8101.0 - Innovation and Technology Update, 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/02/2008   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



The ABS' Integrated Business Characteristics Strategy (IBCS) integrates the collection and quality assurance of data required for input into the Business Longitudinal Database (BLD) and the production of point in time estimates for: business use of information technology (BUIT); business innovation in Australia; and a broad range of other non-financial business characteristics. The annual Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) is the survey vehicle which achieves this.

A key part of the IBCS is the production of annual BUIT and Business Innovation indicators, with a more detailed set of items for each of these topics collected every second year (i.e. in alternating years). Previously, these IT and innovation indicators were produced from the separate annual Business Use of IT and biennial Innovation surveys, respectively.

As a result of implementing the IBCS, there has been some impact on comparability of the BUIT and Business Innovation data sourced from the BCS with that obtained from the previous separate collections. Some of this is as a result of integration including changes to scope and the composition of the sample. Additionally, more fundamental changes such as expanded and enhanced measures of innovation have had a significant impact on comparability of those data. As more data is collected using the BCS vehicle, the ABS will publish data across time periods.

See Integrated Business Characteristics Strategy (IBCS) for additional information.


The ABS released a Discussion Paper: The first iteration of the Business Longitudinal database (cat no 8164.0) on 10 May 2007.

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 to be included in the Discussion Paper.

For further information about business longitudinal database, contact Helen Harkin, Economic Analysis and Reporting Section, ABS on (02) 6252 6531.


Results from the 2005-06 BCS have been released progressively since November 2007 and are available in the ABS publications:
  • Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8166.0) released on 19 November 2007
    This release presents key indicators on the incidence of business use of information technology and business innovation in Australia.
  • Business Use of Information Technology, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8129.0) released on 7 December 2007
    This release presents detailed indicators on: the incidence of business use of information technology in Australia; characteristics of Internet and web use; Internet commerce; and international comparisons.
  • Selected Characteristics of Australian Businesses, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8167.0) released on 1 February 2008.
    This release presents summary data for a selection of topics including: business structure and arrangements; business markets and competition; business finance; business innovation; business performance; and barriers to business activities or performance. Much of the data contained within this release has not been collected previously.

Catalogues 8129.0 and 8167.0 will have associated datacubes appended to them as they become available and will provide a range of cross classified output (e.g. by employment size ranges, industry) relating to each topic. These datacubes are being progressively released and all are expected to be available by the end of March 2008.


The 2006-07 iteration of the BCS is currently in the field. The 2006-07 BCS has a focus on innovation statistics, while still collecting key indicators for business use of information technology and general business characteristics data.

It is expected that the first outputs from the 2006-07 BCS will be released in late June 2008, in the publication Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8166.0), followed by Innovation in Australian Business, 2006-07 (cat. no. 8158.0).