Centre for Social Data Science

The aim of Centre for Social Data Science (CSDS) is to advance methodologically oriented, applied and theoretical research and teaching in the social sciences. CSDS promotes open data and open science as well as development of infrastructures for data. In addition, CSDS aims at increasing the collaboration between researchers and methodology experts, with the goal of improving both applied research as well as methods research.

Operational responsibility of the CSDS is at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The discipline of Social Data Science (formerly called Social Statistics) is part of the CSDS. Social Data Science supports evidence-based decision making for the government, organizations and private companies. Applications range from pensions and health care to finance and social media. Questions of inequality between genders, regions or generations typically involve various statistical analyses. Dynamic probabilistic modelling is a primary tool in analyses involving forecasting and risk management. Finland has an extensive system of administrative registers that provide high quality individual level data, dating back to as early as 18th century. These are complemented by survey data. New sources of data include the internet and social media. Social Data Science staff at the University of Helsinki are distinguished in the handling of such data and as developers of new methods for their analysis.

Daria Gritsenko, Assistant Professor (Russian Big Data Methodology)

Kathrin Komp-Leukkunen, Associate Professor (Sociology, Social Policy)

Hanna Konttinen, University Lecturer (Sociology)

Salla-Maaria Laaksonen, Postdoctoral Researcher (Media and Communication Studies)

Minna Ruckenstein, Associate Professor (Digital Innovations & Consumer Society)

Reijo Sund, Professor (Register Studies, University of Eastern Finland)

Laszlo Vincze, University Lecturer (Quantitative Methods)


Baltic-Nordic-Ukrainian Network on Survey Statistics

KELA (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland)

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Statistics Finland

Would you like to discuss your research (say, data or methods) with someone?

Feel free to come and have a cup of tea or coffee with us. It may have surprising consequences.

We are available on every Friday at 9am (*) in the 3rd floor coffee room at Unioninkatu 35.

For details, look at our calendar! We would appreciate if you registered yourself as an external player ("ulkopuolinen pelaaja") in our team (but of course you can just walk in if you are in a hurry!). :)

(*) Please note that (from September 2019) the first Friday of each month is reserved just for the CSDS Researchers (including our Fellows).


A list of method courses available around the University is given on the teaching page of HELDIG.

You can also find courses using suitable keywords on the general course page courses.helsinki.fi.


Mathematics and Statistics Master's Programme has four study tracks: mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and social statistics. Social Statistics (M.Soc.Sc.)  is a training program that provides the students the necessary research and data analysis skills to continue in PhD level studies as well as to work as statistical experts in research and statistics production. Students can specialize in two lines of study; general social statistics and official statistics. The official statistics line gives the students the European Master in Official Statistics (EMOS) degree. Both lines have shared core components and include a minimum of 6 month paid training at Statistics Finland or other partner organization, as well as a strongly recommended international research visit.