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FCC’s Data Innovation Initiative: Reinvigorating the FCC’s Data Assets

June 30th, 2010 by Greg Elin - Chief Data Officer

As part of the FCC reform agenda to improve our fact-based, data-driven decision making, the Media, Wireline Competition, and Wireless Telecommunications bureaus have released simultaneous, identical Public Notices seeking comment on all aspects of how they collect, use, and disseminate data.

Along with Public Notices, we are also publicly announcing a cross-agency data team of Chief Data Officers in the bureaus, a Geographic Information Officer, and a Chief Data Officer for the agency to ensure a better connection between data and sound analysis in policy processes.

These actions are part of the FCC’s Data Innovation Initiative publicly launched yesterday. They are the next steps of a journey that began last fall with the Commission’s first-ever, agency-wide inventory identifying hundreds of distinct data sets. The Public Notices initiate an iterative process examining all the FCC’s current and future data requirements, starting with these three Bureaus.  

Yesterday’s Public Notices invite you to join us on this journey for the next 45 days as we openly and transparently look closer at, and seek your comments on, nearly 340 data sets managed by the Media, Wireline Competition, and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus and consider future needs. Each of the three Bureaus has compiled a working inventory of their respective data collections to make it easier for everyone—not just those who file information year in and year out—to provide us with comments and insights on innovating how the agency collects, uses, analyzes, and shares information.

Introducing the FCC’s New Data Team

To help clear away the Agency’s data cruft and keep it cleared away, the Commission has put together a cross-agency data consisting of newly created positions of Chief Data Officers in each Bureau, starting with these three Bureaus. They are: Robert Alderfer, Chief Data Officer, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, who joined the FCC from OMB; Kris Monteith, Deputy Chief and Chief Data Officer, Media Bureau, who brings years of FCC experience to the team; and Steven Rosenberg, Chief Data Officer, Wireline Competition Bureau who was previously part of the National Broadband Plan team. Also part of the data team will be Michael Byrne, Geographic Information Officer, Office of Strategic Planning, joining the FCC from the GIS office for the State of California. Mr. Byrne is the FCC’s first Geographic Information Officer and is responsible for creating a National Broadband Map in partnership with NTIA. Rounding out the team will be Andrew Martin, Chief Information Officer for the FCC, who brings his experience in Auctions and running FCC IT; and finally, me, Greg Elin, Associate Managing Director New Media and Chief Data Officer for the agency. I came to the FCC from United Cerebral Palsy and prior to that at the Sunlight Foundation where I worked on open government data. The FCC has a long tradition working with and disseminating data both in reports and in structured, machine-readable formats, a tradition all of us on the team are looking forward to building upon with your help.

2 Responses to “FCC’s Data Innovation Initiative: Reinvigorating the FCC’s Data Assets”

  1. Andrew Turner says:

    This sounds like an excellent initiative in really driving both open data, but also the transparent use of open data in policy making. Definitely a tremendous team to head this up.

    Regarding the data under review - is the format listing the current format, or the expected publication format (e.g. paper, electronic, email etc.)

  2. Greg Elin says:

    Andrew Turner: Thanks for the encouragement. It is an excellent initiative and I'm looking forward to your participation.

    Regarding your question about the formats listed in the inventories, the "Format" column identifies the format the information is currently tracked or captured. You'll notice a variety of formats. Not all data required by the FCC is necessarily tracked at the FCC. For example, Collection No. 3060-0704 from the Wireline Competition Bureau "enables public to see rates, terms and conditions of provided services" by carriers and the format for that information is that it appears on carrier's web sites.

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