Quality Criteria

The Advisory Board of Official Statistics of Finland has in 2010 updated the criteria that should be fulfilled by statistics in the Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) series. These criteria have been harmonised with the quality criteria of Eurostat. The purpose of the criteria is to develop and maintain the usability of OSF statistics in order to meet society's information needs. The criteria which statistics in the Official Statistics of Finland series must fulfil are listed below:

These OSF quality criteria must be observed in the production of all Official Statistics of Finland. The criteria also form the foundation for the reporting and evaluation of the quality of the statistics. They are based on the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP, PDF).

1. Impartiality and transparency

The principles adhered to in the production and reporting of statistics are based on professional statistical considerations and ethics independent of external interest perspectives. The principles are public and detected errors are corrected visibly. The statistics are accessible to everybody under equal conditions.

2. Quality control

The quality of statistical data is monitored continuously with recognised procedures and it is adequately reported. The minimum requirement in quality reporting is an up-to-date quality description approved by the Advisory Board of Official Statistics of Finland. The aim is that approved procedures for quality assurance are in place for all OSF statistics.

3. Confidentiality

The data obtained from data providers are only used for the purpose they have been told they would be used for and their privacy and trade secrets are efficiently protected.

4. Efficiency

Statistics are produced with adequate resources and mandates, professionally and as efficiently as possible while minimising the response burden of the data providers.

5. Relevance

OSF statistics contain essential and nationally comprehensive data on the topic they describe to serve the needs of their users.

6. Accuracy and reliability

OSF statistics describe the examined phenomena, their state and its changes, in an accurate and reliable manner. Clear descriptions are presented of the used statistical methods and revisions in them. Their effects on the obtained results and other possible factors causing uncertainties in the statistics are analysed and reported. The measures for correcting possible errors in the statistics comply with the recommendations approved by the Advisory Board of Official Statistics of Finland.

7. Timeliness and punctuality

The data of OSF statistics are as up-to-date as possible. The times of their release are made known in advance. Their publisher must maintain a release calendar in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Advisory Board of Official Statistics of Finland (OSF release guidelines ).

8. Coherence and comparability

OSF statistics are coherent and as comparable as possible over time and regionally. General and established, primarily internationally approved concepts and statistical classifications are used in OSF statistics. The factors affecting the coherence and comparability of the statistics are documented and explained in the quality descriptions of the statistics. Definitionally deviating data describing the same phenomenon are clarified by using different concepts.

9. Accessibility and clarity

OSF statistics are presented in a clear, transparent and understandable form, and disseminated in a suitable and convenient manner. The data and the supporting metadata, as well as guidance for the users are made impartially accessible. The statistics are presented in a form that facilitates their proper interpretation and comparisons. The basic data of the statistics are made available for research purposes without compromising confidentiality. Custom-designed analyses can be produced from the statistics for the needs of an individual user or group of users.