Princeton's Analytic, Visualization & Reporting Tools

Princeton currently supports both the IBM/COGNOS suite of BI (Business Intelligence) tools and Tableau.

Here is a summary of how each is utilized at the University.



IBM/COGNOS has been, and will continue to be, the main reporting tool for the University. Princeton has used COGNOS since 2004 and is currently running version 11.2 of the software. There are currently more than 160 campus users who either create queries or reports and approximately 3500 users who view reports. Data in the Warehouse is accessed through the COGNOS tools, with each data collection (package) managed by a Data Custodian (see "Access and Use Data"). Decisions concerning access, security, and report creation and distribution are made by the appropriate Package Custodian.  

  • Represents the primary “front door” to the Information Warehouse
  • Will continue to focus on operational reporting
  • Capable of supporting analytics and visualization
  • Scaled to support the entire University and Princeton-specific security issues
  • Provides a supportable platform for scheduled and ad hoc report distribution
  • Totally browser based with unlimited client usage
  • Centrally managed, highly structured

To find out more about data in the Warehouse and the COGNOS tools, please send an email to [email protected].


Tableau is an application that enables fast, visual exploration of your data and allows you to easily create interactive visualizations and dashboards that can be shared with others.

  • Has the capability to easily integrate local sources of data (e.g., Excel spreadsheets) with data from the Information Warehouse
  • Will not replace IBM/COGNOS as the enterprise reporting tool
  • Lacks some enterprise-wide reporting capabilities, such as “bursting"

To find out more about Tableau and how to obtain a license, please see this KB article.

The University supports the use of Tableau Desktop for the purpose of creating and publishing worksheets, dashboards, and stories to a Princeton Tableau Server. Licenses are provided, at no cost, to designated populations within the Princeton community.  Click here to review the terms and conditions for obtaining a desktop license

The University supports the use of Tableau servers, for the purpose of hosting sites which contain content published by approved Tableau licensed users.  Click here to review guidelines and processes regarding the management of CeDAR supported Tableau servers