Navigating the Data Cookbook

Last modified 5/10/2024

Illinois State University uses the web-based application, Data Cookbook, to manage descriptions and definitions for all data items and reports that exist in Cognos. Users must request and be awarded access in order to view the information. If you do not have access and wish to, contact the EDA team at

To navigate to the Data Cookbook, go to Log in with your ULID and password. You will then land on the Home page. Below is a description of the pages you will view while interacting within the data cookbook.

Use the Home page to search for either Data items or Report names. When you enter a search term in the Search Box, data items that are a match will appear on the left, and reports that match will appear on the right. Click on the data item or report title to see more details.

Once a data item has been clicked, the Definitions page will open. Under Functional Definition, the data items definition can be found. Under Cognos Package Paths, all packages in which the data item appears are displayed.

On the right pane, under Related Specifications, all the reports in which the data item can be found are displayed. Click these reports to see all details about that report.

Once a 
Report Title has been clicked, the Specifications page will open.

Overview – Description of the report, folder path to find the report, some prompts, and the Campus Steward that owns the report.

Definitions – All data items and their descriptions found in the report. Users can click on the data items to be taken to the Definitions page.

Selections – Descriptions of the prompts and filter queries that have been applied to the report.

Sort Criteria – Detailed information on how the report is being both grouped and sorted.

Technical – Technical definitions used by report developers.

Technical assistance is available through the Illinois State University Technology Support Center at: