What to Know In Cognos 10 BI

As I’m sure you heard, IBM unveiled Cognos 10 BI at IBM's annual Information on Demand (IOD) event in Las Vegas recently.

Cognos 10 is the first major BI release since Cognos 8 was published in 2005.  Don’t worry, you didn’t miss version 9 – in an effort to have the numbers of all the various modules in line, IBM jumped to 10.  Cognos 10 presents a more integrated user interface along with a broader offering of analytics and technology. The recent acquisitions by IBM of SPSS , TM1 (Applix) and Clarity are now a part of the offering.

It’s alleged that IBM Cognos learned from issues experienced in the Series 7 to C8 release and this time they have made moving from C8 to C10 “SEAMLESS” per Rob Ashe, IBM General Manager of Business Analytics.

As a user of C8, what should you know?

IBM Cognos is expanding the scope beyond their BI offering to include decision making tools including integrated statistics and mobile BI.

C10 looks great and hopefully it will meet half of the hype.  The new active reports will help us all justify a new iPad as it extends mobileBI.  C10 Collaboration looks fantastic and you can now create and assign tasks based on insight gleaned from BI results and on automatic alerts and triggers.  But clients need to meet their basic reporting needs first.   For clients using TM1 and BI, the great news is they claim to have really addressed the reporting speeds.

Here are a few more items C8 users should know:

Licensing–  For end users to take advantage of a lot of the new BI functionality, they will need to have an IBM Cognos Enhanced Consumer license or higher.  For many of you, you own Consumers, not Enhanced Consumers, so you would need to pay a small fee to upgrade your Consumer licenses to Enhanced Consumers.   But the good news is if you do this while still on C8, you will be able to benefit now by getting functionality of Go Dashboards and Go Search for your Enhanced Consumers.

Cognos Planning 10- They announced the new IBM Cognos Planning 10 release, but the majority of the changes are more backend.  We should see some performance improvements and ability to handle larger cubes; however TM1 is still better at handling huge cubes.

Cognos 10 buzz words:

Business Insight is essentially a common BI workspace that allows users to view, assemble and organize BI, analytic and planning content from a unified interface without the need to switch between interfaces.

Life Cycle Management is the capability to handle upgrades from one version to another.  It is now possible to run reports and queries in both IBM Cognos 8 and 10 at the same time and then compare the processing differences side by side. This should reduce the testing needed in version upgrades.

Dynamic Query is a new feature that results from performance enhancements. With this feature enabled, reports, queries and cube building are shortened. This is done by caching and query routing techniques. Results indicate performance improvements of up to 30 to 40 percent.

Statistical Integration is the result of SPSS being integrated into the analytics umbrella of IBM Cognos 10. SPSS has added a Modeler capability making it easier for non-statisticians to benefit from predictive modeling in a much broader business context, thus increasing the potential for improved business performance. Those with the skills to harness its power can receive some big benefits quickly, but there is an additional cost for SPSS.

Active Reports allow users to receive self-contained interactive reports by email. This extends the reach of BI to mobile and offline workers that can work on these active reports and perform what-if scenarios if required.

TMI BI Integration Enhancements–  IBM stated that BI reports running off of TM1 were up to 80% faster in Cognos 10 than in Cognos 8. (Need I say more?)

Collaboration One can now create and assign tasks based on insight gleaned from BI results and based on automatic alerts and triggers. This is achieved with the integration of Lotus Connections and Business Analytics.  You most likely will need to connect a server or two to your environment to get this going.  And if you don’t have Lotus Connections,  I believe you have to purchase an AU license for Lotus Connections for each user.    I believe IBM might have an ulterior motive here and will use this opportunity to introduce the Lotus platform into enterprises dominated by Microsoft Office applications.

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