Prompts & Input Controls

There are two ways to refine the data displayed in your dashboard: prompts and input controls

For prompts, we recommend reviewing our video walk-through: How to set (and reset) prompts (2m35s)

How to set prompts
Every time that you log in to the Research Leadership Data Dashboard, you will be asked to set prompts. The prompt window is the first window displayed, and your selections dictate how much data is brought into the dashboard. For more information, visit

There are three key things to remember about prompts:
Firstly, the only required prompt is the Submit Fiscal Year prompt. Choosing only fiscal years at this stage loads all data to which you have security access for the years selected.
Secondly, after you are in the dashboard, you can continue to filter and unfilter the data on-screen with a variety of “input controls”, including by department, funding source, and PI.
Thirdly, you can reset your prompts at any time after you are in the dashboard, so your selections are not final.

Now to set prompts:
Fiscal year is the only mandatory prompt - you must select at least one fiscal year.
Selecting four or five years will provide a good range for comparison. You can use the Shift button to multi-select a range. Note that you need to hold the shift button on your "start year" as well as your "end year".
Department, Funding Source, and PI are completely optional and are often left blank because you can manipulate these directly with input controls once you're in the dashboard.
If you would like to use any of these three categories to narrow the data brought into your dashboard, click the refresh arrow button at the top.
For Department Hierarchy and Funding Source Hierarchy, you can use the right-hand arrows to expand the category into more specific sub-levels.
If you don't check any boxes on these optional prompts, which is not unusual, then all data available per your security profile will be loaded in your dashboard.

After you have made your selections, click Run and you will be taken into the dashboard.

If you want to reset your selections after you are in the dashboard, click the circular "refresh" arrow button in the top toolbar under "Query" and you will be returned to the prompt window. Here you can click "Reset All" and make new selections.

If you find yourself setting a few different combinations of prompt parameters often, consider saving a custom prompt using the “prompt save button” in the upper left corner. Name it something descriptive and click Save.

When you want to retrieve a custom prompt, click the down arrow next to the Prompts title and select the option you want – it will automatically fill and you can click "Run".

For more information, visit our website:

How to reset (clear) prompts and input controls

Reset prompts

Click the Refresh arrow button in the menu bar under Query.

Research Dashboard upper tool bars with the Query button circled, and a tool tip displaying that reads, "Refresh all refreshable data providers."

Reset input controls

Click the Reset button at the far-left of the filter bar.

View of RLDD's top right toolbar area with the far-left Reset button circled and the tool tip displayed: "Reset all input controls to their default value"

How to use prompts and input controls

Prompt screen open on the Submit Fiscal Year section, which displays checkboxes for FY13-FY23.

About Prompts

  • Set before opening the dashboard
    • Required: Fiscal Year
    • Optional: Department Hierarchy, Funding Source Hierarchy, PI
  • Can be used to improve load times by restricting the amount of data brought into the dashboard
  • Can save your "favorite" custom prompts that you frequently use
image of top left part of dashboard with the filter button under "Analyze" circled and a tool tip called out "Show/Hide filter bar". The filter bar below the file menu bar is also circled with a tool tip "filter bar"

About Input Controls

  • Available while you are in the dashboard in the filter bar at the top of the page
    • You may need to click the funnel button under "Analyze" to display the filter bar the first time you log into RLDD
  • Used to adjust the scope of data used for the visuals and table
  • Use the arrows on the left/right of the filter bar to show more input controls

Custom RLDD terms used in prompts and input controls


Custom prompt variants allow you to save frequently-viewed parameters to expedite loading the dashboard (for example, FY20-FY23 for ENG Computer Science 521300X and ENG Electrical Engineering 521400X). You can save as many views as you need.

1. Set your desired Prompt parameters for Fiscal Year and Department Hierarchy. Do not click Run.

2. Click the Save icon in the upper-left corner to save your custom prompt.

Click the desk-shaped Save icon in the upper-left corner to save your custom prompt. If you mouse-over the icon,  you will see "Save current variant or create a new one."

3. Name your prompt variant with a descriptive title. Once you have named your view, click Save

4. To use your prompt variant, click the drop-down arrow next to the Prompts title at the top of the window; click on the prompt variant you want, and click Run.

To find your prompt variant, click the drop-down arrow next to the Prompts title at the top of the window to see the available variants you have created.

No. At this time, the term "PI" only refers to the investigator named as a Principal Investigator or 'Contact PI' on a proposal or award. Scope-I data will be included in a future phase of development.

To add back a sub-filter on the Department Tree or Funding Source Hierarchy:

1. Click the drop-down arrow located at the right of the list of hierarchy options to display Available controls.

Department Tree expanded to show all sub-filters with the arrow at the far-right circled and expanded to show the available controls to be added.

2. The drop-down list under Available Controls will show the missing sub-filter (in this case, School). Click the + sign next to the missing sub-filters you would like to add back.

3. The sub-filter will be added to the end of your hierarchy list. It will still function even if mis-ordered, but it won't display the filtered values for other sub-filters.

4. To fix the entire hierarchy, remove the sub-filters that need to be re-ordered by clicking the X next to them (in this case, Division and Unit).

Department Tree sub-filters have an X to the right of each term, allowing you to remove mis-ordered terms (so you can add them back in the correct order)

5. Add the sub-filters that you just removed in the appropriate order by clicking the + sign again (in this case, adding Division, then Unit).

Add back the sub-filters that you just removed in the appropriate order by clicking the + sign again (in this case, adding Unit).

Yes. You can do this most easily if you have the PIs' UNIs listed in a table in a Excel/CSV document.

1. Navigate to the initial Prompts window (you can do this by clicking the Query button in the top toolbar).

2. Select the PI category.

Prompts window with PI category selected from left-hand menu

3. Copy the cells with the PIs' UNIs from the Excel/CSV document.

Three cells of an Excel document with green "copy" highlighting around them

4. Paste the cells into the text field on the right side of the Prompts window (note it automatically adds the semicolons).

Right-side of Prompts screen with PIs' UNIs pasted into text box with semicolons separating them (no spaces)

5. Do not press enter! Instead, click the + button next to the search field.

6. Be sure to select Fiscal Years since it's a mandatory category.

7. Click Run.

This is a result of proposal data and how it is recorded early in a grant's lifecycle. When a proposal is submitted, your department may choose the submitting department at a broad level (e.g. Level 6 Department rather than Level 8 Unit). At this point, the reporting from the grants management system automatically populates all of the more detailed department tree fields (i.e. Level 7, Level 8) with this Level 6 Department number because it is the most specific information available and the department tree fields cannot have blank values.

If a proposal is still pending, or was not funded, the RLDD continues to reflect the data from the time the proposal was submitted. It is recommended that you include the higher level departments when you filter at more detailed levels since, at Columbia, the ARC Level 8 Department is required for Awards. Excluding these higher levels would skew your reports toward awarded proposals only.