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 5.1 Overview of roles and responsibilities

A high-level organisation structure map on the Statistics Finland website:

In connection with Statistics Finland's organisational change, the Metadata Services unit was transferred on 1 January 2013 from the Information Technology Department to the new Standards and Methods Development Department. The task of the Standards and Methods Development Department is to steer the statistics production process, to support statistical methodology in statistics production, to promote uniform application of metadata and classifications and quality work in statistics production and to intensify project work. The main guidelines for the development of the metadata systems at Statistics Finland are coordinated and processed in cooperation with the Standards and methods and IT Departments.

The tasks of the Metadata Services unit were unchanged, except for the technical maintenance and development of the metadata system that stayed in the Information Technology Department in the organisational change.

The Metadata Services unit still maintains classification standards, concepts and the archiving metadata system. The statistical departments maintain their own (statistical) metadata in the centralised metadata systems according to the instructions made by the Metadata Services unit. The unit also trains and consults statistical departments in metadata issues and is in charge of controlling quality in the metadata systems. The statistical departments lay out the main demands and needs for metadatabases and their use in various phases of the statistical processes.

For several years, Statistics Finland has had an unofficial interest group working on metadata issues called the Metadata Coordination Group. Anyone interested in metadata issues can attend it. From 2009 onwards, an official group was nominated consisting of members who work with metadata issues and permanent members from all statistical departments. The group has a plan of action that is updated yearly. The group provides an important forum for presenting and discussing various developments related to metadata systems. The goal of the group is to widen knowledge of metadata and metadata systems and inform its members of the development achieved in metadata work both in-house, nationally and internationally.

As stated above in Section 4.3, Statistics Finland applies the CoSSI information model for storing metadata. The CoSSI model steering group is in charge of managing and developing the model according to user needs in a manner that will not expose its main structure to risk.

5.2 Training and knowledge management

Training and knowledge management of metadata experts:

New experts working at the Metadata Services have been trained mainly by mentoring and guidance provided by senior experts. ESTP courses on metadata training have been provided.

Training and knowledge management of metadata of statistical departments:

Statistics Finland provides structured basic and advanced courses in statistics and statistical processes to new recruits and statisticians that also contain basic knowledge of the present metadata systems, mainly classifications, concepts and archive data management. The importance of training the personnel becomes increasingly important as new common metadata systems and tools are produced.

The Metadata Services unit provides the personnel with informative briefings whenever there are major modifications to metadata systems either in content or in application development. Half-day metadata seminars are organised a couple of times a year to present topical metadata issues.

In connection with the implementation project of the variable editor, an extensive training programme was carried out during which a one-day training was planned and organised for statistical experts on making of data descriptions and use of common tools for it. During the project, training days were held around twice a month. A similar model will probably be applied to the introductions of other parts of the metadata system.

Much of the training for users of the metadata systems is done side by side, which tends to be the most efficient way.

5.3 Partnerships and cooperation


Statistics Finland cooperates with organisations and participates in working groups that define standard classifications or standards on both international and national levels. Metadata experts attend regularly Eurostat’s Metadata Working Group meetings as well as METIS meetings.


Statistics Finland has also representatives in the PC-Axis Reference group and Eurostat’s Quality Working Group.

Spatial metadata experts follow INSPIRE metadata work and attend national working groups in the implementation of the INSPIRE metadata process.

5.4 Other issues

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