Business Data

How do I receive support?

Data-related questions regarding reports, issues, and enhancements should first be directed to:



SPS: SPS Research Data Request Form

HR: HR Data Request Form


Cognos tool issues such as error messages, unexpected behavior, etc: 

What does "Boiler Insight" mean at Purdue?

Boiler Insight is the new name for the entire suite of Purdue Business Intelligence environments that are supported by the BICC. This includes many of the BI systems that people have been using for some time, such as SAP BW and the Student ODS/EDW, but also includes the new data mart environments that are being created now, such as the HR Data Mart.

What is a data mart?

A data mart is a group of data from a given subject area--for example human resources--specifically structured for access and reporting. It is usually put together into structures called star schemas (or simply stars) which make accessing the data extremely easy and efficient. Each star holds data for a specific subset of the data mart. Some examples from the HR data mart include: Employee Actions, Employee Leave, and Payroll Charge.

A star is made up of facts--the numeric values that can be summed, like payroll amounts or hours of leave taken--and dimensions which are used to filter, group, and label the facts such as Employee, Position, Leave Type, Cost Center, etc.

You use a BI tool such as Cognos to access the data mart stars and write queries and reports.

Standard Reports

Reports that have been through the vetting and validation process and approved by the appropriate university department who "owns" the data used. Users of standard content can be assured that the information it provides is accurate.


Metadata for HR and FI data marts is currently contained within the data mart and is accessible via Cognos using the Metadata package. This will soon be transitioning to the Data Cookbook.

How do I work on my report and see metadata in Cognos at the same time?

To do this you need to open another browser session and log into Cognos a second time. In Internet Explorer, select 'New Session' from the File menu. (If you do not see the File Menu, press and release the Alt key to bring up the menu bar.) It may work to simply open another browser tab, but opening a new session is safer and will ensure Cognos does not get confused between your two windows.

What is a Departmental Folder and a Departmental Administrator?

The Boiler Insight section of Cognos contains a "Departmental Content" folder for departments to maintain and share content as they see fit. No one has direct access to this folder. However, your department can request a subfolder be created here for your area's use. Your department will control the access to this subfolder.

Before requesting a Departmental Content subfolder, your department needs to decide who in your area will be the "Departmental Administrator". This person will be the one that grants and revokes access to your departments' subfolder. There should be only one or two (as a backup) Departmental Administrators in an area. They will receive additional training.