How to Save Time with IBM Cognos BI 11 Release 3


IBM Cognos BI 11  release 3 (also known as Cognos Analytics) was recently made available for download. It includes a number of great time savers to the 3 main areas of dashboards, reporting, and modeling. Read on to learn how to save time with IBM Cognos BI 11 as I think you will find that these additions make an already great product even better!

Dashboard Additions To Cognos BI 11

In IBM Cognos BI 11 (Cognos Analytics) release 3, the dashboard area gained some important functionality. These include the ability to create calculations, format data items in chart or graph, the hover over tool tip and the ability to relink your dashboard to a new or updated data source.

1. Calculations - The ability to create calculations inside a dashboard is now available and very simple! Basically, select 2 data points on which to create a calculation. The wizard will come up automatically. Create the calculation you want and name it. You now have a calculation. As you can see below, I created an average sales price calculation. You can then change this to a chart as seen below.

Cognos BI 11
Cognos BI 11
Cognos BI 11

2. Formatting – Using the same grid as the calculation example, you can see that the average selling price came over with 2 decimals. You can now quickly change the format with the dashboard module. Simply click on the measure then click the format button and select the format you want. In this example I don’t want any decimals.

Cognos BI 11
Cognos BI 11
Cognos BI 11

3. Relinking – This new feature can save a ton of time! Picture this. You have created this fantastic dashboard that many people are using and you are a rock star to your organization. However, marketing would like you to add in some Google analytics data and to do so, your IT group creates a new combined data source. You are thinking, “Oh man, I have to rebuild everything”! NOPE! Choose the new data source and relink the current dashboard. The dashboard objects will show if there’s any need to be fixed. You are now able to add in the Google analytics information.

4. Hover Over Tips – You can now hover over a data point to get more information on that particular piece of data. It’s very useful for understanding the data or looking at a map.

Cognos BI 11

Reporting Additions in Cognos BI 11

In IBM Cognos BI 11 (Cognos Analytics) release 3, the reporting area also gained some important functionality. This includes the ability to use multi-packages in reporting, use a new data list control in active reports, as well as filter text.

  1. Multi-Package Reporting – Report writers now have the ability to use multiple packages in a report. One item of note is that this is only available in Dynamic Query Mode reports.

  2. Data List Control – As users of active reports are aware, performance suffers when trying to render an active report with large volumes of data. The most likely way of deploying all of this data was in a list. With the new active report control data list, the speed is increased because the list renders on the client machine instead of the Cognos server.

  3. Filter Text – This allows the ability to show in text form what is being filtered in a particular object.

Cognos BI 11

Modeling Addition

In IBM Cognos BI 11 (Cognos Analytics) release 3, the modeling area also gained important functionality that gives the modeler the option to perform actions on tables joining directly from the diagram. Below you will find a list of items that can now be done in the diagram.

  1. Create or edit joins

  2. Create or edit filters

  3. Rename or remove tables

  4. Drag and drop tables

  5. Right click on a table or relationship to see its menu actions

  6. Drag and drop columns from tree into expression builder

As you can read, release 3 brought some fantastic additions to IBM Cognos BI 11. If you have suggestions or features you want to see, please check out this link to the IBM RFE Community where you can see what has been requested and add in your ideas.

There are a few samples continually added to the Cognos Analytics community so you may want to check them out as well. And don't forget to read a high level walk through on new features in our other IBM Cognos Analytics (Cognos 11) blog.    

If you want to read a detailed list of fixes in release 3 check out this link: IBM Cognos Analytics Fix Lists

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