Note: The Cognos reports and workloads are being migrated to Tableau. Information below is provided to help support existing users as they transition to Tableau. Contact the Pitt IT Helpdesk if you'd like to schedule a consultation on your adoption of Tableau.

Cognos Analytics is a tool for enterprise reporting, ad hoc data reporting and self-service analytics. Using Cognos Analytics, authorized staff can view standard University financial and student reports. Data and administrative professionals can use Cognos Reports to create or run existing reports.

Data from the University data marts are organized into packages within Cognos. These packages provide data for pre-built reports, as well as providing data sources for ad hoc reporting via the Cognos Report tool for student, employee, and financial data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Viewing and Running General Ledger Level Reports (Training Guide)

Below are a few things for you to try if you have access to Cognos but are getting an error when logging in.

  1. Make sure you are VPN'd in (Global Protect or Pulse). 

  2. Make sure you are not using Edge or Internet Explorer.  Cognos doesn't work with either of those.

  3. Try a different browser (Chrome or Firefox) and see if that works.

  4. Clear your web browser cache (How to clear Chrome cache - ).

    1. In Chrome:

      1. On your computer, open Chrome.

      2.  At the top right, click three vertical dots to access the "Customize and control Google Chrome" menu.

      3.  Click More tools and then Clear browsing data.

      4.  At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.

      5.  Next to "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files," check the boxes.

      6.  Click Clear data.

      In Firefox:

      1. At the top right, click the three horizontal bars menu and choose Options.

      2. Select the Privacy & Security panel.

      3. In the Cookies and Site Data section, click Clear Data….

      4. Remove the check mark in front of Cookies and Site Data.

      5. With Cached Web Content check marked, click the Clear button.

      6. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

  5. Use the “incognito” Chrome option.   To use the incognito option, right click on the Chrome launch icon and select “New Incognito Window”.

  6. Reboot your machine.  Sometimes a login file becomes corrupt when Cognos is left open and not logged out.  Rebooting fixes the corrupt login file. 


Cognos Query packages (Reference Sheet)

Creating and Running Jobs (Training Guide)

Data in the University Data Warehouse are stored in three marts: financial, student, and employee. Within a mart, subject area data are grouped in different ways (packages) to allow users to perform analyses.

A number of reports are available to users based on the individual user's level of access and role at the University.

Financial Mart

Data Source: PRISM, the University's financial information system

Data Range: 1995 (fiscal year) through today

Refresh Schedule: Refreshed each month following month-end closing

Subject Area


Examples of Available Reports

The General Ledger (GL) Aggregate query package contains general ledger information aggregated by fiscal month and account string. It is used by people who manage responsibility center, departmental, or project income, expenses, and balances. Both actual and budget amounts are included for the month, fiscal year to date, project to date, and prior fiscal year.


The GL Transaction query package contains detailed general ledger information for each transaction. It is used by people who manage responsibility center, departmental, or project income, expenses, and balances. Actual and budget debit, credit, and net amounts are included for the transactions. Various revenue and expense calculations are included in the package. Various organizational hierarchies can be used to group the transactions.

Level II Balance Sheet
Level II Balance Sheet Department Summary
Level II Financial Report Area Summary
Level I Balance Sheet
Level I Financial Report
Level I Financial Report - Masters/Subs

The Payroll Transaction query package contains detailed labor distribution transaction information by fiscal month. It could be used by people who manage responsibility center, departmental, or payroll expenses. Adjustment and regular pay amounts are included for each month, along with a fiscal year to date and project to date amount.

Labor Distribution by Account
Labor Distribution by Account (unformatted)
Labor Distribution by Account - Masters/Subs

Student Mart

Data Source: PeopleSoft, the University's student information system

Data Range: 1990 (fall term) through today

Refresh Schedule: Refreshed daily, Monday through Saturday

Subject Area


Examples of Available Reports

The Active Student package contains personal and academic data for any student who is enrolled or eligible to enroll as of today's date.

The Active Student package is a query-only area

The Admissions package contains personal, academic, and application information for each student application to the University. It also contains high school and test score (e.g., SAT and ACT) information. The package could be used to identify all students that have applied to a particular school with a math SAT test score of > 500, for instance.


The Class Enrollment package contains students' personal and academic enrollment data as well as detailed class information.

Veteran Services Reports

Consumers Report by Fiscal Year

Producers Report by Fiscal Year

The Course Catalog package contains information about courses offered at the University of Pittsburgh. It is used to generate a list of active courses by campus or by school for an academic term; course enrollment requirements summary, etc.

The Class Schedule package contains data pertinent to the class, such as schedule, location, instructor, prerequisites, class credit, textbook, and fee information. In addition to generating a class schedule report, it can be used to produce online course listings, room usage reports, lists of classes for the school by instructor, etc.

Schools Offering Classes – Attribute/Attribute Value

Class Schedule All Columns Report

Class Section Update Report

GSPIA Reports > GSPIA Course Schedule by Instructor

The Enrollment & Tuition package contains personal, academic, and tuition data for any student enrolled for the specific term within a snapshot. It could be used to trend the in-state and out of state student enrollment and tuition dollars over the years, broken down by demographics and academic information.

Enrollment, Tuition, and Credits by Academic Plan Code

FTE Headcounts and Tuition

Grades for Repeated Classes

IMPACT Reports > PA degrees awarded by county

Pitt-Greensburg > GBG Education Minors

There are two Financial Aid packages: Financial Aid Award and Financial Aid Need. The award and need packages are separate since need amounts are by aid year and award amounts are by term. These packages contain personal, academic, and financial aid need and award data for enrolled students. The packages could be used to analyze scholarship retention statistics, for example.

Net Tuition Division Reports for Selected Campus and Academic Center

The Freshman Retention package contains personal, academic, and class enrollment data for each first-time student for each term of the student’s first year plus fall term of their second year in college. Financial aid need information is also available.

Fall Freshman Retention Action Report

Fall Freshman Retention Action Report by Campus

The Graduation package contains students' first graduation and degree information, as well as demographic and graduation GPA data. The most recent data for degrees is in this package. It can be used to calculate graduation rates, average time to graduate, etc.

The Graduation Census Query contains a snapshot of the same data as of the degree census date for each year.

Graduation and Retention Reports Containing Counts and Rates > Graduation Counts and Rates Report by Term and Grouping – Regional Campuses Graduation and Retention Reports > Number of Freshmen in Cohort by Demographic Grouping – Pittsburgh Campus

First Enrollment and Graduation of Online Students

Degree Reports > Certification and Degree Awarded by Academic Year and CIP

There are six packages of Student Financial data divided into two separate sets.

One set is for student billing information; the second set pertains to third party billing information. The three packages in each set are Accounting Line, Item Line, and Item.

The Accounting Line package can be used to query debits and credits posted to PRISM. The Item Line package can be used to query the details of each transaction, such as the date it occurred and the item type of the transaction. The item package can be used to query the account information at a higher (less detailed) level of the account, such as the account term or the item term amounts.

Aging report – By Student

Aging report – By third Party

Employee Mart

Data Source: PittWorx, the University's employee information system

Data Range: 1972 through today

Refresh Schedule: Refreshed daily, Monday through Saturday

Subject Area


Examples of Available Reports

The Employee Pkg package contains personnel data for all employees.

What employees are in a particular RC

What is the current demographic makeup of all staff members of University

What is the historical turnover rate for the past 5 years for all full-time faculty members.

Data Dictionary (organized by Cognos packages) is available.

To see what data is available in the most commonly used packages see
ST Mart Fields and Screen Tips by Pkg (Excel download)

GL Mart Fields and Screen Tips by Pkg (Excel download)

Cognos User Group Archives

The Cognos User Group no longer meets but you can view prior meeting recordings below.  Please note all Cognos User Group meetings were from version 11.0.12.  

  • April 24, 2020 -Recorded webinar on the following (video)

    • Cognos maintenance - deleting unused reports, schedules, and jobs

    • Creating prompts and prompt pages (including cascading prompts)

    • Inserting SQL code into a report

  • March 27, 2020 - Recorded webinar on the following (video)

    • Uploading an Excel spreadsheet for use in reports

    • Creating a data module from an uploaded spreadsheet

    • Scheduling reports and creating jobs (video)

  • February 28, 2020

  • December 13, 2019

    • ST Enrollment and Tuition Query Pkg (Notes on using this pkg)   

    • GL Transaction Query Pkg (Notes on using this pkg)

  • November 15, 2019

    • ST Mart - The Course Repeat Form is now available.  It can be run by EMPLID, Plan or Standing.  Reports are in folder:  Team Content > Cognos Reports > ST Class Enrollment Reports   

    • GL Mart - The new Variance report is available in folder:  Team Content > Cognos Reports > General Ledger Reports.  And is named:  Monthly Variance Report

    • ST Mart - How to create a report with two queries joined (applications that were WAPP yesterday but not today) (Video)

    • GL Mart - How to create a report with two queries joined (accounts with no budget this year) (PDF

    • Date Filter Examples (PDF)

  • October 18, 2019

  • September 20, 2019

  • August 8, 2019

  • July 11, 2019

    • Common ST Mart Cognos packages, purpose and tips for each (PowerPoint)

    • How to convert a Query to a Report (Step by step

    • How to conditionally format fields for different styles (Step by step

    • How to format Data Types (numbers, dates & percentages) (Step by step) 

    • How to change the numbers of rows shown in report output (Step by step)

    • How to write a report to identify Active Students not yet enrolled (Step by step)

    • How to write a report to list all Acad Program codes in which students are enrolled (Step by step)

  • June 11, 2019

Need help? Contact the Pitt IT Helpdesk