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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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 microdata can be found in How is CURF data confidentialised?

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 directly collected component of the BLD CURF comes from the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS). The BLD CURF also includes financial data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs).

The BLD CURF is designed to enable longitudinal micro level analysis. Hence, while the sample is stratified by industry division and employment size, it is not designed to produce cross-sectional or population estimates and, therefore, users are discouraged from doing so. The major consideration when allocating the sample in the first year of each panel is to ensure that enough live sample will be available at the end of five years to facilitate longitudinal analysis.

The BLD CURF includes data directly collected by the BCS covering topics such as innovation practices and barriers; Information Technology use; market share and competition, barriers to business performance; employment arrangements; and skills utilised within the business. These details are provided for the reference periods included within the BLD. No geographic information is included in the BLD.

Microdata from the Business Longitudinal Database are available as an Expanded CURF. The data item list shows the level of detail available in microdata format and can be accessed from the downloads tab.

For more information on the survey methodology, concepts and definitions see further chapters within this product.


This is the third iteration of the BLD CURF containing data from a sample of the in-scope Australian business population, referred to as a panel. Panel Three contains five years of data for 3075 units including the reference periods 2006-07 to 2010-11. Every year a new panel is initiated from the in-scope businesses on the ABS Business Register (ABSBR). The next BLD CURF, Panel Four is scheduled for release in 2015 and will cover the reference periods 2008-09 to 2012-13.


This BLD CURF is unique in the fact that it provides longitudinal data on Australian businesses enabling finer level analysis on topics such as business productivity and innovation over time.

Steps have been taken to confidentialise the data on the CURF to ensure businesses cannot be identified while at the same time maximising the usefulness of the content. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the microdata is available through the following link:

CURF confidentiality

Users of the BLD CURF should also note that while the sample is stratified by industry division and employment size, it is not designed to produce cross-sectional or population estimates and, therefore, users are discouraged from doing so.

ATO data included in the BLD CURF have been supplied to the ABS under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 which requires that such data are only used for statistical purposes. Customs data is also included on the CURF. No individual information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is provided back to the ATO or Customs for administrative or regulatory purposes. Please note that this data is as reported to the regulatory bodies and any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses are in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and are not related to the ability of the data to support the ATO's or Customs core operational requirements. The ABS wishes to acknowledge the assistance of both of these organisations in the development of the BLD and the BLD CURF.

For more information on the survey methodology, concepts and definitions see Microdata: Business Longitudinal Database, Australia, 2006-07 to 2010-11 (cat. no. 8168.0.55.001).


This is the third iteration of the BLD CURF, the main differences between this release and previous issues are:

    • Industry information is presented using 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) as found on the BCS long form. Due to the rotating nature of these items full longitudinal data are 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 release which is 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 Panel One and Two re-released in December 2012.
    • Questions not asked in a particular reference year have been allocated a special code of 55555.

Microdata: Business Longitudinal Database, Australia, 2006-07 to 2010-11 (cat. no. 8168.0.55.001) is the key source for reference when using the BLD CURF. It includes information about statistical units used, scope and coverage, sample design, data sources and content, data quality and considerations; and the conditions of use.


CURF microdata are not available to the public without special access being granted. All CURF users are required to read and abide by the 'Responsible Access to ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) Training Manual' (cat. no. 1406.0.55.003). Application to access a particular CURF microdata can be completed and submitted for approval by following the steps listed in the 'How do I apply for CURFs' Frequently Asked Questions. A full list of available CURFs can be viewed via the 'Expected and available Microdata'.

This Expanded CURF can only be accessed through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). More detail regarding types and modes of access to CURFs can be found on CURF Access Modes and Level 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.