Institute for Chief Data Officers (iCDO)


According to Gartner, the race to drive competitive advantage and improved efficiency through better use of information assets is leading to a sharp rise in the number of chief data officers (CDOs). Gartner research estimated that 90% of large organizations will have a CDO by 2019.

The Wall Street Journal, in 2014, featured, “Chief Data Officers Blaze Uncharted Corporate Frontier,” reporting a panel of CDOs at the Annual MIT CDO Forum then in its fourth year, had grown from a handful of CDOs to a group of nearly 100 executives representing a “who’s who” of the Fortune 1000.


The purpose of the institute for Chief Data Officers (iCDO) at UALR is to collaborate with other universities and organizations to conduct research and develop educational curricula and training  courses to meet the needs of the growing community of CDOs in government and industry. As organizations recognize data and information as one of  their most valuable assets, the role of CDO has emerged as a new C-level role with broad responsibility to oversee the enterprise strategy for maximizing the value of this strategic asset.

Information Quality Program Support for iCDO

An important mission of the UALR Information Quality Graduate Program is to advance education and state-of-the-art research on information quality, including the roles and responsibilities of the Chief Data Officer (CDO). The program has developed training and curriculum to assist CDOs in facing the challenges, tasks, and road maps, and to address complex societal challenges in a diverse set of areas such as finance and healthcare in the public and private sectors. All CDO training sessions are offered by IQ Faculty and will take place at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR).

Who we are

Dr. Richard Wang at MIT has been at the forefront of the CDO research and education, and as the voice of the CDO through the MIT CDO Forum, the Annual MIT Chief Data Officers & information Quality Symposium, and the International Society of Chief Data Officers all of which he founded and been serving as the chairman. From 2009-2011, Dr. Wang also served at the Pentagon as the U.S. Army’s Deputy Chief Data Officer and Chief Data Quality Officer.

Dr. John Talburt is a Professor of Information Science and Acxiom Chair of Information Quality at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), where he serves as the Coordinator for the Information Quality Graduate Program. He is also the Chief Scientist for Black Oak Analytics, Inc., Little Rock company that was incubated from the UALR IQ program. Previously he was the leader for research and development and product innovation at Acxiom Corporation, a global leader in information management and customer data integration. He is an inventor for several patents related to customer data integration and the author of numerous research papers and articles on information quality and entity resolution. His books include Entity Resolution and Information Quality (Morgan Kaufmann, 2011), Data Engineering: Mining, Information and Intelligence (Springer, 2010), Information Quality and Governance for Business Intelligence (IGI Global, 2014), and Entity Information Life Cycle for Big Data: Master Data Management and Information Integration (Morgan Kaufmann, 2015).