8168.0.55.002 - Business Longitudinal Database, Expanded CURF, Australia, Technical Manual, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/10/2009  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (CSA). This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with CURFs can be found at the "How is CURF data confidentialised?" page.

The BCS data were collected under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 provides for the ATO to pass information to the Australian Statistician for the purposes of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The BLD CURF contains data from both sources as well as basic merchandise trade data originally sourced from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Business Longitudinal Database 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 CURF is only available as an expanded CURF accessed via the RADL. The aim of the BLD is to produce a reliable longitudinal dataset of both characteristics and financial data that will allow analyses of changes in the performance of a cohort of small and medium businesses over time. The BLD is specifically designed for longitudinal purposes and not to produce accurate cross-sectional/population information.

Some of the key data items on the BLD CURF include:

  • Business characteristics - Industry division, Business size (based on employment), number of locations
  • Employment - Total; full/part time; casuals; pay setting arrangements
  • Basic financial indicators - value of sales and capital/non-capital purchases
  • Innovation indicators - type and status of innovative activity
  • Information Technology indicators - use of Internet, web presence, Internet commerce
  • Business financing - type, status and reasons for finance
  • Barriers to business performance

For further details on the content of the BLD CURF, please see the data items list.


The sample design involves the use of panels that represent the Australian business population at the point in time that each is initiated into the BLD. Panel One is representative of the in-scope business population as at 30 June 2005. Panel Two is representative of the in-scope business population as at 30 June 2006. Each Panel is directly surveyed once a year for a period of five years. In this edition of the BLD CURF, Panel One contains three reference periods of data (2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07) and Panel Two contains two reference periods of data (2005-06 and 2006-07).


The intent of the BLD design is to maximise longitudinal, micro level comparisons within strata across the five years during which each panel remains in the BLD. While the sample is stratified on the basis of business size and industry division, the sample is not allocated to enable the creation of population or cross-sectional estimates within any reasonable accuracy constraint. The major consideration in allocating the sample in the current BLD design is ensuring that enough sample is included to facilitate longitudinal analysis i.e. that sufficient sample remains in each stratum at the end of five years.

Steps to confidentialise the data made available on the BLD CURF are taken in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents to ABS statistical collections. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all statistics produced from the BLD CURF with previously published statistics. However, these differences are not significant and should not diminish the value of the BLD CURF in analysis.

The steps taken to protect confidentiality of respondents include:
  • Perturbing (value adjustment) of BAS data for all businesses.
  • Reducing the level of detail shown on the BLD CURF for some data items. For example, some data items collected in the survey have been omitted, collapsed with other data items, or presented in ranges.
  • Sub-sampling of businesses in the Food Industry component to ensure that each business on the BLD CURF represents at least 3 businesses in the population. Businesses sub-sampled for inclusion on the BLD CURF have been selected in a manner such that they are largely representative (in regards to their business industry and size) of the businesses excluded during sub-sampling.
  • Changes to some other data item values of a very small number of businesses with rare characteristics.

Users should be aware that methodology used to perturb financial data doesn't impact on the comparability between selected businesses within a time period or over time.

For more information on the survey methodology, see Business Longitudinal Database, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07, Technical Manual (cat. no. 8168.0.55.002).


The BLD CURF is populated using three data sources: directly collected characteristics data using the annual Business Characteristics Survey: data from Business Activity Statements sourced from the Australian Taxation Office (provided to the ABS as administrative by-product); and basic merchandise trade data originally sourced from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and used by the ABS to compile merchandise trade statistics.

For information in relation to Coherence, please refer to the Business Longitudinal Database, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07, Technical Manual (cat. no. 8168.0.55.002)


Business Longitudinal Database, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07, Technical Manual (cat. no. 8168.0.55.002) is a key source for consultation when using the BLD CURF. It includes survey objectives, methods and design; survey content; data quality and interpretation; output data items; information about the availability of results; and the content of the BLD CURF file.


BLD CURF microdata are not available to the public without special access being granted. All BLD CURF users are required to read and abide by the "Responsible Access to ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) Training Manual". Application to access the BLD CURF can be completed and submitted for approval by following the steps listed in the "How can I get access to ABS CURFs". A full list of available CURFs can be viewed via the "List of Available CURFs".

The BLD CURF can only be accessed through RADL and ABSDL. More detail regarding access to CURFs can be found on "CURF Access Modes and Levels of Detail" web page.

If you have any questions regarding access to CURF Microdata please contact the Microdata Access Strategies Section at <microdata.access@abs.gov.au> or call (02) 6252 7714.