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Client story

Boehringer Ingelheim launches in-house data science academy

Client: Boehringer Ingelheim
Region: Germany
Industry: Life sciences

In partnership with Capgemini, Boehringer Ingelheim kickstarts a global training academy on data literacy and expertise to embed data across the organization

Client Challenge: Boehringer Ingelheim wanted to upskill and reskill its employees to successfully use data science, which has the potential to serve humans’ and animals’ health and to solve complex business topics in the life science industry.

Solution: Working with Capgemini, Boehringer Ingelheim developed a training academy with different learning journeys for the various target groups and data-related disciplines.


  • Better employee training for over 800 participants to date on data science and engineering, identification of data opportunities, management of data projects, and data-driven culture
  • Complete handover of specific course material so that Boehringer Ingelheim trainers can continue running the sessions
  • Solid basis for Boehringer Ingelheim’s data transformation by establishing company-wide data literacy

Powering pharmaceutical innovation

Since its foundation in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim has grown to be one of the world’s 20 leading biopharmaceutical companies. Over 135 years later, it remains a fully family-owned company that counts 52,000 employees worldwide. Boehringer Ingelheim focuses on discovering, developing, and delivering innovative health products for humans and animals.

As a growing number of organizations and startups enter the pharmaceutical market, longstanding organizations such as Boehringer Ingelheim must find new ways to innovate to retain a competitive edge. As part of its Dataland program, the company invests in data-related initiatives to strengthen its foothold in the digital world. Leveraging data has the potential to transform drug development and the patient experience. Several units within the organization were already successfully working with data but Boehringer Ingelheim wanted to scale its usage across the entire company. This ambition required a strong technology foundation and modern infrastructure, as well as clear processes and responsibilities in the area of data governance.

Boehringer Ingelheim recognized that its employees were a key success factor in the journey towards becoming a data-driven organization. Employees needed to understand the processes, their responsibilities, and how to use specific technical environments and identify data use cases. The knowledge required went far beyond the data expertise of selected employees and functions. Instead, it became clear that all employees in the Boehringer Ingelheim organization, independent of role and skill level, needed to possess data literacy and act as data translators. In principle everybody should be able to convert business challenges into new opportunities to work with data and skilled experts from the data science and engineering area.

It takes all of us to provide innovative solutions that bring value and hope for people with unmet medical needs. And so, our individual data science learning paths are about to turn into an integral part of our corporate innovation culture.

Michael Schmelmer
CFO at Boehringer Ingelheim

Upskilling and reskilling with individual learning journeys

Together with Capgemini, Boehringer Ingelheim finalized a concept for different learning journeys in data upskilling and reskilling, created training material and content, and designed specific use cases and exercises. The project team piloted and refined the course based on the feedback of initial participants, and moderated additional training sessions. The resulting program is now provided by Boehringer Ingelheim trainers on a regular basis. A total of eight different training programs contain over 50 training modules with more than 50 hands-on use case exercises, two E2E training projects, 40 quizzes and four training videos.

The learning journeys address various target groups with different skill levels, ranging from senior executives, mid-level leadership, and business employees to data users and experts in data science and data engineering. Each course has a dedicated number of instructor-led sessions, which are combined with e-learning and training modules either as a pre-requisite or a complementary part of the learning journey. Some of the major training modules focus on data-driven culture and leadership, data governance, identification of data science opportunities, data science project management, data storytelling, machine learning, and data engineering with Amazon Web Services.

Due to the virtual nature of the setup, these sessions contain various interactive elements and utilize gamification, hands-on exercises, and E2E training projects to keep participants engaged. The training program has also been tailored to specific internal requirements regarding the use cases, exercises, storyline, environment, and culture.

The Data Science Academy trains our employees to spot opportunities for creating benefits for our customers and Boehringer Ingelheim. Thanks to Capgemini we have created an innovative curriculum which has been adapted to our specific needs and that strengthens data experts’ knowledge as one of the most important assets of our company.

Heiko Merten
Head of Data Science Academy & Product Teams at Boehringer Ingelheim

Enhanced data literacy and expertise

Since the Data Science Academy was launched in October 2021, Boehringer Ingelheim has managed to increase the data literacy and expertise of around 800 participants across different roles and regions. Employees have gained extensive knowledge and hands-on experience in data-driven concepts and solutions. Following the training sessions, participants have proven eager to support data-sharing initiatives and cross-departmental collaboration in addition to becoming involved in the creation of data science use cases. Coming together in the training sessions also facilitated networking opportunities and inspired participants to organize their own projects, allowing them to play an active role in the roll-out of data science across the organization.

As a pharmaceutical company we collect a vast amount of data that has the potential to revolutionize how we develop, market, and supply medicine. Establishing our Data Science Academy with Capgemini has empowered our employees to take a data-driven approach to all aspects of their work.

Brigitte Fuhr
Global Head of Data Science at Boehringer Ingelheim

For more information on this project, please contact: