ABS determines 2014-15 was not the most exciting time to be an Australian business

Innovative activity in Australian businesses was down on years prior, while connectivity remained much the same, the ABS has said.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its 2014-15 Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business report, which shows that less innovation activity occurred during the 2014-15 financial year than in the immediate year prior.

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(Image: ABS)

On all metrics presented by the ABS but one, 2014-15 had worse numbers than 2013-14, and by and large had lower results than in 2013-14.

Of the 45 percent of business that undertook any innovative activity, which the ABS calls "innovation-active" businesses, the ABS found that the larger the business, the higher the level of innovation.

Only 37 percent of businesses with four or fewer employees were innovation-active, while five-to-19-person businesses were innovation-active in 54 percent of cases; 67.4 percent of businesses with 20 to 199 people came in as innovation-active; and large businesses with more than 200 employees were the highest, at 73 percent.

Broken down by industry, the wholesale trade sector was the most innovative, followed by healthcare and social assistance, and manufacturing.

The ABS said the most common innovation activity abandoned during the year was related to marketing methods.

The report also looked at business use of IT, and found small increases in the percentage of businesses with internet access, a website, and receiving orders via the internet compared to past financial years.

"The value of income derived from the sale of goods or services via the internet increased by 7 percent, from AU$267 billion in 2013-14 to AU$286 billion in 2014-15," the ABS said.

The number of businesses with a social media presence jumped by 3 percentage points to 34 percent, while businesses that had broadband as their main connection type remained steady, at 99.2 percent.

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(Image: ABS)

Once again, as businesses became larger, the use of technology increased.

The business sector with the highest level of internet access was mining, with the lowest being accommodation and food services.

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