2020

Closing date for applications: 6th March 2020

At AstraZeneca, we're not afraid to do things differently. We're resetting expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we're opening new ways to work, ground-breaking and cutting-edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together

AstraZeneca is organized around two core business units, BioPharmaceuticals (BBU) and Oncology. The BBU focuses on development and commercialization of AstraZeneca’s Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Metabolic, Renal, and Infectious Disease therapeutic areas.

Global Insights, Analytics & Commercial Excellence (GIACE) is a strategic function, critical for enabling success in the growth of the BBU business. Our ambition is to build an industry-leading organization, empowering our Commercial teams through the generation of compelling evidence and insights, while ensuring they have the tools and skills to deliver impactful launches that change the practice of medicine for the benefit of patients. Within GIACE, the Insights & Analytics function is organized across three teams and supports both the US and Global organizations: Respiratory Insights, CVRM Insights (Cardiovascular, Metabolic, Renal), and the Insights & Analytics Center of Excellence (CoE).

Forecasting Excellence is a core part of the Centre of Excelllence, responsible for empowering the team to deliver forecasts which drive key business decisions, setting expectations for performance, and guiding brand strategy. You will have a central role, working across the forecasting and insights teams, ensuring they have the tools and capabilities needed to meet AstraZeneca’s needs in a changing business environment.

You will be an engaging and influential leader who can create and implement new solutions to drive GIACE’s forecasting excellence:

  • Driving solutions to improve AZ’s capability in forecasting methods and approaches
  • Sets the standards (including training) and provides direction and expertise to ensure quality, transparency, robustness and efficiency in the development of long term forecasts
  • Ensures forecasting tools and approaches are refined to provide maximum value in underpinning therapy area and brand strategies, clinical investments and business development (merger/licensing/acquisition/divestiture) decisions

You will oversee Global and US forecasting processes which take the brands’ strategic insights and quantify them into the forecasts, and communicate them to leadership – thus driving strategic and tactical decisions. You will anticipate future business needs, and develop tools and capabilities in the forecasting team to meet these needs. You will conduct forecasting analysis in order to guide our continuous improvement – in designing simpler, more efficient ways to deliver impactful forecasts.

Your scope includes the end-to-end forecasting process, from the design of our models, the data primary and secondary data we use to inform them, the engagement across teams to align, and the communication of forecasts to broader stakeholders and senior management. Specific outputs which are guided by you include the annual global long range forecasting exercise, US marketing company near term forecasting, volume forecasting to inform supply chain design, patient forecasting to inform external communications, strategic forecasts to inform key clinical investment decisions.

This role is reserved for someone with marketing and research experience who has deep forecasting and quantitative technical skills combined with superior communication skills. As such, if you qualify for this position you will be both technically sound and have the ability to be a proactive internal consultant, adding value to AstraZeneca's commercial organization beyond their analytical prowess through their understanding of secondary data, industry knowledge, and track record of innovative and impactful decision support. You will be able to influence stakeholders with varied motivations, to drive change and improvement in the organisation.

Key responsibilities:

  • Forecasting & Analytics Capability
  • Influence at a high level without formal authority and to drive behaviour across Global Marketing and GIACE and Senior Executive Team
  • Influence stakeholders with varied motivations, to drive change and improvement in the organisation:
  • Partner across Global Insights and Analytics team to ensure an integrated and coordinated approach to all initiatives
  • Influence adoption and adherence to best practices and processes
  • Develop and Champion forecasting tools, model & platforms. For example:
  • Dashboards to present strategic forecasts to leadership
  • Tools for sharing forecast data between Global and Country teams
  • Support CoE lead and forecasters in tech enablement efforts; communicate risks to leadership
  • Become a ‘power user’ of key forecasting tools, to help the team troubleshoot problems and develop new capabilities and best practicesS
  • Strategic forecast review governance: conducting critical examination of teams’ forecasts to ensure robustness, transparency & consistency ahead of key investment decisions by top leadership.
  • Forecasting analysis e.g.
  • Accuracy analysis of country forecasts
  • Analogue analysis to improve forecast assumptions

Candidate Knowledge, Skills and Experience

Essential requirements

  • Solid analytical experience gained in the healthcare industry including experience in product forecasting. In-depth knowledge of forecasting techniques and use of different forecast models and approaches.
  • Experience in building, deploying, and embedding capabilities into an organization.
  • Excellent financial modelling and forecasting skills, experience in designing and using a range of forecasting methodologies appropriate to the context and decision at hand
  • Proven influence cross-functionally and manage multiple, complex demands.
  • Experience in Pharma Industry, making decisions on major drivers of product success, advising on drug development candidate process and Health Care environment.
  • Exceptional business acumen, strategic thinking and understanding of sales and marketing business practices
  • Experience utilising a range of analytics involving standard data in the Pharmaceutical Industry e.g. IQVIA (MIDAS, DDD NPA, Monthly Xponent), claims data (Truven, Marketscan), epidemiological data etc
  • Understanding of primary market research, advanced analytics, and competitive intelligence.
  • Reportable accomplishments around converting derived insight into strategic guidance and developing this skill among direct reports

Educational requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field
  • Advanced degree preferred (e.g., PhD / MBA / Masters in areas such as Statistics/Decision Sciences)



AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.