Data quality statement
|Data asset name
|ACMA annual consumer survey datasets
|14 February 2024
|Business data steward
|ACMA Research, Data, Regulation and Governance Branch
The ACMA’s annual consumer surveys (ACS) are nationally representative surveys that explore consumer use, take-up and attitudes towards communications and media services of the Australian population aged 18 years and over. The ACS has been conducted annually since 2007, with a core time series tracked since 2017 providing insight into the shifts and changes over time.
The ACMA’s annual consumer survey (ACS) is a nationally representative survey that explores consumer use, take-up and attitudes towards communications and media services of the Australian population aged 18 years and over. The ACS has been conducted annually since 2007, with a core time series tracked since 2017 providing insight into the shifts and changes over time.
Data and insights from the ACS help to keep the ACMA up to date on market developments and consumer trends to provide an evidence base to inform our policy development and decision making and to assess the effectiveness of regulatory interventions. The ACS also assists in addressing the advisory, monitoring and reporting requirements under the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 and other associated acts to report on the telecommunications industry and consumers of carriage services, service and industry trends in the broadcasting and internet industries and content services.
|Description of data asset
The ACS publicly available data is organised by topics with content selected by the ACMA for the relevant ACS survey year.
The ACMA receives de-identified unit record data reflecting the survey responses from respondents from the Social Research Centre (SRC) – the consultant commissioned to undertake this research work for the ACMA – as an IBM SPSS (.SAV) file and analysis tables and Q data tables (.QPack). The file is organised by variables determined by the ACMA based on research priorities, questions asked in each survey year and other factors.
The full ACS dataset is not published publicly. Selected data from the 2017 to 2023 ACS was published on the ACMA website as part of the Communications and media in Australia report series. Data used in the interactive reports is available for download directly from individual report tables.
|Legislation and authority
The dataset is collected under the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005 to report on the telecommunications industry and consumers of carriage services, service and industry trends in the broadcasting and internet industries and content services.
The Privacy Act 1988 guides Australian Government agencies in the handling of personal information.
|Scope and coverage
Publicly available ACS data are aggregated results of the annual survey. ACS data presented in charts or tables in ACMA published reports are published with .CSV accessibility files available to download from the website or directly from the Power BI report. ACMA research reports featuring ACS data are usually released in .pdf or Power BI format.
Charts and reports published in Power BI format on the ACMA website provide members of the public, researchers and other interested stakeholders with the opportunity to view and interact with ACS data within the Power BI interface, which offers a range of filtering and analysis options. The data is not intended to be reproduced by other government departments.
All aspects of the ACS research are undertaken in accordance with the Research Society Code of Professional Practice, ISO 20252:2019 standards (Certification number MSR 20015, first issued by SAI Global, on 11 December 2007 and recertified on 4 November 2019 by ISO Experts for a further 3 years to 2022), the Australian Privacy Principles and the Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2021.
All ACS data is deidentified by the SRC prior to delivery to the ACMA. All personal information is removed in a comprehensive manner to ensure that it is not possible to re-identify individual information from any aggregate records. Some panel profile variables (e.g., postcode and age in years) are not available.
|Data collection commenced in May 2007 and is ongoing. Comparative timeseries data is available from 2017. The ACS is usually collected in June each calendar year. Two 2023 questionnaires were launched on 14 June 2023 and fieldwork ran until 27 June 2023. Respondents are asked to reflect on the previous 6 months when answering ACS questions.
|Frequency and timing
Data is collected annually, usually during June each year. ACS data is received by the ACMA for internal analysis at different points during the research period, coinciding with milestones in the ACS project. The dates below are from the 2023 ACS project timeline;
From August onwards, weighted data from the full ACS data pack in Q or SPSS format is converted to .CSV by the ACS project team and passed to the ACMA’s data teams for ACS reporting in Power BI format on the ACMA website.
|ACS data is available in SPSS (.SAV) and Q formats, as well as .CSV format.
|A large proportion of ACS is time series data. Future ACS are dependent on the ACMA successfully managing previous versions of the survey so that time series observations can be accurately tracked, both by the ACMA and other stakeholders who follow the ACMA’s research program.
Data quality description
The ACMA annual consumer survey (ACS) data is collected by the Social Research Centre (SRC) using their probability-based panel, Life in Australia™. Members of this panel are recruited randomly via their landline or mobile phone and provide their contact details so that they can take part in surveys on a regular basis. Data collected through the SRC’s software is subsequently analysed by the SRC’s quantitative team at different points and screened for accuracy, completeness and for privacy purposes before being provided to the ACMA. The SRC’s quantitative team employs a range of quality assurance processes aligned with best-practice consumer research guidelines and data governance standards.
All data provided to the ACMA by the SRC is checked by the ACMA as part of analysis and reporting work connected to the ACS project. We also have a range of quality assurance checks in place to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the data.
ACS data is converted to .CSV for reporting in Power BI format on the ACMA’s website and is subject to further quality assurance checks. These checks involve manual and semi-automated data processing checks.
ACS data is collected by the SRC and reflects all survey respondents who completed the survey. The SRC ensures data is cleaned of all invalid/incomplete responses before passing to the ACMA. We then complete independent quality assurance checks on the data to ensure it meets specific business purposes.
For Survey 1, the overall response rate in 2023 was 74.4%. This is the total response rate based on completions from the number of active panel members invited to take part in the survey (n=4,779). The completion rate was higher for the online population (74.5%) than the offline population (69.5%). A further 23.0% of members were non-contactable or unable to complete the survey during the fieldwork period and 2.5% of invited members refused to take part.
For Survey 2, the overall response rate 2023 was 73.4%. This is the total response rate based on completions from the number of active panel members invited to take part in the survey (n=4,800). The completion rate was higher for the online population (73.5%) than the offline population (67.9%). A further 24.0% of members were non-contactable or unable to complete the survey during the fieldwork period and 2.7% of invited members refused to take part.
Data and insights from the ACS:
- help the ACMA to understand market developments and consumer trends in areas related directly to the questionnaire.
- provides an evidence base to inform our policy development and decision making and to assess the effectiveness of regulatory interventions.
Data collection commenced in May 2007 and is ongoing.
Data is collected annually. Data is collected during the fieldwork phase of the ACS project, usually over a 2-week period in June each calendar year. Data is then published in various formats by the ACMA.
ACS methodology is published on the ACMA’s website as part of the reporting process. All methodological processes captured are quality assured and meet research and data governance standards within the ACMA and the Australian Public Service more widely.
All of the SRC’s work is conducted in accordance with ISO 20252:19 and ISO 27001:2013 quality standards, the Australian Market and Social Research Society code of professional behaviour, and the Australian Privacy Principles.
ACS data has been collected by the ACMA since 2007. While survey questions can be added, removed or changed each year depending on the ACMA’s organisational priorities, the ACS is fundamentally a time series data survey, tracking consumer behaviour by year.
Since 2017, the ACMA has engaged the SRC to conduct the ACS. Working with a single consultant has provided a high level of consistency in the ACS time series data, and resulted in other administrative efficiencies for the overall management of this important, ongoing project for the ACMA.
ACS data is fit for the purpose of keeping the ACMA up to date on market developments and consumer trends, to provide an evidence base to inform our policy development and decision making, and to assess the effectiveness of regulatory interventions. Data is provided to the ACMA for research and reporting purposes in proprietary software including Q, SPSS, and .XLSX/.CSV formats, which aligns with appropriate research and quality standards for quantitative and qualitative data provision. Data used in Power BI reports can be directly exported in .CSV format which also meets accessibility standards and can be used by interested stakeholders as appropriate.