Centre for Social Data Science (CSDS)

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)

Ilja Kavonius, University Researcher (Economics)

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

Hanna Konttinen, University Lecturer (Sociology)

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

Eetu Mäkelä, Associate Professor (Human Sciences–Computing Interaction)

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

Welcome to meet us!

Would you like to discuss your research (data, methods, etc.) 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 the first Friday of each month is reserved for the CSDS Researchers only.



(No open positions at this time) - October 2019

Our most recent appointment:

Uni­versity Lec­turer in Ap­plied Data Science and Demo­graphy

for a 3-year appointment (will begin in February 2020)

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.


Mas­ter’s Pro­gramme in Con­tem­por­ary So­ci­et­ies (COS) is a multidisciplinary, research-based Master’s Programme focusing on the key themes in the dynamics of contemporary societies both in a European and a global context. Beginning from August 2020, COS will be our primary study programme where we offer our new, extensive selection of courses related to social data science. Almost all our courses are open for students of other programmes and some are MOOCs (open for anyone). More information on this new interesting study track will be available in 2020.

Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences covers the widest areas of social science research in Finland: media and communication studies, social and cultural anthropology, social psychology, social and public policy, social work, sociology, social data science, criminology and demography.

Master's Programme in Mathematics and Statistics has (until July 2020) four study tracks: mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and social statistics. Social Statistics (M.Soc.Sc.) has been a training program providing 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) certificate. Both lines share core components and include a minimum of 6 month paid training at Statistics Finland or another partner organization, as well as a strongly recommended international research visit. Beginning from August 2020, the Social Statistics track will be replaced by the new (and wider) Social Data Science track in the Mas­ter’s Pro­gramme in Con­tem­por­ary So­ci­et­ies (see above).