How do I participate in the data collection?

Statistics Finland contacts you in advance

If you or your enterprise has been selected as a respondent for a data collection, Statistics Finland will always contact you in advance by post or email. This communication will explain what data will be collected and for what purpose the data will be used. You will also be given instructions on how to participate in the data collection. Participation can take place by filling in a paper questionnaire, responding to a form on the Internet or Statistics Finland's interviewer can ask for data on the telephone or in an agreed meeting (see data collection methods).

If the data are collected by interviewing, our interviewer will call you after you received the letter. When he or she calls, he or she will explain that he or she is from Statistics Finland and will present the survey. If the data collection is a telephone interview, it can be done right away. If the time is not suitable for you or if the interview is to be conducted face-to-face, a separate interview time will be agreed.

Do I need to prepare for responding?

Usually, you do not have to prepare for the inquiry or interview in advance. The questions concern everyday life and no special knowledge or skills are required. The questions of the data collection forms have been designed carefully so that they are easy to understand and answering is as smooth as possible.

Answering to data collections pertaining to enterprises can sometimes require you to collect data from various sources. Therefore, it may be easier to answer if you familiarise yourself with the data collection material in advance.

More precise instructions on participation can be found on the home page of each data collection. Select the data collection that applies to you or your enterprise from the alphabetical list.

 Your responses are indispensable

It is impossible to collect the data needed for statistics from everybody living in Finland. Therefore, we only ask for the data from some people living in Finland, that is, a sample is drawn from the population. The data provided by those drawn to the sample are generalised to apply to the entire population using scientific methods.  (See data collection methods).

If you have been drawn to the sample of a data collection, you represent a large group of Finnish residents. Another person cannot be selected for the sample in your place. Statistics and surveys describing society are the more reliable the more persons drawn to the data collections respond. Thus, your participation is very important!

By participating you can have a say in society as politicians and decision-makers use statistical data when making decisions. You can also utilise statistics for various purposes, for instance, when you need information on price development or plan large purchases.  

Data collections from enterprises also often use a sample, where the selected enterprises represent other enterprises in their respective industry of a similar size. Responding is important in order to receive reliable and exhaustive data. The statistics formed from the data also serve the enterprises as a tool for decision-making.

See What are the data used for?

When does legislation oblige to answer?

The participation in data collections by private persons is voluntary, but we cannot collect reliable data on society without the participation of citizens.

Business enterprises, local government organisations and non-profit corporations have an obligation to provide data on matters defined in the Statistics Act. If the data collection is statutory, this is explained in the accompanying letter.

Central government authorities have a general obligation to provide data from the information they have in their possession.