Open Letter from Dr. Mary L. Good

DR. MARY L. GOOD / Chair, EAC Management Board

When writing this Open Letter, I felt a renewed sense of urgency… and for many good reasons.  Two leading experts in the fields of economics and technology have co-authored a new book entitled “BIG DATA: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think.”  The term BIG DATA has been defined many ways, but in the new book it refers to the myriad of things that we can now do with data.

Through advanced data collection and analysis, we can extract new insights and create new forms of value.  As the authors state, a revolution is beginning in the ways that data is now “poised to shake up everything from businesses and the sciences to healthcare, government, education, economics, the humanities, and every other aspect of society.”

The National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health are focusing millions of dollars into BIG DATA research, as are more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, according to the financial firm Deloitte, LLP.

Meshed with BIG DATA initiatives is the recognition that supercomputing is making real-world simulations with data an important new branch in physics and engineering.  Advanced manufacturing capabilities will also directly benefit from the BIG DATA era.

Obviously, the State of Arkansas must also be poised to quickly adapt and thrive in the competitive new world of “datafication” with a sense of urgency.  UALR’s new George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center™ (EAC) was created with this sense of urgency, thanks to over $5 million in funding provided by the George W. Donaghey Foundation.  The Foundation’s leadership joined with UALR as partners in developing an economic development “game changer” for UALR and the State of Arkansas.  Its mission of providing VISIONARY DATA SOLUTIONS FOR ARKANSAS is bold, but critically needed in the emerging realization of what it will take for our State to compete in the new, data-focused economy.

The new EAC is, truly, a visionary endeavor featuring “first of its kind in the world” technology.  Our initial development and promotion partners in its creation — the Mechdyne Corporation, HP, and Today’s Office — share in our bold vision.

Uniquely, the entire UALR campus is also a key partner, with the EAC Management Board initially comprised of UALR’s deans from the College of Business, College of Science, and the College of Engineering and Information Technology.  The creative use of data analysis and data visualization must be linked to robust collaboration across all fields of human endeavor and academia.  All UALR faculty, along with other faculty, researchers and co-developers from across the U.S. and the globe, are also our key partners in molding the EAC’s success.

UALR will also be using the EAC in its outreach to Arkansas young people, exposing them to the “datafied” future in which they must be better prepared to compete for good jobs.

To guide our innovative and cutting-edge approach, we have created a nationally-recognized team of advisors — the UALR EAC Data Science Advisory Board.  This new advisory board is comprised of a broad scope of visionary leaders assembled from diverse fields, diverse companies, and diverse organizations from within Arkansas and throughout the U.S.

While the EAC is strategically focused on providing visionary solutions “for” Arkansas, it is also focused on providing solutions “from” Arkansas.  Our State must build on its reputation of innovation for commercialization.  We must leverage our assets and create new, highly-skilled jobs for Arkansans, while also lucratively supplying advanced data solutions for companies and clients outside our borders.

With UALR’s world-class faculty, outstanding students, talented staff and our corporate, non-profit and governmental partnerships, we are well poised for a new era of economic development in an extremely data-focused world.  UALR’s new Emerging Analytics Center™ will serve us all in the exciting future ahead, thanks again to the major funding support from the George W. Donaghey Foundation.

To learn more about how the EAC can help in your quest for data-related solutions, visit the ualr.edu/emerginganalytics website…and let’s get busy!

Dr. Mary L. Good

Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Economic Development

Founding Dean / UALR College of Engineering & Information Technology

Former Under Secretary for Technology for the Technology Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce

Former President of the American Chemical Society and Former Senior Vice President for Allied Signal (now Honeywell International)

Currently, Dr. Good serves as the Chair for the UALR Emerging Analytics Center Management Board, in addition to her senior leadership role as Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  She is a managing member for the Fund for Arkansas’ Future, LLC. (an investment fund for start-up and early stage companies), past President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), past President of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. She presently serves on the Boards of St. Vincent Health System and Delta Bank and Trust.