IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Help: Reports and Analytics

This page helps users resolve the most common questions about working with reports, visualizations, and cubes available in the BI Portal or UW Profiles. If your question isn’t answered here, please write help@uw.edu.

How do I check if I have EDW access to use reports, visualizations, and cubes?

Not sure if you have access to Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) data and tools? Or want to find out what kind of access you have? Any UW employee can use ASTRA to view their EDW access.

  1. Navigate to ASTRA
  2. Click on “Show Me My Authorizations“.
  3. Login using your UW NetID and password
  4. ASTRA will display a list of authorizations:

Check ASTRA authorization

  1. Look under the Application column – you have access to EDW data, reports, cubes, and visualizations if you see EDW listed. The data you can access is governed by the role to which you have been assigned. In the example above, the user has been assigned to the EDW Administrator role.  Noteyou may have been granted access to more than one role.
  2. If you need to request new or different access to EDW, visit the Request Access page.

For more information on EDW security, visit the About Data Security page. To see what data you can access via your role, reference the Security Access and Roles Matrix.

How do I connect to reports and data from off campus?

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.

How do I troubleshoot issues with running reports?

Some of the most common issues users report regarding report-running are:

  • Logging In

To access cubes or reports, you will need to access the UW NetId domain using your UWNetId username and password.

See the Logging In frequently asked question

  • Data Unavailable

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.

  • What does “Database is Loading” mean?

The Last Loaded Column usually shows the the date and time that the database is loaded. If the database is loading (usually at night or early morning) , you’ll see the “Loading…” message in the Last Loaded column of the Data Availability Summary.

  • Is Data Current?

The Load Frequency is the scheduled frequency of the database being uploaded, therefore (Excluding Legacy HEPPS Databases) if the frequency is daily, the Last Loaded date should never be , greater than two days old. For the the Legacy HEPPS, data loads were frozen post Workday release in 2017. No database is loaded more than once a day.

  • How can I tell if I have access to a Report (Report padlock)?

When attempting to run a report instead of the report running a graphic appears with a padlock over it indicating the report is not accessible to the users Astra Role.

  • Why are there all null values in one of my columns?

When a report runs, but there are fields in which all the values of a column are null, either all the values for a particular run are null or the user does not have access to that particular data item.

To check if you have full or partial access to a BIPortal Report, select the “Security Information” tab. It indicates which Astra roles have Full Access, Partial Access and the Astra Role that you have.

  • Alerts

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.

How do I get access to use a cube?

You do not need to request new access to use cubes if you already have access to run EDW reports and query data. If you need to request access, you can do so at the Request Access page.

How do I connect to and use a cube?

Print this PDF guide for a quick reference!

Access
Before connecting to an EDW cube, you must have access to the EDW. Learn if you already have access or how to request it.

Help

  • When logging in, make sure you enter “netidyournetid” without the quotes and replacing yournetid with your UW NetID
  • If you have questions, please send them to help@uw.edu with “data cube question” in the subject line.

Connection Steps – Written

Note: These instructions use the Financial Activity cube as an example. The same basic steps apply to all Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) cubes.

  1. Open Excel with your UW NetID Credentials
    Note: Your permission to access the EDW is associated with your UW NetID. When you connect to the EDW through Excel or any other tool, you do so with your UW NetID username and password. Follow the instructions in the Basic Steps to Connect to Data and Reports section to learn how to use the RunAs command to open Excel with your UW NetID credentials.
  2. Open a new blank workbook in Excel
  3. Under the Data tab, select From Other Sources, then From Analysis Services
  4. In the Data Connection Wizard window,
    • Server name : cubes.uw.edu
    • Log on credentials
      • Use Windows Authentication if you log into your computer with your UW NetID credentials or if you used the RunAs command to open Excel
      • You may need to select the Use the following User Name and Password option when you connect and enter your own NetID and password as shown below.
      • Mac Virtual Windows Connection
      • When you connect through a Mac Virtual Windows connection, you will need to enter your own NetID and password as shown below.
  5. Select the database from the drop-down, then select the cube from the list in the list below the drop-down
  6. Enter your own File name, Description and Friendly Name, or keep the default. Select Finish to save this Office Database Connection (.odc file)
  7. Select OK to place the pivot table in the default location
  8. Select fields from the Pivot Table Field List panel on the right side, by clicking on the checkboxes in the upper portion of the panel, or by dragging them to the four lower boxes
  9. Sample results pictured below

Congratulations! You’re connected.

Note – You only need to perform the connection steps once per cube. Excel will save this connection in your Connection list and/or directly in your worksheet for your next visit. When opening a new workbook, select the existing connection under the Data tab, then Existing Connections.

How do I get started with Tableau?

To learn more about Tableau, including how to get a license, please check out the Tableau pages on this site: Data Visualizations (Tableau)

 

How do I find out what one of my reports, visualization, or cubes values mean?

  1. First check Knowledge Navigator http://itconnect.uw.edu/work/data/knowledge-navigator/, while not every term is yet defined, if it is, it will have the institutional definition, lineage, and usage.
  2. Further information can be requested from the:
    1. EDW team via help@uw.edu;
    2. Academic Data Management Office via StudentData@uw.edu
    3. Academic Personnel (AHRIS) via acadsim@uw.edu
    4. Management Accounting and Analysis – (geosims) via gccrhelp@uw.edu
    5. Research Awards (ORIS) via grantrpt@u.washington.edu

How do I make suggestions for changing an existing report or requesting a new report?

Send the recommendation to help@uw.edu, specifically request it to be routed to EDW-BI. Include a description of the report, how and how often it would be used, what other staff would be interested in using it, and provide contact. information.

What training opportunities are available?

Our office does not currently have any resources dedicated to hosting in-person trainings. If you would like more training on Excel or other data tools, we recommend you explore the following:

Last reviewed September 20, 2019