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Business Register and administrative data - grounds for effective production of economic statistics. Joint UNECE/Eurostat/OECD Seminar on Business Registers Geneva, 18-19 June 2007 Hannele Orjala and Tuula Viitaharju Statistics Finland. Presentation.

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Business Register and administrative data -grounds for effective production of economic statistics

Joint UNECE/Eurostat/OECD Seminar on Business Registers

Geneva, 18-19 June 2007

Hannele Orjala and Tuula ViitaharjuStatistics Finland


  • Reasons and preconditions for the use of administrative data

  • The production process of statistics in Statistics Finland

  • The administrative sources of the Business Register (BR)

  • The information system architecture of Statistics Finland

  • Register of enterprise respondents

  • Strategic goals of the BR

  • Conclusions

Business Trends

The main reasons for using admin data are as follows

  • Reduction of the response burden of enterprises

  • Reduction of the costs of statistics

  • Increase the cost-effectiveness and coherence of statistics production

  • Offer users high quality statistics by using total populations and producing detailed classifications

  • Give the ability to compile small area statistics

  • Offers an extensive basis for revision analysis and the follow-up of statistics based on directly collected data

Business Trends

Legal preconditions

  • Principles of the Finnish Statistics act (2004):

    • It is compulsory to use existing data (if suitable)

    • State government and social security institutionsare obliged to deliver their data to Statistics Finland

      • Guarantees access to administrative files

    • Free of charge, compensation of direct cost of larger releases

    • Data confidentiality: some of the BR is public

Business Trends

Networking - precondition for use of administrative data

  • Networking at the state level: Register Board Committee

    • focus on development and co-operation between registers

    • prepare strategic level definitions of the register policy

    • secure integration of the registers, promote data security etc.

  • Networking at data providers level

    • co-ordinators inside Statistics Finland to take care of administrative data providers, registers and other statistics producers

      • focus on the statistical questions: quantity, coverage, quality

    • also meetings at the Director General level: bilateral

Business Trends

The Business Register

the survey frame and tool for data collection

the source of basic information of all relevant statistical units

The production process of statistics in Statistics Finland

Business Trends

Business Register coverage

  • Small and large business units

  • Central and local government units

  • Local kind-of-activity units (local KAUs)

  • Enterprise groups

  • The register covers all NACE sections:

  • 410 000 active enterprises

  • 480 000 active local units

Business Trends

Business Register; sources and update frequency

  • Sources

    • administrative sources, other mass data (private)

    • direct data collection, BR surveys

    • data estimation

    • feedback information from other surveys

  • Updating frequency

    • monthly, annual,

    • annual data for each statistical year (t) are completed in 10 months => by the end of October (t+1)

Business Trends

Administrative sources of Business Register


Business Trends

The use of Admin data still increasing

  • The latest admin data in use (2007 onwards)

    • Annual data on owners and partnership members (Tax administration)

    • Annual data farm register (Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)

Business Trends

Information system architecture at Statistics Finland

  • Data copied from one system to another

  • Basically, “shared” data is copied to each data system

  • Business register has about 300 users (out of 600 persons employed in statistics divisions)

  • In population statistics, price statistics, labour force survey, national accounts, business statistics, etc.

  • Identifiers of statistical units

    Common identifiers used in all data systems

  • Classifications

    Basically taken from base registers

  • Statistical units

    Basically taken from base registers

Business Trends

Acceptance by the people,

businesses and administration

Statistics based on registers - preconditions

  • Universal ID-schemes

  • -Persons

  • Organisations

  • Buildings, apartments

Well developed

IT infrastructure

in administration

WIDE use


to use in






with other register/data providers

Strict confidentiality in statistics

Up-to-date legislation

- statistics act

- personal information protection

Business Trends

Linking Administrative and Survey Data example: STS - Short Term Business Statistics

  • The monthly VAT (Value added tax) and PAYE (pay as you earn) data file of the Tax Administration

    • total coverage of units (200 000 statistical units, 150 observations, 40 variables)

    • each release covers 6 months

    • delay: one-two months

  • The BR: units, classification variables, samples input

  • Direct surveys: 2000 largest enterprises from industry, construction, trade and other services

  • Regional STS -> to use local kind of activity unit data from the BR to disaggregate monthly enterprise level VAT data to a regional, establishment level

Business Trends

Direct collection vs. the use of administrative Datafrom tax authorities in statistics on enterprises

Number of enterprisesDirect collectionAdministrative data

Structural Business Statistics 8 000180 000

Business Register 25 000 over 410 000

Short Term Business Statisticsturnover 2 000250 000wages and salaries 93110 000

Even for enterprises in direct collection some data are taken from administrative sources

Business Trends

More information on surveys:

Business surveys

Income and expenditure of foreign sea transport

Information technology and electronic commerce in enterprises

Innovation survey

Inquiry for industrial establishments (T5)

Inquiry on cost indices

Inquiry on incentive stock options

Inquiry on manufacturing commodities

Inquiry on new orders in manufacturing

Inquiry on postal and small freight deliveries

Inquiry on private sector wages and salaries

Inquiry on volume index of industrial output

Inventory inquiry

Job vacancy survey

Monthly inquiry for accommodation statistics

Monthly inquiry for iron and steel statistics

Mutual fund inquiry

Outstanding credit

Periodic survey of motor vehicle trade

Periodical regional survey of trade

Periodical survey of retail trade

Periodical survey of wholesale trade

Price inquiry on producer price indices for manufactured products

Producer price indices for services

Quarterly inquiry on international trade in services

Quarterly inquiry on labour costs

Regional outstanding credit

Renovation building of construction enterprises

Renovation building of housing corporations

Sales inquiry

Statistics on agriculture

Statistics on goods transport

Telecommunications inquiry

The inquiry on financial accounts

Altogether about 60 direct surveys

Annual inquiry on foreign trade in services

Authority (Virati) data collections (A and T data collections)

Building cost index

Business Register inquiry for multi-establishment enterprises

Business Register inquiry for new enterprises

Business Register inquiry for single-establishment enterprises

Business Register inquiry for small single-establishment enterprises

Business services

CVTS, Continuing Vocational Training Survey

Credit cards

Data collection on occupations

Data collection on personnel of multi-establishment enterprises for employment statistics

Energy production inquiry

Energy use in manufacturing

Enterprises' research and development

Environmental protection expenditure in industry

Finance of housing corporations

Financial leasing inquiry

Financial statements inquiry for enterprises (TILKES)

Financial statements of mutual funds and investment management companies

Forest workers' wages

Business Trends

Register of enterprise respondents - enlargement of the Business Register

  • Established in 2006

  • Located in the BR unit

  • Operates as an inner service register of statistics, also respondents get information of the inquiries they are picked up

  • Part of the program leadership: enterprise respondent programme

Business Trends

SMEs and response burden

  • Number of enterprises in our surveys is as follows:

  • Of enterprises in class 0-9 16 700 are only in Business Register survey

  • Of enterprises in class 0-9 only 800 are in monthly and 5900 in quarterly surveys

  • Of enterprises in class 10-49 5100 are only in Business Register survey

  • Of enterprises in class 10-49 only 650 are in monthly and 350 in quarterly surveys

  • There seems to be limited possibilities to reduce the numbers further

Business Trends

Strategic goals of the Business Register - ground for effective production of economic statistics

  • Globalisation

    • challenges

    • international co-operation around multinational corporations is needed

  • Strategic means in improving coherence

  • New strategy for economic statistics: the BR as a common frame of business statistics

  • Enlarging the scope of the BR

    • new industrial sectors and new variables

  • More real time BR with interactive nature

    • infra annual updates

Business Trends


  • Finding innovative and competitive ways of reusing collected data gathered by the public or other sectors in society are essential concerns of today to

    • Challenge of co-operation is very much international

    • Best practices are in high demand

Business Trends

Thank you for your attention!

[email protected]

[email protected]

Business Trends

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