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WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission today launched a Data Innovation Initiative in its ongoing effort to clean up how the agency collects, manages and distributes information. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has established a new cross-bureau team to spearhead the effort. It will be led by the FCC’s first chief data officer, Greg Elin, now the agency’s associate managing director of New Media.

“Smart policies depend on quality data, and public data should be accessible to the public in meaningful ways using modern digital tools,” Genachowski said. “The Data Innovation Initiative will accelerate the FCC’s progress toward becoming a model for excellence in 21st century government... I expect that the data team will both streamline and open up our data processes, institutionalizing positive change at the FCC.”

The FCC’s Wireline, Wireless, and Media Bureaus are releasing public notices today seeking feedback as part of the initiative. They’re asking for input on what data collections should be eliminated, what should be added, and how existing collections can be improved.

The new data team members include Elin; Robert Alderfer, chief data officer of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau; Kris Monteith, deputy chief and CDO of the Media Bureau; and Steven Rosenberg, CDO of the Wireline Competition Bureau; Andrew Martin, chief information officer of the Office of Managing Director; and representatives of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the International Bureau, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Engineering and Technology. The Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis will participate, as will the office of managing director.

In addition, Michael Byrne the FCC’s first Geographic Information Officer, will lead the FCC’s work with the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration in creating a comprehensive national broadband map and developing practices for improving the FCC’s use of geographic information.

-- Deborah D. McAdams