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About the U-M Data Warehouse and Data Dictionaries

The U-M Data Warehouse is a collection of data that supports reporting activity for University business. The data is organized in data sets based on subject areas (e.g., Payroll, Student Records, Financials).

To run reports in the Data Warehouse data sets, you need access to:

sample data from the academic program table

the academic program table in BusinessObjects

How Data is Stored in the Data Warehouse

Tables in the Data Warehouse

The Data Warehouse data sets are stored in tables in relational databases. The tables consist of columns (data elements) and rows. In the example to the right, the first column contains a list of EmplIDs. Each row contains data items for each program for a particular student. One student can have multiple rows if he or she has multiple programs.

Each table has one or more key fields, such as EmplID (Employee ID number), that uniquely identify each row in the data base. Tables are linked to each other by joins between fields.

Folders in BusinessObjects

In BusinessObjects, the Acad Prog table displays as a folder. Each data element (column) displays beneath the folder—in most cases, as a blue rectangle.

Note: Count of Emplid and Count of Unique Emplid are measure objects (orange ruler icon)—dynamic calculations that exist only within BusinessObjects.

Using Data Dictionaries

With BusinessObjects WebI, you can access data in the Data Warehouse, create your own reports, and modify existing ones.

However, if you don't understand how the data is structured, the links between tables, and which BusinessObjects folders to use, your report results may be incorrect. This is where the data dictionaries come in handy.

For each data set, the data dictionaries provide:

  • Table diagrams which show how the tables are connected and the primary keys on which table joins are based
    student records table diagram in the data dictionary

  • A list of tables with their names and descriptions
    student records table diagram in data dictionary

  • A data element dictionary that provides a description, data type (character, number, date), table location, and examples of valid values for each data element.
    student records data element in dictionary

  • All U-M institutional data is classified into one of four classifications or sensitivity levels, with Restricted as the most prescriptive, requiring the most security controls, and Low as the least prescriptive. See About Sensitive Data Classification.

This information is useful when you want to add new information to your report but don’t know where to find it.

Learn More about Data Dictionaries

For an introduction to using the data dictionaries with BusinessObjects, see BITV024: Introduction to the Data Dictionaries (30-minute recording of a live webinar).