User guide

Navigating the NPDC data availability resource

The NPDC data availability resource is comprised of a large number of data elements which, for ease of use, have been organised into a number of categories and sub-categories.

There are 4 major categories:

  1. Demographics
  2. Antenatal period
  3. Labour and birth
  4. Baby outcomes.

These categories are then further divided into 29 subcategories. The categories and sub-categories can be navigated via drop down menus and buttons on the side of the page. For example, within the Antenatal period category there is a sub-category for smoking.

The static image shows an example of the topic and subtopic selection available at the side of the webpage.

Each subcategory visualisation is comprised of a number of data elements. The data element displayed on the visualisation can be selected by clicking the box titled 'Select data element' and choosing the desired element.

The static image shows an example drop down list of smoking related data elements.

Users can use the Index of data elements to search which category and subcategory visualisation a particular data element is listed under and navigate directly to the subcategory visualisation (the correct data element can then be selected by using the 'Select data element' box as detailed in the above step).

Each visualisation is comprised of 2 distinct views:

  1. The first displays the national data by year as a stacked bar chart showing the rates of supplied, not stated and not supplied data.
  2. The second view displays state and territory data availability by year as a data table (see ‘Interpreting the data’ for more information).

These 2 views can be navigated using the buttons below which appear at the top right of each visualisation. The first button directs the user to the first national view, the second to the state and territory breakdown table.

This static image shows the selector for national level data or state/territory breakdown  data which is embedded in every visualisation in the product.

Interpreting the data

The NPDC data availability resource presents the data for each element in the NPDC as:

Stated: proportion of records supplied with an appropriate value for the data element during the specified collection year (excluding the not stated value).

Not stated: proportion of records supplied as not stated, during the specified collection year.

Not supplied: proportion of records with missing data for that data element, during the specified collection year.

The State/Territory breakdown view of the visualisations is a data table that displays the rates of stated data. The higher the percent the higher the proportion of stated data. This is indicated in the data table through the use of a colour scheme. Grey meaning the data was not supplied/not stated, green meaning the data was partially stated and blue meaning the data was 100% stated for that state/territory for that year.

The National level view presents the data similarly. The grey shade refers to not supplied data, the green shade refers to not stated data and the dark blue shade refers to stated data.

Interpreting the metadata information

Each data element in the NPDC data availability resource has a metadata information box which provides specific metadata information about the data element. This can be found in the top left of the visualisations.

This static image shows an example of metadata information which is embedded in every visualisation in the product. This example uses SMOKSTAT1 which is part of the NMDS, is in the category Antenatal period, has the format numeric 1 and is part of the mother file.

Variable: is the individual short name that is used in the NPDC to describe the element.

Status: defines how the item is collected by states and territories (see 'Types of data elements in the NPDC' for more details).

Category: is one of four major categories the data element falls into (see 'Navigating the NPDC data availability resource' for more details).

Format: is the way the data is collected. Numeric means that the data is collected as a number and Character means that the data is collected as numbers, letters and/or other characters. The number following either Numeric or Character refers to the number of characters allowed for the value.

Table: refers to whether this data element is collected in regards to the mother or their baby.

Reporting of the data item

The box in the top middle of the visualisation is designed to direct users to further information if required. The text box is linked to the relevant section in the Australia’s mothers and babies report. 

Reporting in data tables & Metadata information

The box in the top right of the visualisation lists the most relevant tables in the Australia’s mothers and babies data tables (National Perinatal Data Collection annual update tables) under the ‘Reporting in data tables’ heading. Below the ‘Metadata information’ heading the relevant metadata identifier in the AIHW’s meta data library (METEOR) is stated where applicable. It also links the to the relevant page when clicked.

Download PDF

The 'Download PDF’ button in the far top right allows users to download a static PDF file of the current view of the visualisation.

Types of data elements

National Minimum Data Set (NMDS): is a set of data elements agreed for mandatory collection and reporting at a national level. It may include data elements that are also included in other NMDSs. An NMDS is contingent upon a national agreement to collect uniform data and to supply it as part of the national collection, but does not preclude agencies and service providers from collecting additional data to meet their own specific needs (AIHW 2022).

National Best Endeavours Data Set (NBEDS): is a metadata set for which there is a commitment to provide data nationally on a best endeavours basis, but not formally mandated for national collection (AIHW 2022).

Voluntary item with a standard available: The AIHW has created a standard available via their online metadata registry METEOR and some jurisdictions provide this data either adhering to this standard or a standard that exists within the jurisdiction.

Voluntary item: Some states and territories provide this data using a standard that exists within their jurisdiction.

No longer collected: This item previously used to be collected, with either a standard or voluntarily, but is currently no longer collected by jurisdictions in this format. Often because a new data element has superseded this one.

Cross item filtering

Some data elements are recommended for use with a specific population. During analysis these data are filtered by another data element. Where this occurs in the NPDC data availability resource, data elements have been displayed conditionally, filtered by another data element. This has been done to present data availability as published or provided in data requests. For example, the availability for the Baby's length of stay in hospital (BABYSTAY) data item is presented based on Place of birth (PLACEBIR) having a value of 1 which corresponds to the baby being born at a hospital.


AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). 2022. National minimum data sets and data set specifications. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 23 August 2022