I think the number of publishers and the number baptized are not related numbers useful in a year by year growth analysis. I was a publisher at least 5 years BEFORE I was baptized. I could have been a publisher and quit being a publisher and start being a publisher again, all before I was baptized.
Memorial attendance is an indicator of influence, reporting time one month is an indicator of compliance, and baptism is an indicator of commitment. For me, when I was leaving the group, I went to memorial but I didn't go in service, to meetings, or to conventions. I wasn't committed, I wasn't compliant, but I was influenced. Influence is the first to come, and it's usually the last to go. Because of that, I'd say memorial attendance is more of a temperature gauge than baptisms and number of publishers.
I do share the feeling that baptisms are more of an indicator of function of service. Function in the respect that service isn't bringing the numbers to a point of baptism. Insiders say the hours on the report are cooked, publisher numbers are cooked, and baptisms are mostly established member's adolescent children. That makes the report interesting, but not very informative. Here in Dakota I'm giving the most weight to the number of cars in the Kingdom Hall parking lot. There's lots of cars in the parking lots on meeting days.
I'm also giving strength to the financial health of the parent publishing corporation. My only analyses is by observation and I'm seeing lots of money at the top. New buildings, a city size college campus, new apartment buildings in Brooklyn, new printing presses. It looks healthy from the outside from my perspective.