Sean MacCarthy

Executive Director, Global Head Analytics & Segmentation, Claire’s


Dr Sean MacCarthy is the Executive Director and Head of Global Analytics and Segmentation for accessories company Claire’s.
He has worked in retail, operations, supply chain and B2B analytics and strategy for the last five years across the home appliance, drug retail and fashion accessories industries, with a focus on using cross-functional data and insights to drive company strategies.
Dr MacCarthy has been the ‘boots on the ground’ cleansing the data and building the models, the leader in introducing emerging technologies and working with IT to implement them and the strategist who applies his team’s insights across their various functions to provide company direction.
Prior to his corporate work, Sean was a Philosophy Professor, whose area of concentration was epistemology. He earned his PhD in philosophy at Fordham University and currently lives in the Chicago, Illinois area with his wife and three children.

Getting to know...

You’re passionate about data and analytics professionals putting more emphasis on the ‘less-exciting’ areas of data, such as data quality. Why is that?

In brief, we cannot measure what we cannot identify or classify. Data scientists can do amazing things and AI tools can do amazing things. But they need the data relative to their business in clean, consistent formats that will allow them to unlock the insights and actions their organization ought to take.

This means relatively mundane things like product and location attribution are incredibly important and need more than just passive attention, but robust processes and governance. Do you want to take advantage of the latest image classification neural nets to spot trends relative to your products? Well, how well have you catalogued and attributed your own product catalogue and trained it against public images on the web?

What exciting innovations are on the horizon for Claire’s over the next 12 months?

We very proudly launched Claire’s Rewards, our loyalty program, in the US in past November 2020 and are continuing this roll-out globally. We’re very excited about being able to directly interact with our customers through this to understand their preferences and what excites them, and how we can use that to bring even more joy and delight to them as we further tailor our experiences and interactions to their needs.