Strategy of Statistics Estonia 2008–2012

“From data collector to information service provider”

MISSION (main objective)

The main task of Statistics Estonia is to provide the central government and local governments, business and research sectors, international organisations and individuals with a reliable and objective information service on the environmental, demographic, social and economic situation and trends in Estonia.


Statistics Estonia is the leading producer in Estonia and an internationally recognised producer of high-quality and comparable statistics.



  • for producing reliable statistics, we aim at quality in each segment of work process
  • we are impartial and independent in our work
  • the statistics we produce are based on scientifically reasoned and internationally recognised methodology
  • the data trusted with us are confidential and protected
  • our employees are competent and committed


  • we are open and straightforward in communication
  • we develop statistics according to the information needs of the society
  • the opinion and initiative of our employees serve as a basis for the development of Statistics Estonia
  • our activities are ethical and transparent
  • we explain the methology that has been used and the statistics that have been published
  • we use modern technology while developing, producing and disseminating statistics


  • the statistics we produce are equally available for users and meet their needs
  • in our work we take into account the feedback from users of statistics and respondents
  • we participate in national and international statistical co-operation
  • the co-operation of our employees is an essential prerequisite for fulfilling the common aims
  • we keep our promises


Balance between users’ expectations and resources

Changes in the society are fast. The users of statistics in Estonia as well as on international level require data which are reliable, comparable and corresponding to the users’ needs. In the European Union statistics are considered very important in working out policies and in estimating them. Thus the demand for statistics is continuously increasing. For the EU Member States the compatibility of the needs of the European Union and the country is a challenge. For Estonia the data on country’s level are not sufficient. Local governments and counties need data for observing their development and for making decisions. For the new decade the qualitative data have more important role than ever in the society as a whole (in public administration and enterprise). That is the reason why the importance of objectivity and professionalism of statistics is increasing.

Overabundance of information means a challenge for the visibility and respectfulness of official statistics.

The users of statistics need the data as soon as possible. For this reason the statisticians must choose between being up-to-date and quality, compromises must not be made with regard to the latter.

The financial policy of Estonia considered in the recent past and will consider in the future the government surplus an important object. That is the reason why the management task of government agencies is to make choices with restricted opportunities. All ideas cannot be realised. One must choose the best ones and fulfil the tasks based on the obligations related to the European Union, and there are many of them in statistics. The administration of a small country must be rational and efficient.

Correct input data that are submitted on time serve as a basis for qualitative data. The biggest challenges of the statistical system of Estonia are continuously the qualitative submission of data, respondents’ load and usability of databases in producing statistics.

Social surveys are relevant in compiling the socio-economic indicators of Estonia as well as of Europe, but it must be taken into consideration that in Estonia the respondents’ willingness of participating in surveys is continuously decreasing.

Competition on specialists’ labour market

According to the forecast, in 2008–2011 the unemployment level remains low and the nominal growth of the annual average wages and salaries is about 12%. The demand for analysts, data processing specialists, IT specialists is continuously high. The number of graduates of mathematics and statistics specialities is in the downward trend, at the same time the demand is high and the students usually pick the job already at the time of studying.


In order to ensure sustainability, Statistics Estonia has to improve the planning of statistical programme (the surveys’ plan), i.e. to transfer from one-year plan to multi-year plan and maintain and extend the dialogue with regular customers. The possibilities of enhancement of efficiency are based on data collection, automating the further processing and harmonising the work processes of various subject areas and technical devices.

While planning the statistical programme, the main user of the data, the relevancy of the data and the minimal required regularity of data submission must be specified.

While making choices, statistics based on the EU legislation must be put to the first place. This means contributing to the strictly necessary and efforts to harmonise the EU statistical programme with the needs of Estonian user.

In e-environment the official data collectors have not only the possibility but also obligation to transfer to electronic data collection in the medium-long run. In the long run it is possible to improve the conformity of administrative databases with the requirements of statistics and thus to decrease the load of entrepreneurs and individuals. For this purpose system management and co-operation between government agencies are vital.

To meet the users’ expectations, Statistics Estonia has to change in the right direction. Statistics Estonia has to be a broad-minded specialists’ institution with high professionalism oriented to customers. Compared to the previous periods, statisticians must be more flexible, more adaptable and have a good command of modern statistical applications. One must realise that in the conditions of globalisation the measuring of environmental and socio-economic phenomena through registered events is restricted. That is the reason why the share of indirect measuring methods and estimations is increasing and this is accepted.

Working in the professional network contributes to the professionalism and dedication to the users’ needs. Statistics Estonia considers important co-operation with research, academic and enterprise circles, with other government agencies, as well as partnership in the European statistical system and helps less developed statistical systems by sharing its experiences from the recent past.


I Reputation, respectfulness and efficiency of official statistics


Media reflections
News releases’ reflections
Customer trainings and participants in them
Use of statistics in making decisions (respectfulness and efficiency)

1.1 Fulfil the statistical programme

Indicator: Deviation from the release calendar

1.2 Increase the coherence and comparability of statistics of different subject areas


Creating the database of estimates being collected and published
The necessary additional information can be found easily (explanations, methodology, definitions, classifications)
Sufficiency of the necessary additional information; distinct and detailed additional information

1.2.1 Development of methodology
1.2.2 Revisions based on the Estonian Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE Rev.2)
1.2.3 Introduction of the Estonian Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE Rev.2) into the production of statistics
1.2.4 Introduction of the Statistical Classification of Products by Activity in the European Economic Community, 2008 (CPA)
1.2.5 Working out of the Statistical Classification of Products by Activity in the European Economic Community, 2008 (CPA)
1.2.6 Working out of the List of Products of the European Community (PRODCOM list 2008)
1.2.7 Presenting the metadata on the web
1.2.8 Implementation of the Standard Goods Classification for Transport Statistics, 2000 (NST)
1.2.9 Introduction of the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO 2008)
1.2.10 Revision of the time series with relation to the introduction of the Standard Goods Classification for Transport Statistics, 2000 (NST)

1.3 Increase the volume of analytical products

Indicator: Amount of analytical products by subject areas (according to the classification created on the basis of ETIS classification)

1.3.1 Development of metadata system

1.4 Increase the volume of regional statistics


Amount of estimates on county or local government level in the Statistical Database
Satisfaction with regional statistics

1.4.1 Development of GIS and geostatistics
1.4.2 Development of regional statistics

1.5 Simplify the use of anonymous individual data in the society

Indicator: Use of microdata by scientists and other authorised subjects

1.5.1 Arrangement of the legal basis of official statistics

II High-quality information service


Taking into account the customers’ needs
Estimations of the international missions
Estimations based on the EFQM perfection model
Rate of quality reports published on the website
Rate of being provided with standard metadata in statistical databases
Revision of statistics in statistical databases
Correction of mistakes in statistical databases
Efficiency: Man-years in full time units (all occupations)

2.1 Respond faster to the needs of clients


Quickness of satisfying the requests and orders for information
The period from the reference period to the publication (treatment period)

2.1.2 Recalculation of time-series with conversion to euro
2.1.3 Establishing the training system for users of statistics
2.1.4 Introduction of the Customer Relationship Management system (CRM)

2.2 Provide key clients with private service


Share of reports submitted by key clients on time
Satisfaction of key clients with services

2.2.1 Improving of the web site and the public database
2.2.2 Creating of private client service

2.3 Standardise the process of data processing

Indicator: Introduction of the unified data processing software

2.3.1 Development of the publication principles of statistics
2.3.2 Integration of information systems of Statistics Estonia
2.3.3 Integration of the database of agricultural holdings into the statistical register of economic units
2.3.4 Working out and introduction of the universal data processing information system (UNISTAT)

2.4 Separate product development and orders for information from production process

Indicator: Distribution of working hours

2.4.1 Arrangement of the organisation

2.5 Increase the share of generalists in statistics


Filling the vacant specialists’ occupations inside Statistics Estonia (starting from the 6th wages’ grade)
Reports in conferences
Trainings on statistics (incl. methodology and classifications) and IT trainings necessary for processing statistics
Labour turnover (among staff and non-staff members)

2.5.1 Finding, developing and keeping the personnel

2.6 Develop the department-driven organisational culture into the institution-driven one


Satisfaction with the culture and internal environment of the institution
Employees’ assessment on the movement of information and knowledge and on co-operation
I feel as a member of the family in Statistics Estonia

2.6.1 Introduction of document management system
2.6.2 Development of quality management
2.6.3 Improvement of planning
2.6.4 Introduction of process management
2.6.5 Implementation of product-based cost accounting

2.7 Create a modern working environment


High-level technical equipment necessary for work
Satisfaction with work-rooms and welfare facilities

2.7.1 Improvement of the working environment

III Partnership with respondents

Indicator: Share of reports submitted by eSTAT

3.1 Make a wider use of administrative data

Indicator: Usability of the data in administrative databases while conducting the official statistical surveys

3.3.1 Application of administrative data

3.2 Reduce the average report fulfilment time

Indicator: Report fulfilment time

3.2.1 Development and introduction of the electronic data submission channel (eSTAT)

3.3 Improve the quality of questionnaires

Indicator: Data improvement rate

3.3.1 Development of data collection

3.4 Introduce the collection of indicators instead of the collection of reports

Indicator: Rate of reports the indicators of which have been included in the list of indicators

3.4.1 Working out and introduction of the generation system of the automatic statistical reports from the national accounts’ software