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Estonia is leading the world in the use of data

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According to a recently published Global Data Barometer survey, Estonia ranks second among 109 countries using data for the public good. Estonia stands out for its ability to exchange data, use open data, and implement data protection principles.

“For the Estonian digital society to leap development and implement innovative solutions based on artificial intelligence to increase the user experience of the digital state, data and their use play a key role. We have consistently developed the data field, and it’s good to see the results of this work,” said Andres Sutt, Minister of Enterprise and Information Technology.

According to the Minister, the reuse of data in both the private and public sectors and the quality of data must be promoted, which enables their use in the provision of high-quality services and data analysis. “Data is the foundation of the digital society. They help you make smarter decisions, automate processes, improve communication between the state and citizens, and more. Today and in the future, great emphasis must be placed on the efficient use of data to create a digital state that focuses on people and their needs,” said Sutt.

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Minister Andres Sutt.

Ott Velsberg, who has served as the government’s Chief Data Officer since 2018, pointed out that the study assessed the possibility of collecting, sharing, and using data from the public sector, civil society, and the private sector. “Since 2018, Estonia has focused on data reuse, artificial intelligence, data science, and data management. During this time, the volume of open data has increased almost 20 times. Such a shift requires an increase in competence, and we have, for example, launched a master’s program in data science in cooperation with the University of Tartu and established a data management centre of excellence based on Statistics Estonia, the State Information System Authority and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications,” described Velsberg.

“Estonia is a global pioneer in data-based decision-making and the increasingly rapid use of artificial intelligence. The expertise in Estonia, our openness to innovation, and the rapidly evolving capability of the data field are internationally known, and countries around the world ask us for advice,” said Velsberg. He added that it was essential to ensure transparency and empower people when using data. “It will help promote a people-centred digital state where services are coherent and accessible to all sections of society,” he said.

A man talking on a podcast

The Government CDO Ott Velsberg.

The Global Data Barometer is a survey conducted in 109 countries to assess the current state and maturity of the data field. The survey was conducted between May 2019 and May 2021. The Global Data Barometer grew out of the previous Open Data Barometer, which previously assessed the level of maturity in open data in countries. The Global Data Barometer evaluates the current state of the data field as a whole.

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