A benchmark is a reference point for comparison purposes. It allows you to isolate the effects of the strategies from the effects of external influences such as economic fluctuations.

For example, comparing the behaviour of a risk population to an appropriate benchmark is useful in understanding whether the observed behaviour is in line with expectations. If your strategies have had an effect, you would expect to see a change in the relationship between the benchmark and the compliance behaviour of the risk population.

Figure 5 shows that both the benchmark and the population of interest were tracking together until the start of the treatment period. The measure taken at the end of the treatment period shows a distinct difference in the behaviour pattern of the two groups.

Fig_5 comparig against a benchmark

Benchmarks are often based on external data, such as ABS statistics, and are comparable across the broader population base.

Example: External benchmark

Australian resident population data from the ABS could be a useful benchmark to understand changes in the number of resident individuals who are registered in the tax system.

Benchmarks are particularly useful when examining behavioural change at the broader level, but may become less useful when drilling down to a specific sub-population.

End of example
    Last modified: 13 Jan 2015QC 25789