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Business Performance Newsletter – December 2006

1. Business Performance group update

The Business Performance group has had a busy last quarter of 2006 with the posting out of all the 2006 questionnaires (six business surveys and one household), as well as publication of the 2005 data.

We reached a milestone in 2006 – all the collections that Business Performance was set up to run have been developed and are in the field, with some of the collections in their second cycle. For the group this means that our main focus will change from developing our collections to maintaining them. The shift in focus will allow us to do more analysis and continue to explore the uses of the data sets.

As always we welcome input from you. It is especially useful to us to get feedback on areas that you are interested in while we are shaping our analytical program.

We hope you have all had a good year, and, like us are looking forward to 2007 and all the challenges it brings.

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2. Information and communication technologies programme

This is a busy period for the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) area. Five surveys are in the field at the moment all looking to close collection by early January 2007. Next year will be the first year Statistics New Zealand has been able to provide comprehensive ICT statistics to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the biennial OECD ICT Scoreboard.

The initial releases in April will be followed up by a detailed New Zealand ICT report in late 2007. Several other areas for research are being investigated at the moment and if you would like to discuss them or contribute ideas, contact Gareth Meech info@stats.govt.nz.

Internet service providers

The six-monthly Internet Service Provider (ISP) Survey measures the nature of the Internet service provision industry in New Zealand. The survey looks at Internet subscriber data, Internet connection technologies, web content and email content filtering, and barriers to Internet service provider growth. Results from the third survey (covering the six-month period to March 2006) were published in August 2006 – Internet Service Provider Survey: March 2006.

For this period, the questionnaire has been updated and will collect new data on subscriber data caps and ISP Internet filter services.

The September 2006 ISP Survey is currently in the collection phase and the results will be published in March 2007.

For further information, contact Guannan Miao info@stats.govt.nz.

Information and communication technologies supply

The ICT Supply Survey 2005/2006 is currently in the data collection phase. About 2,600 questionnaires were posted out in August of this year and the results are scheduled to be published in April 2007.

This survey was redesigned for the 2005 year to bring it into line with current international best practice. Results from the 2004/2005 year were published in July 2006 – Information and Communication Technologies Supply Survey: 2004/05. This is the second collection of the ICT Supply Survey and will be the first time comparisons in the new time series can be made.

For further information, contact Peter McGinty info@stats.govt.nz.

Household use of ICT

A key objective of the Household Use of ICT Survey is to measure the characteristics of the households and individuals that use ICT. This includes household access to a computer and the Internet. The survey also measures individuals within the household who use the Internet and who have personal use of a mobile phone. Another important component of the survey is the measurement of reasons why households and individuals do not have access and use of the Internet and mobile phones.

The survey is being collected as a supplement to the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Collection began in early October 2006 and will end in early January 2007. The data will then be analysed and the first results will be published in April 2007. The results will provide a basis for internationally comparable statistics in this area. The Household Use of ICT Survey will then be conducted every two years.

For further information, contact Steve Riley or Gareth Meech info@stats.govt.nz.

Business use of ICT

Data regarding New Zealand businesses’ use of ICT is being collected biennially, as one module of three within the annual Business Operations Survey (BOS). The first data for the business use of ICT module is being collected in BOS. This questionnaire was posted out in mid-August 2006 and the data is being processed. The initial results will be published in April 2007 followed by a combined research report with more in-depth information later in 2007.

Collecting this information as part of BOS will allow us to analyse any relationship between the use of ICT and firm performance, across a full range of industries and sectors. This survey module has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development and the State Services Commission.

BOS will provide information to benchmark New Zealand ICT use against use in other countries. When it is combined with the new Household Use of ICT and Government Use of ICT surveys, this information will establish a clear measure of ICT usage in New Zealand.

For further information, contact Hamish Hill info@stats.govt.nz.

Government use of ICT

The Government Use of ICT Survey is currently in the data collection phase. Three hundred and twenty two questionnaires were posted out and the response rate targets have already been met.

The survey collects information about the use of different ICTs by government organisations and will give an indication of how new technologies are facilitating government activities. Key indicators include capital and operating expenditure on ICT, barriers to the implementation of new ICT, and the proportion of organisations using specific technologies such as the Internet or other networks.

The initial results of this survey will be released in the second quarter of 2007.

For further information, contact Irene Rix info@stats.govt.nz.

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3. Business operations

The Business Operations Survey is a modular survey, developed by Statistics NZ to give current and accurate information on how New Zealand businesses operate, and what is important to their success.

The first lot of data from the BOS 2005 was released on 22 August 2006 – Business Operations Survey: 2005. It had modules on innovation (planned to run every second year, on odd years) and business practices. A full Innovation in New Zealand 2005 report will be published on 18 January 2007. All BOS releases will be published on www.stats.govt.nz and can be accessed by searching for ‘Business Operations Survey’.

The BOS 2006 questionnaire includes modules on businesses’ use of ICT (planned to run every second year, on even years) and employment practices. This questionnaire was posted out in mid-August 2006. The data is being processed and will be published from April 2007.

For further information, contact Hamish Hill info@stats.govt.nz.

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4. Screen industry

The Screen Industry Survey will produce consistent, comprehensive and robust statistics to allow monitoring of the growth and development of the New Zealand screen industry. The survey is a census of all businesses operating within all aspects of the screen production, broadcasting, exhibition and distribution sectors of the economy.

The initial results from the first survey, conducted in 2005, were released on 31 August 2006 – Screen Industry Survey: 2004/2005. The full report Screen Industry in New Zealand 2005 has just been released. The report provides more detailed information on the industry including factors contributing to and detracting from growth, employment and labour in the industry, cost movements, funding and expenditure.

The 2006 survey is being collected and results are being compiled as responses are received. The survey collection is expected to close at the end of December and the first results will be available in mid-2007.

For further information, contact Coral Aldridge info@stats.govt.nz.

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5. Research and development

The Research and Development (R&D) Survey is a joint collection conducted every two years by Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST).

The 2006 survey was posted out in August and measures the level of research and development activity, and, employment and expenditure by private sector enterprises, government departments, and government-owned trading entities.

The University Sector collection will be conducted independently in early 2007. Statistics NZ and MoRST are now in the planning and design stages for this collection, with advice being sought from the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors Committee and the Ministry of Education. Possible changes to the scope of the survey population will also be looked at next year.

Results from the R&D Survey 2006 are expected to be released in June 2007 in a Hot Off The Press information release, followed by a full research report in September.

For further information, contact Anna Thorburn info@stats.govt.nz.

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6. Biotechnology

The Biotechnology Survey collects information on the use, production and spread of biotechnology. It measures the size of the biotechnology sector and identifies barriers to research and development so that a better understanding of this emerging industry can be gained.

The Biotechnology survey is conducted every two years. Work will begin in the new year to ready the next Biotechnology Survey for post out in August 2007.

For further information, contact Anna Thorburn info@stats.govt.nz.

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7. Improved Business Understanding via Longitudinal Database Development

The IBULDD International Peer Group Review findings and recommendations will be published on this site shortly. Work is continuing on finalising the analytical report which includes enhancements suggested by the review team. The official statistics report is also underway and it will include a summary on the work undertaken to define the longitudinal enterprise.

For further information, contact Claire Powell info@stats.govt.nz.

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8. Research projects

The Business Performance group is currently working on two main research projects. The first is an Innovation Project that is part of an OECD project. This aims to exploit microdata from innovation surveys, and other surveys that can be linked to those, in a cross-country comparative way. Two out of the three components of that proposal will use microdata for analytical purposes:

develop internationally comparable tabulations of innovation indicators

carry out firm-level econometric analysis in a comparative way.

The second project is a collaborative one that includes several other government departments (the Ministry of Economic Development, the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Social Development, MoRST and Te Puni Kokiri). This project is investigating Government Assistance to Business. The first output of this project will be some demographic descriptions of the distribution of government assistance schemes. This will be followed by a research project which will look at firm performance and their interaction with government.

For further information, contact Claire Powell info@stats.govt.nz.

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9. Who’s who in Business Performance

Eileen Basher, Manager
Gareth Meech, Project Leader Surveys
Hamish Hill, Business Operations Project Leader
Anna Thorburn, R&D and Biotechnology Project Leader
Coral Aldridge, Screen Industry Project Leader
Peter McGinty, ICT Supply Project Leader
Guannan Miao, Internet Service Providers Project Leader
Irene Rix, Government Use of ICT Project Leader and Questionnaire Design
Daniel Martin, R&D and Screen Industry Statistical Analyst
Carmel Tuya, ICT Supply Statistical Analyst
Julia Gretton, Business Operations Statistical Analyst
Steve Riley, Household Use of ICT Questionnaire Design
Meighan Ragg, Statistical Analyst, Questionnaire Design
Claire Powell, IBULDD Project Manager
Antony Kennedy, IBULDD Statistical Analyst

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