High Level Overview of Implementing Cognos BI

Since Cognos is designed to be relatively easy to implement and is architected to empower business users, many non-IT departments find Cognos BI to be a fantastic business intelligence solution.  This is especially true for our mid-market clients who don’t typically have a large or robust IT department.  However, business users can be at a disadvantage.  Knowing the right questions to ask or the right order of events can be ambiguous.  Just understanding how the data gets from the data mart to Query Studio can be a mystery.  There are 4 major areas of concentration in your project plan; five if you are also implementing TM1 as a data source.

First, you have to understand your data sources and what type of analysis you want to perform.  Where is the data you need to complete your reporting and analysis?  How many data sources do you have and is the data relational or dimensional?  These questions are all a part of the requirements building phase.

If you have purchased TM1 or Planning, then you will need to implement this product and build your enterprise planning model or the necessary analysis cubes.  (This is a project within the project and will have requirements and a project plan of its own.)

Once your requirements are documented and you understand where all of your data points are coming from, the next step is to start a new Framework Manager project and connect the data sources.  Once data sources are connected, a metadata model is built from the requirements and data packages are created.

Finally, the packages of data created in Framework Manger are ready to be consumed in Cognos BI studios.

At this point, you are ready to start empowering your employees.  Empowerment starts with training business users on the various studios.  If you do not properly train your employees, well then, you can kiss the majority of your ROI goodbye.

This is an oversimplification of the process and does not include some important details, like how to implement security.  However, this is a good high level roadmap of the project plan and should give you some ideas of what questions to ask and what steps to take next.

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