A significant portion of the results published by the NFI are scientific estimates supported by the mathematical and statistical principles of random sampling.
In the "Design and Statistics" project, optimized drawing methods are being developed (using collected data) for NFI-samples and the assessment of interesting characteristics of Swiss forests. In addition to the parameters indicative of the current state of the forest, these methods also take into account the characteristic values showing changes in the forest (continuous inventory).
Aerial images and other spatial data provide an essential contribution to reducing estimation errors (multi-phase inventory), which respectively allows estimates for relatively small areas (small area estimation). The current research projects are addressing these topics. In addition, the NFI’s established mission includes internal and external consulting, as well as teaching in the fields of design and forest inventory statistics.