Professor Li’s research interests relate to artificial intelligence and big data analytics, with applications in search engine, healthcare, marketing, platform and public policy. Her research has been published in MIS Quarterly; Information Systems Research; Journal of Marketing; Strategic Management Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics; Journal of Management Information Systems; and ACM TOIS. She is a winner of the INFORMS Design Science Award, INFORMS CIST Best Paper Award, WITS Best Paper Award, and WITS Best Prototype Award. Her research is also nominated as the finalist for Shelby D. Hunt/Harold H. Maynard Award and 2018 INFORMS Data Science Workshop Best Paper Award. Her research has been funded by NSF, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Professor Li is currently teaching big data and business analytics courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive master levels. She received a teaching award for her "Business Intelligence" course at Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before joining the McIntire School, she was a Scientist at Microsoft, where she proposed and implemented several large-scale machine learning solutions for numerous Microsoft products such as Xbox One, Windows 8 Search Charm, Windows Phone App Store, Cortana, and Bing Entity Search. She is a member of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) and INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences).