About Cognos Data


Common Terminology

Analysis Studio
A reporting tool to create user-defined cross tab reports using cubes as the data source. Analysis Studio reports always summarize data at the highest possible level.

COGNOS is the software used to develop and access reports within the Caltech datamart.

Columns (field)
In reports a report item that shows data in a vertical list. In Query Studio, query items represent columns.

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A data source for creating reports in Analysis Studio. Each cube contains query items that can be used as columns or rows in a crosstab report.

A collection of reports, data, and reporting tools organized in and accessible via the intranet. A group of datamarts makup up the Caltech Data Warehouse.

Data source
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The package from which information is retrieved for a report such as a purchase order analysis, accounts payables analysis, general ledger. In Query Studio the data source is a Subject Area. In Analysis Studio the data source is a Cube.

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A broad grouping of descriptive data. Data categories that represent how a user wants to analyze data, such as by year, quarter or period. Examples of dimensions include Time, Awards, and People. In Analysis Studio, dimensions represent the data within the cube.

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A hierachy within a dimension. For instance, Current Month is a level under the Time dimension. In Analysis Studio, levels are usually the items added to the report as columns or rows.

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A query item containing quantitative numeric values, usually for calculation. For example, purchase order amount can be treated as a measure because the average and total amounts have some meaning, but product codes, although numbers are not calculated. Measures are the numbers that usually appear in the body of crosstab reports or in the numbers of a chart. There are two types of measures: regular and calculated. Examples of Regular measures are cost, revenue, or sick days taken. An example of a Calculated measure is Profit Margin = Revenue – Cost.

The example of a report that defines the data to be displayed.

Parameter (filter)
Field identified to accept a criterion for narrowing report results to matched records, usually based upon a prompt.

A file format that maintains the formatting of the original document usually viewed in the free software Adobe Acrobat. In Report Studio, you can view, print, and distribute reports using this format. PDF stands for Portable Document Format.

A report element that asks for specific values before the report is run.

A user-defined description of the data being requested from a database. Queries identify what columns or query items to include or show in the result set, and what operations should be performed as the data is retrieved. Queries are expressed in a formal language, such as SQL. Report Studio reports are pre-defined queries. Custom queries are created and executed in Query Studio and Analysis Studio.

Query Item
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A representation of a column of data in a data source. It contains a reference to a database column, a reference to another query item, or a calculation. Query Items may appear in a model or in a report. This is the level of data that should be added to Query Studio reports.

Query Studio
A reporting tool to create ad hoc reports using Subject Areas as the data source. Query Studio reports usually contain multiple parameters to reduce the quantity of records within the report and may contain charts and summaries.

Query Subject
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In a model, the equivalent of a table of columns in a database. Query items within the Query Subject represent the columns that make up the table.

Report Item
A query item that is added to a report is known as a report item. Report items appear as columns in list reports, and as rows and columns in crosstab reports. In charts, report items appear as data markers and axis labels.

Report Studio
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Easily accessible area in the datamart containing pre-defined reports.

Subject Area
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This is a defined business area data source. Query Studio queries must be derived from a single defined subject area. A large business area, such as Labor Distribution, Grants, or FAMIS may be further condensed for use in a query. In the diagram below, it is the PTA Summary within Grants Analysis that can be used as a subject area in Query Studio. Query data must stay within the PTA Summary section to produce valid results, even though the icons are the same.

In reporting, summaries are aggregate values that are calculated for all the values of a particular level or dimension. Examples of summaries include total, minimum, maximum, average, and count.

Structures in a database that contain data organized into rows and columns. In Query Studio, query subjects represent tables.