Helpful Hints and User Guides

Helpful Hints

You can begin using Cognos by following some simple hints:

  • Get your browser ready - Before you begin, you'll need to get your internet browser ready for interactive reporting. You can do so by enabling your browser to trust the CDW site.
  • Familiarize yourself with Query Studio - Complete with screenshots and step-by-step instructions, our Helpful Hints for Cognos Query Studio outline basic techniques for creating your own ad-hoc reports.
  • Try it yourself - Follow a few basic tips to create a sample finance query and see how easy it is to select items for your report, add filters to narrow down what you are looking for, and run.
  • What about the data? - You will find specific documentation pertaining to individual data areas in the Campus Data Warehouse portal. When you log into https://cdw.qdb.ucla.edu, you may notice tabs at the top of your profile with the names of different data areas (e.g. Personnel and Payroll, Budget or Finance). Click on each tab to view the pre-authored reports available for you to run and additional documentation on how to use that data. You will only see tabs for data areas that you are authorized to view.
  • Fiscal year end processing - Learn more about the FYE processing phases.

Connecting to QDB Database

Step One - Configure the SQL Server Driver

You will first need to make a one-time change to your workstation. This change will add the QDB Production SQL Server as a System Data Source in your Control Panel and will configure the SQL Server Driver.  This only needs to be done the first time you connect to QDB; if you have already done this step, skip ahead to Step Two.

Step Two - Using Excel to Get Data

Instruction for Using Hummingbird BI/Query to Get QDB Data

Step One - Configure the SQL Server Driver

You will first need to make a one-time change to your workstation.  This change will add the QDB Production SQL Server as a System Data Source in your Control Panel and will configure the SQL Server Driver.  This only needs to be done the first time you connect to QDB; if you have already done this step, skip ahead to Step Two.

Step Two - Download the Hummingbird BI/Query Admin Data Models for SQL Server

You need to download the Hummingbird BI/Query Admin Data Models if:

  • You have just followed Step One (above) and this is the first time you've connected to the new QDB SQL Server, or
  • You have recently installed Hummingbird BI/Query User and need to get the Admin data models, or
  • A change has been announced to one of the data models, and you need to get the updated model.

Step Three - Using BI/Query to Get Data

How Hummingbird BI/Query Works

Hummingbird BI/Query is one of the many tools capable of accessing the QDB data store.  BI/Query is unique in that it uses what is called a 'split data mode' to access data in a database. One half of this 'split' is the User layer, and the other half is the Administrator layer.  The administrator provides database models for use with the User layer.

Because of the high cost and complexity of creating and maintaining the Administrator layer and models, IT Services provides the Administrator models for UCLA campus.  Users need only purchase the User version of BI/Query ("BI/Query User"), configure their drivers to connect to QDB, and download the Administrator models from this website.

Tips and Hints

The following documents are in .PDF format for you to view and/or print