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Using Innovation, Science and Technology Statistics
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Innovation Statistics Glossary
 
 


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Innovation Statistics Glossary

Please note that this glossary is a combined glossary for all the latest Innovation and ICT releases.



Abandoned innovative activity

Activity related to the development and/or introduction of an innovation which was abandoned during the reference period (i.e. work on innovation which ceased without introduction occurring).


Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia
The Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) was developed by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and the National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information System (GISCA). ARIA measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest Urban Centre (ASGC 1996) in each of five size classes.


Active subscribers

Subscribers who have accessed the internet or paid for access to the internet through an Internet Service Provider in the three months during the quarterly reference period. ABS subscriber statistics measure the number of 'subscriber lines' rather than the number of 'users', with each user potentially having multiple subscriber lines/internet connections (see Subscriber).


Age
This is the reported age of a person on their last birthday.

Analog

A dial-up telecommunications network operated by a carrier to provide services to the public.


ASGC Remoteness structure
The Remoteness structure is used for the production of standard ABS statistical outputs from Population Censuses and some ABS surveys. It is a structure describing Australia in terms of a measurement of remoteness. The Remoteness structure includes all Collection Districts (CDs) and therefore, in aggregate, it covers the whole of Australia. The purpose of the structure is to classify CDs which share common characteristics of remoteness into broad geographical regions called Remoteness Areas (RAs). There are six RAs in this structure.


Back end systems

Computer systems used to manage non-internet aspects of the business (e.g. for accounting, stock control or ordering).


Bad and doubtful debts
The amount of accounts receivable that are either written off, or estimated to be uncollectable during an accounting period, that are expensed in profit calculations for an accounting period.


Bit

Abbreviation for binary digit describing the smallest unit of information handled by a computer. One bit expresses a 1 or 0 in a binary numeral, or a true or false logical condition. See also byte.

Broadband

Defined by the ABS as an 'always on' internet connection with an access speed equal to or greater than 256 kbps.

Byte

Abbreviation for binary term. A unit of data that today almost always consists of 8 bits. A byte can represent a single character, such as a letter, a digit, or a punctuation mark. See also kilobit and kilobyte.

Cable

Broadband internet technology that uses the cable television (CATV) infrastructure. The connection uses a coaxial cable or Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) and is typically used as the 'last mile' or 'access network' technology. Cable includes Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) where a coaxial cable has been used for the 'last mile'.


Capital expenditure
Costs capitalised in a business' books for land, buildings, plant, machinery and equipment, intangible assets and all other capitalised costs. Included are the value of capitalised work done by the business' own employees and progress payments made to contractors for capital work done.


Child
A person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step, or foster son or daughter of a couple or lone parent, usually resident in the same household, and who does not have a child or partner of his/her own usually resident in the household.

Collaboration

Active joint participation with other organisations which involves some sharing of technical or commercial risk. Straight fee-for-service arrangements are deemed not to be collaborative and are therefore excluded.

Collection Districts
CDs are designed for use in census years for the collection and dissemination of Population Census data. In non-census years, CDs are undefined. In aggregate, CDs cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. The CD is the smallest spatial unit in the ASGC. CDs aggregate to form larger spatial units such as the Remoteness Areas in the Remoteness Structure. In Census years, the CD is the common denominator which integrates all classification structures in the ASGC. For the 2006 Census, 38,704 CDs were defined throughout Australia.

Communication activities

Communication is the process whereby individuals and groups exchange information. For the purposes of the Household Use of IT survey, using the internet for communication activities includes using the world-wide computer network to exchange information through several methods including emailing; the use of chat rooms, forums and instant messaging; visiting social networking sites such as Facebook and My Space; and making phone calls on-line (for example, through Skype).

Computer use

The use of a computer in the 12 months prior to interview or survey reference period.

Computer system design and related services industry grouping

Businesses classified to the following class of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) for output purposes:
        • 7000, Computer system design and related services.

Corporate, business and government subscribers

All businesses, corporations, non-profit organisations and government organisations who obtain access to the internet through an Internet Service Provider.

Couple families

For the purposes of the Household Use of IT survey, this is a family consisting of two persons in a registered marriage or de facto relationship with at least one child aged 5-14 years who are usually resident in the household. The family may also include any number of other dependents, non-dependents and other related individuals.


Data downloaded

The volume of data downloaded from the internet by subscribers, measured in Terabytes. This excludes data uploaded.


Depreciation and amortisation
Financial charges made in the accounts to reflect that part of the value of an asset which may be regarded as having been used up in producing revenue in a particular accounting period.

Dial-up

Connection to the internet via a dial-up modem and software utilising the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

Dial-up subscribers

Subscribers who connect to the internet via a dial-up modem and software utilising the public switched telephone network (PSTN).


Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

A family of technologies that provides digital data transmission over the local telephone network. This suite of technologies, now referred to as xDSL, includes Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL, ADSL2, ADSL2+) and Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL), etc. DSL is excluded from ABS counts where it is not used for internet connectivity (e.g. leased lines).

Download speeds

For the purposes of the Internet Activity Survey, download speed is equivalent to the advertised or theoretical maximum speed of data transfer rate.


Earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation
Profit prior to the deduction of net interest (interest income minus interest expenses), income tax, depreciation and amortisation. Items classifiable to other income are also excluded.


Educational attainment
Level of highest educational attainment identifies the highest achievement a person has attained in any area of study. It is defined as the highest educational achievement a person has achieved and is not a measure of relative importance of different fields of study.

Electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance industry grouping

Businesses classified to the following class of the ANZSIC for output purposes:
        • 9422, Electronic (except domestic appliance) and precision equipment repair and maintenance.

Employed

Employed persons are those who had a job or business, or who undertook work with or without pay in a family business, in the week prior to the survey for a minimum of one hour per week. Includes persons who were absent from a job or business. Includes Community Development Employment Program participants.


Employer contributions into superannuation

All employer contributions into superannuation including salary sacrifice.

Employment

Includes full-time and part-time employees, employees absent on paid or prepaid leave, managerial and executive employees, permanent, temporary and casual employees and working proprietors and partners. Non-salaried directors, persons paid by commission only and self-employed persons such as consultants and contractors are excluded.
Equivalised gross household income
Gross household income adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to gross household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the gross household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic well-being as the household in question.

Equivalised gross household income quintiles

These are groupings of 20% of the total population when ranked in ascending order according to equivalised gross household income. The population used for this purpose includes all people living in private dwellings, including children and other persons under the age of 15 years. As the scope of Household Use of Information Technology is restricted to only those persons aged 15 years and over, the distribution of this smaller population across the quintiles is not necessarily the same as it is for persons of all ages, (i.e. the percentage of persons aged 15 years and over in each of these quintiles may be larger or smaller than 20%).

Estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO)

An estimation of agricultural activity undertaken by an agricultural establishment. Three-year average weighted prices are applied to livestock turn-off and livestock numbers on the farm, and to area and production data for crops. The resultant aggregation of these commodity values is the EVAO, but it is not an indicator of the value of receipts of individual farms. Rather, it is an indicator of the extent of agricultural activity.

Ex-metropolitan areas

Areas outside the capital city statistical divisions.


Expenditure
The operating expenses and capital expenditure as recorded in the Statement of Financial Performance and Statement of Financial Position for the business.

Exports (f.o.b.)

The value of exports is the free on board (f.o.b.) transaction value of the goods expressed in Australian dollars. The f.o.b. value includes the value of packaging (other than containerisation) and excludes freight and insurance costs for the overseas route.

Farm

A farm is a business coded to an agricultural industry or a business which has indicated they under take agricultural activities, with an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5,000 or more.

Fibre

Broadband network architecture that uses optical fibre for the 'last mile' or 'access network' technology. There are a number of fibre deployments including Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Home (FTTH) and Fibre to the Building (FTTB). Fibre used only for backhaul is excluded from counts of Fibre internet connections (see Cable).

Financial reference period

Financial year ended 30 June. Businesses with a different financial year are asked to report for a 12 month period which ended between 1 October and 30 September. For example, for the financial year ended 30 June 2009, businesses with a different financial year were asked to report for a 12 month period which ended between 1 October 2008 and 30 September 2009.

Fixed wireless broadband
Internet connection using fixed wireless antenna technology (a point-to-point signal transmission) to access broadband internet. Includes Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS), Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS), fixed WiMAX and other fixed wireless transport technologies.

Fringe benefits tax

Fringe benefits tax is paid by employers when certain benefits in excess of normal wages or salaries (e.g. free or discounted goods) are received by their employees in connection with their employment.


Gigabyte (GB)

A data unit of one billion bytes, sometimes interpreted as 1,024 megabytes.

Household
A household consists of a person living alone, or two or more related or unrelated persons who live and eat together in private residential accommodation.


Household subscribers

Households and private individuals who subscribe to the internet via an Internet Service Provider. This may include some home based businesses.

ICT goods

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) goods broadly cover:
  • computer and communications hardware and their parts, components and consumables;
  • other electronic hardware that can be networked (e.g. digital multifunctional photocopiers, cash registers, automatic teller machines, etc); and
  • packaged and customised software.

Excluded from ICT goods in the Australian definition are equipment in which the presence of microprocessors is predominantly used for the control of a process or the setting of functions (eg robots, scientific and health equipment).


ICT income
Consists of all income from the sale, distribution and provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) goods and services.

ICT industry grouping

The Division, Subdivision, Group or Class of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) that selected Information and Communication Technology (ICT) activity falls within. ICT industry groupings include:
        • Manufacturing;
        • Wholesale trade;
        • Information media and telecommunications;
        • Computer system design and related services; and
        • Electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance.


Income from repair and maintenance services

Income from the repair and maintenance of equipment. Repair activities are divided broadly into:
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) repair and maintenance services: Repair and maintenance of computer, communications hardware and other electronic hardware that can be networked (e.g. digital multifunctional photocopiers, cash registers, automatic teller machines etc.); and
  • Non-ICT repair and maintenance: Repair of all equipment that is not considered ICT.

Imports (customs value)
The value of imports is the Australian Customs value. This includes inland freight, insurance and other distributive services in the exporting country, up to the place of export and is usually the same as or very close to the F.O.B. value.


Indigenous
People who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.


Industry value added (IVA)

Industry value added for market producers is an estimate of the difference between the value of the output for an industry and the purchases of materials and selected expenses incurred in the production of that output.

It is derived as:
                  Income derived from the sales of goods and services
                  plus Operational funding from government
                  plus Any changes in levels of trading stock inventories
                  less Purchases of materials, components and services used in the production of goods for sale
                  less Expenses related to the sale of goods and administrative expenses (excluding indirect taxes such as payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, land tax and land rates)
                  plus Own account capital work
                  less Capitalised purchases of materials
                  equals IVA


Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

ICT refers to the technologies and services that enable information to be accessed, stored, processed, transformed, manipulated and disseminated, including the transmission or communication of voice, image and/or data over a variety of transmission media.

Information media and telecommunications industry grouping

Businesses classified to the following classes of the ANZSIC for output purposes:
  • 5420, Software publishing;
  • 5801, Wired telecommunications network operation;
  • 5802, Other telecommunications network operation;
  • 5809, Other telecommunications services;
  • 5910, Internet service providers and web search portals;
  • 5921, Data processing and web hosting services; and
  • 5922, Electronic information storage services.

Inner regional Australia
Inner Regional Australia is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Inner Regional Australia is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 0.2 and less than or equal to 2.4'.


Innovating business

A business which, in the reference period, introduced any new or significantly improved good or service and/or operational process and/or organisational/managerial process and/or marketing method.

Innovation
An innovation is the introduction of a new or significantly improved good or service; operational process; organisational/managerial process; or marketing method. The four types of innovation can be defined as:
  • Goods or services - Any good or service or combination of these which is new to a business (or significantly improved). Its characteristics or intended uses differ significantly from those previously produced/offered.
  • Operational processes - New or significantly improved methods of producing or delivering goods or services of a business (including significant change in techniques, equipment and/or software).
  • Organisational/managerial processes - New or significantly improved strategies, structures or routines of a business which aim to improve performance.
  • Marketing methods - New or significantly improved design, packaging or sales methods aimed to increase the appeal of goods or services of a business or to enter new markets.

Innovation-active

A businesses which, in the reference period, undertook any innovative activity irrespective of whether that innovation has been introduced, not yet completed or abandoned.

Innovation still in development
The process of development or introduction of an innovation which was ongoing but this work was still in progress at the end of the reference period.

Innovative activity
Innovative activity includes any work that was intended to or did result in the introduction or implementation of an innovation.
Insurance premiums
Expenses incurred by a business in respect of different types of insurance policies. Excluded are workers' compensation and compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance premiums.


Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

ISDN is a digital access technique for both voice and data. It is a digital alternative to an analog technology and carries data or voltages consisting of discrete steps or levels, as opposed to continuously variable analog data. ISDN enables digital transmission over the PSTN.

Intellectual property

Refers to the ownership of ideas and control over the tangible or virtual representation of those ideas.

Internet
A world-wide public system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet Protocol (IP). Organisations and individuals can connect their computers to this network and exchange information across a country and/or across the world. The internet provides access to a number of communication services including the World Wide Web and Voice over IP (VOIP), and carries email, news, entertainment and data files.

Internet access
Availability of lines, points, ports, and modems to subscribers to access the internet.


Internet income

Income resulting from orders received via the internet or web for goods or services.

Internet Service Provider
(ISP)
Resident Australian individuals or businesses offering internet access services to customers.

Internet use

The use of the internet. This includes access via mobile telephones, set-top boxes connected to either an analog or digital television, and games machines.

Introduced innovation

Introduction of an innovation during the reference period (although the innovation does not need to have been commercially successful).


Kilobits per second (kbps)
A measure of data transfer rate. A unit of data transfer that equates to 1000 bits per second.


Kilobit (kb)

A data unit of 1,024 bits and generally abbreviated as kb or kbit.

Kilobyte (KB)

A data unit of 1,024 bytes and generally abbreviated as KB or Kbyte.


Labour costs
Included are wages and salaries, employer contributions into superannuation, workers' compensation premiums/costs, fringe benefits tax and payroll tax.


Major Cities of Australia
Major Cities of Australia (not to be confused with Major Urban) is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Major Cities of Australia is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value of 0 to 0.2'.


Manufacturing industry grouping

Businesses classified to the following classes of the ANZSIC for output purposes:
  • 2421, Computer and electronic office equipment manufacturing;
  • 2422, Communication equipment manufacturing; and
  • 2429, Other electronic equipment manufacturing.

Megabit (Mb)

A data unit of 1,048,576 bits, sometimes interpreted as 1 million bits.

Megabyte (MB)

A data unit of 1,048,576 bytes, sometimes interpreted as 1 million bytes.


Metropolitan
Metropolitan refers to capital city statistical divisions. These delimit an area which is stable for general statistical purposes. The boundary is defined to contain anticipated development of a city for a period of 20 years. The metropolitan area contains more than just the urban centre, and represents the city in the wider sense.


Mobile handset

A hand held, electronic, mobile device used to transmit or communicate data, images or voice over a cellular network. This includes smartphones such as the iPhone, blackberry and android, but excludes tablets such as the iPad.

New marketing method

A significant change for the business in its methods of marketing including changes in product design or packaging, product placement, product promotion, product pricing, or sales method. Marketing innovations are aimed at better addressing customer needs; opening up new markets; or, newly positioning the business' goods and/or services on the market, with the objective of increasing the business' sales.

New operational process
A significant change for the business in its methods of producing or delivering goods and/or services. This includes significant changes in methods of manufacturing, logistics or distribution methods, and supporting activities. Businesses were asked to include significant improvements to existing operational processes.

New organisational/managerial process
A significant change in the strategies, structures or routines of a business which aim to improve the performance of the business. These include: knowledge management processes; new business practices; new methods of organising work responsibilities and decision making; and new methods of organising external relations with other businesses or public institutions.

Non-communication activities
These are all activities other than those listed in the definition for communication activities. For the purposes of the Household Use of IT survey, using the internet for non-communication activities includes activities such as playing games, listening to or downloading music, watching television programs, internet shopping, undertaking educational activities, creating on-line web content (such as web photo albums), visiting on-line news sites and other general web browsing activities not involving communication with another party.

Non dial-up connections

Permanent and 'always on' connections to the internet via a variety of technologies including Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL), fibre, cable, fixed and mobile wireless and satellite.

Non-innovating business

A business which, in the reference period, did not undertake any innovative activity.

One parent families
For the purposes of the Household Use of IT survey, this is a family consisting of a lone parent and at least one child aged 5-14 years usually resident in the household. The family may also include any number of other dependents, non-dependents and other related individuals.


Operating expenses

The sum of all expense items excluding extraordinary items and capital expenditure.

Operating profit before tax (OPBT)
A measure of profit (or loss) before extraordinary items are brought to account and prior to the deduction of income tax and appropriation to owners. It is derived as:
                  Total Income
                  plus Closing Inventories
                  less Total expenses
                  less Opening inventories
                  equals OPBT


Operating profit margin

The average proportion contributed by sales of goods and services to the profit of businesses. It is derived as:
Operating profit before tax
divided by revenue from sales of goods and services
multiplied by 100
equals operating profit margin

Order

A commitment to purchase goods or services.
Other countries
This group comprises all countries except Australia and the other main English-speaking countries (the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, the United States of America and New Zealand).


Other income
Income items not separately itemised, such as dividend income, funding from Federal, State and Local Government, net profit (loss) on foreign exchange rates, sale of non-current assets and share trading. Extraordinary items are excluded.
Other main English-speaking countries
This group comprises the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, the United States of America and New Zealand.


Other operating expenses

All expense items not separately itemised, such as printing and postal charges, motor vehicle running expenses, rent, leasing and hiring, advertising and bank charges. Extraordinary items are excluded.
Outer Regional Australia
Outer Regional Australia is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure and is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 2.4 and less than or equal to 5.92'.

Payments to contractors and consultants for computing and telecommunication services

Payments to other businesses and self-employed persons for computing and telecommunication services work done or sales made on a contract or commission basis.

Payroll tax

A tax levied by state and territory governments upon the amount of wages and salaries paid by a business.

Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)

A basic form of residential and small business service connection to the telephone network.

Profit margin

The average proportion contributed by sales of goods and services to the profit of businesses. It is derived as:
                  Operating profit before tax
                  divided by revenue from sales of goods and services
                  multiplied by 100
                  equals Profit margin

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)
The world's public circuit-switched telephone network. This network was once only a fixed-line analog system but is now primarily digital and includes fixed and mobile telephones. PSTN can also be referred to as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS).

Public library computers

Computers provided in the library for public access for library catalogue searches, internet use and general processing.

Remote Australia

Remote Australia is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Remote Australia is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 5.92 and less than or equal to 10.53'.


Research and Experimental Development

Comprises creative work carried out systematically to increase the stock of knowledge and its use to devise new applications.

Satellite internet access
Internet access provided through a satellite. The satellite is an object placed into orbit by humans that acts as a microwave relay station, receiving signals from a ground-based station, amplifying them and retransmitting them on a different frequency to another ground-based station. A clear line of site is generally required between the satellite and the base stations.

Someone else's home
Includes the homes of neighbours, friends and relatives.


SPAM

SPAM is defined as unsolicited electronic messaging, regardless of its content.

Still in development innovation

The business was in the process of developing or introducing an innovation during the reference period but work on the innovation was still in progress at the end of the reference period.

Subscriber

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) customer to whom internet access is provided. Included are paying and non paying customers, dial-up subscribers and those with 'always on' (non dial-up) connections. Excluded are customers who purchase other services from an ISP, such as web hosting, but do not obtain internet access. A subscriber differs from a user or person/business as one user may have multiple accounts with a single ISP, or accounts with more than one ISP. Conversely, there are single ISP subscriber accounts that provide internet access for multiple people/organisations (e.g. universities).


Terabyte (TB)
A data unit of one thousand billion bytes, sometimes interpreted as 1,024 gigabytes.

Total expenses

The sum of all expense items excluding extraordinary items.

Total income

The sum of all income items excluding extraordinary items.

USB modem

Universal Service Bus (USB) is a serial bus standard to interface devices. A USB modem is a cellular modem that gives access to mobile wireless internet using a USB port rather than a PC data card.


Very Remote Australia
Very Remote Australia is a category in the ASGC Remoteness Structure. Very Remote is defined as 'CDs with an average ARIA index value greater than 10.53. Very Remote Australia represents much of central and western Australia.


Wages and salaries

Refers to wages, salaries and selected provisions for employee entitlements. Included are severance, termination and redundancy payments, bonuses and payments for annual and other types of leave, salaries and fees of directors and retainers and commissions of persons who received a retainer. Payments related to salary sacrifice are excluded.


Web presence

Web presence includes a website, home page or presence on another entity's website. A website or home page is an electronic document that is accessed via a unique address on the World Wide Web. The document provides information in a textual, graphical or multimedia format. Web presence excludes on-line listings or directories.

Wholesale trade industry grouping

Businesses classified to the following classes of the ANZSIC for output purposes:
  • 3492, Computer and computer peripheral wholesaling;
  • 3493, Telecommunication goods wholesaling; and
  • 3494, Other electrical and electronic goods wholesaling.

WiMAX

WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a fourth generation wireless technology that provides broadband connections to the internet over distances of up to 50 kilometres. WiMAX can either utilise mobile or fixed wireless technologies.

Wireless

Wireless access technologies are grouped according to whether they enable fixed or mobile access to the internet.
  • Fixed wireless is a point to point microwave link, generally building to building or tower to building which allows subscribers within the receiving building to access the internet. Sender and receiver must be within line of sight and no more than 22 kilometres apart. Examples of technologies included are fixed WiMAX, LMDS and MMDS.
  • Mobile wireless provides short range high data rate connections between mobile data devices and access points connected to a network. Examples include mobile WiMAX, 3G via datacard, USB modem or tablet. This category currently excludes internet connections through mobile handsets.

Workers' compensation premiums/costs
The compulsory insurance cover to be taken out by all employers, except for self-insured workers, according to legislative schemes to cover employees suffering injury or disease in the course of or arising out of employment.



Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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