Benefits from well-managed data

Good scientific practice involves taking care of and managing the life cycle of data produced in research, including the responsible provision of transparency and cross-usage of information. CSC also supports the responsible management of sensitive data as part of national data sets. The utilization of shared data resources serves as the basis for scientific breakthroughs, new innovations and smooth official services.

The core of CSC's expertise is to enable the accessibility, protection, data flows and life cycle management of data, from planning to long-term preservation. CSC’s goal is to make interoperable and reliable data environments an international success factor and the foundation of society's well-being.

In 2020, CSC participated in strengthening clients' data management capabilities, developed long-term preservation services for research and cultural heritage materials, launched the research.fi portal and provided developing data resource and data analytics services to different customer segments.

Data Support Network and Research Data Management Competence Center launched

The Research Data Management Competence Center and Data Support Network were launched to support the needs and expertise of customer data management. The purpose of activities is to support the responsible management of research data as well as the reproducibility and quality of research. The service develops and produces data management training, materials and support for data management professionals and researchers, and promotes interaction between CSC and the data support services of organizations.

Long-term preservation services for data expanded

Long-term digital preservation (LTP) ensures that digital resources are preserved and accessible for use by researchers for decades and even centuries to come. To achieve this, CSC has succeeded in developing and continuing to maintain nationally significant digital preservation capabilities that ensure the management of data integrity, authenticity and file formats, quality assurance and continuity management.

As part of the production of LTP services, CSC also supports organizations utilizing the services, sharing competence related to capabilities, while working with organizations in an effort to promote understanding and competence in the management and preservation of digital materials. The provision of LTP services is made possible by an agreement between CSC and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

In 2020, the amount of material taken into storage for the long-term preservation services of cultural heritage and research data grew significantly. At the end of the year, more than 1 petabyte of data has already been approved for storage, and the amount of data is increasing by more than 80 per cent per year. Several new organizations, such as the Finnish National Gallery and the Finnish Heritage Agency, initiated preservation in 2020. In terms of research data, the Finnish Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) was the first research institute to use Fairdata LTP.
 

A platform built by CSC for the National Archives' Digital Archiving Service (SAPA) was launched in accordance with the steering of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education and Culture. The system was successfully audited by an external auditor in May 2020. The National Archive has successfully connected the platform to its own processes and uses it to collect its digital data.

Fairdata services promote research and scientific openness

CSC provides Fairdata services that enable higher education institutions and research institutes to promote the openness, availability and preservation of research data. The services enable the processing of research data (raw data) as descriptive and available, high-quality data, whose reuse and long-term preservation can be guaranteed.

 

The utilization of Fairdata services has increased the visibility of research, and the services have been recognized for promoting open science. The development of services by listening to the needs of the research community led to the Avoimuuden edistäjät 2020 award for promoting openness, which was awarded by the National Steering Group for Open Science and Research to Metsähovi Radio Observatory and CSC for the open availability of continuously accumulating data. Read more (in Finnish): Avoimuuden edistäjät 2020 award for promoting openness

International data services further strengthened

CSC provides data management services as part of the European EUDAT Collaborative Data Infrastructure. The productization of these services was clarified and the service descriptions were updated on CSC's updated data management website.

In addition to an open basic service, EUDAT services also provide organization-specific services that can take into account the specific data management needs of different organizations. EUDAT services are part of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Last year, CSC received significant funding for the provision of EUDAT services from EU EOSC calls for funding. The funded project DICE was launched in January 2021.

CSC joined the European COVID-19 Data Portal in the management of research data to promote the utilization of our national data in the project. The service collects and disseminates research data on COVID-19, and its impact on the international research community is already bearing fruit. The portal is coordinated by EMBL, ELIXIR and EOSC.

New services produced by development of the service entity for sensitive data and cooperation

CSC continued to develop its expertise in sensitive data management during 2020. CSC's special expertise in user identity and access management already ensures secure and sector-independent service processes for different levels of education, the National Archives of Finland and the European research infrastructure for life science and health (ELIXIR). CSC's expertise in identity and access management is also utilized in the joint European GAIA-X project.

CSC's new services for sensitive data were piloted with higher education institutions and research institutes. In addition, these services fast-tracked national COVID-19 research projects and ensured the sequencing results of virus genomes in patients testing positive for COVID-19 ordered by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). CSC's new services for the management of sensitive data will be launched more extensively in 2021 for the use in research and education.

The development of the service entity for sensitive data continued in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.  CSC is participating in the European "1+ Million Genomes" Initiative, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on behalf of Finland and is responsible for coordinating the construction of a federated, secure, cross-border, technical infrastructure at the European level. The project strengthens European capabilities in managing sensitive data and building national capabilities in the processing of genome and health data. The report published by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in 2020 proposed a measure to intensify cooperation between the agencies of the administrative branch of the Ministry, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and CSC, for example, to promote the capabilities of the National Genome Centre and the data management of biobanks. CSC was also selected as a partner of the Social and Health Data Permit Authority Findata and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Progress was made in developing Findata's information system solutions and an agreement was reached on the production of services at the end of 2020. The development of services will continue in 2021.

EU-led projects in the area of sensitive health and life science made progress.

Cost benefits were achieved by developing data resources and services

The data resources developed by CSC and CSC's expertise in data collection and data resources accelerate the digitalization of Finnish society. The data resources originally built for the needs of various departments in the Ministry of Education and Culture are increasingly identified as essential sources of information, through which other actors build their digital services and operating processes (e.g. municipalities and joint municipal authorities, the Finnish National Agency for Education, the Finnish Student Health Service, Kela, Statistics Finland, Helsinki Regional Transport Authority).

The research.fi portal developed by CSC was opened for production use on 9 June 2020. Research.fi is a service provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture that collects and disseminates information on research conducted in Finland. The service improves the location of information and experts on research and increases the profile and societal impact of Finnish research. The operation of the service progressed rapidly, as 78 organizations conducting or supporting Finnish research are already providing information to the service. Based on the feedback received, the scientific news section of research organizations and funding providers in particular has proved useful when, for example, the media can browse news from all organizations in a single place. Research data management is also supported by CSC’s Justus service, which provides a cost-effective solution for storing and displaying publication data in national services. During 2020, Justus' customer base grew and is now used not only by 24 universities of applied sciences, but also by eight research institutes.

CSC joined Sitra's TEHDAS project (Towards the European Health Data Space), which assists the European Commission and member states in developing concepts related to health data sharing, with regard to the governance model, data quality and infrastructure.

CSC implemented the objectives of ownership steering to improve customer efficiency by integrating the information resources of higher education students with different service needs. In 2020, CSC will integrate VIRTA data for use by the Finnish Student Health Service also for universities of applied sciences (UAS). Since 1 January 2021, CSC has started releasing VIRTA data to the FSHS for the provision of student health care services under Act 695/2019 (Act on health care for students in higher education) also for 146,000 UAS students. The integration involves the student data of all higher education institutions (previously there were already 155,000 university students).

CSC will also integrate the VIRTA data repository into the use of the Student Health Care Foundation for universities of applied sciences.

The data warehouse for early childhood education and care (Varda) was successfully developed for the final production phase and put under the management of the National Agency for Education. The number of users has increased with the introduction of new features. A major new project order, the digital quality assessment system for early childhood education and care, Valkea, is proof of strong customer trust.

The Finnish National Agency for Education's steering and regulation service Oiva was developed for new production phases. At the same time, its customer base was expanded to three departments in the Ministry of Education and Culture.

In the education administration's reporting portal, Vipunen, the information content update cycle was made faster and the information content was expanded.

The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education supported the implementation of suoritepäätöslaskenta in vocational education and training. CSC successfully implemented a demanding funding calculation and the freezing of data on the basis of which the funding of VET providers is distributed.

CSC completed the information service on municipal finances commissioned by the State Treasury and the Ministry of Finance, a system for collecting municipal finances according to taxonomy. With regard to reporting, CSC's tasks were also extended to the preparation of central government financial reports. In the service portal of the Financial information service for municipalities, exploreadministration.fi can now examine the finances of both municipalities and the central government.

CSC's data analytics services expanded

CSC's data analytics services expanded in the central government sector. CSC participated in the AuroraAI artificial intelligence program of the Ministry of Finance through three different studies: creating data-based situational images of upper secondary school age, continuing studies to support working life and the arrival of international students in Finland. CSC produced a framework to be used in the project for evaluating the possibilities of digitizing life events.

CSC analyses the data materials of Senate Properties' buildings with the aim of building a prediction model to prevent mold problems in its properties.

CSC provided the Olympic Committee with a report on the technical implementation options for a competitive sports data platform. As a follow-up, CSC prepared a description of the construction of a broader data platform together with the University of Jyväskylä, KIHU – Research Institute for Olympic Sports and training centers. The aim is to use the data platform to gain access to data-based coaching for physical fitness and competitive sports in Finland.

CSC's data analytics services were also expanded in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Education and Culture. CSC used the previously developed ARVO service to create a data collection system. With its customized version, CSC used the Ministry of Education and Culture's Department for Youth and Sport Policy for the first time to collect and report measurement data on the physical activity of children and young people taken in the Move! – monitoring system for physical functional capacity. The system enables schools to enter, store and report information annually. The results can be viewed on the liikuntaindikaattorit.fi data dashboard for child and youth exercise and well-being.

CSC's role was strengthened as the coordinator of EOSC Finland’s activities

CSC continued the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) with several international and national partners.

CSC actively participated in EOSC Team Finland cooperation and the establishment of the EOSC Finnish Forum in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Academy of Finland and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies.

CSC will coordinate the activities of the EOSC Finnish Forum as of 1 January 2021. CSC joined EOSC AISBL as an EOSC Legal entity and continues practical EOSC development in several projects.

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