Matt graduated with a PhD in materials engineering from MIT in 2014, and joined the big data team in June of 2015. He’s worked on big data strategy and analytics projects in the energy, retail and finance industries.

Q&A with Matt Connors

Tell us about your background and how you got into technology.
During college, I participated in a number of science and technology research programs in which I focused on advanced electronic materials. I enjoyed my time in the lab, so after graduation I went to MIT to pursue a PhD in materials engineering. My research explored how animals are able to integrate sensors into their protective materials, and what design principles we can extract to create innovative armor materials. Towards the end of my degree, I decided I wanted to gain experience on the business-side of technology, so I accepted an offer at a consulting firm that specialized in big data analytics.
What is your role at WWT?
As an Engagement Manager on the big data/management consulting team, I help to solve diverse types of problems that our current and potential technology customers are facing. These projects strengthen our customer relationships and create opportunities for technology sales.
What innovation is happening in your technology focus area that has you really excited?
I’m excited about the application of big data predictive analytics to medicine and healthcare challenges. Predictive analytics are becoming more useful as it becomes easier to record, store and share medical data like electronic medical records, DNA sequences, medical images, and biosensor outputs. We are going to eventually see more personalized medicine, in which treatments are tailored specially to your genetic makeup. For example on the healthcare side, analytics have the potential to control costs, by predicting readmission rates.
Describe a recent interaction with a customer that led to solving a problem.
My current project with a utility company is exploring the feasibility of a novel telephone-pole design. The ultimate goal is to make the poles more mechanically stable, which will reduce the number that need to be replaced over the next decade – a huge potential for cost savings. While discussing the utility’s pole business model (it leases space to carriers like AT&T and Verizon), we discovered that there are opportunities present to increase the speed of payments from the carriers, as well to improve the accuracy of inspections. We are currently formulating a new business model which has potential to increase revenue in addition to reducing costs.