8101.0 - Innovation and Technology Update (Newsletter), Jun 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2007   
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The IBCS is an approach by the ABS to provide innovation and information and communications technology (ICT) related statistics for businesses as well as a range of more general non-financial business characteristics. The strategy addresses the increased demand for integrated data on business characteristics to enable analysis of business growth and productivity. The IBCS aims to integrate the collection and dissemination of information required for:

  • the Business Longitudinal Database (BLD);
  • the Business Use of Information Technology Survey (BUIT);
  • the Innovation Survey; and
  • expand the range of point in time estimates for general business characteristics.

The purpose of the IBCS is twofold:
  • to reduce the overall burden placed on businesses providing data to the ABS via the re-use of reported data for the various output purposes; and
  • to allow better integration between the macro-level innovation and BUIT estimates and the microdata in the BLD. Thus, users will be able to drill down from the macro to the micro level to better understand factors influencing changes in the macro-level estimates.

The first step of implementing the IBCS is the integration of three stand alone surveys: the survey component of the BLD, the Business Use of Information Technology Survey and the Innovation Survey. The new survey being conducted as part of the IBCS is called the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS). The BCS comprises an annual core business characteristics module and biennial modules for detailed BUIT and Innovation information. The core business characteristics module includes the collection of key ICT use and innovation indicators annually. In the future, a small contestable module may be available for specific statistical requirements which relate to business characteristics, particularly those which inform measures of business performance. Topics will need to fit criteria related to the survey parameters, ABS policy and other determinants.

The first BCS to be conducted as part of the IBCS has an ICT use focus and will provide detailed information on how Australian business use and access ICT. The 2005-06 BCS was despatched in March 2007 and replaced the 2005-06 BUIT. Summary indicators for ICT use and Innovation from this survey are expected to be released in late September 2007. More detailed ICT use data will be released in late November 2007. Other data including data cubes will be released over the period November 2007 to January 2008. Included as part of these releases will be some outputs for general business characteristics. More information about the core business characteristics content of the BCS is included in the Discussion paper referenced below. Future issues of this newsletter will contain more information about the new dissemination strategy being implemented as part of the IBCS.

The second BCS will provide detailed information about innovation activity carried out by Australian business. The 2006-07 BCS will be despatched late in 2007 and will replace the previously planned 2007 Innovation survey. First results from the 2006-07 IBCS are expected to be available in June 2008.

Futures iterations of the BCS will include a move to a July dispatch, therefore, enabling the release of results much closer to the reference date. Outputs will be available progressively approximately 9 months after the reference date. It is expected that, at least initially, the survey will continue to collect core business characteristics data and maintain a biennial pattern in respect of detailed ICT and Innovation content.

For further information about the Integrated Business Characteristics Strategy, contact Diane Braskic, Innovation and Technology Business Statistics Centre, ABS on (08) 9360 5241.

The ABS released a Discussion Paper: The first iteration of the Business Longitudinal Database (cat no 8164.0) on 10 May.

The Business Longitudinal Database will contain a wealth of information of interest to users of statistics about innovation and business use of technology. The ABS is very interested on feedback from users about plans for the BLD, and details about how to provide feedback and included in the Discussion Paper.

For further information about business longitudinal database, contact Helen Harkin, Business Demographics Unit, ABS on (02) 6252 6531.