Open data – the key to innovation

New ideas and businesses are created when information arising from an organisation’s activities is made openly available for others. Fingrid’s open data service has been online for three years now, and it is used by parties such as researchers, application developers and the authorities.

Mika Honkanen, kehityspäällikkö Väestörekisterikeskus
Mika Honkanen, Development Manager at the Population Register Centre.

Open data refers to any data that carries a free use license. Open data was first published in Finland in 2003, and the expertise related to utilising it has been constantly developed as more data has been made available. Nowadays, apps are regularly released to make use of maps, weather observations or statistical data published as open data. Sensors installed in various locations often collect data automatically.

If a dataset contains personal data, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) must be followed when the data is published.

“As a rule, any personal data referring to private individuals must be removed from datasets before anything is published as open data,” says Mika Honkanen, Development Manager at the Population Register Centre.

The Population Register Centre manages the Finnish national Opendata.fi service, a centralised distribution platform for open datasets from private individuals, companies and public administration organisations in Finland. Open data can be used by private and public actors.

Fingrid offers open data freely to everyone

Fingrid was the first transmission system operator in Europe to offer open data when it published information on Finland’s power system through a machine-readable interface at the beginning of 2017. Since then, other transmission system operators have also published data services. Fingrid aggregates the published data from measurements of cross-border connections, major electricity consumption sites and power plants with a capacity of more than one megawatt. Fingrid’s open data service has been in use for three years and is constantly being developed.

Heidi Uimonen, Electricity Market Specialist at Fingrid.

“The aim of the service is to help various parties in the electricity market to improve their operations and decision-making. The service is also used by research and education organisations, private individuals and authorities. The third large user group is application developers and ICT service providers,” says Heidi Uimonen, Electricity Market Specialist at Fingrid.

The service is available to everyone free of charge, and it currently offers more than 100 datasets, consisting of forecasts, historical data and other time-series data. Fingrid also makes use of the data in its operations for purposes such as preparing reports and visualising information.

data.fingrid.fi

  • Fingrid’s open data service

opendata.fi

  • All of the open data in Finland available in one place.

transparency.entsoe.eu

  • A service maintained by European transmission system operators to provide data on electricity markets. Fingrid also sends data to the service.