Skip to main content

Op-ed: SECLE supports the employment market with data

Abstraktissa kuvassa naissiluetti katsoo kohti tulevaisuuden vihreää kaupunkia.

The text has originally been published in English on Solita’s web page on the 17th of April 2024.

Solita, a company specialised in programme development, has built SECLE a new data platform and analytics solutions with it. The platform will be used for example to monitor the effectiveness and allocation of the funding SECLE provides, as well as a part of Osaamistarvekompassi, an anticipation data reporting system developed by SECLE combining information on skills supply and anticipated demand on the labour market.

Original publication: SECLE supports the employment market with data ( SECLE has Solita’s permission to republish the text.

The data-driven approach stepped in the core operations of the Service Centre for Continuous Learning and Employment (SECLE) through the new analytics and reporting system. Training organisations and guidance professionals can now obtain data on the skills required in working life. At the same time, SECLE can monitor the effectiveness of its funding and make its activities more transparent for members of the public. “The traditional practice in the central government has been to monitor how much money was distributed and to whom. In this model, we focus on what was achieved with funding. We monitor the impact of our activities on society at large,” says Kirsi Heinivirta, Director of SECLE. 


Established in 2021, SECLE sought modern knowledge-based management solutions. SECLE aims to respond quickly and flexibly to any mismatches in working life.

The goal was to improve the development of training and competence services through anticipation data and enable the effectiveness of funding to be monitored efficiently. SECLE now monitors the effectiveness of granted funding using pre-defined metrics. At the same time, scattered anticipation data have been compiled and processed for further uses. 

Society is simultaneously experiencing unemployment and a shortage of skilled employees. We seek to tackle acute situations and improve the ability of the education and training system as a whole to respond to changing needs with a flexible, timely and proactive approach. Nothing like this has ever been built in Finland,” says Project Manager Satu Meriluoto from SECLE. 

What does all the money buy?

Through the use of data and analytics, SECLE is leading the way in reporting operational effectiveness in the central government. SECLE saw that it is important for a new organisation to be transparent from the get-go and communicate what can be achieved with tax revenue.

“What has been particularly valuable is that, while initiating our activities, we have simultaneously been able to develop such a monitoring system. The demand for accountability is constantly growing in society. Many organisations start to build systems to measure effectiveness and efficiency retrospectively. We have done everything right from day one, as we started this system project while we were still taking our first steps,” Heinivirta says. 

”It is in taxpayers’ best interests to see how public funds are used and what all the money can buy. I hope that this project inspires other central government organisations to consider their data management and transparency when it comes to the use of funding”, says Project Manager Anita Karppinen from Solita.

A modern and reproducible data warehouse solution

SECLE bridges the gap between the needs of the employment market and employees’ skills. It provides funding for training and competence services, as well as disseminates and produces anticipation data. The goal of the partnership was to build a system in which data can be compiled, analysed and distributed. Anticipation data are used in planning the funding SECLE provides for training and competence services. Data help identify the most significant competence needs among Finland’s working-age population.

Solita built a new data platform for SECLE and analytics solutions on top of it. Three use cases were completed during the project, two of which are related to analysing anticipation data, while the third helps SECLE monitor the effectiveness and allocation of the funding it provides.

The partnership resulted in a new scalable data lakehouse solution based on the AWS cloud. It merges the best parts of a data lake and a data warehouse such as conventional databases, cloud services and data integration into a single system. These properties help build a strong understanding of business, accelerate decision making and improve operational efficiency. The data lakehouse also enables operational expansions without any major investments in infrastructures. 

“How can people get educated for hot industries such as wind power? From what parts of Finland do graduates come from? How can we respond to changes in business and work structures through additional training? These are but a few of the questions to which SECLE can now find answers,” Karppinen says.

“While this was a technically challenging project, it was also very educational and rewarding,” she continues.

On the way towards knowledge-based management

The project was a success, and all business-related goals were achieved. SECLE can now comprehensively analyse its funding process and the effectiveness of the funding it provides. Openly communicating the criteria for receiving funding to stakeholders on the SECLE website is also part of the modern way.  

”What was particularly great about this project was that we all learned what data processes mean and how data can be used”, Meriluoto from SECLE says.

SECLE is a new organisation with ambitious goals. Various approaches had to be explores along the way, and plans had to be adjusted based on what data were actually available and how different data sources could be combined. Information flowed constantly in both directions. Because the project progressed concurrently with SECLE building its own data system, it was possible to make SECLE’s data collection processes compatible with the data models.

”There are various dependencies in the public sector - multi-agency organisations have a significant need for resilience. This was a journey full of surprises. Nevertheless, we succeeded in terms of goals, schedules and budget”, Heinivirta from SECLE says.

”Transparency and analytics are now part of regular processes at SECLE. I hope other central government organisations will follow SECLE's example - data management is power”, Karppinen from Solita reminds.

SECLE leads the way in data management

The partnership between SECLE and Solita resulted in an impressive monitoring system for operational efficiency.

The new system also gives SECLE an overview of Finland’s short- and mid-term workforce and competence needs. With the data, SECLE can also determine whether these needs can be met through the currently available training and competence services.

Heinivirta and Meriluoto thank Solita for its determination and flexibility in this demanding project. The partnership got off to a good start.

”Solita’s professionals speak a language we all can understand, and goals were clearly defined. Our partnership was agile and iterative.”


  • SECLE can analyse its funding process from various perspectives.
  • SECLE can monitor the effectiveness of the funding it provides.
  • SECLE can communicate its funding decisions more transparently to its stakeholders on its website.
  • Funding for competence and training services can be planned based on anticipation data.
  • The new system also gives SECLE an overview of Finland’s short- and mid-term workforce and competence needs.
  • SECLE can produce in-depth sector-specific analyses.
  • SECLE can produce new data for the Finnish education and training market.