What’s New in IBM Cognos Analytics 12.0.3

What's New in IBM Cognos Analytics 12.0.3
What's New in IBM Cognos Analytics 12.0.3
Written by Mike Bernaiche, May 2nd, 2024

IBM Cognos Analytics is a powerful and flexible platform that enables users to access, analyze, and share data from various sources. It offers a range of capabilities, such as data exploration, dashboarding, reporting, storytelling, and artificial intelligence, to help users discover insights and make informed decisions. With each release, IBM Cognos Analytics introduces new features and improvements to enhance the user experience and performance of the platform. In this blog, we will review some of the most notable changes and additions in the latest version, IBM Cognos Analytics 12.0.3, which was released in April 2024.

General

Content Security Policies: Enhanced support for CSP directives to reduce XSS attack vulnerabilities.

Content Retention Rules: Improved efficiency in the application of content retention rules.

Carbon Design System: Adoption of the IBM Carbon Design System for a streamlined user experience across IBM products.

Assistant

Enhanced answers for queries on main factors and influences: When you ask the Assistant to display the main factors and influences that affect your data, the Assistant now shows enhanced answers.

Enhanced answers for queries on main factors and influences in CA 12.0.3

Dashboarding

Creating dashboards automatically from the quick launch scenarios: The quick launch scenarios on the welcome page of Cognos Analytics, Upload and Create from existing data, now have an option to generate a dashboard automatically based on the data source that you upload or choose.

Creating dashboards automatically from the quick launch scenarios in CA 12.0.3

Adjusting table columns: You can now change the size of columns in table visualizations.

Improvements to drill-through: The dashboard drill-through definition dialog box was improved to make the user experience with parameters better. The parameters in the drill-through definition are now sorted, with the broken parameters shown first. A filter is also added that lets you show the parameters based on their mapping state.

Styling single headers in a crosstab: You can now style text of single column and row headers in crosstab.

Custom labels for data columns: You can give custom labels to data columns in dashboards.

Showing value in a legend: Use the Value in legend property to specify what value a legend is showing.

Showing value in a legend in CA 12.0.3

Setting the maximum number of items in a legend: Use the Maximum items in legend property to specify the maximum number of items to appear in a legend for a visualization that supports this property.

Setting the maximum number of items in a legend in CA 12.0.3

Mapbox Boundaries v4: Cognos Analytics 12.0.3 now uses Mapbox Boundaries v4. The updated version implements adm3 (township, town, charter township) and adm4 (city, town, village) boundaries from Mapbox for US and for all other countries. It also adds over 30,000 new postcode boundaries.

Reporting

Adding native custom controls to the toolbox directly:  You can now create and upload an extension for custom control and put it in the Insertable Objects toolbox.

JavaScript API function to check saved report output: A new JavaScript API function, isSavedOutput(), is added to the scriptable report APIs. You can use this function to check if a report is a saved report output.

New and improved JavaScript API documentation: The JavaScript documentation explains the APIs that you can use to add custom features to reports.

CCLLocaleGenerator Tool: The CCLLocaleGenerator Tool uses the local information from the cognos_analytics_install\configuration\i18n_res.xml file and creates the prompting configuration files.

Setting the maximum number of items in a legend: Use the Maximum items in legend property to specify the maximum number of items to appear in a legend for a visualization that supports this property.

Setting the maximum number of items in a legend in CA 12.0.3 (2)

Mapbox Boundaries v4: As of release 12.0.3, maps use Mapbox Boundaries v4. The updated version implements adm3 (township, town, charter township) and adm4 (city, town, village) boundaries from Mapbox for US and for all other countries. It also adds over 30,000 new postcode boundaries.

Modeling

Importing and enhancing OLAP metadata: Use the Load metadata option in the administration user interface to load and enhance the metadata for OLAP data sources. An enriched cube includes the data characteristics that are required for the product AI-based functionality, such as forecasting in dashboards, to work.

Unified method of creating OLAP-based data modules: Data modules that use OLAP data sources are now created using the same method as data modules that use relational data sources. The supported data server connection types include IBM Planning Analytics, IBM Planning Analytics as a Service, Microsoft Analysis Services, Microsoft Azure Analysis Services, and other OLAP connections.

Additional Areas

Summary

If you are looking for a powerful and user-friendly business intelligence tool, you might want to consider upgrading to Cognos Analytics 12.0.3. This latest version of IBM's flagship product offers many new features and enhancements, such as improved dashboarding, data exploration, storytelling, and reporting capabilities. You can also benefit from the enhanced security, performance, and scalability of Cognos Analytics.

Whether you are new to Cognos Analytics or an existing user, you don't want to miss this opportunity to take your business intelligence to the next level. Contact Lodestar Solutions today at services@lodestarsolutions.com to discuss your unique needs and get started with Cognos Analytics 12.0.3.

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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