Arkansas Division of Information Systems deputy chief data officer Adita Karkera has been named an “up and comer” among state information technology leaders.
Karkera received an “Up and Comer” recognition as part of the seventh annual StateScoop 50 awards. Presented by StateScoop, an online platform that reports on technology impacting state and local government, the awards spotlight the individuals and projects that are leading technology and cybersecurity at the state government level.
According to StateScoop, thousands of IT professionals and projects were nominated for the awards with the field being narrowed to 182 finalists. StateScoop readers voted on the finalists, casting more than two million votes.
“It’s an honor and delight to recognize the top 50 leaders in our community,” Goldy Kamali, founder and CEO of Scoop News Group, StateScoop’s parent company, said in a statement “Each of the leaders recognized has gone above and beyond for our community this year, in spite of unprecedented challenges at home and at work. These reader’s choice awards honor the best leaders from across the state government community, and acknowledge the important work they are doing to make government better each and every day.”
With more than 20 years of experience in information technology, Karkera is create data-driven culture across state departments in Arkansas. “I work with state departments to champion a data-driven culture; create data literacy, research, suggest and collaboratively develop data policies, standards, and best practices to improve data governance and data management statewide. I also seek out opportunities for data sharing across departments to increase the use of government data for effective data driven decision making,” Karkera told Arkansas Money & Politics.
After growing up in the northern part of India, Karkera obtained a degree in commerce from the University of Allahabad. She has steadily pursued educational opportunities after becoming interested in data and databases, racking up educational diplomas and certifications. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in information quality from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
She started her career at the Arkansas Division of Information Systems in 2000 when a position as a database administrator opened up. Since then, she has scaled the ranks of the department, being named deputy state chief data officer in 2017.
“Managing data for services that directly impact the lives of the citizens in the state is a fulfilling task. At the same time, it is a big responsibility – to make the right government data available and usable in the right ways to guide policy. I get to work with technology as well as policy initiatives on a multitude of topics ranging from mental health, criminal justice, education and workforce,” she said.
As for the StateScoop award, she said that she was honored to be recognized for her work. “I am passionate about championing cross sector data sharing and for spearheading initiatives to improve the effectiveness of government programs. I am humbly honored to receive this recognition (for Arkansas) from StateScoop,” she said in a statement.