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Data Testimonials

Our working world is becoming ever more digital, and it is our mission to embrace the opportunities opened up by new technologies. Because of our global reach and different divisions, there is an immense variety of projects around data at Bertelsmann. Find out more about the importance of data science in the context of an international media, services and education company.

Nicolas Tobis

Bertelsmann Education Group

Why is data important for your division?

At the Bertelsmann Education Group, we believe that bringing education closer to employment can change people's lives. This means taking on the responsibility to educate the new frontline of nursing staff, as well as enable trained computer scientists to jump-start their careers in machine learning.

Data is critical for us because if leveraged well, it helps shape what’s most important: student success. Why do some students fail, while others succeed? How can we personalize content, so that students are maximally engaged and achieve positive learning outcomes? What is the right program for every student? These are some of the exciting questions we are solving with data science in education today.

How is data being applied in your division?

Our New York-based team is set up as a "Data Lab," meaning it’s a central entity that assumes data science projects from the BEG portfolio companies on an ongoing basis. For example, a project can require working with highly dimensional user-engagement data, mined from learning management systems to predict student outcomes and churn. In this particular instance, applying a dimensionality reduction algorithm before experimenting with different classifiers could be one solution to the problem. Other project examples include building learner profiles to predict the fit between a candidate and a given job, or building a recommender system to show learners the most relevant content for them.

What role does data play in your job?

As Director of Data Science for the Bertelsmann Education Group, it is my job to manage and grow the Education Group’s Data Science team. I define new projects together with our businesses’ management teams and execute them with my team members. I always find it exciting to conceptualize a new project, with an eye on the broader impact that successful implementation can have for the business and its students. But I also love diving into a problem headfirst and spending a couple of hours figuring out the best way to write a particular piece of code. Finally, I am passionate about developing my team members into positions where they can excel.

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