Digital competence track
with Deutsche Bahn AG
Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG) is a federally owned mobility and logistics group with more than 300,000 employees, who are pursuing their career at Deutsche Bahn, making it one of Germany’s largest employers. Through a large number of associated Group companies, DB AG operates the largest rail network in Europe, transporting more than 12 million people every day.
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Change management towards a digital workforce
The world of work is changing dramatically and is increasingly being driven by technologies and digitalization. This has a particular impact on companies that operate internationally such as Deutsche Bahn (DB AG).
With its “Strong Track” strategy, Deutsche Bahn has set itself ambitious goals: In the next few years, the number of passengers will double and 70 percent more goods should be transported by rail. Digitalization forms the basis for the “Strong Track” strategy. Along with recruiting 100,000 new talents for a career at Deutsche Bahn and the necessary infrastructure operations, it is one of the central core elements of the strategy.
As a result, expertise in handling big data is already essential and will become even more important in the future. DB recognized early on that its employees are the key to success and as a motivation for a new, fulfilling career at Deutsche Bahn: As a “digital workforce,” they are expected to process data sets so that they can be used to create analyses that positively influence the efficiency, transparency and traceability of decisions.
Determining the needs
of the business units concerned
To implement the ambitious digitalization goals of the “Strong Track” strategy, a large proportion of employees need a basic understanding of data and data-driven work and decision-making. At the same time, Deutsche Bahn has a high demand for qualified data scientists and data analysts. To counteract this shortage of skilled workers in this area, DB wanted to prepare its own skilled employees for a data career at Deutsche Bahn through targeted training courses, both digitally and on the job.
Since Deutsche Bahn is divided into a large number of subsidiaries and different business units, there is a diverse and complex personnel structure. DB Training has been supporting DB AG in HR services for 25 years. With a focus on modern, and digital learning opportunities, it enables a flexible learning culture for employees so they can integrate qualifications into their daily work routine in the best possible way. To build up the necessary digital competencies in the individual divisions, Deutsche Bahn has brought StackFuel on board, a professional partner in the field of data science and data analytics.
Strengthening data awareness throughout the group
The group-wide information strategy for identifying potential stakeholders was shaped by initial discussions with relevant executives. They have a key role in terms of employee training to ensure successful retention of qualifiable employees and to highlight identifiable synergies with the new rail strategy “Strong Track”.
Together with DB Training, StackFuel was able to use user profiles defined together to evaluate which subsidiaries and business units would particularly benefit from training data analytics and data science. The needs were analyzed and defined in interviews and personal discussions. At the same time, there was close cooperation with the various personnel committees and the DB AG works council.
The StackFuel courses were also promoted in a widespread information campaign to raise awareness of the training measures. Internal measures included internal and external presentations, articles in DB Planet, explanatory videos produced by StackFuel on important keywords such as “big data” or “artificial intelligence” on DB Lernwelt, a detailed report in DB Training’s insight magazine “Learning & Consulting” and personal recommendations via the DB Academy.
Online courses anytime, anyplace.
As a result, Deutsche Bahn offered four StackFuel courses to employees. The browser-based training environment is based around is StackFuel’s Data Lab, where participants interactively perform programming exercises with real data sets, providing a hands-on introduction to the world of data analytics and data science. DB AG particularly appreciates the flexibility to access the online training environment and the learning content regardless of time or location, as participants can work through the course at their own pace and fit it around their daily work schedule.
The StackFuel mentoring team is available to DB AG employees throughout the learning process for personal support and to answer questions. All in all, the training courses are closely supervised by kick-off sessions, regular webinars and final projects in order to guarantee the best possible learning success. The courses are also available in both German and English, in order to make the qualification accessible to a large number of international employees.
The training courses’ practical design enables participants to integrate the skills they acquire directly into their day-to-day work and support their career at Deutsche Bahn. By building data competencies and increasing their digital capabilities, StackFuel has been able to significantly support DB AG in collaboration with DB Training over the past two years and help employees with their data career at Deutsche Bahn.
By connecting the courses with the overarching “Digital Track” strategy, it was possible for the project to gather a great deal of attention. The Data Awareness course made a significant contribution to this. This underscored the importance of digitalization in the company. A total of more than 15 business units have been trained to date. The completion rate of 93 percent (on average) in particular proves that data competence is becoming increasingly important at DB AG, even across departments.
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