“I feel very honored to be named to such a select group of individuals,” Talburt said. “I believe the reason I was named is primarily because UA Little Rock was willing to take a chance in 2006, go against the normal academic trends, and establish a graduate program in information quality in collaboration with MIT. This has given our program great exposure and growing enrollments. I am happy that data has come into parity with programming and is no longer considered a second-class citizen in the world of information technology.”
The Leading Data Academic Leaders List 2022 honors great academic leaders, introducing them on a global platform where they share their insights and work, highlighting their significant successes in the previous year, the challenges they faced, and their aspirations and goals for 2022.
Talburt has been instrumental in building the Information Quality Graduate Program at UA Little Rock. The program includes the graduate certificate in information quality, the M.S. in information quality, and the Ph.D. in integrated computing with an emphasis in information quality.
At UA Little Rock, he also serves as executive director of the Center for Advanced Research in Entity Resolution and Information Quality and coordinator of the Ph.D. program in computer and information sciences.
“The information quality, information science, and computer science graduate programs are experiencing dramatic growth,” he said. “I believe the university’s future is in research and graduate studies. We will always have an obligation to serve our undergraduate students, but our future growth will come at the graduate level. We are already recognized as the leading institution in Information Quality graduate education.”
Talburt first joined UA Little Rock in 1983 as a professor in the newly formed Department of Computer Science, which he chaired from 1986-1993. He left the university in 1995 to lead a research and development unit at Acxiom, where he learned about the power and value of data. In 2005, Talburt returned to UA Little Rock in the newly formed Information Science Department as the Acxiom Chair of Information Quality.
“I believe the next big area of focus in IT will be around metadata, i.e., data describing other data,” Talburt said. “Well-curated and managed metadata will be the key to data process automation and the ability for organizations to exercise authority and control over their data assets. How can you effectively use your data to create value if you don’t know what data you have and what’s in it? This is the role of metadata, and I think it will be the next big area of research and development. The university is already involved in a major NSF grant investigating ways to automate data curation (processing) and data governance.”