From 1905 to 2008, sporadic business censuses were carried out by questionnaire among secondary and tertiary sector businesses and in the agricultural sector. In these censuses, the economic production units were recorded as a reference for many other statistics from an economic, social and spatial point of view. From 1995, all establishments were geocoded, thus laying the foundations for an analysis of hectare data.
NOGA (General Classification of Economic Activities) is a fundamental work tool, used to structure, analyse and present statistical information. This system classifies the statistical units "businesses" and "establishments" by economic activity in a clear and uniform system, thus making it possible to make a realistic and complete description of the observed statistical universe and in sufficient detail for the various uses made of this information.
The current version, NOGA 2008, is composed of 5 levels and distinguishes 794 different economic activities. It takes into account not only the framework conditions fixed by the EU's statistical classification of economic activities (NACE Rev. 2) but also the requirements of the various interest groups in Switzerland..
For the dissemination of data, statistical information of the business censuses from 1995 onwards were analysed by using a hectare grid. For each hectare, the coordinates of the south-west corner (bottom left) are used as an identifier. Every characteristic or numeric value shown for each cell relates to occurrences within the 100x100 m surface of this cell, i.e. the number of business establishments, whose central coordinates are found in the square in question. In this way they build an aggregation of the individual records from a survey that are allocated to each grid cell or hectare.
For reasons of data protection, certain restrictions apply to variables from the business censuses with regard to forwarding raw data and cartographic representations based on a measurement in hectares. To ensure data protection, absolute values from 1 to 3 are shown in standard tables as a group with the value of "3". Where their use can be justified, data that have not been grouped together in this way can be used for statistical, research and planning purposes after conclusion of a data protection agreement.
Occurrence codes indicate whether business establishments of specific economic activities according to the NOGA classification can be found on a particular hectare surface area without revealing the accurate number of establishments surveyed. Complementary to clustering small values (see above) this is another data protection measure for information about natural and legal persons/entities.
Federal business census 2008
In the BC 2008 the geodata from the three economic sectors were disseminated in combined files for the first time. The previous, separate processing and presentation of agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing and fish farming as well as of industry and services was abandoned.
Most data for the primary sector were collected through coordination of administrative data in the context of the Direct Payments Ordinance. Secondary and tertiary sector data was collected either by means of paper questionnaires, online questionnaires (e-survey) or by profiling. The geocoding of establishments was carried out in cooperation with the business and enterprise register (BER) and the federal buildings and dwellings register (BDR).
The base data are encoded in accordance with the NOGA 2008 used for the 2008 survey. Subsequently, approx. 1500 variables on companies and jobs by full and part-time jobs and by NOGA (General Classification of Economic Activities) were aggregated into hectares or saved as a occurrence codes for GEOSTAT's standard product range.
Geodata from the federal business censuses of 1995/1996, 1998, 2000/2001 and 2005 are available in harmonised form according to the NOGA 2002. To make geodata from the BC 2008 comparable with geodata from previous business censuses, an additional analysis of the BC 2008 was made with the variable combinations of the harmonised geodata according to the NOGA 2002.
Business censuses of the industry and service sector 1995, 1998, 2001, 2005
The base data from the federal business censuses in the secondary and tertiary sectors of 1995, 1998 and 2001 were recoded and harmonised from the NOGA 1995 to the NOGA 2002 used for the 2005 survey. Subsequently, approx. 1000 variables on companies and jobs by full and part-time jobs and by NOGA (General Classification of Economic Activities) were aggregated into hectares or saved as a occurrence codes for GEOSTAT's standard product range.
Business censuses in the primary sector 1996, 2000, 2005
The business census in the primary sector is an exhaustive structural survey that includes all establishments and jobs in agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing and fish farming. It provides results that can be compared with those of the second and tertiary sectors. Since 1996 the censuses have been coordinated with the farm structure survey and are used to update the business and enterprise register in the primary sector.
The base data from the business censuses of 1996 and 2000 in the primary economic sector were recoded from the NOGA 1995 to the NOGA 2002 and subsequently re-evaluated using the same variables as in the farm survey of 2005. The results from the primary sector censuses of 1996, 2000 and 2005 can, therefore, be compared with one another.