Another Forbes star! Drew Tolly, 30 Under 30

January 11, 2017

Age is no longer an expectation of superior capability, and Caterpillar’s Drew Tolly is an example of that. If you didn’t catch it, Forbes published its 30 Under 30 for 2017 list in Manufacturing and Industry on January 10, and on it you will find Drew. Currently 26 years old, he’s a part of Caterpillar’s growing analytics business within our Marketing & Digital Division. In short, he’s helping to make our iron smarter – driving equipment use, maintenance and so much more. Check him out! 

When asked why he chose a data-driven career path, Drew responded, “My interest started in undergrad, where I was first exposed to what seemed like a very ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ decision-making process in the field of marketing …. After getting a more technical master’s degree, I knew data could help provide some of the answers.”

Since joining Caterpillar, he’s helped build a portfolio of analytical models/algorithms based on telematics data and equipment fluid samples, and has used data and analytics from our flagship website cat.com to enable customer segmentation and profiling.

If you or someone you know is interested in a similar field, Drew has some guidance. “Work towards a decent foundation in math or statistics and then take advantage of the free, online data science classes from Coursera or Stanford. The book ‘Data Smart’ is also a great way to quickly learn the types of things data scientists do, without having to learn to code.” 

One of Drew’s biggest learning curves has been to focus on the impact he can have on the business, not the technical skills he brings to the table (though, that’s clearly required). He relies just as much on intuition and common sense, stating that “the pendulum has probably swung too far away from gut instincts to the purely data side” and that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

In response to this 30 Under 30 recognition, Drew stated, "I am honored to be recognized by Forbes, but more excited to represent the great teams I have worked with at Caterpillar in the Peoria area to show that amazing work does happen outside of tech hubs, like Silicon Valley. Thank you to everyone I have worked with so far!"

Drew says he’s most excited about the day when analytics is no longer a buzzword but a normal part of how Caterpillar and the world operate. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications – marketing analytics. 

About Forbes’ “30 Under 30 for 2017”

Focusing on The Young Engineers And Entrepreneurs Reinventing Manufacturing And Industry, Forbes highlights those rising professionals under 30 who are standing out above the rest, whether by designing new processes, developing new materials or inventing new technologies that help America make things and get stuff done. 

Data Analytics

Drew explained a few ways we use data analytics to improve customers’ experiences. Find out more.

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