Firstly, 15 European statistical offices participated in the project which allowed for a wealth of enterprise-level data to be used, spanning 15 countries and many years and including not only ICT use data but also information derived from business registers, production surveys and innovation surveys. By linking these different data sets, richer information can be extracted from existing data sources and decisions taken at the firm level can be investigated in greater depth. Also, enterprise-level analysis of issues of interest carried out in each country was co-ordinated and based on comparable data ensuring internationally comparable results.
Secondly, a cross-country dataset was built from aggregation of comparable enterprise-level data. Conceptually identical indicators were compiled at a relatively disaggregated industry level across multiple countries and time periods. The resulting dataset was used for industry-level analysis within the project. A public version of this data set can be downloaded.
The ESSLimit project, financed by Eurostat, was launched in December 2010 and finished in December 2012. It has addressed some of the issues pertaining to seven priority areas of DAE by investigating ICT in dimensions not earlier explored nationally or internationally. As an ESSnet project, ESSLimit also followed the objectives of the MEETS ('Modernisation of European Enterprise and Trade Statistics') programme, especially the objective of producing new relevant policy indicators without the need to collect more data and without increasing the burden on enterprises.
The project relied heavily on its predecessor, the 2006-2008 Eurostat ICT Impacts project.
A final follow-up to the ESSLimit project, ESSLait was launched in January 2013 with specific focus on data quality and impact analysis.
ICT impact assessment by linking data from different sources (2006 - 2008)
A ‘network group’ of 13 European statistics offices have been working between 2006 and 2008 to develop new approaches to assessing the impact of ICT on business and the economy, to make recommendation on future measurement needs, and to establish new methods for producing indicators. The countries, which participated in the project, were the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Italy, Austria, Germany, Ireland, CzechRepublic, Slovenia and Denmark. United Kingdom had a coordinating role.
The study has developed firm level analysis at country level, using data-linking techniques and common analytical methods across 13 countries to link ICT use and business output surveys. It has used links to test and extend established knowledge on ICT investment, ICT use and firm growth and productivity.
The developed approach permits production of indicators which are completely comparable across countries, and auditable back to source data, but also allow to generate data, which can be used for analysis across countries and industries of differences in behaviour and performance associated with ICT use.
The final report and summary report 2008 of this project are published to spread results from the project to wider audience. We expect it to have implications for analysis beyond ICT statistics.