PODCAST: Q&A with Morgan Vawter


August 8, 2018

Morgan Vawter is Caterpillar’s chief analytics director with broad experience in the field of digital and analytics. Before joining Caterpillar in 2016, Morgan consulted for more than 40 Fortune 500 companies on analytics. On this edition of the Caterpillar Podcast, Morgan talks about the challenges and opportunities in digital and analytics. 

In simple terms, why are data and analytics so important in our industry and to customers?

We really do see digital as an enabler to the business and analytics as well, and not just as a standalone business as itself. When we see growth and talk about growth, it’s all based on the ROI that we are seeing from the value and the potential ROI we see in the future from all the data that we’re collecting. No matter where they go, customers expect to be connected and expect to get value from that connectivity in terms of productivity, lower total cost of ownership, safety and profitability.

Growing up – you found your passion early with computers.

Growing up, I never felt like this isn’t something that girls do. I had a good mentor in my dad, but also a good, girl group of friends, so that really helped me move forward in a career field when there weren’t a lot of women in it. I was really fortunate to find something that I loved very early on.

You bring a lot of external perspective to Caterpillar having worked with a number of other companies in this field. What attracted you to join Caterpillar?

Once I learned about Caterpillar and the type of company it was, I was fascinated with the culture and how innovative it was. The company is culturally data-driven. Everyone from the CEO on down, facts and data are how we run the business. It’s also a very warm culture that wants to do the right thing, and we’re very strong with our Values. I tell people that’s one of the reasons I came here, is because you can’t fix culture. You can fix the strategy, but if there’s not the culture ready to accept it and drive it to success, it’s not going to work. So, that was one of the things appealing to me early on.

Program Guide

  • 2:20 – Morgan talks about growing up in Georgia and what she learned from raising horses
  • 5:10 – Having grown up around computers and with her dad as a mentor, Morgan found her passion in data and analytics early on
  • 8:25 – Joining Caterpillar in 2016, Morgan shares what attracted her to the company and how her previous professional experiences influenced the job she’s doing today
  • 10:25 – Morgan offers perspective on how and why all things digital, including how data analytics and IoT is crucial to Caterpillar and its customers going forward
  • 17:42 – Morgan recently spoke at a major industry conference called Predictive Analytics World and shares some of her key messages
  • 22:25 – Morgan addresses the opportunities and challenges of growing the digital and analytics function within Caterpillar, and getting creative to find the right talent
  • 27:10 – What has surprised Morgan after being at Caterpillar for a couple of years

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