Provide insights for the future as an AI and big data expert at Deutsche Bahn

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Big data and AI

Generating answers and solutions from data

Article: Provide insights for the future as an AI and big data expert at Deutsche Bahn

Experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and big data lay the foundations and implement the details that enable companies to find clarity in complex contexts and create new tools for themselves and their customers. They are adept at managing large volumes of data to achieve this.

The most common job titles in this field are data scientist, data engineer, machine learning engineer or platform engineer. Regardless of the job title, the first step is always to identify and describe a problem and define the measures needed to resolve it. Data engineers and platform engineers are the architects and expert builders of the sector. They collect and analyse data, shape it for use in models and, finally, model the data. Big data is the foundation on which businesses build their analytical capabilities. It involves turning data into values and insights that were previously hidden.  

Jobs at Deutsche Bahn 

Would you like to make a difference at a company that provides an essential service to society? Where you can see the impact of your efforts on the everyday lives of millions of passengers? A company as large and complex as Deutsche Bahn needs even better insights, analyses and more automation than most to meet the challenges of the future. We are looking for experts who can collect and structure large volumes of diverse data and turn it into useful solutions. Big data and artificial intelligence are the two interdisciplinary fields that help us to process large amounts of data and create data-driven solutions. They provide advanced decision-making tools or forecasts and systems that can improve punctuality or allow us to create new services. 

Practical applications of big data and AI for the railway 

Monitoring vehicle data 

By monitoring and analysing vehicle data and vehicle defects in detail, we can identify and eliminate potential problems at an early stage. This enhances the safety of passengers and goods and enables us to make railway operations even more reliable. 

Predictive maintenance 

Knowing when something is going to break – long before it happens. We use big data and AI to develop predictive maintenance models that predict when vehicles will need to be serviced. This reduces train downtimes, improves capacity utilisation and makes longer operating hours possible.  

Analysing data to make improvements  

Analysing vehicle data makes it possible to record and evaluate a variety of performance characteristics with the aim of continuously improving vehicles and routes and boosting efficiency. It allows us to create energy forecasts together, predict business developments and much more. 

What do big data experts do? 

Experts in big data collect data from a variety of locations, including sensors, social media and IoT devices in workshops and along the track. They handle huge amounts of data, which they process and store using technologies such as Hadoop, Spark and NoSQL databases. They ensure that the quality of the data is good by cleaning up any incorrect or missing data. Although Deutsche Bahn has countless data sources and enormous amounts of data, these are not always available in a usable form. Data specialists are responsible for compiling the data from these various sources into a clear overall picture. And then comes the practical part: they delve into the data, find patterns, and create reports and visualisations that make complex issues simple and demonstrate new relationships. 

What do AI experts do? 

AI professionals handle all aspects of machine learning. They develop algorithms that can interpret data and make predictions. They explore the world of deep learning, creating neural networks and models for practical applications such as image recognition and natural language processing. They train software to "see" using computer vision by creating models to decode the content of images and videos. The different roles teach AI tools such as chatbots and translation apps how to interact naturally with users. Reinforcement learning is helpful for natural language processing tasks and is often used to train assistance systems and robots. It improves AI systems through interaction with the environment and is used to develop AI systems that learn through interaction. AI experts also explore the ethical aspects of AI and develop guidelines for its responsible use. The work of AI engineers drives automation and robotics in areas such as industry and healthcare. AI engineers are also hands-on, using AI for real-world applications like autonomous vehicles. 

Which skills are useful to have? 

If you want to work in this exciting field, there are some skills you should have. These include programming skills in languages such as Python or R that are used to create algorithms and generate models. A good understanding of statistics and maths as well as experience in machine learning and AI are also advantageous. Depending on the position you are applying for, you should have subject-specific expertise in an area such as transport or human resource management, and know, for example, how to handle databases, how to process and store data, and how to visualise data in order to communicate results and findings clearly.  

In the practical implementation of our projects we break new ground to find solutions in a highly complex environment. We are looking for people who can rise to a challenge and who have no problem demonstrating their critical thinking skills. Communication with Group partners and other contacts is part of our day-to-day business. Being able to explain complicated issues in simple terms and describe your ideas and concepts in a straightforward way is an extremely valuable skill. Because we work independently using agile methods a structured approach and project management skills will make your everyday working life easier.  

Big data and AI in practice at Deutsche Bahn 

At DB Systel, many colleagues are already working hands-on to develop new data solutions and AI-based applications, creating new insights and improving everyday life for thousands of colleagues and passengers.  

Getting more trains on the rails 

We have analysts working on how we can optimise the capacity of the rail network. Their tasks include analysing journeys and bottlenecks in the network. For example, we have designed a new sign for train drivers that asks them to accelerate particularly quickly at certain points. Our graph analyses have shown that this is worthwhile in many places because it relieves the pressure at "narrow points" on the track, allowing trains to run behind each other at shorter intervals.  

Conversational AI for better accessibility 

Not only have we been experimenting with "conversational AI" (AI technologies that enable natural dialogue between humans and machines) for years, but we are already using this in practice in numerous cases. We use it, for example, in application processes, in the planning phase of construction projects and for the demand-responsive service hotline. 

Creating greater efficiency and sustainability in the Group 

We are already analysing and forecasting various procedures and processes in practice in many areas. Some of these are pilot projects, while other solutions went live a long time ago and have been integrated into everyday railway operations. Data and AI solutions are helping Deutsche Bahn to save energy, optimise workforce planning and create other forecasts. 

Central AI services for the entire DB Group 

The strategy pursued by Deutsche Bahn and DB Systel is to develop IT services that are as scalable as possible so that all business units can benefit without having to develop their own services. This is why we already have a central AI platform that offers development tools for image analyses, speech recognition, conversational AI and forecasts. The "AI Factory", which looks after many AI-based projects, will continue to grow in the coming years. 

DB Systel is growing steadily and supporting Deutsche Bahn in numerous innovative projects. And that is why we are always on the lookout for experts in advanced decision-making tools, assistance systems and automation. So you'll always find a good match for your talents and skills on our job board.