The aim of digitalization of services of the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic is to give citizens a simple and clear access to statistical information and to simplify tasks related to providing a source data in a role of respondent. The main requirement of the contracting authority was to make its activities more efficient by using benefits of information technologies, including digitalization of certain tasks.
The project started in 2010 and was successfully completed in 2013. Since then, we have been providing a support of the system.
Client: The Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (SO SR)
Assignment and its challenges
The Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic was using old information systems dating from the 1990s which did not correspond to current trends and needs in field of state statistics agendas. Previously used information systems contained single purpose interconnected separate applications with duplicated functionalities which were applied for each IS in a different way. These applications provided a low degree of flexibility and scalability, and thus could not respond quickly and efficiently to changes and new requirements of its users. In the field of providing statistical information, the main problem was a low added value for a user of statistical data and a need to process them manually for statistical information. For business sector, it was very demanding to regularly manually submit and, in many cases, repeatedly report any statistical data. These problems were to be solved by a new ISIS information system, which was supposed to consolidate and unify processing and chains of processing, standardize and unify data and their flows. Unification of statistical forms for data collection from reporting units and automated data processing was required.
Given a need for flexibility and scalability, the information system has been built according to principles of SOA. A metadata-driven process has been introduced and implemented from a definition of survey to an actual data publication. This process ensures consistency in collection, processing and publication of data. A unified central database has been established. To support data consolidation, services have been published on reference code lists and basic code lists managed by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.
The solution consists of the following basic modules:
- Metis – meta-information system used for complete management of statistical metadata.
- Preparation - a module designed for preparation itself and a definition of specific survey.
- Algorithms - a module for defining controls and algorithms used to verify and validate provided data.
- Regis - a module is intended for keeping and managing statistical registers (register of organizations, register of foreign trade, register of residents, register of farms and others).
- Collection - a component used for an actual collection of data from reporting units or from administrative sources (subcomponent KRAZ).
- BI - IBM COGNOS and TM1 – a business intelligence tool is designed for preparation of reports and dissemination of statistical products.
- Portal - the statistics portal www.statistics.sk is a fully integrated website used for presenting of statistics information, dissemination of metadata (code lists, hierarchies, etc.) and a provision of data from statistical register.
- Submission module - a module used for communication with intelligence units and administration of tasks related to a provision of digital services of the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.
Result – benefits of the new solution
The ISIS information system implemented by us enabled a fully electronical collection of statistical data. The system is used for the whole area of business statistics, where over 200 surveys are carried out annually with various periodicity and involving more than a quarter of a million reporting units. Electronic collection has reduced costs and saved time for both, the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic as well as entrepreneurs.
General benefits for the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic:
- The whole processing and creation of specialized analyses, which were carried out in local PCs, now take place in a central database with up-to-date data.
- A content of the central database always provides an up-to-date state of data at all levels of processing, to both local and remote users.
- State-of-the-art BI tools are used for data processing.
- The system is easily adaptable to any changes in processing methodologies, which saves the costs previously required to reprogram the system.
- Time series and data versions are maintained transparently.
- New technologies ensure high security in protection against unauthorized access as well as good availability and throughput of system for authorized users.
- Bulk data exchange is based on SDMX and EDI standards.
- SOA architecture allows using new modules provided by international organizations.
More than 1,600 surveys involving more than 250,000 intelligence units
Time and cost for the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic and intelligence units
Quality customer-friendly digital services
Unified and conceptual view on statistical data and its metadata
A hotline support has been provided in a post-implementation phase of the project. The system is continuously supported and updated while considering customers’ needs and legislative changes.