The Tree of Truth shows how Estonia is doing

Posted on 17 October 2019, 11:00

Today, Statistics Estonia and the Government Office presented a new web application called the Tree of Truth. It is a gauge of important national indicators, giving a simple, honest and objective picture of how the country is doing.

Tree of Truth

Director General of Statistics Estonia Mart Mägi explained at the presentation of the new application that the need for such a tool became strongly evident last year when Statistics Estonia introduced sustainable development indicators. Contrary to expectations, the audience included very few members of the Riigikogu, who could take advantage of reliable and good quality information in decision‑making.

“Sorting through large amounts of data is often daunting and difficult. Coming to conclusions based on these data takes time. Often conclusions are not made or not used as much as they could be. The Tree of Truth shows the state’s goals and governance principles in a more understandable way,” said Mägi. The application can be used by public and private sector employees, but it is mostly meant for people who are interested in how the country is actually doing and wish to make informed decisions based on real data.

Henry Kattago, Director of the Government Office Strategy Unit, said that the comparisons visualised on the Tree of Truth are a good basis for planning strategic activities and analysing results currently and in the future. “The tree shows very clearly where we currently stand. It should become an important tool for making decisions and planning activities in specific domains,” said Kattago.

The Tree of Truth compares results using 135 measurable indicators included in the government action plan 2019–2023 (short-term goals), reform programme Estonia 2020 (medium-term goals) and the Estonian National Strategy on Sustainable Development Sustainable Estonia 21 (long-term goals). The tree displays data of 15 activity areas and the results are visible on either green, yellow or red leaves.

“Green leaves mean that the goal has been reached or we are on track. Yellow leaves signify that there is some progress to be made. Red leaves show that we have significant catch-up to do to achieve the desired goals,” Mägi explained.

The launch of the Tree of Truth took place today in Kadriorg next to one of the oldest oak trees in Estonia to symbolise how the data reflecting Estonia’s progress are now conveniently available in a tree-shaped application. Actor Priit Loog gave a speech and President Kersti Kaljulaid also addressed the audience.

Data in Tree of Truth are continuously updated. The application is available on Statistics Estonia’s website. Statistics Estonia is a government agency. Its main task is to provide objective information on the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation and trends in Estonia. The goal of Statistics Estonia is to become by 2022 the most effective and innovative producer of reliable and user-friendly statistics in Europe.