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Improved business understanding via longitudinal database development

Peer group review

The project recently underwent the first peer group review. This paper records the findings and recommendations of the review, held in October 2006 in Wellington.

Overview of project

Statistics New Zealand recently implemented an exciting project, the Improved Business Understanding via Longitudinal Database Development (IBULDD). This developmental project will link business-related data from both administrative and sample survey data. Statistics New Zealand is working on this project in collaboration with representatives from The Treasury, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Research, Science & Technology and the Department of Labour.

The project has four main objectives:

  1. to test the feasibility of creating a complete business data collection with longitudinal depth based on linking existing survey and business administrative data;
  2. to establish where imputation can be used and what methods will be deployed to fill the gaps;
  3. to identify new official statistics and potential improvements for current official statistics; and
  4. to conduct research that provides relevant information on business dynamics specifically relating to firm productivity growth, financial constraints, economic development and research and development investment decisions.

Policy makers and different interest groups need official statistics that allow them to look at issues in different and dynamic ways. Statistics New Zealand will test the feasibility of producing new official statistics that measure the dynamics of business growth and performance. The feasibility study will provide the methodology and test it. If successful, this will lead into a further project to deliver the Annual Financial Database in the future. Targeted benefits include:

  • the creation of new official statistics
  • a reduction in the form-filling burden placed on contributors
  • more targeted sample designs – in particular, this project will directly feed into the redesign of the Annual Enterprise Survey
  • the establishment of new methodologies for modelling business data
  • the enabling of policy-relevant research by the key government policy agencies
  • the development of collaborative links with non-departmental research providers
  • the development of cross-departmental research capability.

As part of the process, the methods used will be subject to international peer review and the project will call on international experience in the area. Peer group reviewers include experts from Australia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The peer group review is currently scheduled for October 2006 in Wellington. Additionally, a range of technical experts have been identified and have agreed to provide technical advice throughout the lifetime of the project. Finally, it is expected that the results of the feasibility study will be disseminated via the web, along with technical papers on methodologies used, proposed official statistics and initial research reports.

For updates on this project, check out the latest Business Performance newsletter.

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