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Data governance tool RIHAKE

Special tools are used to manage data descriptions and maintain the data catalogue. These include both paid (e.g. Collibra Data Catalog) and open source tools (e.g. TrueDat, Magda).

In Estonia, the state provides institutions with a free data governance tool called RIHAKE, which enables institutions to describe their data sets and their content, provide descriptions of classifiers and lists used in the data sets, describe the machine-readable services offered, and compile data and business glossaries.

RIHAKE fully complies with the national data description standard and enables data descriptions created within the tool to be transferred for publication to the upcoming data portal (the current open data portal will be transformed into data portal in 2023).

The tool is provided based on the principle of ‘one institution and its data sets’. RIHAKE offers the institution an overview of its data sets, while the data portal generates an interagency overview of the data sets and their reusability (see Figure 1).


Figure 1. RIHAKE in data management

How does RIHAKE work?

The data set is linked to one or more databases (referred to as a physical data repository in RIHAKE), which RIHAKE scans at regular intervals specified by the user.

 As a result, an overview of database diagrams, tables and columns is created in RIHAKE. The data element corresponding to a column represents the most detailed level of dataset description. Descriptions are provided on the basis of the data description guidelines. Completed descriptions can be submitted as manifests for publishing (see Figure 2).


Figure 2. How RIHAKE works

How to start using RIHAKE?

The installation instructions for RIHAKE can be found in the eGovernment code repository. The user manual of RIHAKE is also available there. If you need assistance with installation, please reach out to the customer support of the Information System Authority at For guidance on data set description and glossary compilation, please contact the Data Governance Centre of Excellence at Statistics Estonia at

State information system management system (RIHA)

The state information system and the services provided therein must comply with the requirements established for interoperability, personal data protection, data governance, production of statistical data, archiving and spatial data processing, among others.

The purpose of RIHA is to support the interoperability of the state information system, the planning and development process of state information systems as well as compliance control and supervision over the designing, implementation, maintenance, reorganisation and decommissioning of databases and the implementation of information security measures. RIHA provides an overview of the technical components and architecture of the state information system, including any changes therein, and highlights the opportunities for reusing these components, thus enabling the private sector to develop new services while avoiding reinvention.

All databases and associated information systems integrated with data exchange layer X-tee are registered in RIHA. Documentation of other information systems can also be submitted to RIHA. The institution is responsible for ensuring that RIHA has accurate and up-to-date information regarding the information systems it manages or uses as the data controller, and that the description meets the requirements. Before establishing a database, modifying the composition of the data collected in the database, deploying or decommissioning a database, the technical documentation of the database must be approved by the Information System Authority, the Data Protection Inspectorate, Statistics Estonia and the Land Board. During the approval process, the National Archives of Estonia may assess and verify whether it is possible to export records from the databases.

In 2023, the descriptions of data sets and the corresponding data processed within them in RIHA will be linked to the Estonian Open Data Portal. After that, all data descriptions of state data sets will be accessible through the new data portal.

More information about RIHA can be found here.

Estonian Open Data Portal

A central web system of the state that contains a data catalogue describing datasets and provides a service that enables datasets to be found and reused. The purpose of the Estonian Open Data Portal is to bring together the open data published transnationally and make it readily accessible to reusers in both the private and public sectors, thereby supporting the reuse of data. 

The Estonian Open Data Portal also features use cases and articles related to open data.

More information is available in the Estonian Open Data Portal

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Consent Service

Consent Service is an digital service of the Information System Authority which allows people to give permission to the state to share their personal data with certain service providers.

The service enables a person to authorise the transfer of their personal data to companies. Consents can only be given for the transfer of the data set required for a specific service. After consent has been given, the data held by the state is transferred to the private company that obtained the consent.

By using Consent Service, a person can decide on the processing of their personal data by choosing which third parties can access their data. The use of the service and the provision of consents is always voluntary. Consents can be revoked at any time.

For more information on the service, please refer to the website of the Information System Authority and the Consent Service guidelines and FAQs.

Data Tracker

The purpose of Data Tracker is to provide people with a clear overview of the operations performed with their data. Data Tracker is designed to interface with public sector information systems that store and process personal data in their databases.

In accordance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Estonian Personal Data Protection Act, a person has the right to receive an overview of operations performed with their data. Data Tracker offers a good opportunity for both parties.

For more information on the service, please refer to the website of the Information System Authority and Data Tracker guidelines and FAQs.

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