Annual Survey of Service Industries: Specialized Design

Detailed information for 1998





Record number:


The survey collects financial and operating data needed to produce statistics for the Canadian specialized design industry.

Data release - February 23, 2001


This survey collects the financial and operating data needed to produce statistics on the Specialized Design Industry in Canada. These data are aggregated with information from other sources to produce official estimates of national and provincial economic production in Canada. The estimates are used by government for national and regional programs and policy planning and by the private sector for industry performance measurement and market development.

The data were produced as part of Statistics Canada's Unified Enterprise Survey (UES), the main purpose of which is to ensure Statistics Canada receives consistent and integrated data from many types of surveys and sizes of businesses with enough detail to produce accurate provincial statistics.

Statistical activity

The survey is administered as part of the Unified Enterprise Survey program (UES). The UES program has been designed to integrate, gradually over time, the approximately 200 separate business surveys into a single master survey program. The UES aims at collecting more industry and product detail at the provincial level than was previously possible while avoiding overlap between different survey questionnaires. The redesigned business survey questionnaires have a consistent look, structure and content. The unified approach makes reporting easier for firms operating in different industries because they can provide similar information for each branch operation. This way they avoid having to respond to questionnaires that differ for each industry in terms of format, wording and even concepts.

This survey is part of the Service Industries Program. The survey data gathered are used to compile aggregate statistics for over thirty service industry groupings. Financial data, including revenue, expense and profit statistics are available for all of the surveys in the program. In addition, many compile and disseminate industry-specific information.

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: November to August


  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Professional, scientific and technical services

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of all statistical establishments (sometimes referred to as firms or units) classified as Specialized Design according to the North American Industry Classification System during the reference year.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The survey design was based on probability sampling and covered only the portion of the firms subject to direct data collection. Each sampled firm represented a number of other, similar firms in the industry, based on the probability of being surveyed. The largest firms were included in the sample with certainty due to their significant contribution to industrial performance.

The firms selected for this survey represent only a small portion of the entire survey frame; therefore, in order to make the sample as efficient as possible, the sampled units were stratified by province/territory and industry at the NAICS 5 digit level. For each province/territory/NAICS, sampling units were stratified in four size strata that were defined by the total revenue of the sampling unit. For the size stratification, there is one take-all stratum for the large sampling units, two take-some strata for the medium ones (a large and a small), and one take-none stratum for the small ones. The sample was selected using simple random sampling within the strata; therefore, each cluster of establishments had the same chance of selection within a stratum.

In order to compensate for non-response (for example, companies which cannot be contacted because they have moved or gone out of business) the size of the sample was increased. The resulting sample drawn for the surveyed portion alone totalled 1,088 companies.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Forms were sent to all the establishments included in the sample. The survey collection that is a mail out / mail back survey, started in April 1999 and ended in November 1999. Electronic reporting was also possible. The survey was also supported by Computed Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI).

When significant errors were detected in the Collection process, follow-up contacts were attempted.

The average time required to fill in the questionnaire is just under 4 hours.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .


Reported data were examined for completeness and inconsistencies using automated edits coupled with analytical review. Another automated system was used to impute data for refusals, non-response and unable to contact units, partially with the assistance of administrative data. This imputation process was coupled with a manual analytical review. In total, 29% of survey records went through the imputation process in 1998. The 1998 rate is considered to be fairly good, by business survey standards.


The sampling weights derived from the sample design were modified and improved using post stratification. Estimates were derived using the final weight calculated by the sample design weight multiplied by the adjustment weight. The adjusted weight is a function of the information used at the design stage, the information received from the respondent, and new information on the frame. This is possible because the Business Register was updated with more accurate information in the time between when the sample was selected and the estimates were produced. The final set of weights reflects as closely as possible the characteristics of the population in this industry.

Three sources of data were used to derive the estimates:

* a probability survey sample of specialized design establishments with an annual gross business revenue $30,000 and above,

* taxation data to estimate for businesses with an annual gross business revenue below $30,000 and

* a sample from the Supplementary file for T1 businesses with an annual gross business revenue of $30,000 or more, not found on the BR

Combining survey and tax data estimates produced the final estimates. These combined results were analysed before being released. The analysis, in general, included a detailed review of the individual responses (especially for the largest companies), a review of general economic conditions and a comparison with tax data information and other administrative sources such as industry and trade associations.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

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