I poke fun at myself quite a bit about how lazy I am and that’s why I am the master of productivity, automation and dynamic reporting. While I’m joking, there is a lot to be said for simplifying and consolidating tasks. In the current era, it’s actually a necessity. The corporate world that has evolved out of the 2008 economic downturn is a lot leaner and cost conscious. Most of us now work in positions that were once performed by two or more employees. So when it comes to performing mundane tasks like running the same report multiple times for different departments in the organization, you have to be asking yourself, “Is there a better way for me to be spending my time? Productivity is the name of the game right?”
This is a common thought among many financial planning and reporting departments who want to look at several department budgets at the same time. Or they may want to run the same report for various versions like actuals, budget and forecast. This week alone, I had two clients asking this exact question, and, yes, Cognos does provide a way to run a report once and have it produce the same report for multiple aspects of the business.
With the use of Page Sets and Master Detail Relationships, you can allow end users to select multiple items from a prompt and run each prompted item on its own page or its own tab in Excel.
Build your report and all the necessary queries. Then add 2 more queries, one for the Page and one for the Page Set. Name them something meaningful. I typically name them Page Query and Page Set Query.
Add the object(s) that you are going to prompt your report on into both the Page Query and the Page Set Query. You will be using them in the master detail relationships you are going to set up.
Next, click on Page1 and set the query to the Page Query. Then click on the Master Details Relationships property and link the data items in the Page Query to the Page Set Query.
Create your prompt page. When you create your multiple, select prompt filter on the Page Query and Page Set Query, in addition to the report query, with the parameter data item. Then, in addition to the report query, both the Page Query and the Page Set query needs to be filtered by department prompt value.
The last thing is to create a Master Detail Relationship between the report container and the report page. Highlight your report container, whether it’s a list or crosstab, and ensure that the correct object is highlighted by looking at the ancestor description at the top of the Properties pane. Then set the Master Detail Relationship(s) between the report object and the page.
You can also take the automation one step further and set up agents in Event Studio or schedule views to automatically generate the report.