IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Help

Frequently Asked Questions

10 Favorite FAQs (10)

You must set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access reports, cubes, visualizations or Enterprise Data Warehouse data from off campus. UW provides this secure remote connection through Husky OnNet. This service is provided at no additional cost to UW students, faculty and staff as part of the Basic Bundle of services covered under the Technology Recharge Fee. To access the service, go to the Husky OnNet UWare page.


The Request Access to Reports, Analytics, and Data page provides information and instructions on obtaining access to EDW data.


Visit the Definitions and Metadata page to know more about institutional definitions and Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) definitions, as well as definitions available from other sites around the university.


Visit the training page to register for workshops, watch on-demand videos, and join Enterprise Data Warehouse and Tableau User Groups.


The Request Access to Reports, Analytics, and Data page provides information and instructions on obtaining application access to EDW data.

Note that you may also find data of interest at UW web services.


Follow the instructions on the Connect to Data page to learn how to connect any query tool, including Tableau, Excel or Access, to the Enterprise Data Warehouse.

We also have a demonstration video with instructions on how to open Microsoft Excel using your NetID credentials. Select the video titled, “Automate opening your query tool with your UW NetID credentials”. Note that these steps also work with other query tools, such as Microsoft Access, Tableau Desktop, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.


Visit the Tableau Visualization Software page to learn about Tableau and how to get started.


At this time UW’s central Tableau Server is available to faculty and staff only. Students may publish personal work to the Tableau Public Server.


The Data Loading Summary contains real-time information on Enterprise Data Warehouse data load activity.


The process for requesting new reports is outlined in our general guidelines.


Connectivity (6)

You must set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access reports, cubes, visualizations or Enterprise Data Warehouse data from off campus. UW provides this secure remote connection through Husky OnNet. This service is provided at no additional cost to UW students, faculty and staff as part of the Basic Bundle of services covered under the Technology Recharge Fee. To access the service, go to the Husky OnNet UWare page.


The Request Access to Reports, Analytics, and Data page provides information and instructions on obtaining access to EDW data.


The Request Access to Reports, Analytics, and Data page provides information and instructions on obtaining application access to EDW data.

Note that you may also find data of interest at UW web services.


Follow the instructions on the Connect to Data page to learn how to connect any query tool, including Tableau, Excel or Access, to the Enterprise Data Warehouse.

We also have a demonstration video with instructions on how to open Microsoft Excel using your NetID credentials. Select the video titled, “Automate opening your query tool with your UW NetID credentials”. Note that these steps also work with other query tools, such as Microsoft Access, Tableau Desktop, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.


Note, these instructions are based on Tableau version 8.2.

Problem

Attempting to connect to data source on a Tableau Server results in the following error message:

Solution

Sign in to the Tableau Transitional Server:

Enter your UW NetID and password:

Choose the data source you want to use:


  • Ensure you have access to the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). You can check your access and request access here.
  • Ensure you are on the University of Washington network. If you are off campus, connect to the UW network through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.
  • Follow the instructions on the Connect to and Query Data page to connect your query tool (Tableau, Excel, Access, SQL Server Management Studio, etc.) to the EDW.

Support (6)

You must set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access reports, cubes, visualizations or Enterprise Data Warehouse data from off campus. UW provides this secure remote connection through Husky OnNet. This service is provided at no additional cost to UW students, faculty and staff as part of the Basic Bundle of services covered under the Technology Recharge Fee. To access the service, go to the Husky OnNet UWare page.



The two most common report-running issues we hear about are related to logging in and data availability.

Logging In

See the Logging In frequently asked question

Data Availability

When running a report, you may encounter an error message that resembles the image below.

Error message

Cryptic? Yes. Helpful? Not really. But the bottom line is that a database needed by the report isn’t available and one of two things is happening:

  • The database is being loaded with data
  • The database is unavailable due to maintenance or an unexpected outage

You can check for both situations using the Data Availability Summary, as described below.

Database is Loading

If the database is loading, you’ll see the ‘Loading…’ message in the Last Loaded column of the Data Availability Summary.
data availability summary
Alerts

Database is Unavailable

If you don’t see a ‘Loading…’ message, the database is unavailable. Check the Alerts section in the right column of the Decision Support home page to see if an outage message has been posted. The message will list the databases that are unavailable along with an estimated time they should be available again. If you don’t see a message there, please send an email to help@uw.edu to let us know about the issue you’ve encountered.


You can find your Data Custodian using the UW Data Map. Hover over a subject area in the circular ‘map’ for a list sub-categories. Select a sub-category to retrieve the custodian’s name.


Each subject area has an office that can help you with your specific data questions or needs.


The Business Intelligence Portal, also known as the BI Portal, is a searchable catalog of all UW central reports, visualizations, and cubes

UW Profiles is a suite of institutional dashboards that provide a dynamic way to easily access, explore and understand basic University data.


Tableau (16)

Visit the Tableau Visualization Software page to learn about Tableau and how to get started.


No. Viewing and interacting is free. Once you have access to the Enterprise Data Warehouse, you can start viewing visualizations.


Once any UW faculty or staff has access to the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), access to the published visualizations using UW institutional data on the UW Tableau Server is automatically provisioned. Access to visualizations based on non-EDW data may require additional permissions.


Follow the instructions in the Get Tableau tab of Tableau Visualization Software page.


Typically within 1-2 business days.


Yes. To set up the billing process, send the following information to tableau@uw.edu:

  • organization name
  • address
  • contact person’s name, phone and email
  • preferred method of receiving invoices (email, mail)
  • method of payment (check or wire)

Your customer account will be created in UW-IT’s Dynamics AX system and you will receive invoices from this account. Please note that UW’s institutional overhead rate, currently 15.6%, will be added to the invoice total. This fee covers processing costs and is collected by the UW central accounting office.


No. Licenses are granted to a UW NetID individual, or in Tableau terms, an Authorized User. That Authorized User may install, via the Product Key, one copy of the Desktop Software on his or her primary computer and a second copy on his or her secondary portable or home computer. The Tableau Desktop license may not be shared with other users. See the Tableau End User License Agreement (EULA) for more information.


Yes, Tableau Desktop licenses can be transferred from one employee to another. Send your request to tableau@uw.edu


From Tableau Desktop, select Help > Manage Product Keys…  and then select Refresh. The date in the Maintenance Expires column should update to the upcoming year. Upon restarting Tableau Desktop, you may be required to re-register.


Yes, you can connect if you are running Windows on your Mac. You cannot connect directly to the EDW from the Mac operating system. Connectivity to the
EDW requires Windows integrated security and the Mac operating system does not support this.


Faculty, staff, and students may not publish visualizations that use UW institutional information to the Tableau Public Server, unless those visualizations have been approved by the Data Management Committee (DMC). At this time, the DMC has granted permission to the Office of Planning & Budgeting to publish a limited set of aggregate data using Tableau Public Premium with approval from the data custodians. Read the DMC’s Usage of Tableau Public Server brief (see Guideline 1026).

You are welcome to work with publicly available data sets, such as U.S. Census data, and publish your work on the Tableau Public server.  Tableau Public software and publishing to the Tableau Public server is free, providing an excellent, no-cost way to build your Tableau skills.  Visit the Tableau Public gallery for examples and ideas.


Yes. See the Data Management Committee’s Guideline #1025 for more information.


Yes. Access can be managed at the group or user level. Typically, access is managed through the UW Groups service and controlled by the visualization owners.


No. Because Tableau Desktop is not forward compatible, in order to maintain publishing rights on the UW Tableau Server you must pay for the annual renewal. If you choose to opt out, you still own your Tableau Desktop license, but will no longer receive support, upgrades, or the ability to publish on UW’s Tableau Server.


The current Tableau server is set up to leverage UW’s infrastructure.  Installing individual servers is highly discouraged as the barrier to entry is high in terms of cost and resources.  The minimum configuration of the hardware and software platform needed for sharing data across campus costs $200,000.   This does not include maintenance/renewal fees or staffing costs required to manage the server.


At this time UW’s central Tableau Server is available to faculty and staff only. Students may publish personal work to the Tableau Public Server.


Technology Refresh (16)

In August, 2014, the Enterprise Data & Analytics team moved the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) into the NetID domain and upgraded its hardware and software to improve users’ query experience. These efforts reflect UW-IT’s objective to provide access to excellent Infrastructure, as outlined in Strategic Goal No. 1 of UW-IT’s 2014 Strategic Investment Plan.

As a result of this change, EDW users need to repoint their data and cube connections to the new location.


Anyone who directly queries EDW data or connects to EDW cubes.


Tech Refresh went live in August, 2014.


Most users will not need a port number. If you’re unable to connect without it, try the port number provided in the table of Server information.


All EDW data will live under one server name. Cubes, reports, and visualizations will also each live under their own server names. See the Server information page.


No, the only changes are to the server names.


You can change your connections at any time. Note: The old servers were retired in August, 2014, so you will no longer be able to compare results between the new and old servers.


Yes, you can still use Excel, Access, Tableau, SQL Server Management Studio [SSMS], SQL Server Reporting Services [SSRS], and others. If you develop central SSRS reports, please see the Reporting Services FAQ.


Send your questions to help@uw.edu. Please provide as many specifics as possible.


You will need to change your workbook data source connections to the new EDW location. If you are publishing your Tableau Desktop workbooks to the Transitional Server, there are no changes.


For every Excel file (or other query tool, such as Tableau), you will need to update the data connection to point at the new cube location.


Any reports you’ve published to the development, test or production servers have been upgraded to SSRS 2012. You should upgrade to SQL Server Data Tools 2012 (also known as BIDS 2012) so you will not overwrite your rdl files. You will need to update any data connections in your .rdl files to point the new EDW location.


No. Reports and visualizations will remain available in their same locations, and can be accessed through the Business Intelligence Portal.


Tools (3)

The Business Intelligence Portal, also known as the BI Portal, is a searchable catalog of all UW central reports, visualizations, and cubes

UW Profiles is a suite of institutional dashboards that provide a dynamic way to easily access, explore and understand basic University data.


The Data Loading Summary contains real-time information on Enterprise Data Warehouse data load activity.


The process for requesting new reports is outlined in our general guidelines.


Other Resources