Publication principles for statistics
Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service.
Exceptions to this practice are such as statistics published at press conferences, for which release times are given separately.
Publishing of statistical data
Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.
In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service.
Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases.
Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have limited content.
Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service.
Release calendar of statistics
Statistics Finland always notifies in advance the publication times of releases, reviews and database releases in the release calendar available in the web service. The calendar is published by calendar year. In addition, the web page of each set of statistics gives the publication dates and type of publication of new publications.
Confidentiality of data prior to publication
Data are released to all users at the same time.
Statistical data may only be handled and are only available in advance at Statistics Finland to persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.
Statistics that affect capital and financial markets: The Act on the Openness of Government Activities (Section 24, Paragraph 1, Sub-paragraph 13) prescribes that statistics describing the development of the national economy and other documents containing data that apparently could have an effect on the capital and financial markets are secret before the data are published. For these statistics, statistics-specific lists are maintained on the persons that have the right to handle the data.
In special cases data can be released before the official release under the so-called embargo principle. These situations include: EU regulation or agreement based data releases are sent to Eurostat, the European Central Bank or the Bank of Finland, and releasing of data based on separate agreements to other authorities producing statistics and other producers of official statistics for the compilation of a publication that is released after Statistics Finland's release, or for mandatory EU reporting. In such cases, the data must be indicated as confidential until their release (the embargo principle, i.e. the recipient may not publish the data before the agreed time).
Practices when changes are made to statistical data
Changes may be made to data that Statistics Finland has released after their initial publication. From the point of the usability of statistics, it is important that the users receive the necessary information about the reasons, magnitude and timing of the changes quickly and transparently.
The European statistical community has agreed on the practices that guide the making of changes to statistics and communicating about such changes. The objective is to facilitate easy evaluation of the reliability of the data statistical offices publish.