Cognos BI Reporting – User Testing & Deployment


As a business analytics coach, I’m often asked about user testing and end user deployment when it comes to BI reporting.  Today, I want to take a few minutes and discuss my approach to these subjects.

Where do I start with user testing?

In a basic/summarized format, here is the approach I use most often where BI reporting is concerned. I should mention that Lodestar Solutions believes 100% in using an agile approach to projects and thus user testing is done through each step of the project.

  1. Compare for format – Does it meet the requirements of formatting that the end users are used to or will accept?
  2. Data integrity – Run each report for a number of months & companies and then compare to existing reporting.  Is the data as you would expect?  Are all accounts and companies available?
  3. Speed – Do the reports return data in the expected amount of time or does it take longer than you would think?
  4. Find a power user (other than yourself) to go through points 1 – 3 to test of the same things as you have.
  5. Once final testing is complete, mark reports for deployment.

What steps should I take to have successful end user deployment?

  1. Start small. Pick a couple end users who are quick to learn and who can help build support for analytics and reporting.
  2. Make sure that those end users selected receive some basic training and instructions prior to asking them to test for deployment.
  3. Ask user to go through the steps above in user testing.Cognos BI Reporting
  4. Once complete, move reports to a “production” status and insure only approved users have access to the reports. Security should also be set to the desired levels in this step.
  5. Start to involve other users in the same fashion as above to build support for analytics and reporting.
  6. Make sure you are open to suggestions.  In your role, you try to think of every scenario but inevitably you will miss something. Your end users will provide valuable input to increase your analytics footprint.  Take those suggestion and determine if it is something that should be done now or put on a parking lot list to accomplish in a different phase.

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