In 2019-20, as part of the ABS' commitment to reduce provider burden, there were significant changes made to the Business Characteristics Survey content and sample. As part of the content revision, the ABS worked with key stakeholders to select questions related to business characteristics and use of IT that were of most importance. For more details please see Content changes in the Methodology section.
Note that data collected in this release relates to business conditions pre-COVID 19 as well as during the pandemic.
The Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) is currently going through a redevelopment process; the survey will be "decoupled" into separate collections to capture more detailed information on the two principal topics (i.e. innovation and Business Use of IT). The redeveloped BCS Innovation module will be run every two years as a stand-alone survey with a two-year reference period to align more closely with international practices. The collection of Business Use of IT (BUIT) and general characteristics topics will be combined in a single survey to be run every two years. The two surveys will be conducted on alternating reference years, with the first Innovation focused collection to cover the 2020-21 reference period and the first BUIT/Characteristics collection to be run for the 2021-22 reference period.