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Retrieving Data

The complexity and frequency of your data needs will dictate which of the available methods for data retrieval should be used:

  • Indirect Access – infrequent and recurring routine needs can be requested from the OIT Helpdesk at and/or authorized access to existing reports on IHS’s National Data Warehouse (NDW) Reporting Web Site can be requested from your Area Statistical Officer.
  • Direct Access – more frequent, highly variable needs would best be handled by either getting access to the General Data Mart (GDM) or by establishing your own data mart. Requests for direct access can be addressed through the NPIRS Investment Manager.

Before any request can be filled however, NPIRS will require that the appropriate permission has been granted.

The Director of IHS’s Office of Public Health Support (NPIRS Investment Owner) sets access policy and is the only person who can authorize direct access to the NDW.  He has delegated responsibility to review and approve requests for indirect access to the Principle Statistician, Division of Program Statistics (DPS) and to the Director, Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention. DPS has further delegated responsibility to the Area Statistical Officers in certain cases.

Indirect access requests should be routed through one of the following three offices for approval:

  • Area Statistical Officer – Area Statistical Officers can grant permission for NPIRS to release data from their specific Area.
  • Principle Statistician, Division of Program Statistics (DPS) – DPS can grant permission for NPIRS to release data from multiple Areas.
  • Director, Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention (EPI) – EPI can grant permission for data  to be provided to  any IHS employee for use by the HQ EPI program.

If none of the above data descriptions apply to your specific data needs, please contact the OIT Helpdesk at for further guidance.

Data Restriction

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) data is restricted and special care is taken to prevent its unauthorized disclosure.

Direct Access

General Data Mart

The General Data Mart contains current registration, encounter, user population, look-up tables and basic metadata from the NDW, including information about the export files. A snapshot of the Legacy system registration and encounter tables is also available. Access is restricted to authorized users. Authorized users are restricted to Federal employees or National level contractors of IHS who have Federal employee Project Officers. Refer to the NDW General Data Mart documents in the "Documentation Library" section for complete information related to content and access. For direct access to the General Data Mart, refer to the General Data Mart Getting Started Guide at the following link:

There is a General Data Mart intranet site available to currently authorized users.

Establishing a Data Mart

A data mart is a collection of data tailored to the processing and informational needs of an individual department or program. It can often be shared by multiple groups or organizations. In short, data marts turn a multitude of raw data into meaningful information for specific disciplines, programs and organizational units.

NPIRS maintains a General Data Mart (GDM), which is a snapshot of current data stored in the NDW, updated on a weekly basis.

The organization of the data in the GDM is located here:

Some frequently asked questions concerning direct access to NDW data appear below:

Any specialized data mart takes the raw data and turns it into usable information for ease of reporting. Your specialized data mart will require a modification or subset of GDM data.

You must specifically request that a data mart be established. For information on setting up a data mart, please see:

A: You will need connection software or similar capability such as ODBC to connect to a DB2 database. You will probably need some type of data access software to develop queries and/or data pulls.

A: You will need intermediate skills in SQL programming to retrieve data from a relational database.

A: The NDW General Data Mart exists on a server physically located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you have a specialized mart, it may reside in a different location.

A: There is a General Data Mart user’s group that meets monthly to share concepts, issues, and methodologies. Once you have been granted access to the data, you may actively participate in the user’s group. For more information, such as meeting dates and times, contact the OIT Helpdesk at

A: If you are accessing a data mart, the software you choose may or may not have the ability to schedule reports.

Indirect Access

You or the approving authority defined above, should submit your request to In some cases, NPIRS may ask that a detailed document which describes the desired information be included with the request.

A: To see a report or data online, you must have access to the IHS intranet and the permission of your Area Statistical Officer.  Refer to the NDW Reporting Web Site User Guide [PDF - 304 KB].    To get a hard/electronic copy of a report without on-line access, make a request to your Area Statistical Officer.