8168.0.55.001 - Microdata: Business Longitudinal Database, Australia, 2006-07 to 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/06/2013   
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This is the third release of the Business Longitudinal Database (BLD) Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF). This contains data from 3075 Australian businesses for five reference periods from 2006-07 to 2010-11. A number of changes have been made in the content and layout of the CURF since the last release. These changes are outlined in more detail below.


  • This release of the BLD CURF contains Industry information based on ANZSIC06. No concordance to ANZSIC93 is provided within this issue.
  • There is a reduction in variables in this release due to exclusion of questions relating to the rotating focus (IT/ Innovation). Due to the rotating nature of these items full longitudinal data is not available across the entire panel, reducing the worth of the items for users.
  • The variables in this release are labelled using alpha variable names rather than numeric.
  • No separate technical manual will be produced, all relevant information is found within this Micro data product.
  • This release of the BLD CURF is provided in one format only, unlike the previous releases which are available in two alternative formats. In this release, the data are presented as one row for each unit for each financial year (that is, five rows of data for each unit). This may make longitudinal analysis easier for RADL users. This structural change is consistent with the changes found in the re-issue of the BLD CURF re-released in December 2012.


The BLD CURF is populated using three data sources; directly collected characteristics data from 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. Users should be aware that although several steps have been taken to ensure the confidentiality of the respondents the data itself may still contain errors. These errors can be introduced through inadequacies in the questionnaire, treatment of non-response, inaccurate reporting by respondents, errors in the application of survey procedures, incorrect recording of answers and errors in data capture and processing. Whilst every effort has been made to reduce errors in the data during the survey cycle, data obtained from alternative sources (such as the ATO and Customs) are as reported and are not assessed for accuracy.

Users must also be aware that the items collected as part of the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) are dynamic in nature and the concepts measured are subject to evolution and refinement over time; it is not possible to measure the impact of these changes on data quality. These considerations do not diminish the usefulness of analysis from the BLD CURF.

Further information about data quality is provided in the Quality Declaration under the Explanatory Notes section and must be taken into consideration when interpreting the statistics in this release.


In response to user feedback, a Test File for the BLD CURF has been created to assist users in writing and testing code in preparation for analysis using the BLD CURF. The Test File contains 500 units of fabricated data; it does not contain real data and cannot be used for analysis. The Test File can be accessed from the Downloads tab.


For further information about this publication, contact David Taylor on (08) 9360 5275 or email innovation.technology@abs.gov.au.