How investing in data science saved a telecommunications company over $9M.
Udacity Case Study
A multinational telecommunications conglomerate, Telenor, saved millions of dollars in hiring costs by upskilling its employees in partnership with Udacity—all while advancing its own data science and machine learning initiatives. The billion-dollar company recognized the need for a workforce transformation. They understood the advantages of equipping their team with skills in AI and machine learning, cloud computing and design thinking — rather than outsourcing talent.
Udacity’s curated learning programs enabled its workforce to set long-term data science projects in motion and forge new career paths within the company.
Widening skills gaps amid a fast-paced digital revolution
Faced with a rapidly evolving industry—from the 5G revolution to immense competition in both mobile communications and cable services—Telenor needed a way to improve upon its internal efficiencies while retaining its status as an industry innovator.
Furthermore, the company’s senior leadership recognized the potential for advancing technologies to make many existing positions obsolete. A long-term solution of investing in online training for employees was needed.
Modernizing—and upskilling—a global workforce
With the majority of its employees spanning eight countries in two continents, the conglomerate needed to equip a wide range of employees across cultures and divisions with the digital skills necessary to innovate its processes—and set long-term projects into action.
Collaborating with its team leaders, the company took a three-step approach. First, evaluate what skills would be most valuable in the telecommunications industry moving forward. Second, examine the existing skills and ambitions of its employees. And finally, upskill employees with digital learning programs where the two dovetailed.
Targeting key digital skills with custom learning paths
Udacity provided a flexible, accessible, and consistent learning environment for all employees, regardless of location. Furthermore, it crafted custom learning experiences based on the company’s unique business interests, as well as the broader challenges and opportunities facing the telecommunications industry. The strategy followed three core tenets:
Learning paths tailored to business objectives
Udacity partnered with the company to tailor customized Nanodegree programs based on stakeholder interests and high-demand, high-growth skills. This allowed the company to offer practical, relevant courses in data engineering, data science, cloud computing, and AI/machine learning, with personalized learning paths to guide its employees.
Real-world projects and hands-on guidance
Telenor—entrenched in an industry that changes daily—found incredible value in Udacity’s up-to-date coursework and hands-on guidance from seasoned professionals and mentors. The real-world projects that learners worked on provided them with a tangible way to interact with their new digital skills—and allowed them to immediately implement this knowledge on the job.
Flexible, diverse coursework offerings
A multi-year partnership with Udacity afforded Telenor the opportunity to offer flexible learning paths that varied based on talent and the overall goals of the company. This meant that the company could change its programs as its digital transformation strategy evolved over time.
A future-ready workforce equipped with high-demand skills
The company began to see the positive impact of Udacity’s courses on operational efficiencies almost immediately. Deep Learning learners transitioned from traditional statistical models to machine learning, thus boosting the speed and accuracy of their work. Data science and data engineering cohorts reduced data pipeline setup time, accelerated systems deployments, and reduced maintenance costs. The company further saw a transformation in the following:
- Over $9 million to date in savings attributed to the boost in workflow efficiency and the reduced need for increased hiring, outside contractors and consultants
- 700+ upskilled employees, geared with specialized data science skills
- 40% boost in efficiency and accuracy of existing machine learning projects using Deep Learning
Upon the learners’ completion of the Udacity Nanodegree programs, the company worked with them to ensure that their newly learned skills were being utilized to their full potential. The learners were also highlighted when job opportunities requiring those skills became available, thus boosting internal mobility.
After partnering with Udacity, Telenor reaped the benefits of a rejuvenated workforce, equipped to call upon their new data science skills to modernize the company—and the industry as a whole.