Cognos Analytics Components and Uses

October 15, 2019

Cognos Analytics Components Explained

Recently we were asked to explain the Cognos Analytics Components. This client was new to Cognos Analytics and there really wasn’t a good breakdown of the architecture and Cognos Analytics Components. Their question is your gain! I believe this is a great breakdown of each area of Cognos Analytics, its uses and the architecture.

Multi-Server Architecture
Architectural Document Provided by Ted Johnson, Sr. Architect.

Cognos Analytics Tiers

There are 3 main tiers to a Cognos Analytics install.

  • Content Manager - is the IBM Cognos Analytics service that manages the storage of application data including security, configuration data, models, report specifications, report outputs, and so on. Click here for more information.
  • Application Tier - IBM Cognos Analytics Applications tier contains one or more Cognos Analytics servers. The servers run requests such as reports, analyses, and queries that are forwarded by the gateway and renders the interfaces. Click here for more information. 
  • Gateway Tier - Gateways are often CGI programs, but they can follow other standards such as, Internet Server Application Program Interface (ISAPI) or Apache Modules (apache_mod). IBM Cognos Analytics uses only CGI, ISAPI or Apache Modules for Kerberos. Otherwise, you do not need to configure a gateway. Click here for more information.

Content Store

The content store is a relational database that contains data that Cognos Analytics needs to operate such as report specifications, published models and packages that contain them, connection information for data sources, information about external namespaces and the Cognos namespace itself, information about scheduling and bursting reports, and so on.

When setting up your Cognos Analytics environment, set up the content store to use a supported database that can be secured and tuned for performance and stability. Design models and log files are not stored in the content store. The IBM Cognos service that uses the content store is named Content Manager.

Data Sources

Data sources, also known as query databases, are relational databases, dimensional or OLAP cubes, files, or other physical data stores that can be accessed through Cognos Analytics. Application tier components use data source connections to access data sources.

Cognos Analytics Components

Cognos Analytics Components

Other Modeling Tools

Other Modeling Tools

How to Find the Cognos Analytics Components

Now that you know about all of the Cognos Analytics Components, here is a little guide to each area and where you can find them.

Welcome Portal
  • Search for content in Team content, My content or Recent lists
  • Open reports, dashboards, stories and other items upload files
  • Check your notifications, set your preferences and home page, and review your schedules and subscriptions.
  • Delete, copy, move, edit or run entries such as reports
  • Create report views for reports without opening the Reporting component
  • Create shortcuts to reports, dashboards, stories or data modules
  •  Set access permissions

Start creating new content such as reports, dashboards, or stories by tapping + New.

Reporting
  • Create and edit a wide range of professional reports
  • Use templates or customize your reports with prompts, bursting, advanced charts and visualizations

**You enter the IBM Cognos Analytics - Reporting user interface from the Cognos Analytics portal by opening an existing report from Team content or My content, or by tapping + New, and then tapping Report

For more information, see the Cognos Analytics Reporting Guide.

Dashboards and Stories
  • View, monitor and communicate data insights and analysis with dashboards or stories
  • Assemble a view that contains visualizations such as graphs, charts, plots, tables, maps or any other visual representation of data
  • Enrich dashboards and stories with web pages and other content

**You enter the IBM Cognos Analytics Dashboards or Stories user interface from the Cognos Analytics portal by opening an existing dashboard from Team content or My content, or by tapping + New, and then tapping Dashboard or Story.

For more information, see the Cognos Analytics Dashboard and Story Guide.

Explorations
  • Explore is a flexible workspace where you can discover and analyze data
  • Explore an existing visualization from a dashboard or story
  • Uncover hidden relationships and identify patterns that turn your data into insights

** You enter the IBM Cognos Analytics Exploration user interface from the Cognos Analytics portal by opening an existing Exploration from Team content or My content, or by tapping + New, and then tapping Exploration.

For more information, see the Cognos Analytics Explorations User Guide.

Data Modeling
  • Modelers and Administrators create data modules and packages and make them available to users for use with reports, dashboards and stories
  • You can use the IBM Cognos Analytics web modeling tool to quickly create data modules from various sources such as data servers, uploaded files, and previously saved data modules
  • The tool is intent-driven and generates a base module by using keywords that you define

** You enter the IBM Cognos Analytics web modeling user interface from the Cognos Analytics portal by opening an existing data module from Team content or My content, or by tapping + New, and then tapping Data module.

For more information, see the Cognos Analytics Data Modeling Guide.

Manage and Administer
  • Create and manage accounts (users, groups and roles), schedules, or data server connections
  • Perform configuration tasks and customize the product experience and user interface

** You enter the IBM Cognos Analytics Administration user interface from the Cognos Analytics portal by tapping Manage, and then selecting the tabs that represent the different administration areas such as, Data server connections or Configuration. To access the legacy administration tool for more options tap Administration Console.

Changes that you make in either the Manage interface or the Administration Console affect both interfaces.

Cognos Audit 

Use audit reports to view the information in a logging database about user and report activity. You may find this useful for:

  • capacity planning
  • licensing conformance
  • performance monitoring
  •  identifying unused content

For more information about Cognos Audit check out this blog.

Are You Ready to Upgrade?

Check out this great blog on why you should upgrade now to Cognos Analytics.  

Contact Us

There you have it! A comprehensive guide to Cognos Analytics Components. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

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