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In the spirit of our blog name, #dataShows, I figured I should use some open data to “show something.”  (We want to try to do this every so often, be it here or twitter, and encourage the masses to chime in too.  If you’d like to guest blog, shoot us a message.  The more the merrier.)

A recent topic in the presidential debates has been foreign oil dependence.  Governor Romney has voiced his plans to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and instead rely more heavily on the Americas and/or natural gas.  President Obama wouldn’t really disagree with this sentiment either.  Now without turning this into a political discussion (I see more than my fair share of political commentary on Facebook), I got to thinking: how has foreign oil dependence been trending over the last several years?

We can answer that in a broad sense with the Energy Information Administration’s database of monthly petroleum imports.  This first datacard trends the number of barrels of petroleum imported into the US by region.  #dataShows that the Americas have been steadily on the rise, particularly since 2006 when Asia and Africa began to decline.

US Petroleum Imports by Region

US Petroleum Imports by Region (1993-present)

Examining further, #dataShows that Canada has been steadily on the rise and has seemingly replaced much of the oil that came from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and other leading importers of oil.

US Petroleum Imports by Country

US Petroleum Imports by Country (1993-2011)

Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials, Envizualized

Conference illustration by Jonny Goldstein of Envizualize

Sean and I recently attended the 2nd Annual Disruptive Innovations to Advance Clinical Trials for Pharma, Biologics, & Devices (DPharm) in Boston. We had a really great time and learned a ton.

Here are a few themes that really stood out for me:

An increasing momentum for collaboration among pharma:

Tom Krohn of Eli Lilly kicked off the conference by bluntly telling us why we need to change the current industry paradigm: because it’s completely unsustainable. Yikes. While radical changes in this industry might feel like trying to pull a 180 in the Titanic, progress is being made.

Elise Felicione of Janssen detailed a cross-pharma investigator databank that is advancing. Janssen, Merck, and Lilly are collaborating on a project that combines their investigator lists into a database hosted by (we want to be a part of this effort!). While the project has only reached exploratory stages to this point, they have gotten past some very difficult hurdles involving lawyers, red tape, and the like. Did you know about all of the redundant tasks that take place between sponsor and investigator, like how investigators have to go through Good Clinical Practice training with each sponsor that they work with? As a data geek residing on the peripheries of the industry, I did not. Reducing these “redundant burdens” is a no-brainer, but implementing is no easy task. It will take indomitable leaders to overcome the resistance to sharing competitive intelligence, but luckily it appears that such leaders are in place.

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