Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Chicago CDAO Community

Jorge Balestra

Global Head Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) and Platforms

The Kraft Heinz Company

I’ve been with Kraft Heinz for a long time. At every turn in my career, I’ve been drawn to spaces where technology unlocks new possibilities. I started my career in Analytics later than most other professionals, and I’m loving every second of it. Harnessing the combination of people, technology and data that makes modern analytics is a journey that energizes me every day.

Learn more about leaders in the Chicago CDAO community here.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Technology is simple – its only 1’s and 0’s combined in a multitude of ways – ALWAYS focus on the people that enable and are affected by the changes brought to them.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a data and analytics leader going in the next 1-2 years?

It is the evangelist role; a data and analytics leader needs to simplify what D&A is to every individual – from the CEO to the line workers. This is part of the revolution analytics brings to every organization.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDAO?

Make sure that the organization objectives, your direct leader expectations, and the resources that you can tap into are crystal clear before you start setting up the long- and short-term strategies you want to focus on.

Tell us a couple of fun facts about yourself.

My bachelor’s degree is in Industrial Engineering. You never know where life is going to take you.

I was born in Mexico and went to college over there. I went into the University of Pittsburgh as an exchange student, so I’m a 100% Steeler fan.

What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?

The Evanta community is my secret source of knowledge. There are many things I have learned from my colleagues in other industries that are completely new in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG). For me, the community is a key enabler to make sure our ambitious analytical goals can be achieved.


Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

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