BASF Coatings Success Story

Towards a Data-Driven Future: BASF Coatings' Journey in Building Data Skills

Insights from
Lars Schrameyer
Digital Transformation
company size
+11.000 employees
Use cases
Digital Transformation, Data-Driven Transformation
Data Management, Web Development

The Client

The Coatings division of BASF is a global expert in the development, production, and marketing of innovative and sustainable automotive OEM and refinish coatings, decorative paints as well as applied surface treatments for metal, plastic and glass substrates in a wide range of industries. The portfolio is completed by the “Innovation Beyond Paint” program which aims at developing new markets and businesses. We create advanced performance solutions and design new applications to meet our partners’ needs all over the world.

BASF shares skills, knowledge, and resources of interdisciplinary and global teams for the benefit of customers by operating a collaborative network of sites in Europe, North America, South America, and the Asia Pacific.

The Challenge

More than ever before, data as a crucial foundation of digitalization has become a critical resource across all industries to increase efficiency, analyze and facilitate day-to-day business processes as well as to create new, data-driven business models.

Yet, to leverage these opportunities, new analytical skills in the workforce are required: understanding the value of data, working with new analytics tools, and building new data solutions. A new generation of “data translators” is needed, who work at a functional level and can combine deep domain knowledge with state-of-the art data analytics skills.

The team of BASF’s Coatings division was looking for a solution to upskill employees effectively within just a few months, empowering them to manage their own data-driven projects, work with the organizational data infrastructure and communicate to each other on the same level about data," says Mareike Schumacher, member of the Digital Transformation Team. "edyoucated offered us the possibility of doing just that."

Why edyoucated

"Modern times require modern solutions" - this saying has never been truer than today. With changing working styles and the heavily rising amount of remote work due to increasingly international teams as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, digital learning solutions are needed. Solutions, that are flexible enough to meet the requirements of a diverse workforce (covering people with very different levels of prior IT knowledge and experience) and their different work environments, time schedules and development goals.

BASF’s Coatings division wanted their learning programs to be as personalized as possible, with learning schedules and content tailored specifically to the individual learner, especially since the workforce and thus "target group" of learners had totally different backgrounds and prior skill-sets. That's when the company division found edyoucated.

Lars Schrameyer, part of the Digital Transformation Team, summarizes the experience with the edyoucated platform as follows: "It's remarkable that each learner – whether they are 23 or 60 years old, with 10 years of IT background or as a complete beginner – had so much fun with the whole learning process and showed improvements after only an incremental amount of time."

"The personalization possibilities of the edyoucated platform gave me the opportunity to spontaneously enter the learning process again and again, even alongside my stressful workday, thus perfectly combining work and professional development."

Dennis Rempt, Digital Solutions & Architecture – Product Development @BASF Coatings

The Program

After BASF’s Coatings division had identified the upskilling needs in the field of data management, their Digital Transformation Team started to work with edyoucated to frame a concrete plan to tackle them. What initially started as a pilot initiative back in 2019, turned out to become a successful learning program, taking place on a regular basis. For every program, the defined learning goals (in this case: data-related skills such as data bases and transformations as well as data analysis and communications via dashboards, but also the necessary tech stack and internal tools) were synchronized with edyoucated to gather learning content specifically matching the internal requirements and needs of BASF Coatings.

"It is really important to us, that we do not simply present our learners with yet another one-size-fits-all e-learning approach but a learning offer that is focused on exactly the skills and tools, we need and use at BASF," says Mareike.

For every learning program, groups of 20-30 employees are onboarded to the edyoucated platform. After completing the AI-based self-assessment, every single learner automatically receives a personal digital learning path, tailored to the prior knowledge and learning needs of the individual person. Supported by edyoucated mentors (experts who can be contacted via chat or video call), the learners then complete these interactive online lessons on their own schedule in parallel to their day-to-day work. edyoucated supports the learning progress by including additional activities like regular "learner check-ins" or a mentored learning community within the BASF Microsoft Teams application, to help with technical issues or with problems regarding the content itself.

"edyoucated's modern approach to learning on demand is much easier to integrate into your own daily job routine. The joint Program provides a guiding framework and the corresponding motivation."

Christian Monka, Digital Solutions & Architecture – Product Development @BASF Coatings

Practice-oriented group-projects make up a particularly important part of the second half of the learning programs: The learners apply their newly learned skills in data projects often directly related to their everyday work, thus immediately both solidifying their knowledge and creating impact at the workplace. A frequent project choice is the automated dashboard which facilitate everyday monitoring and reporting processes, but also machine learning ideas have been successfully implemented.

An exemplary timeline of a learning cohort working with the edyoucated platform in a so-called "Guided Program". Guided journeys are usually between 12 and 16 weeks long.

The Results

As diverse as the learners' individual prior knowledge, so is their path after the learning program. From learners taking entirely new career steps towards data analysis within other BASF departments to learners facilitating and backing their work with data, to learners that directly enter the next program, everybody visibly values the impact of data on everyday work life. Internal IT and data analysis units are relieved from challenges that former learners now know how to solve on their own, and communication about data has become substantially easier due to a common knowledge base. And, most importantly, everybody spreads the new spirit of modern, data-driven businesses in the 21st century!

"It is always nice to see when a new solution turns out to provide just what you were looking for. With edyoucated we managed to find a way of learning, that is not only accepted but valued and appreciated by our colleagues," concludes Lars Schrameyer as a final remark.

"The learning program was great, and I was so convinced by the topics, which were new to me, that I have further deepened my knowledge and will start a new job (internally at BASF) in the area in September."

Michael Multhoff, Commercial Process Management @BASF Coatings

🧡  Clients Favorite

“With this learning program, we bridge the gap between purely theoretical learning and practical application in the world of BASF. This integration takes place in a safe learning environment where the learners meet like-minded colleagues and work with them on real-life use cases.”, summarizes Mareike.

edyoucated is funded by leading research institutions such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB)