Instructions for researchers
Statistics Finland's extensive data allow diversified research use of data. It is advisable to contact the research services early when the study is being planned. Access to unit-level data for research purposes is subject to a user licence. See how the application process for data progresses. Also see the Rules and instructions of Research Services (PDF).
Combining of Statistics Finland's data with researchers' own data
Persons participating in interview surveys or inquiries must be informed if other data are to be combined with the collected data. Respondents must be informed about such matters as the controller and the purpose of processing personal data. Respondents must also be informed about the data groups collected from different registers and the release targets of data. Information is given about the combination of interview surveys and inquiries and register data at the stage when research participants are contacted for the first time for implementing personal data collection.
If Statistics Finland's individual-level data are to be combined with the data collected from research participants, they must be informed that data are also searched from Statistics Finland and specify the personal data groups that are meant to be combined. Personal data groups can be such as income, education, labour force status.
The processing of personal data must be transparent from the viewpoint of data subjects. Therefore, it is good to describe as closely as possible the data that are meant to be combined from Statistics Finland's data with the inquiry and interview data. When informing, it should also be specified from which period data are being combined (that is, if we are interested only in data at the time of the inquiry or about work and education history, for example).
The ground for processing selected in the survey influences the processing and combining of data.
Read more about informing research participants about the processing of personal data:
- The manual of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive: Informing Research Participants (link)
- Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman: Inform data subjects about processing (link)
Combining Statistics Finland's data with unit-level data of other authorities
Data of other authorities can be combined with Statistics Finland's data. The researcher has to apply for a licence direct from these authorities. The data are combined by means of the personal identity code, Business ID, coordinates, and so on. Statistics Finland carries out the combination of the data. Before the combination, a copy of other authorities' licences must be supplied to Statistics Finland. Please note that the researcher must ensure that licence to use other authorities data must be valid during the research. Continuation of Statistics Finland licence does not alter the duration of other authorities licence.
The licence pages of other register authorities can be found on the site of the Finnish Information Centre for Register Research.