Modernisation of Statistics Production Process – The Case of Finnish National Accounts
Hilkka Vihavainen, Ari Tyrkkö
Statistics Finland, Helsinki, Finland

National Statistical Offices today have to keep up with increasing user needs, quality concerns, emergence of new technologies and, finally, with decreasing resources. Many offices consider the re-engineering of the statistics production process as a key element in improving their efficiency and rising to the challenge. Standardisation and harmonisation of the statistical processes and tools are essential when moving from product-based statistical processes to a common data warehouse. Methods for the management of change are necessary in the development process.

The System of National Accounts (SNA) is the backbone of the integration of economic statistics. However, the compilation process of National Accounts (NA) is often like an individual product-based stovepipe starting from data collection from various source statistics and ending in the dissemination of partial data from the whole system. The process as such might not be particularly transparent or efficient.

The whole production process of NA has been renewed in Finland over the past four years. The renewal started with the idea that the information system was outdated and required a new and updated infrastructure and applications. The final target was to improve the quality of the data, make the calculation process more transparent and strengthen the management of the whole process.

At quite an early stage of the development project, it turned out that the whole production process had to be re-designed in order to receive the expected results. The re-designing of the process means many things, among them the adoption of standardised tools, new ways of working and reorganisation of the whole production process. Moreover, the building of the competence of the staff has been important.

The paper discusses the development project and analyses its main results and lessons.

Keywords: Process management; Redesign of processes; Standardisation of methods and tools; Quality

Biography: Deputy Director General of Statistics Production. Responsible e.g. for projects and other measures which streamline and improve statistical processes at Statistics Finland.