tED’s 30 Under 35: Meet DATAgility’s Brett Anderson

By Joe

In April, the editors of tED magazine sent out a call for
the industry’s “rising stars”—electrical professionals 34 years old or younger
who have the initiative, drive, integrity, and creativity to move the industry
forward in the decades to come. The call drew nominations from all segments of
the industry—distributors, suppliers, rep firms, software/services providers,
and VARs. Here on, we will post a new, full interview with one of
these impressive young people weekly; coverage of all of the honorees can be
found in the July 2012 issue
of tED
. Watch for information about our next “30 Under 35” competition  in
early 2013.

When Brett
Anderson graduated from high school in 2005 he intended to go on to college.
But first he planned to work for a year or so in the hopes of finding an
appealing career path.

started working at DATAgility in Chicago and found that he enjoyed the work
while also realizing that he possessed “a close eye for detail,” he explained.

It is
apparent that Anderson, now a product data analyst-engineer at DATAgility,
likes his work very much. His enthusiasm and enjoyment for his job is palpable.

“People in
this industry seem to adapt well to new technologies,” Anderson said. “One of
the great things about the electrical industry is how people put their hearts
into it. It is much more than just a job. People really go above and beyond.”

provides an array of data management services, Anderson explained, primarily
helping manufacturers and distributors sell products by sharing high quality
product data.

“Our main
goal is data quality. We’ll take data from manufacturers and validate it, make
sure it is in the right format [the distributor needs] and that it can be
utilized within the distributors’ systems,” he said. “We’ll make sure the
distributors’ data matches the manufacturers’ data because they will often have
two different data sets due to the various systems.”

While he
continued to advance in the company, Anderson also went further in his
education; last year he graduated with honors from Kishwaukee College, in
Malta, Ill.

has been actively involved with the development and implementation of industry
standards and Anderson, too, has become more involved with NAED and IDEA. He
volunteers on IDEA’s Standards Committee, the Data Quality Content Subcommittee
and the PI (Product Information) Subcommittee.

“The people
in this industry are unique. It’s interesting how the manufacturers and
distributors work together to create the [industry] standards. There is a lot
of unity. And you don’t always see that from industry to industry,” he said.
“It’s usually a lot of competition, but they join together to push forward and
make things better for their customers.”

Anderson has
been an avid wrestler for most of his life and credits the sport with his
personal as well as professional development. (This is true, competitive
wrestling; not the circus-like silliness seen on TV.)

“I would say
[wrestling] has been one of the biggest influences in my life,” he explained.
“I grew up wrestling. From the time I was about three years old, I was involved
in club wrestling. And I wrestled all the way through school and even after I
graduated. As a matter of fact, I still do some tournaments now as well as MMA
[Mixed Martial Arts] training. I still love to work out.”

So if there
is a work-related dispute or difference of opinion, does the occasional full
nelson hold win the day?

“No, it’s
not like that,” he laughed. “I like the physical activity part of it all. It
certainly keeps me in shape.”

On top of
this, he finds his time being taken up more and more with a very young sparring
partner—his son, Michael Eli Anderson. Since Michael is all of 14 months old,
he figures to be a few years away from his first wrestling season.

Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and
author. He can be reached at

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