Three faculty members from the Information Quality Graduate Program from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) were invited to attend the Round Table on Open Data held at the White House in Washington, D.C. on April 27, 2016. The round table was the second in a series of four meetings around the open data initiative sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Center for Open Data Enterprise. The open data initiative is designed to make data held by government agencies more accessible to the public as a way to promote transparency in government operations and to promote business through the incorporation of open data into commercial products. The April 27th round table focused on the issue of data quality in open data. Attending from UALR were Dr. John R. Talburt, Coordinator for Information Quality Graduate Program, and two UALR Affiliate Faculty members, Dr. Richard Wang, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Program, and Dr. Yang Lee, Professor of Information, Operations, and Analysis at Northeastern University.
The meeting was co-hosted by Dr. Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Dr. DJ Patil (shown in photo) the Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy and Chief Data Scientist. Both Dr. Smith and Dr. Patil report to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. While many businesses and other organizations are now working to apply open data, problems in data quality, data management, and data governance can make it difficult to use. The purpose of the round table was to help the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Center for Open Data Enterprise find scalable solutions to these problems. There were about 80 professionals in attendance representing government agencies, businesses, and academia.
The Information Quality Graduate Program at UALR is the only program in the United States that offers master’s and doctorate degrees in Information Quality. Founded in 2016 as collaboration of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Acxiom Corporation, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Program.