Caterpillar Leans on Data Analytics

March 10th 2015 - Tuesday

The mining and equipment giant Caterpillar recently announced the formation of a new division, Analytics & Innovation (AI), in order to exploit the growing importance of data analytics. The division will be led by its Vice President, Greg Folley.

The analytics and innovation unit will draw on workers from across the company and will also place some employees with Uptake. In March, Caterpillar announced it has entered into a technology and predictive analytics agreement with Chicago, Illinois-based Uptake, a provider of dynamic analytics and insight platform for a wide array of industries. Caterpillar has made a minority investment in Uptake.

Caterpillar and Uptake will create a platform that will take in massive amounts of data, combine it with data science to recognise patterns and rapidly deploy information to save customers money, optimise performance while preventing unplanned downtime.

The company is also placing resources in the Silicon Valley and has seeded money in a venture capital fund with the goal of investing in emerging technologies that could further enhance its product and service development.

Caterpillar is not the only industrial company with an eye on data and software services. Earlier in April, Komatsu and General Electric Company announced that they’ve entered into a partnership to provide big data analysis services for mining projects to boost efficiency in areas ranging from excavation to transport and power generation.

Caterpillar’s earnings have been bearing the brunt of a muted mining environment and lower prices of oil and key mined commodities, particularly copper, coal and iron ore.