Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the UK & Ireland CDAO Community

Louis DiCesari

Global Head of Data, Analytics and AI

Levi Strauss & Co.

Louis DiCesari leads high-performing global analytics teams to deliver world-class data and AI products. Louis designs practical, profitable solutions to complex business problems using modular, scalable components. Furthermore, Louis has been listed in DataIQ’s Most Influential People in Data, 2020-2022. Moreover, Louis holds a Master of Business Administration from Temple University (2002-2005).

Learn more about the UK & Ireland CDAO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I was the annoying child who always asked “why?” and in many ways I still am! I got into data and analytics through the consumer behaviour angle. I have always been fascinated by how people make decisions and what we can do to influence those decisions in a way that creates value for consumers and the world. 

I enjoy building new capabilities and have built data science and AI capabilities in three different industries worldwide. At Levi Strauss & Co, we use data to make better business decisions and drive desired outcomes in every area of our business – pricing, supply chain, eCommerce and everything in between.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Be a servant leader who trusts and empowers your team. Data and technology are changing so quickly that it is impossible for anyone to be an expert on all things. My style is to lean in, listen, and find the best ideas, wherever they may be. I do whatever I can to turn these ideas into reality – amplifying, removing roadblocks, and setting up successful execution.

With AI being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role going in the next 1-2 years?

I’m excited by new developments in AI –  everything from more advanced chatbots to 3D body scanning to consumer vision applications.

How we query data and systems may look completely different in a couple of years. We are taking ‘data democratisation’ to new levels and enabling consumer-friendly tools that provide better service and recommendations.

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

  • First, focus on people and culture. Remember that technology is an enabler, not a driver of success in its own right.
  • Second, plot out your 2x2: value and speed to value. Make sure you take a portfolio-based approach, with quick wins but also some strategic bets.
  • Third, keep track of your ‘net promoter score.’  Build advocates in the organisation; win over sceptics or detractors with a test-and-learn approach.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I have three passports: UK, US, and Italy. 
  2. I have travelled to over seventy countries across six continents. 
  3. I am planning a trip to Antarctica! 

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

Peer benchmarking and being able to bounce ideas off of trusted people in similar roles.

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.

by CDAOs, for CDAOs

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