Diagram showing the different components of metadata in METEOR, highlighting the indicator element.

Indicators are measures of progress and are used to monitor the current status of an aspect of society. Indicators can be expressed as a simple number (such as the number of regular Indigenous primary health clients who have had a cervical screening during 2020–2021), a fraction, percentage, proportion, or a very complex computation. They help us extract the answers to questions like 'How many Australians are homeless? Is that more or less than last year?' or 'How long was the average wait for elective surgery last year?'.

Indicators can be quite specific; for example, the proportion of Indigenous Australians with type II diabetes whose blood pressure measurement result was less than or equal to 130/80 mmHg. They can also reveal broader information, such as the percentage of Australian adults who smoke daily.

The development of indicators in METEOR improves the quality, relevance, consistency and availability of national information about the health and welfare of Australians.

The need for better information drives the development of standards for indicators. This ensures that the data, whether statistical, administrative, clinical or other, is compatible and can be accurately compared with other data collected nationally and internationally.

METEOR contains the only nationally maintained registry for Performance Indicators (PIs). It has functional and user-friendly templates, and established governance processes. The items in the registry are aligned to ISO-11179 so they can be, and are, used for national and international data comparisons, such as cancer registries.

Please note that METEOR does not contain the actual data collections, or hold reports on data. To locate data, contact the particular area of AIHW that collects and analyses the data you are interested in, or contact other institutions which hold those data collections.