Characteristics of indicators

When developing your potential indicators, make sure they are:

  • Able to be measured - indicators should be based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative data.
    • Quantitative data is information that can be counted - for example, 78% of individual taxpayers use a tax agent to lodge their income tax return.
    • Qualitative data is descriptive data that is difficult to measure in numeric terms - for example, the taxpayer reported the reason his claim was incorrect was because he did not understand his obligations.
    • Quantitative data can tell you how much of something has happened, while qualitative data is often extremely useful in explaining why it happened. This may also help you learn more about your risk.
  • Expressed in a neutral form - the purpose of an indicator is to identify change. It should make no assumptions about the direction the change should take. For example, express the indicator as a change in the ratio of work-related expenses to salary and wages, rather than as a reduction in the ratio of work-related expenses to salary and wages.
    Last modified: 13 Jan 2015QC 25789