Banner ODS and COGNOS



What is the Banner ODS?

At its basic level, the Banner Operational Data Store (ODS) is an oracle database that is optimized for reporting.

Many of the Banner transactional tables are sent to the ODS using an Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) process which organizes the Banner data in easy-to-read, “English Version” reporting views and fields. For example, a data element called SFRSTCR_GRDE_CODE_MID from the INB student form SFAREGS may be extracted from the Banner transactional database, transformed (cleansed/renamed) and loaded into a reporting view in the ODS called STUDENT_COURSE, where it has the name MID_TERM_GRADE. This data element is organized in one or more reporting views with similar or related data elements, which can be accessed through a reporting tool, such as COGNOS.

*NOTE: the ETL process that loads Banner data to the ODS occurs once every 24 hours (at 11:00 p.m.), so data in the ODS is not live.

What is COGNOS?

Northwest Florida State College uses the IBM reporting and analytics tool, COGNOS, to view data that is stored in the ODS. COGNOS uses predefined packages to link various reporting views and data elements together to make it easier to report on Banner data.

*NOTE: keep in mind that the data you view using COGNOS comes from the ODS, which is only refreshed once every 24 hours.


How do I get access to COGNOS?

You must request access to COGNOS through your supervisor using the <NWF Security Access Form>. Basic COGNOS access (the ability to access existing COGNOS reports) is easily granted. Advanced access to COGNOS (the ability to create, run, and publish your own reports) is only granted after you’ve attended at least 1 COGNOS Report Studio training session.

Once you’ve been granted access to COGNOS, you can use your NWFSC network ID and password to log in to the TEST and PROD versions of COGNOS below.



What are the ODS Meta Data Reports?

The ODS Meta Data links below contain information about the Banner source tables and columns that feed the ODS reporting views.

When building or using a report using Cognos, it is very important to:

  1. Check the source information in the Meta Data Reports for the data that you’re reporting on. A data element in the ODS might look and sound like the information you’re looking for, but it may, in fact, come from a different Banner source field than you think; or, it could be a calculated field that doesn’t do exactly what you expect.
  2. After you’ve created and run your Cognos report, VERIFY THE DATA with what exists in Banner. DO NOT ASSUME that what you see is what you’re looking for. Please contact an IT programmer or Database Administrator to help verify data in your reports if you are unsure.

Use the links below to view the ODS Meta Data.

*NOTE: Please do not assume that data elements in TEST are the same as in PROD.

ODS Meta Data (TEST)
ODS Meta Data (PROD)


Some Helpful Links

ODS Handbook
Report Studio User’s Guide