Sniffing out data treasures in companies – this is what Dr. Marie-Luise Menzel does every day. As a data scientist, she shines light into dark corners and helps companies to use big data analytics and smart data analytics profitably, be it in the form of either new business models or additional services for customers.
Dr. Menzel, what do you do as a data scientist for Lufthansa Industry Solutions?
I work in the Digital Lab and, as a data scientist, help companies to gather data, to analyze their quality and to structure them. We gain new knowledge from these large quantities of data and take a targeted approach towards putting them to use in the company.
What project are you currently working on?
I am currently working for a company in the field of public transportation. The most gripping question for this customer is: How do passengers move around the public transportation network and what tickets do they use for which routes? Because the more precisely a transportation company is informed about probable route utilization, the more cost-efficiently it can deploy personnel and trains, thereby increasing customer satisfaction, for example, with less crowded transportation vehicles and less headway. In order to find a precise answer to this question, we gather internal data from running transportation operations – on passenger numbers, customer feedback and information from sales outlets. External data – for example, specific weather data and information about holiday periods and events – are also incorporated into our observations. By processing all of these data sets, we gain new knowledge that lets us design future operating procedures more efficiently and more cost-efficiently, and better customize the public transportation offer to customers.
“As a data scientist at Lufthansa Industry Solutions, I can apply scientific methods in a business context. This is what makes this job so exciting for me and many other scientists.”Dr. Marie-Luise Menzel, data scientist
How many colleagues do you have in your team and how do you work?
There are currently three of us working for the public transportation company. We are part of Lufthansa Industry Solutions’ Data Insight Lab, which is an important component of the Digital Lab. This laboratory is a virtual environment, where all customer data are stored securely. This is where we access the technologies we need for data integration and data analysis. Part of working in the Digital Lab is also exchanging information with colleagues about current trends and opportunities.
One of the other tasks of the data scientist is to organize workshops together with customers. At the beginning, companies often don’t have a complete overview of the available data, which means that it is really good when all of the departments get together with us experts at one table. We prepare use cases and set objectives together and, in doing so, apply our experience from other projects.
Data scientists / data architects
Numerous data scientists, data engineers and data architects work in our Digital Lab. Together, we carry out cross-sector projects with a focus on digitalization – from the development of data analytics strategies through to their technical implementation. The day-to-day tasks of a data scientist also include identifying data sources, assessing data quality and analyzing data.
Why do you like working with data so much?
I studied physics with a focus on nuclear and particle physics, and completed my PhD in astrophysics. During my work as a researcher, I was already dealing with huge quantities of data about topics such as black holes. I really like being a data detective. As a data scientist at Lufthansa Industry Solutions, I can apply scientific methods, but primarily in a business context. This is what makes the job so exciting for me and for many of my other colleagues as well. I know that this profession is experiencing a strong upsurge within the scope of digitalization and am sure that it will provide scientists with a highly interesting, diverse environment.
About Dr. Marie-Luise Menzel
Dr. Marie-Luise Menzel has been working as a data scientist at Lufthansa Industry Solutions since September 2016. As a staff member in the Digital Lab, she helps companies to gather, analyze and utilize data. She previously completed a PhD in astrophysics at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.