Roche was the top big data innovator in the clinical trial operations sector in the latest quarter. The company filed 42 big data related patents in the three months ending January. That was up from 15 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by Pfizer with 32 big data patent applications, Johnson & Johnson (15 applications), and Sartorius (12 applications).

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Roche has recently ramped up R&D in big data. It saw growth of 64.3% in related patent applications in the three months ending January compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the clinical trial operations sector.

That said, research and innovation in big data in the clinical trial operations sector has declined in the last quarter - but remains higher than it was a year ago.

The most recent figures show that the number of big data related patent applications in the industry stood at 49 in the three months ending January - up from 36 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to big data followed a different pattern to filings - shrinking from 24 in the three months ending January 2021 to 15 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Big data is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.