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5 Year Productivity Inquiry: Australia's data and digital dividend

Interim report 2

This interim report was released on 23 August 2022.

Productivity growth is about harnessing our ingenuity to do more with the resources we already have — working smarter, not harder — and investing in the latest technology and the best ideas.

The Productivity Inquiry focuses on the enablers of productivity growth in a modern, market-based, service-oriented world. The second interim report explores how digital technology and data can be used to improve Australia’s productivity.

You were invited to examine the interim report and to make written submissions by 21 October 2022.

The final inquiry report is to be handed to the Australian Government in February 2023.

The release of the final report by the Government is the final step in the process.

Under the Productivity Commission Act 1998, the Government is required to table the report in each House of the Parliament within 25 sitting days of receipt.

Download the interim report

  • Media release
  • Contents

Australia’s data and digital dividend

Digital technologies and data are increasingly important for Australia’s economy. Policies that promote digital innovation and adoption are needed to drive productivity growth.

The Productivity Commission’s second interim report of its 5-year Productivity Inquiry examines the role data and digital tools and applications can play in Australia’s continued prosperity.

“Digital technology and data have already transformed our economy and society, but we have not yet tapped into their full potential,” Commissioner, Dr Stephen King said.

“Technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotic automation and big data analytics could revolutionise how businesses operate and help lift Australia’s productivity growth by reducing costs, improving the quality of goods and services, and increasing product choice for consumers.”

The report identifies several barriers that could limit further adoption of digital technologies including inadequate internet, lack of skills, uncertainty about benefits, security concerns, cost and legacy systems.

“We do well in Australia on basic aspects of technology and data use, like internet coverage, but are falling behind in more advanced areas such as business uptake of analytics and artificial intelligence,” Dr King said. “We also need fast, reliable and affordable internet to enable businesses to take up advanced digital technologies.”

“Government can help by improving investment in digital infrastructure, particularly in rural and remote Australia, forming digital partnerships with the private sector, and ensuring we have a future ready workforce.

“Businesses of all sizes also should be encouraged to invest in digital technologies and cyber-security. Consumer trust will be vital to underpin these investments.

“Digital technology and data will continue to shape global economic growth and social change in coming years. Whether we fully realise the productivity dividend offered by these opportunities will depend on how effectively governments, businesses and individuals can recognise and safely harness these changes for Australia’s benefit."

The Productivity Commission is now inviting comment on Australia’s data and digital dividend to inform its final report. Submissions close on 21 October 2022.

A full copy of 5-year Productivity Inquiry: Australia’s data and digital dividend, is available at the Commission’s website:

Media requests

Leonora Nicol, Media Director – 0417 665 443 / 02 6240 3239 /

  • Preliminaries: Cover, Copyright and publication detail, Opportunity for comment, Terms of reference, Acknowledgements, Contents and Foreword
  • 1. Use of digital technology and data in the Australian economy
    • 1.1 Economic gains from using technology and data
    • 1.2 International comparisons on technology and data use
  • 2. Potential barriers to adopting new technologies and data
    • 2.1 Business-level barriers to digital and data uptake
    • 2.2 Broader limitations in the digital and data environment
  • 3. Targeting government investments and policy priorities
    • 3.1 Investing in regional digital infrastructure
    • 3.2 Creating new data sharing and integration opportunities
    • 3.3 Developing digital, data and cyber security skills
    • 3.4 Balancing cyber security and growth
    • 3.5 Supporting ethical use of technology and data
    • 3.6 Coordinating the policy and regulatory environment
  • A. Modelling business technology adoption
  • Abbreviations
  • References

Printed copies

Printed copies of this report can be purchased from Canprint Communications.

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