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FCC Names Greg Elin as ‘Mr. Data’

Commission data initiative includes updates to how the Media Bureau collects, uses and disseminates information

Information is power. And data is information.

The Federal Communications Commission has begun an initiative it says is meant to streamline and modernize how it collects, uses and disseminates data.

To kickstart this effort, Chairman Julius Genachowski established a cross-bureau data team and named the agency’s first-ever chief data officer to head it.

As part of its “Data Innovation Initiative,” the Media, Wireline and Wireless Bureaus released notices seeking input on which data collections should be eliminated, what new ones should be added and how existing collections can be improved. “Data collection,” the commission added, includes all information collections approved by the Office of Management and Budget, including data that the FCC formally requires to be submitted and all information that must be retained by parties or disclosed to others, as well as non-mandatory submissions like tariffs, contracts and reports, and any data purchased by the FCC.

The public notices include inventories of the bureaus’ current data collection. For broadcast changes, submit comments captioned “MB Data Review,” to MB Docket 10-103 by Aug. 13.

Greg Elin, associate managing director of new media at the FCC, will take the new chief data officer position. He will lead a group of chief data officers from three FCC Bureaus for the initiative: Kris Monteith, deputy chief and chief data officer at the Media Bureau; Steven Rosenberg, chief data officer of the Wireline Competition Bureau; and Robert Alderfer, chief data officer of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Andrew Martin, chief information officer for the Office of Managing Director, will participate, as will representatives of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the International Bureau, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Engineering and Technology and the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

Michael Byrne has been appointed FCC’s first geographic information officer, in the Office of Strategic Planning; The FCC said he will lead its work with the NTIA to create a “national broadband map” and develop practices for improving its use of geographic information.

The data initiative, appointment of the data team and release of the public notices follow other data innovations begun under the chairman, the agency pointed out. Those include improving the search on ECFS, making more information machine-readable at, an interactive Spectrum Dashboard and collaboration with the NTIA to produce the national broadband map.