New in Cognos Analytics 11.2.3

What's New in Cognos Analytics 11.2.3
Written by Mike Bernaiche, September 8th, 2022

At the end of August 2022, IBM released Cognos Analytics 11.2.3.  There is a lot to unpack in the release as IBM has been hard at work enhancing Cognos Analytics.  Below you will find all the details of what is new, what has changed and what has been removed.  As always, if you have any questions or want to discuss an upgrade please reach out to us at services@lodestarsoltuins.com.

Feature Updates

  • Integrations with Microsoft Teams - Much like Slack integration of past versions, IBM Cognos Analytics 11.2.3 now supports Teams integration.  Share dashboard and report content along with messages in Teams. Please note, your company must be using the Microsoft 365 developer program with an E5 subscription.
  • Use the up down arrows – utilize the up and down arrows to move through certain menus and content areas.  Previous versions only supported the tab button.
  • Full page property view – view properties for an item in full screen view.
  • Context sensitive search – define the context of your search and see only items in that context, also a new tab that shows all search results.

Assistant

  • Enhanced Time Filtering – The Assistant now understands even more time related searches.  Use text like YTD, QTD, MTD and abbreviations like Mon for Monday and Thur for Thursday and Xmas for Christmas to narrow you search in the assistant.

Dashboards

  • Insights and Forecast on New Analytics Panel – Open the Analytics Panel to turn on or off insights and forecast.
  • Create a multivariant Forecast – You can now add in optional data points to take into account in your forecast in Cognos Analytics 11.2.3.  For more information check out this link, Creating a multivariate forecast - IBM Documentation.
Dashboards in Cogons 11.2.3
Dashboards in Cognos 11.2.3 v2
  • Enhanced Forecasting with the Watson Core Time Series Library - Using the Watson Core Time - Series Library increases the prediction accuracy of the forecasts and allows the use of multiple seasons (or nested seasons).  Time series that have regular repeating cycles can be modeled with a seasonal component.
  • Embedded Dashboard in Microsoft Teams - In Microsoft Teams, you can add a tab with an embedded dashboard from an external Cognos Analytics environment.  On any platform, Teams users can then perform interactive analyses of the dashboard without having to log in to Cognos Analytics themselves.
  • Cascading Filters – There is a lot to unpack in Cascading Filters.  Check out this excellent link from IBM.  Cascading filters - IBM Documentation
  • New Bar Visualization –

The bar chart includes the following value label formats:

  •  Value and percentage of category – two values in the value label
  • Value and percentage of color – two values in the value label    
  • Value delta of target
  • Percentage delta of target
New Bar Visualization in Cognos Analytics 11.2.3
  • New Area Visualization – a new gradient option on the area chart.
New Area Visualization in Cognos Analytics 11.2.3
  • Tree map Visualizations Enhancements - Leaf labels in treemap visualizations can now be shown as value, item, or both.
  • Area and Line Visualization Enhancements – A property has been added to handle null values in a better way.
  • Display Multiple Measures on Rows Instead of Columns in a Crosstab.

For all dashboard enhancements check out this link. Dashboards - IBM Documentation

Explorations

Explorations has been enhanced with the following.  For complete details see the dashboard section as these are the same.

  •  Insights and Forecasts in New Analytics Panel
  • Enhanced Time Forecast with Watson Core Time Series Library
  • Multi Variant Forecasting

Reporting

  • Controlling Drill Through Behavior when Context Filters are used - You can change the default package-based drill-through behavior in Cognos® Analytics - Reporting when using context filters.
  • New Treemap Visualization – as discussed above under Dashboards.
  • New Properties for Bubble and Scatter Charts – The new properties allow you to specify the border width color, and size of bubbles, minimum and maximum size of bubbles, and label rotation.

For a complete list of Reporting enhancements check out this link. Reporting - IBM Documentation

Other Enhancements

Depreciated or Removed

In Cognos Analytics 11.2.3 the following is not supported:

  • Windows 8 and 8.1
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.5
  • IBM InfoSphere Information Server 11.3 and 11.5
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • IBM Connections
  • Mozilla Firefox ESR 68 and ESR 78
  • Adobe Reader XI and DC
  • FileNet Content Manager 5.2

Removed Data Source Connectors

As of release 11.2.3, connectors for several types of data sources are removed from IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson.  If you have existing connections to these data source types, they will no longer work.

Connectors are removed for these data source types:

  • IBM Weather Company
  • TM1
  • IBM Planning Analytics versions prior to 2.0.6
  • Microsoft Analysis Services (OLEDB) versions prior to SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 2

Depreciated Data Source Connections

In a future version of Cognos Analytics, support will be removed for the following data source connections:

  1. Planning Analytics 2.0.6 - 2.0.8
  2. Snowflake prior to 3.10
  3. Oracle Database 11g and 12c
  • Oracle Database 11g Standard Edition Release 2
  • Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 2
  • Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) Standard Edition
  • Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) Enterprise Edition
  • Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.0.0) Enterprise Edition
  • Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.0.0) Standard Edition
  • Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.1.0) Standard Edition

4. IBM Db2 Server 10.5

  • IBM Db2 Advanced Enterprise Server Edition 10.5
  • Db2 Express Server Edition 10.5
  • DB2 Workgroup Server Edition 10.5
  • DB2 Enterprise Server Edition 10.5
  • DB2 Advanced Workgroup Server Edition 10.5

5. Essbase

Supported Versions of Cognos Analytics from IBM

Reminder that Cognos Analytics version 11.0.x end of support was in September of 2021.  Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 is the long-term support version and we HIGHLY recommend you are on that version or later.  What happens when you are on an older unsupported version?  Well in a few words, you will be asked to upgrade to a latest supported version and will not receive support directly from IBM.

Summary

As you can see Cognos Analytics 11.2.3 offers a lot of new features and enhancements.  Schedule your upgrade now with us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.  We would also be happy to schedule a demo with you to see if this version is right for you!

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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