University of HelsinkiDepartment of Mathematics and Statistics
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Social Sciences


Measurement and Survey Methodology (MSM)


Measurement and survey methodology are important research areas of statistics. They are closely related and offer numerous targets for research. New methods are needed and existing ones need to be further developed according to the requirements of applications in various fields of science. Statistical computing forms the grounds for the method development and links the methods with the applications.

Cooperation with researchers of various application fields is essential in the work of the research group.

Sampling and measurement

In statistical research, we are often interested in estimating some population parameters based on a random sample. The uncertainty then comes from the sampling, which is an important part of the survey process. Another source of uncertainty comes from the measurement, which is an essential concept in science. Measurement is needed regardless of the sampling procedure.

The paper Measurement errors in multivariate measurement scales and its successors play a central role in the current work of the group, concerning the topics related to measurement. It introduces a general framework for modeling the measurement and assessing the validity and reliability of the measurements.

Recently, questions related to the effects of measurement errors to the statistical modeling have been discussed, based on the above mentioned paper. Several papers are currently in process.

Research in survey methodology is focused on adjustments due to missingness in survey data using imputation and weighting, variance estimation methods and software tools, multinational sampling designs and cross-country comparisons on wages flexibility using multi-level longitudinal data.

Statistical computing

The research of statistical computing has an exceptionally long tradition at the department. In 1970s, Seppo Mustonen and his research group created SURVO 76, one of the first interactive statistical programs in the world. Publications and conference proceedings reflecting the early history of Survo have been collected in the publication catalog of the group.

Nowadays, the current version SURVO MM forms a general computing environment. It provides flexible tools for various research tasks related to measurement and survey methodology: developing and testing new methods, making simulation experiments, analyzing large data sets, plotting graphs and generating reports. For more information on Survo, see its website.


There are usually weekly seminars on measurement and survey methodology at the department. The statistical computing seminar usually meets once in two weeks. The language of the seminars is Finnish, but English is spoken if needed. See the home pages of the seminars for more information.

 Updated 2008-10-27 / KV