New project speeds up data transmission within Estonia

Graphical visualization of the X-Road interoperability solution (image is illustrative).
Graphical visualization of the X-Road interoperability solution (image is illustrative). Source: Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions.

As a result of cooperation between Statistics Estonia (SE), software company Skriining, and Ida-Viru County central hospital, the first set of wages data to be submitted directly from the hospitals IT system arrived at SE this spring, cutting out the middle-man and saving time and money in accouting and related services.

The project, called Reporting 3.0, is aimed at developing an automated data transmission channel for various enterprises, according to Marek Začek, head of Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department at Statistics Estonia, as quoted in an SE press release.

This means such organisations will not have to fill in questionnaires in connection with multiple data collectors, instead transmitting accounting data directly from their IT systems.

"An enterprise's administrative burden is significantly reduced when the option is created to transmit the collected data automatically as a background activity, and calculating necessary indicators based on the source data becomes the data collector's task", explained Mr Začek.

The accounting software update was developed in close cooperation with SE and Ida-Viru central hospital, as Valdek Järvpõld, project manager of software company Skriining and a member of the Council of Association of Estonian Accountants explained.

"It was an inspiring experience, and the client's feedback was positive. I recommend that businesses ask their software developers solutions for automatic data transmission and that they adopt these – it will make life easier," Mr Järvpõld said.

He added that the Reporting 3.0 format is a one-time additional activity, comparable to what making legal amendment or compiling a new statistical report.

"However, further developments are not required and it is also not necessary to draw up reports with the same data for different institutions," Mr Järvpõld said.

Ida-Viru central hospital is the largest contracting party engaged with the Health Insurance Fund (Häigekassa) and the only central hospital in the Ida-Viru County region, employing nearly 1,200 people. The hospital's wages data is a valuable input in E's calculating of median wages in Estonia and that region, as well as related economic activity

"We submit wages data every month, so we were very interested in automatic data transmission," noted hospital chief accountant Urve Ojamaa.

"The first user experience is very positive, and our first prognosis means we could save as much as 15 accountant's work days, via this automation," she added.

How does machine-to-machine data transmission work?

Data collectors such as SE, the Tax and Customs Board and the Bank of Estonia, develop a single taxonomy for the collected data. In managing this taxonomy and transmitting data, business software developers take care of the necessary technical side. When the relevant capability has been added to the data provider's accounting software and the requisite settings for the enterprise achieved, the data can be transferred from the accounting software to all data collectors at once, which is carried out via the secure data exchange X-Road layer.

The Reporting 3.0 project, which reportedly grew out of the zero bureaucracy initiative, creates a solution for automatic or respondent-initiated movement of data the state needs, based on the ideas of minimalism and simplicity

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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