Simplify Upgrades and Maintenance of Cognos Analytics BI – Motio Event

Simplify Upgrade
Simplify Upgrade
June 11th, 2020 ​

Are you ready to simplify the maintenance of your Cognos BI environment?

Regardless of whether you have upgraded to the latest version of Cognos Analytics, or are just thinking about it, you probably have a lot of untidy areas in Cognos.  Maybe you have reports without an owner because someone left.  Perhaps you have half built reports that have been abandoned. Have you had reports that steal all the resources and run for a long time?  As a busy BI professional, you know that maintaining all this is can be daunting!  So many reports and so little time.

The fact is Cognos Analytics is a lot like your garage. You keep thinking about organizing it but never quite find the time.  And, if you decided to move… Ugh.  Well, upgrading your Cognos Analytics is a little like moving because you want your new environment to be uncluttered and efficient as fast as possible.

Better Visibility to Cognos

Imagine if you had the capability to better understand what is really in your content store and when you upgrade, you moved only the good stuff.   What if when you upgrade your reports you could easily migrate important reports that you accidentally left behind?  What would your life be like if updating your Cognos Analytics environment with the new functionality was an opportunity for you to further advance analytics in your organization and end users respected you for empowering them with analytics?

Cognos Administrator Tools Not Enough

The good news is this can be your reality! For many of you, you have experienced that the tools included in IBM Cognos Analytics do not help you as much as you need.  The Lifecycle manager and other components in IBM Cognos Analytics are like using a weed whacker to mow your lawn.  You could do it, but it sucks up your time and could take your forever. 

Thrive with Cognos Analytics

But not to worry, there is a better way!  It is time to get the right tools in place to help you not just survive all the changes and upgrades but THRIVE and become known as the BI Rockstar that you know you are! 

On June 23rd, Lodestar is excited to be presenting a complimentary one- day hands on virtual workshop with Motio for all Cognos BI power users.

IBM Cognos Analytics Migration Virtual Classroom
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

VIRTUAL
9:30-4:30 Eastern
Registration Required – Seating Limited.

Register HERE!

In this amazing event you will learn:
  • Newest features in Cognos Analytics in action - understand how to leverage the new features to achieve your business goals. (For information check out our blog What’s New in Cognos Analytics 11.1.6) 

  • Inventory your Cognos implementation- grasp the scope of what you have in Cognos...learn how easy it is to identify the analytic gems from the junk (report complexity, duplicate reports, reports not being used, poorly designed content, etc.). Prioritize what to modernize after your upgrade.

  • Reducing the size of your Cognos migration (upgrades, CQM to DQM or Cloud)- a straightforward approach that speeds up your migration by simply removing the junk your organization does not use/need.

  • Repeatable testing reduces upgrade costs - experience the methodology and automated testing techniques that reduce the time/effort of your upgrades and ensure data accuracy/reliability in your upgraded environment.

This is an event you do not want to miss!  The last event filled up quickly so register to reserve your seat today.

Register HERE!

To learn more about upgrading Cognos Analytics with Motio check out our blog, Don’t Upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

If you have questions about Cognos Analytics, licensing or even your renewal, contact us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.

What’s New in Cognos Analytics 11.1.6

May 14th, 2020

IBM has done it again!  Recently they released Cognos Analytics 11.1.6 and with this update comes some great additions and enhancements.  It is great that IBM continues to release updates about every 3 months to continue making Cognos Analytics even better!  Read below for the updates in this release.

Welcome Page and User Experience

Cognitive Learning Pane – Simply click the question mark at the top right of the welcome page and ask a question.  This connects you to the knowledge center and delivers answers to your questions.  Check out this IBM link for great info on this area.  

New Carbon Design Icons – bringing a modern minimalist feel to the welcome page.     

Dashboards & Stories

Dashboards and Stories received a number of new features in Cognos Analytics 11.1.6.

Fields Pane – Located on the toolbar, open the Fields pane to add columns and to build and modify visualizations.

Fields Pane

Expand hierarchies in cross tabs – Added feature to expand hierarchies in cross tabs.

Visualization toolbar locked at top of dashboard – Instead of clicking the visualization to get a pop up tool bar it is now locked at the top of the page.

Customize unit labels – you can now define custom labels on units in dashboards.

Guided dashboard creation - you can now generate a dashboard based on specified fields of interest.  For example, “generate dashboard for top 10 products by profit.”

Use stand-alone (global) calculations – As you can create these in framework manager or data modules, you can now create directly in dashboards.

Category coloring on maps – drag category information to color field in map.

Category Coloring on Maps

Explorations

In addition to the above enhancements, explorations also received this additional enhancement in Cognos Analytics 11.1.6

Natural language details for time series - Natural language details for time series in IBM Cognos Analytics provides insights for time series data that is displayed in all applicable exploration visualizations. When time fields and a measure field are specified in the visualization and a forecasting model is computed, detected time series insights become available under the Details tab.  Cognos Analytics supports three types of insights for time series data: unusual values, seasonal effects, and trend.

Reporting

Reporting added a couple of great features. In addition to adding support for category color for maps, reporting also added the following in Cognos Analytics 11.1.6

Data tables - Data table is a new type of data container in Cognos Analytics reports. Data tables are similar to lists because they also show data in rows and columns. However, unlike in lists, the data is rendered on the browser side and not on the Cognos Analytics server side. As a result, the data in data tables is displayed very quickly.  You can group and summarize data in data table columns, expand and collapse rows, apply filters to columns and add custom indicators instead of numbers in measure columns.

Data Tables

Drilling up and down in a visualization in report - If you use a dimensionally modeled data source, you can create a visualization and drill down to lower-level data or drill up to higher-level data.

Compare measure in a visualization - You can compare measures from the same category in a visualization by adding multiple measures on the Length slot. Note - only available in bar and column charts currently.

Compare Measure in Visualization

Data Modules

Use the data modeling component in Cognos Analytics to create a data module that can then be used in dashboards, stories, explorations, reports and other content. Data modules are containers that describe data and the rules for combining and shaping data to make it ready for analysis and visualization.  Below are the additions to data modules.

Add individual columns to a data module - After a table is updated in the source, you can update the table in the data module by adding or removing individual columns without updating the whole table.

Reload the schema meta data - Use the Reload metadata action on the source schema to identify potential discrepancies between the data in the source and the data module.

Samples

Cognos Analytics 11.1.6 adds many new industry specific samples so that you can easily apply to real world situations.

Details and links to each of these samples can be found here.

Administration

To see the complete list of administration updates including new supported drivers click here.

Summary

As you can see, IBM has indeed done it again.  A lot of excellent updates in Cognos Analytics 11.1.6.  If you want to discuss further or set up time to talk about upgrading please contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com

For the complete list of additions and changes from IBM, check out this link.

Cognos Analytics New Feature Online Training – Version 11.1 and Higher

You may be thinking…  “this is great, however I can’t keep up with all of these updates and I feel like I’m behind because I don’t have the time to learn everything new”. Lodestar is here to solve this issue.  We just released our brand new, Cognos Analytics Online Training for version 11.1 and higher! Check in out here

Cognos Analytics New Feature Online Training – Version 11.1 and Higher

Cognos Analytics Online Training
Cognos Analytics Online Training
April 27th, 2020

IBM Cognos has done an amazing job of enhancing and updating Cognos Analytics since inception.  Every few months IBM releases a new version and typically each of these versions contains new and exciting features. You may be thinking…  “this is great, however I can’t keep up and I feel like I’m behind because I don’t have the time to learn everything new”.  Lodestar is here to solve this issue.  We just released our brand new, Cognos Analytics Online Training for version 11.1 and higher!

How Does This Training Work?

We have partnered with Carol Olsen of Carol Olsen and Associates to create this training. Each chapter contains a video and all the materials you need to take the class. The process is very simple.  You can purchase from our secured site HERE and have instant access to all of the content and additional videos added throughout. You can then work through the exercises at your own speed, refer back to them when needed and learn all of the new features as they are released. 

The training is purchased on a per user basis.  If there are multiple people in your organization who would like the Cognos Analytics Online Training class, please email us services@lodestarsolutions.com for group pricing.

We also have a number of onsite training programs available that take this training and expand on it in a classroom setting. We can deep dive into reporting, dashboarding, data modeling or Framework manager and explorations.  To schedule a conversation on this type of training, please contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Why Should I Purchase?

The answer to this question is pretty simple.  Knowledge is power.  Become the expert in your organization on all new features in Cognos Analytics. Now is the time to level up your knowledge and become the asset your company cannot be without.

You will:

  • Reduce dependency on consultants and consulting fees
  • Increase executive satisfaction
  • Decrease time to deliver dashboards and reports to end users
  • Increase your ROI on your upgrade
  • Secure quicker end user adoption
  • Learn how to leverage the new AI functionality as well as data modules and dashboards

What Is Included?

The online training includes a hands-on video library, training pdf’s, instructions, excel files for uploading and updated videos for each new release from IBM Cognos Analytics. To be clear, this online class teaches all of the new interfaces and features in each version.  If you are looking for end to end training, please see the section below on "Full Feature Training."

  • Chapter 1 – Overview of all new user interface
  • Chapter 2 – What’s New in Reporting?
  • Chapter 3 – Dashboard New Features 
  • Chapter 4 – Creating Data Modules
  • Chapter 5 – What are Explorations?
  • Additional videos as IBM releases new content for Cognos Analytics.
  • 30 minute free Cognos Analytics Q/A session with certified consultant.
  • How Long Do I Have Access?

    You will have access for 2 years, which will provide approximately 8 new videos as IBM releases new versions.  After 2 years, you may renew your subscription for a nominal fee, to continue to receive the latest information and training.

    Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 and 11.1.5

    To learn about the latest enhancements in 11.1.4 and 11.1.5 please check out these blogs on all the new features.  IBM has added tons of new functionality.  What better way to get up to speed than purchasing this Cognos Analytics Online Training?

    Maybe you haven’t upgraded to version 11.1.x yet. Check out this blog from IBM on 11.1.x.

    Upgrading

    If you have not upgraded to the latest version yet, reach out to Lodestar for help.  Now is the time to move your analytics roadmap forward with the power of Cognos Analytics.  In most cases the upgrade is quick and inexpensive.  Out experts are here and ready to help!  Contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

    Act Now!

    We are excited to offer these training options and believe it will help take your Cognos Analytics initiatives to the next level. Start increasing your skill set, click here now to purchase the course.

    What’s New in Cognos Analytics 11.1.5

    January 23rd, 2020

    IBM continues to provide 4-5 new Cognos Analytics releases each year.  In December 2019, IBM released Cognos Analytics 11.1.5.  While not a major release, this release does provide a number of key enhancements and new features that you should take advantage of.  I do not have the space to cover every change or enhancement.  I will highlight what I believe to be the most valuable below. Thank you IBM for the continued enhancements to an already stellar product!

    Dashboards

    Let’s start with Dashboards in Cognos Analytics 11.1.5. 

    • Display Members in a Data Tree – expand hierarchies to show the children or members in each data tree.
    • Drill Through from Dashboard to Dashboard
    • Customize Tabs – can now move tabs around the dashboard and stylize each one.
    • Show or Hide Rows in a Crosstab Visualization
    • Enhancement to Forecasting – In short, the algorithms were improved, which results in a 20% accuracy improvement.  For more info on the forecasting enhancements click here
    • Search and Zooming in on Maps
    • Customize Missing Values
    Dashboards
    Dashboards2

    Explorations

    Now we will take a look at Explorations in Cognos Analytics 11.1.5

    • Enhancement to Forecasting – In short, the algorithms were improved, which results in a 20% accuracy improvement.  For more info on the forecasting enhancements click here.
    • Multiple Requests Concurently – Each request is not handled and cached seperatly.
    • Display Members in a Data Tree – expand hierarchies to show the children or members in each data tree.

    Reporting

    Cognos Analytics 11.1.5 added in a number of items to the reporting module.

    • Schematics – These are visualizations that can map data into a graphic representation.  For example; floor plans, seating charts, mechanical drawings, etc.  For more info on how to create and distribute schematics check out this link
    • Custom Visualizations Now Support Nested and Hierarchies
    • Search and Zooming in on Maps
    Maps

    Modeling

    Enhancements in Cognos Analytics 11.1.5 include:

    • Display Members in a Data Tree – expand hierarchies to show the children or members in each data tree.
    • Custom Tables – creates a new custom tabs area in the data module for central viewing of these items.
    • Redesigned User Experience for Intent Driven Modeling - When adding tables to a data module, you can engage the system to suggest the most appropriate tables for your module.

    For more information on Data Modules check out this link

    Samples

    The samples in Cognos Analytics 11.1.5 now include a number of new Jupyter Notebooks and are also organized into 3 categories now, see below.  I think this is a great move by IBM Cognos.  This change makes it much easier for the user to find the samples they need.  If you haven’t used the samples or you don’t have them loaded in your environment, reach out to us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com.  We can quickly show you how to load them in and you can be working with them in a matter of minutes.

     New Location for Cognos Analytics Base Samples

    Miscellaneous Items

    As I mentioned above, this is not a major release. However, Cognos Analytics 11.1.5 does provide a number of enhancements.  If you are on version 11.1.3 or earlier, I would highly suggest upgrading to 11.1.5 now.  With the major 11.1.4 release and what is included in 11.1.5, you are missing out if you are on an earlier version!  See what was new in 11.1.4 here

    We are here to help with your upgrade.  Contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com and we can discuss your current version, upgrading and work with you to get upgraded ASAP.  The process is not hard and as long as you are current on your support the software download is free.  Schedule a call with us today to map out your upgrade or to see a demo of everything new in Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 and 11.1.5.

    Is IBM Cognos BI 10.2 Supported?

    Software Lifecycle
    Software Lifecycle
    January 14th, 2020

    Are you one of the many clients that haven’t upgraded to Cognos Analytics version 11 yet?  As much as we encourage our clients to upgrade you are not alone.  Common questions Lodestar Solutions get’s asked by Cognos clients includes, “Is my Cognos BI 10.2 supported?” and “Am I wasting my money on IBM support if I am on an unsupported version of Cognos?”

    Is My Cognos BI 10.2 Supported?

    Technically Cognos BI 10.2 is no longer supported by IBM. Yes, almost 2 years ago Cognos Business Intelligence 10.2.x reached End of Support (April 30, 2018).  But wait, that’s the technical answer.  Due to the fact that many clients had not upgraded to Cognos Analytics by the May 1st, 2018 date, IBM modified the status a little.  They stated that clients that purchase annual Cognos Support from a business partner like Lodestar Solutions, or IBM, will receive “continuing support” beyond the published end of support date.Click here for more information. ​​​

    What is IBM Continued Support of Cognos BI 10.2?

    Cognos Continued Support for Cognos Business Intelligence 10.2.x. will provide you with continued access to the same IBM knowledgeable global support team you have worked with in the past but without the fixes, patches and code corrections available in a service extension. This may be a little confusing, but it’s really a fabulous thing for companies that haven’t upgraded. 

    Here’s the Skinny on IBM Cognos BI Continued Support for 10.2 (per IBM)

    Included in Continued Support for
    Cognos BI 10.2.x

    · 7 days, 24-hour support for mission critical emergencies (Severity 1)
    · Provided by voice in most countries.
    · Provided in English, with the local language accommodated when possible.
    · Remote problem analysis and assistance during normal country business hours in your time zone.
    · Support for routine, short duration installation and usage questions.
    · Response time objective of two hours during prime shift for voice and electronic problem submissions.
    · Response objective for critical/emergency problems during off-shift hours is two hours.
    · Unlimited number of technical support incidents.
    · Access to documentation, technotes and other online product material.
    · Access to existing available fixes created before the product's EOS date to correct known defects.

    Here’s what is NOT included in the Continuing Support Offering for Cognos BI 10.2

    · Voice and electronic access support for code-related problems.
    · Development analysis of new defects.
    · Development of or packaging fixes that are not already available.
    · Support for Supporting Programs and third party components.
    · Infrastructure that are not included in the software version’s Hardware and Software Requirement page.

    What’s My Risk If I Don’t Upgrade My Cognos BI 10.2 to Cognos Analytics v11?

    If you don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics you are missing out on powerful analytics capabilities that just aren’t in Cognos 10.  If you use competitive tools like Tableau or Power BI and wonder why Cognos doesn’t have the cool visualizations that they do, well it’s because you are comparing an out of date version of Cognos!  But the biggest risk I see is when a third-party software gets updated and breaks a connection to Cognos. I personally have experienced this when Microsoft sends an update.  For those of you that have moved to Microsoft 365 you know updates come regularly.  If you use the Cognos BI Integration with the Office Suite you could be at risk.  Under IBM Continued Support, IBM will not be required to fix it.  So, if you never plan to update any other 3rd party software, you are probably safe, but we all know that’s not reality. Lodestar Solutions, Inc. recommends upgrading ASAP. For a complimentary consultation email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com

    Want more information before we chat?  Check out our blog on Why Upgrade to Cognos Analytics?

    Another option is paying additional fees for Extended Support. See our previous blog covering this option. 

    Am I wasting my money on IBM support if I am on an unsupported version of Cognos?

    If you have identified that you are on an unsupported version of IBM software and renewed your support you might be asking, “Did I waste our money?” I believe the answer is no!  Even though you are on an unsupported version with Cognos BI 10.2 you have continued support. So, if you run into an issue that IBM knew about and fixed before April 30, 2018 they will give you a fix.  You also have access to their knowledge base.  But the biggest value you will receive from your support will be access to the upgrade when you are ready to upgrade to the amazing functionality in Cognos Analytics 11.  So no, I don’t believe support is a waste of money even if you haven’t upgraded, but I have to ask, “Why don’t you upgrade?”

    Time to Plan Your Upgrade to Cognos Analytics!

    No matter if you just haven’t had time, or are challenged to get funding or support for your Cognos Analytics upgrade, Lodestar Solutions is here to help.  Schedule a free Cognos BI Upgrade Consultation today by just emailing Services@lodestarsolutions.com and we can help you plan your upgrade even if you are on a tight budget! 

    Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 – What’s New?

    Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 - What's New?
    Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 - What's New?
    November 7, 2019

    Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 was released in October 2019 and this is a big release with tons of new features and enhancements!  Below you will find all the details you need to know. Also, you will find a link to our training on Nov 14, 2019 that will provide a hands-on training in Chicago to a lot of the new features in Cognos Analytics 11.1.4.

    Redesigned User Interface

    A new welcome page is the first thing you will see with the new upgrade.  This page introduces an alerts banner that will provide important maintenance announcements and info regarding new or changed items each time you upgrade.

    Dashboards

    Dashboards
    Dashboards
    Dashboards

    Dashboards in Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 received a bunch of great new updates.

    • Custom Visualizations – you are now able to create your own visualizations in CA.  For more information click here. 
    • Forecasting – an automated set of tools for modeling on time dependent data.  Click here for details on how to use forecasting within visualization.
    • Visualization Legends – Legends are more compact and you have the ability to adjust the space the legend takes up in your visualization.
    • Waterfall Visualization – new to Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 dashboards.
    • KPI Visualization - new to Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 dashboards.
    • Crosstab Improvements – resize column width and height, text formatting, wrap text, null suppression and many others.

    Explorations

    Explorations received a number of new updates in Cognos Analytics 11.1.4.

    • Waterfall Visualization – new to Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 explorations.
    • KPI Visualization - new to Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 explorations.
    • Forecasting – see dashboards above.
    • Compare 2 Visualizations – enhancements can be found here.

    Stories

    • Export to PDF –
    • Multipurpose widgets
    • Exact entry and exit times

    For more information on what is new to stories click here.

    Reports

    • Custom Visualizations
    • Visualization Legends

    For more information on what is new to reporting click here.

    Modeling

    • Range Joins – you can now create joins between tables with specific ranges as values for matched columns.
    • New Join Optimization Filters – unique values in subquery and unique or range of values.
    • Numeric or Text Style for Numeric Data Groups –
    • New Properties Access Point – There is now a properties icon available to use.

    For more information on what is new to modeling click here. 

    Administration 

    • Customized Alerts – Admins can now create customized alerts messages via the new alerts banner.
    • Global Parameters – Admins can now set global parameters without having to customize them for roles.
    • New Capabilities and Renamed License Role – For more info check out this link. 

    Samples

    • New Samples – Samples created with new custom visualizations and The Weather Company data set. For info on importing The Weather Company data visit this site.

    Overview

    As you can see there is a ton of new items with Cognos Analytics 11.1.4. The new visualizations and the ability to create custom visualizations is huge! Take your analytics to the next level and contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com for more information on the upgrade process!

    Training

    Lodestar is hosting a new features training on November 14, 2019 in Chicago!  You can find all the information and how to sign up here.

    Fear not – if you are unable to make the in person training we will be releasing an online version soon!  Please send us an email at services@lodestarsolutions.com if you are interested in the online training.  We will let you know when it is released.

    Cognos Analytics Upgrade New Feature Training Chicago 2019

    Model Development in Planning Analytics Workspace
    Cognos Analytics Upgrade Feature Training Chicago 2019
    October 10, 2019

    Cognos Analytics Training – Hands on & Live

    Are you a power user thinking about upgrading your current BI system?  Maybe you are new to Cognos Analytics and you need a jump start on new features.  Did you just complete your upgrade and you have no idea where to start?  We are proud to offer a Cognos Analytics Training class on new features to help get you started!

    Below are all of the details on this amazing Cognos Analytics Training class.

    When, Where and Cost:

    Thursday November 14, 2019
    9am – 5pm
    1 hour on your own lunch break

    IBM Office – Chicago
    71 S Wacker Dr. Chicago, IL 60606

    You get everything below and so much more for only $497 a person.

    Who Should Attend:

    Cognos BI power users or those thinking about upgrading their current BI system to Cognos Analytics 11.1.3.  Learn about the new features through a hands-on, interactive Cognos Analytics training experience. 

    Why Should I Take this Training Class?

    In this 1-day session, you will learn about all of the new features through a hands on, interactive training environment. This training will:

    • Reduce dependency on consultants and consulting fees
    • Increase executive satisfaction
    • Decrease time to deliver dashboards and reports to end users
    • Increase your ROI on your upgrade.
    • Secure quicker end user adoption
    • Network with others in the same position as you
    • Learn how to leverage the new AI functionality as well as data modules and dashboards

    What is Included:

    Complete overview of new features and User Interface
    Deep dive into the Dashboard Module including:

    • All new mapping down to street level
    • Target Data Slots to compare budget or target information
    • Drill through
    • Using the all new Assistant feature to create widgets and dashboards
    • Distributing Dashboards through email or PDF

    Intent Driven Modeling through Data Modules

    • Introduction to Data Modules
    • Add data sources and upload files
    • Learn to add filters, calculations and navigation paths (creating dimensionality from flat data)
    • Create and use relative time periods (easily create YTD/MTD comparisons)
    • Use global parameters with relative time to create system wide usage

    AI in BI through Explorations

    • Introduction to AI through Explorations – get started more efficiently in analyzing your data points
    • Learn to use the new assistant feature to guide you through creating widgets and explorations
    • Compare explorations to one another to create quick analysis

    Updates to Reporting module

    • Reporting overview
    • New custom filter interface for ease of use

    Learn tips to quickly bring end users up to speed with videos and leverage our BAAM Business Analytics Agile Methodology. 

    BONUS – high level walk through of Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 enhancements!

    How do I Sign Up for this Amazing Cognos Analytics Training Class?

    Click on the link below to register and realize all the benefits this class has to offer.  HURRY – space is limited!  Register early to secure your spot. Registration ends Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

    Additional Information to Get you Started

    Are you looking for some additional information on Cognos Analytics 11.1.3?  Check out this blog, What's New In Cognos Analytics?

    Are you thinking about upgrading your BI system to Cognos Analytics?  Check out this blog chopped full of information to get you started,
    Why Upgrade to Cognos Analytics?

    Did you know that if you are still on Cognos BI 10.2.x it is out of support with IBM? Check this link out!

    This is blog 1 of 3. In the 2nd blog of this series we will be providing additional details on the agenda and what you will learn. Stay tuned!

    Contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com to discuss your upgrade, talk about new features or get more information on this amazing training class!

    Is Your Cognos Analytics Content Store Causing Performance Issues?

    Is Your Cognos Analytics Content Store Causing Performance Issues
    Is Your Cognos Analytics Content Store Causing Performance Issues
    October 8, 2019

    As you are planning your IBM Cognos Analytics upgrade you need to ask yourself, “Is Your Cognos Analytics Content Store Causing Performance Issues?”

    What’s in the Cognos Analytics Content Store?

    Your Cognos Content Store holds a lot of information.  It contains Cognos report specifications, scheduling, packages, data source connections, report outputs, etc. Over time your Cognos Content Store is like your garage, it accumulates a lot of clutter. 

    Cause of Content Store Bloat

    One big contributor to Content Store bloat is when the end users’ MyFolders content gets out of control.   Years ago, self-service was just a dream. Most end users didn’t really create their own content they just ran reports. But over the years IBM Cognos has become more self-service friendly. Unfortunately, as end users create their own content, they often have multiple versions of the same thing. This can cause Content Store bloat. If too large, the size of your Cognos Analytics Content Store can slow performance and create instability. So yes, size does matter.

    Declutter Your Cognos Content Store

    There are a few steps all Cognos Administrators should do to help prevent their Cognos Analytics Content Store from causing performance issues.

    1. Turn on Cognos Analytics Auditing to understand what’s being used and what is not. Check out this ​IBM Video for turning auditing on. 
    2. Identify Orphaned content with consistency checks. Orphaned content typically happens when an end user who has created content and stored it in their MyFolders leaves the organization.  The user is removed from security but their content stays and becomes orphaned. This content should either be removed or assigned to someone else. 
    3. Create guidelines for the number of versions retained. Saved report output is stored in the content store database, so it’s recommended you retain the least number of copies. This is possible by modifying the report output versions settings in a report's properties.
    4. IBM Cognos Content Archival allows you to store archived content in an external repository, this helps reduce the size of the content store and could help performance. See IBM Cognos Analytics Administration and Security Guide for more details. 
    5. As a Cognos Administrator you can leverage the Content Removal option to remove output versions in the Public Folder or MyFolders.
    Content Removal Option

    For more ideas on how you can declutter your Cognos Analytics Content Store so it doesn’t cause performance issues, click here to join our Lodestar Solutions’ Cognos Analytics Club. 

    Once you join you will have access to our latest video on this topic as well as many other informative videos for Cognos Analytics Administrators looking to get the most out of their Cognos Analytics Upgrade.

    Motio Tools to Improve the Content Store

    Cognos Administrators should evaluate Motio Tools when planning their upgrades. Motio has tools that can help you declutter your content store.  Please refer to our previous blog on this topic. IBM and Motio have created an agreement that benefits you! You can leverage MotioCI for 30 days. For more information on Motio products check out their feature Matrix

    Lodestar Solutions, Inc. is a reseller of Motio products so we are available to answer any questions you have. Just email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

    Don’t Upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

    Don't Upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio
    October 4, 2019

    WARNING! If you are planning your Cognos Analytics upgrade and you haven’t heard of Motio, your upgrade will take more time and cost you more than it needs to. Don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

    Use the Right Tools for the Job

    Let’s say you had a 5-acre yard to mow and you have two tools you can use. You have a push mower or a large green John Deere tractor.  Which tool would you pick?  The tractor of course!  But clients that aren’t planning to use Motio to streamline their upgrade are choosing the push mower when they don’t have to! Motio provides tools that help IBM Cognos BI administrators succeed with their upgrade.  IBM believes so much in Motio tools they use them internally and they have an agreement to give clients like you access to the Motio tools for 30 days for free. They call it, “Motio in the box.” Check out Motio’s blog for more information.

    Don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

    Motio Benefits for Cognos Clients

    Benefits of Motio tools for your upgrade to Cognos Analytics

    • Reduce the clutter of old, unused reports and objects before you upgrade or after
    • Complete regression testing
    • Control versioning so production changes can be promoted to sandboxes for testing
    • When you identify issues, you can update in mass
    • Stress test below going live to ensure success
    • Retrieve content from orphaned/deleted users

    Motio recently came out with an amazing new MotioCI module called Inventory. This tool has helped clients understand what’s really in their content store and what report objects are being used. For some clients this has helped them reduce the number of reports to upgrade in half! 

    Do you really know what’s in your content store? 

    Try this, in your Cognos Product Environment run a query to find the number per object type. The objects can be found here:

    <cognos_dir>\configuration\schemas\content\<database_type>\CSsize_profiling_<database_type>.sql


    Here’s the query:

    select c.NAME as "class name", count(*) as "number of objects"
    from CMOBJECTS o, CMCLASSES c
    group by o.CLASSID, c.CLASSID, C.NAME
    having c.CLASSID=o.CLASSID
    order by c.NAME;

    Did the size of your Cognos Content Store shock you?

    I like to say the content store is like my garage. It’s amazing how quickly it gets cluttered.  Keep an eye out for my next blog where I’ll cover how to declutter your content store. There are ways to declutter it but Motio tools will help you do it faster! Don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio.

    Motio Tools for Every Step

    Motio Tools will help you reduce the clutter before you upgrade. They will help you with the upgrade, and MotioPI Pro will help you quickly repair issues in mass. MotioCI Versioning will help you bring changes to Prod that happened while you were testing over so you can control the versions. Finally, Motio Report Card will ensure your system has top performance.

    Motio Tools
    Check out the MotioCI and MotioPI on the Motio website.  

    Lodestar Solutions is a value added reseller of Motio products. So as you are planning your upgrade connect with Services@lodestarsolutions.com and we can help you upgrade faster and cheaper. Again, don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

    To learn more about upgrading to Cognos Analytics and to view our videos on Motio, join our new and improved Lodestar Solutions’ Cognos Analytics Club for free. Club members will gain access to videos, tools and special training offers. Click here to join the club. 

    What’s New in Cognos Analytics 11.1.3?

    IBM ILMT
    September 5, 2019

    In July 2019, IBM released Cognos Analytics 11.1.3.  With the new release came many new features and enhancements. Ever since IBM released Cognos Analytics, they have been releasing updates on a regular basis, about 4-5 times per year.  Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 should be released sometime in October. I only have space to discuss a few of the important enhancements in this blog. If you would like a complete list, you can check out this link.  

    Cognos Analytics Cloud

    The IBM Secure Gateway allows you to consume your on-premise data securely.

    Cognos Analytics Cloud

    Visualizations 

    • Changes to default map style – this is just a visual change and you have the option to move back to the old style.
    • Target for bar and column visualizations – target has been added to bar and column charts to make comparing to a target measure easier.
    • Filter function on a visualization has been improved. You can search or manually input items.
    • New Compare button to duplicate a visualization and make a side by side comparison. This also creates a summary of key information.
    Compare Button

    Cognos Analytics Assistant

    When Cognos Analytics 11.1 was released a new Assistant was introduced. In Cognos Analytics 11.1.3 some enhancements have been made.

    Cognos Analytics Assistant
    • Type ahead support (suggestions based on columns in your data)
    • Improved usability
    • Understands aggregations and filters (total, top/bottom)
    • Generate a complete dashboard based on your data.

    Explorations

    • Check box to limit the exploration default view to the primary relationship
    • Filter slider to set boundaries for relationship strength
    • New Save as Story to make a copy of exploration and turn it into a story.

    General

    • Share content by email – you can now share Cognos Analytics content via email.
    • Export dashboard to pdf
    • Type 2 JDBC drivers need to be copied to Cognos Analytics install_location\drivers directory.

    Next Steps

    As you can see there are a number of new or changed features in Cognos Analytics 11.1.3. Have you upgraded from Cognos BI 10.2.x yet?  Lodestar has a great program to get you started.  Check out this blog for tons of information.  

    Want to network with others in the Cognos world and learn about these new features and more? Check out the IBM Data and AI Forum in October.

    If you have any questions regarding Cognos Analytics 11.1.3 upgrades or the Data and AI forum,  please contact us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

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