What is BLADE
The Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment (BLADE) combines business tax data and information from ABS surveys over time to provide a better understanding of Australian businesses and the economy.
Approved users working on approved projects can use BLADE data to study how businesses fare over time and the factors that drive performance, innovation, job creation, competitiveness, and productivity. BLADE demonstrates how combining existing public data can help to deliver evidence based policy making.
BLADE is a key component of the Australian Government’s Data Integration Partnership for Australia (DIPA) initiative.
The current BLADE asset contains data on all active businesses from 2001-02 to 2016-17, sourced from:
- the Australian Taxation Office: Business Activity Statements (BAS), Business Income Tax (BIT) filings and Pay as You Go (PAYG) summaries
- ABS surveys, including the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) and Management Capabilities Module (MCM), Economic Activity Survey (EAS), Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD), Private Non-Profit Expenditure on Research and Development (PNPERD), Survey of Research and Experimental Development, Government (GOVERD)
- Intellectual Property Australia: Intellectual Property Longitudinal Research Data (IPLORD)
- Department of Home Affairs: Merchandise Trade Data
As the ABS is an accredited Integrating Authority, additional data sources can be integrated with BLADE for approved projects and subject to agreement from data custodians.
For more information about BLADE data and the legal basis of BLADE, see BLADE data and legislation.
Research projects using BLADE data are listed on the BLADE Research Projects page. A number of research papers using BLADE data are also available on the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) website.
Accessing the data
The ABS uses the internationally recognised Five Safes Framework for managing the safe and secure release of BLADE microdata. Access to BLADE microdata is provided to approved users through the ABS DataLab.
BLADE detailed microdata is available for approved projects to three types of approved users:
- government employees
- government contractors, and individuals sponsored by government
- academics and researchers from public policy research institutes
Businesses in Australia, 2018-19 TableBuilder is available to registered government and non-government users. This online tool allows users to create their own tables and graphs using data sourced from BLADE.
To find out more about accessing BLADE microdata, see Access to BLADE and MADIP data.