In order to prepare for the future, the Westfalen AG built the skills necessary to embark on a successful transformation into a data-driven organization. Learn how they have upskilled employees to drive sustainable business change.
Developing a company into a data-driven business has never been more important than today. While it is tempting for employers to search and hire for data experts on the market, an actually crucial puzzle piece for driving the change is to leverage the potential all across the company, enabling more and more employees to work with and learn from data in their respective business units.
With an existing data warehouse at hand and a large number of motivated employees and analytics ideas in mind, Westfalen wanted to help also employees with a non-technical background overcome the entry barriers to efficient work with data. More precisely even, empower them with the necessary skills to drill down into their areas and solve their problems in a data-driven fashion.
They were hence looking for a solution to upskill employees effectively within just a few months, taking each employee to the individual next level of data skills. They wanted to qualify them to manage their own data-driven projects, improve and automate everyday reporting processes, work with the organizational data infrastructure as well as present and communicate to each other on the same level about data. In short: To drive the change themselves!
“Learning tech skills in the context of data management and data visualization is an important asset for me as a project manager. If you master these skills, you will always be able to present your business ideas and projects well. The edyoucated team is the ideal companion for this.” — Frederik Cramer, Senior Project Manager
Apart from the specific learning content, Westfalen had some important requirements for the training as well: It should be adapted to the previous knowledge of the different participants, done alongside the everyday work of the participants, and create an immediate impact on the everyday business. And, of course, be motivating and start quickly! That’s why they turned to edyoucated.
“A great opportunity to take a look outside the box. Edyoucated combines theory with practice and helps to gain new perspectives on daily work. One of the best features of the learning platform is that you don't have a rigid learning path, but can shape it yourself.” — Christoph Schräder, Solution Manager BI
In a first step, Westfalen and edyoucated quickly identified the upskilling needs and the related skills they wanted to push in the area of data management & visualization. Since the program should tackle a diverse set of participants from different business units, technical background and prior knowledge, the content provided on the edyoucated learning platform comprised a wider range of topics of varying difficulty. Starting by getting to know the value of working with data and the basics of data bases and the data analysis process, over data reporting and communication techniques, the related do’s and don’ts as well as pitfalls to avoid with data, the learners learned how to use modern tools and programming languages like SQL, Python and Power BI, but also improve already existent skills, for example in Microsoft Excel.
But, of course, the AI-based personalization engine of the edyoucated platform made sure that every participant had their individual starting point for learning, enabling more experienced participants to skip topics they have already mastered and to start with more advanced topics right away.
“I really enjoy learning with edyoucated. I particularly like the fact that I can learn at my own pace and that the topics are adapted to my previous knowledge. Especially the tasks or small quizzes at the end of a learning session have helped me to check what I have learned and then apply it in my everyday work.” — Laura Cleve, Assistant to the board
With the content fixed, the 4-months program itself alternated between two different types of learning: Live workshops for new impulses by the edyoucated mentors and alignment and exchange between participants, as well as asynchronous and individual learning time on the edyoucated platform alongside the everyday work. If support was needed during these self-paced learning sessions on the platform, both for technical issues and the learning content itself, the learners had the opportunity to contact the edyoucated mentors (experts who can be contacted via chat or video call) and get help right away. In the final two months of the program, the participants then teamed up to work on their own data-related projects, building dashboards and other analyses for use in their everyday work, which were then presented and discussed in a final demo meeting with all participants.
“I learned a lot of new things in a short time and built a dashboard in Power BI together with a colleague. If I ever needed support, the edyoucated team was always there and I could exchange ideas with the other learners.” — Sara Ostermann, Controlling
As a direct result of the training, the participants improved their overall understanding of data and the related processes, learned how to communicate better about and with data, and got to know the data infrastructure of the company in a hands-on fashion. As diverse as the previous knowledge of the participants of the program, as diverse were then the particular outcomes of their own projects: Some of the participants created elaborate dashboards in Power BI, which shed deeper light on their business and made strategic analyses a lot easier during their everyday work. Others automated reporting processes, previously a manual effort, to save a substantial amount of time and effort every month. Others, yet, analyzed larger data sets with Python, or investigated the possibilities of the data warehouse in general.
Most importantly, the participants all achieved results that directly benefited their specific business unit. And they now hold new tools in their hands to dive deeper and further drive the change towards a more data-driven company. And maybe already getting ready for the next level and the next program with edyoucated!
“The special thing about the edyoucated training program for me is the flexible organization of learning times and the individual design of the learning content. I also like the way new topics are introduced, which you can learn bit by bit.” — Franziska Hölper, Accounting
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).