Victor Nilson is AT&T's senior vice president of big data. Nilson helped create the operator’s big data unit in 2013, and it puts him in a position to crunch the numbers at a service provider that counts around 130 million wireless customers and dabbles in businesses ranging from connected cars to smart cities. Specifically, Nilson “leads a centralized organization dedicated to developing insights, inspiring innovation and accelerating smarter decisions to benefit customers and the company,” according to his biography from the carrier.
While big data may seem like an amorphous buzzword, Nilson is working to make it matter. For example, late last year Nilson’s big data team announced it had discovered AT&T could combine or turn off power to millions of pieces of unused or unneeded telecom equipment throughout the country, an effort that helped save the carrier $119 million last year in energy expenses.
Moreover, Nilson holds a central role in the development of “AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo,” which the carrier described earlier this year as a “next generation of the internet,” a platform that will leverage big data, cloud processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence and open source software to foster sharing and build trust among members of a community. That’s the kind of out-there, Silicon Valley stuff that AT&T is increasingly highlighting in its corporate messaging.
Nilson has worked at AT&T since 2002, but his recent efforts to develop insights and products through big data and other high-end computing concepts indicate he may enjoy a bird’s-eye view of bleeding-edge industry trends.