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Using Pre-Defined Queries (or 'corporate reports')

Once your initial business question has been reviewed and probably enhanced, you should check to see if there is a 'corporate report' already in the repository or BEN Reports that you have access to and could use.

Canned queries, sometimes known as corporate reports or documents, are predefined queries. In most instances, canned queries contain prompts that allow you to customize the query for your specific needs. For example, a prompt may ask you for a School, department, term, or section ID. In this instance you would enter the name of the School, department or term, and the query will retrieve the specified data from the Warehouse.

The main reason for using a canned query or report rather than creating your own is that your chances of misinterpreting data or getting the wrong answer are reduced. Someone who is knowledgeable about University data has correctly identified the conditions(query filters) and criteria needed to execute a successful query. You are assured of getting the right data and the right answer.

Whenever possible, canned queries and reports are provided to give you standardized perspectives on Warehouse data. These types of queries vary with the query tool and the data collection. Thus, before creating your own query, check to see if a canned query or report already exists for the information you want.

There are various options for finding out if you can use any of the existing corporate reports.

  • Talk with your peers and ask what they might have been using.
  • Check the specific data collection to see if there is a listing of the most commonly used corporate reports along with their descriptions. (For example, see the corporate reports from General Ledger.)
  • Check and see if there is a report in BEN Reports that satisfys your needs. (See also the Guide to BEN Reports and the training materials.)
  • Ask the the listserv of the collection that you have access to. (You are automatically signed up when you get access to the data collection.)
  • Search from within BusinessObjects (InfoView & Webi).
    1. Point your browser to InfoView login page (
    2. Enter your BusinessObjects User Name and Password. (You can make sure your Data Warehouse and BusinessObjects account passwords are synchronized by using the password change application).
    3. Once you've successfully logged in to InfoView, navigate to the 'Document List'. You can choose to browse documents by viewing them by Folder or Category. The Folder view appears by default - all the shared documents are available under 'Public Folders'. Although you'll see all the categories available, you'll only see documents whose data you're authorized to refresh. You can also use the search option to search for a report by name.
    4. Click on a category or folder name to view the documents available to you. The list of documents appears in the right-hand pane of the InfoView window, and displays the documents by name, with description (if available).
      • Simply double-clicking clicking the document name will open it.
      • Keep in mind that documents in the repository are saved without any data, so that you can click the Refresh Data link at the upper right corner of the screen to refresh the report according to your security and any parameters.
      • If the report includes prompts, you will be presented with a screen asking you to fill in those prompts, and then click the Run Query button to execute the report.
    5. Search in the appropriate folder using the InfoView search feature highlighted below.
    • NOTE: Make sure that you scroll through the multiple pages of reports when necessary. You will have set up your preference for number of reports visible on a page when you set your initial Preferences.
    • NOTE: If you do a search and then search again, remember to click back on the original folder. Otherwise you will be performing a ‘search within your search results.’ You can search by title, keywords, all fields, etc.

Some formatting and filtering changes can be made while viewing your chosen corporate report in InfoView. (See the PDF - How to Take Advantage of InfoView Interactive Report Viewing.) However, for other changes to the report, and all changes to the query, you will need to use Webi. And, you can only edit queries/reports that are in your own 'My Favorites' folder. See the PDF - How to Copy a Repository/Corporate Report to your 'My Favorites' folder.


Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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Penn Computing University of Pennsylvania
Information Systems and Computing, University of Pennsylvania