Telling the bigger story with integrated data

The AIHW gives researchers and policy makers access to safe and secure data to investigate vital health topics. Research on the health of our community can help shape and improve the health and welfare services and programs on offer.

One of our core services is linking datasets to help researchers and policy makers tell a bigger story. For example, comparing the data on women who received the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination with data on women who developed cervical cancer showed that, overall, the vaccination was effective in reducing cervical cancer.

Data linkage, also called data integration and record matching, is cost-effective because it re-uses existing data. It is also non-intrusive because it avoids the need to re-contact people whose information has already been collected.

AIHW's data linkage reports

Data linking services

AIHW can link a range of datasets for research purposes.

We can link datasets held at AIHW, or arrange to receive datasets from external organisations for linkage. This is a list of datasets commonly linked by AIHW. A study cohort can be provided by the client, or can be derived from a dataset to be linked.

To request a data linkage please contact [email protected]. The Ethics Manager can advise you on drafting an Ethics Committee application for your research project.

Services we offer include:

  • help and advice with project conception and design
  • negotiating access to suitable datasets
  • data cleaning to enhance data linkage and quality
  • data linkage to our own datasets and datasets held by external organisations
  • ensuring cross-jurisdictional linkages are co-ordinated through the PHRN Online Application System. (The PHRN is an initiative of the Australian Government being conducted as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.)

Population Health Research Network (PHRN) logo  National Research Infrastructure for Australia (NCRIS) - An Australian government initiative - logo

As an accredited integrating authority, AIHW can undertake high-risk projects for researchers that draw information from Australian, state and territory governments while maintaining individual privacy and confidentiality. Legislation enables us to release data and we have the technical capability and governance to do so safely and securely.

Examples of approved AIHW linkage projects.

More information:

  1. Overview of a typical data integration project
  2. Video on video on the data integration process (courtesy of SA-NT DataLink) 

  3. Data linkage services for clients (1.9MB PDF)

Quoting services

To request a quote for a data linkage, email our Data Integration Services Centre: [email protected]

We can provide indicative budget estimates in the early stages to assist with planning and budgeting. Before undertaking your linkage we will provide you with a final quotation.

The AIHW provides data linkage services on a cost-recovery basis in accordance with Australian Government Charging Framework

Datasets commonly linked by the AIHW

This section contains information about both internal datasets (ie those held at AIHW) and external datasets. Contact [email protected] to ask whether we can link specific datasets not listed.

Internal datasets

We commonly link these datasets, held by AIHW:

Australian Cancer Database 

National Death Index

National Diabetes Services Scheme

Australian Early Development Census

National Aged Care Clearinghouse

External datasets

Australian Government

Australian Childhood Immunisation Register/Australian Immunisation Register

Medicare Benefits Schedule (a subset of this dataset is held at AIHW)

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (a subset of this dataset is held at AIHW)

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Admitted Patient Care Collection

ACT Cancer Registry

ACT Emergency Department Information System

ACT Perinatal Data Collection

New South Wales

45 and Up Study

NSW deaths—ABS Mortality Data

NSW deaths—ABS Perinatal Deaths

NSW Admitted Patient Data Collection (from July 2000) 

NSW Central Cancer Registry

NSW Emergency Department Data Collection

NSW Mental Health Ambulatory Data Collection

NSW Notifiable Conditions Information System

NSW Perinatal Data Collection (formally Midwives Data Collection)

NSW Perinatal Death Review Database

NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Birth Registrations)

NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Death Registrations)

Northern Territory

NT Births Registry

NT Deaths Registry


Qld Emergency Department Information System

Qld Hospital Admitted Patient Data Collection

Qld Perinatal Data Collection

Qld Registrar General—Birth Notification

Qld Registrar General—Birth Registration

Qld Registrar General—Deaths

South Australia

SA Australian Early Development Index

SA Births Registry

SA Cancer Registry

SA Child Health Record

SA Deaths Registry

SA Dental Service

SA Department of Families and Communities

SA English as Second Language Scale

SA Enrolments Census

SA National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy

SA Perinatal Statistics Collection

SA Public Hospital Inpatient Separations

SA Public Hospital Emergency Department Presentations

SA Running Records


Tas Cancer Registry

Tas Perinatal Data Collection

Tas Public Hospital Admitted Patient

Tas Public Hospital Emergency Department Presentations


Vic Admitted Episodes Dataset

Vic Death Index

Vic Elective Surgery Information System

Vic Emergency Minimum Dataset

Western Australia

WA Birth Registrations

WA Cancer Registry 

WA Electoral Roll

WA Emergency Department Data Collection

WA Hospital Morbidity Data System 

WA Mental Health Information System

WA Midwives Notification System

WA Mortality Register