Basic and Quality Criteria

All Official Statistics of Finland must meet the basic and quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland. The purpose of the criteria is to develop and maintain the usability of OSF statistics for society's information needs.

In 2006, the Advisory Board of Official Statistics of Finland updated the statistical criteria that should be fulfilled by statistics in the Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) series, and harmonised them with the quality criteria of the European Statistical System.

OSF Basic Criteria

OSF basic criterion 1:  The statistics are produced by an agency or institution included in the list of OSF producers maintained by Statistics Finland.

OSF basic criterion 2:  The publishing organisation is responsible for the content of the statistics and for the correctness of the data, thus guaranteeing continuity in the production of the statistics concerned. OSF statistics cannot be released under an individual person's name.

OSF basic criterion 3:  OSF statistics should contain an up-to-date quality description approved by the Advisory Board of Official Statistics of Finland.

OSF quality criteria

1. Relevance:  OSF statistics should contain essential and nationally comprehensive data on the topic they represent to serve the needs of society.

2. Accuracy and reliability:  OSF statistics should represent the phenomenon being observed, its state and changes in an accurate and reliable manner. A clear description of statistical methodology should be included and possible uncertainties analysed and reported. The measures for correcting possible errors in OSF statistics should follow a recommendation approved by the Advisory Board of Official Statistics of Finland.

3. Timeliness and punctuality:  The data of OSF statistics must be as up-to-date as possible and their release times should be known in advance and published in a release calendar maintained by the publisher. The procedure must follow the instructions of the Advisory Board of Official Statistics of Finland.

4. Consistency and comparability:  OSF statistics should be logically consistent and as comparable as possible over time and regionally. General and established, mainly international, concepts and statistical classifications should be used in OSF statistics. The factors affecting the consistency and comparability of the statistics should be documented and specified in the statistics. Data which describe the same phenomenon but deviate in definition must be clarified with different concepts.

5. Accessibility and clarity:  OSF statistics must be presented in a clear, transparent and understandable form, they must be distributed in an appropriate way and the data themselves and the supporting metadata as well as the instructions for the user must be generally accessible.


Last updated 4.11.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Basic and Quality Criteria [e-publication].
Helsinki: Advisory Board of OSF [Referred: 19.12.2014].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/meta/svt/svtlaatukriteerit_en.html.

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