Information Systems

Meet the Team

Dr. Joshua B. McGee, Chief Data Officer

Josh McGee was appointed as Chief Data Officer (CDO) in February of 2020. He is an economist and a national leader in the evidence-based policy space who has held a variety of leadership roles in state government, philanthropy, and non-profits. McGee is dedicated to helping Arkansas use data to deliver actionable insights that will empower citizens and make state government more efficient and effective.

In addition to serving as the state’s CDO, McGee is also the associate director of the Office for Education Policy and a research professor in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. His research investigates issues related to P-20 education, retirement policy, and economic development and has been published in popular media outlets and scholarly journals. McGee holds a B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Arkansas.

Jennifer Davis, Chief Privacy Officer

Jennifer Davis was appointed as Arkansas’ first Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) at the Division of Information Systems in June 2018. She is an Arkansas native with a background in information technology, specifically database and applications development. Davis graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and also holds a Master of Science from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Davis holds the Certified Information Privacy Professional/U.S. Government (CIPP/G) credential through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Privacy and Data Protecting Working Group of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO).  Before her appointment as the State’s first Chief Privacy Officer (CPO), Davis served as a staff attorney for the Arkansas Department of Education

Robert McGough, Chief Analytics Officer

As Chief Analytics Officer, McGough’s goal is growing data and analytic capacity and communities of practice for the sharing, integration, and analysis of data in support of improved policy decisions and operations. He has 20 years’ experience in data management and analytics supporting public sector entities with the Division of Information Systems. He served as lead author on the Feasibility and Cost Study on the Development of a Statewide Data Warehouse Program and as the state’s technical liaison with the White House OMB for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

McGough holds an M.S. in Information Quality and has completed the UALR Institute for Chief Data Officers, the ASU Six Sigma Black Belt, and the Coleridge Initiative Applied Data Analytics programs along with numerous credentials in data and analytics. He currently is an Information Science Ph.D. candidate conducting research to advance the field of longitudinal data analysis. He also serves on the Governor’s Technology Advisory Board and the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) IT committee.

Stuart Buck, Chief Research Officer

Stuart Buck began his time with the Department of Transformation and Shared Services as the Chief Research Officer in July of 2021. Stuart has a Law Degree from Harvard Law School and holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Arkansas.

Stuart led nationally-renowned work on improving research quality and reproducibility as a Vice-President at Arnold Ventures. He has also advised Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) on rigorous research.


Legislative History
Act 1282 of 2015 established the Open Data and Transparency Task Force to determine the best practices to achieve the most efficient systems for maintaining and delivering the state’s public records and data.
Act 912 of 2017 created the positions of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) and the Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) and established the Data and Transparency Panel (DTP).
Act 936 of 2019 amended Act 912 of 2017, adding to the DTP’s membership and duties.
Act 742 of 2021 amended Act 912 of 2017, aligning the DTP membership to correspond with the 15 state departments.

Duties of the Chief Data Officer
1. Provide master data management by facilitating standardization, deduplication, sharing, and integrating critical data between systems and state departments.
2. Promote efficient data management by developing an integrated set of specifications and documents that define the blueprint for managing data resources.
3. Promote data quality by: (a) applying data quality management concepts and practices that include policies; measurement; process improvement; and education; and (b) leveraging data warehouse, business intelligence, and master data management solutions;
4. Promote high-quality data governance by: (a) exercising authority, control, and decision-making over the management of data assets; and (b) introducing accountability for data asset management through formalized data stewardship;
5. Support open data exchanges that: (a) facilitate standardized access to data within, between, or outside systems or state departments; and (b) establish a data catalog of data housed, maintained, and utilized by each state department;
6. Utilize business intelligence that includes embedded business intelligence and advanced analytics that maximize the value of data in the state to facilitate access to and the analysis of data; and
7. Direct and oversee the Data and Transparency Panel.

Duties of Chief Privacy Officer
1. Ensure all state departments comply with federal and state laws governing the privacy and access to protected data.
2. Assure technology use does not erode privacy protections relating to the use, collection, and disclosure of personal information.
3. Review regulatory proposals and procedures involving the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information.


Data-driven decision-making requires:
– A highfunctioning Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) with efficient data governance;
– The analytic capacity to use data to produce actionable insights; and
– A process to identify high-priority issue areas and use data to continuously improve.

The ARDATA team is working to build all three of these elements for the State of Arkansas. We are well on our way to develop a high-functioning SLDS and are now beginning to build analytic capacity and a process for continuous improvement.

Our strategy for building the state’s analytic capacity is threefold:
1. Build a small analytics team within state government that will operate as a shared service;
2. Work with state departments to develop internal analytics capacity; and
3. Collaborate with higher education institutions to leverage existing subject matter expertise (SME).




Scroll to Top