Cognos 10 vs Cognos Analytics C11

9/26/2017 
Cognos 10 vs Cognos Analytics C11

Why Compare?

If you are like me, you want to see a comparison of products to understand what you are getting vs. what you are missing.  To me, it is a very easy way to understand the impact.  For those of you on Cognos 10, you are probably wondering what is in Cognos Analytics and why you should upgrade.  I have put together an easy to understand Cognos 10 vs Cognos Analytics C11 comparison.

Cognos 10 vs Cognos Analytics C11 - What is available?

Cogno 10                  

Cognos Analytics C11

Report Studio

Workspace Advanced

Viewer

New Reporting Module

Query Studio

Available, hidden by default.

Analysis Studio

Available, hidden by default.

Workspace

New Dashboard Module

Event Studio

Hidden by default - no enhancements planned

Metric Studio

Only available in Cognos Analytics C11 R6 and prior

​Cognos for MS Office

Available in Cognos Analytics C11

Cognos Connection

Available as new portal

Administration Area

Same area plus new administration items.

Framework Manager

Cognos Analytics C11 version available

Transformer / Powerplay

Available now in Cognos Analytics R7

​Dynamic Cubes

Available

As you can see, most of what was in Cognos 10 is available in Cognos Analytics.  What Cognos Analytics has done is simplify the entire user experience.  No longer do you need to know what studio to use nor do you need to create a bunch of widgets to create dashboards.  You have a very powerful tool in a much better package that will lead to efficiencies and user adoption.

To learn more about the latest release, check out this blog​Cognos Analytics 11.0.7​​​

IBM Cognos Analytics (Cognos 11), Release 4

10/26/16

Here's the formula: Owning IBM Cognos BI = Owning IBM Cognos Analytics.  If you are current on your IBM Cognos support, then you already own Cognos Analytics (Cognos 11), Release 4.

Is Your Organization Ready for Cognos Analytics?

First of all, the Cognos Analytics (C11 BI) new modern user interface and functionality are intuitively designed. From guiding your most beginner users to the senior analyst, it's all about using appropriate self-service features within a signal environment. But…is your organization ready to upgrade? THAT, ladies and gentlemen is the question you need to pose right off the bat.

The Best Keeps Getting Better, Hands on IBM Cognos Analytics (Cognos 11), Release 4

IBM Cognos Analytics, Release 4 was recently made available for download and the additions are in one word, FANTASTIC. The additions from the first version to IBM Cognos Analytics (Cognos 11), Release 4 have turned this product into a leader in this space. And here is a little secret, Release 5 will be AWESOME!

Dashboard Additions

In IBM Cognos Analytics, Release 4, the dashboard area gained some important functionality. Some examples include the ability of using conditional formatting, crosstabs in dashboards, refreshing widgets on a timer, top/bottom calculation, using data sets from FM, time and geolocation field types in dashboard and sorting based on the values of another field.

1) Conditional Formatting – The traditional formatting has been added, however, it has been revved up so you can see trends, groups and outliers. Check out the demo video when available to see this in action!

IBM Cognos Analytics

2) Crosstabs – Crosstabs are now part of the dashboard objects!! I’m sure many of you are saying “That’s awesome!”  In addition, you can even include the new conditional formatting as part of the crosstab widget.

3) Widget Refresh – You can now set each widget to refresh in as low as 5 seconds to many hours. As a result, this keeps your data updated without having to manually hit refresh.

4) Top/Bottom Calculations - Ranking by top 5 or 10 and bottom 5 or 10 with just a couple clicks is now possible. It is super easy to use and is a great feature that we all have used yet strugged with when writing reports.

IBM Cognos Analytics

5) Data Sets from FM – A great blog entitled, “Grab a Slice of Data: Cognos Analytics 11.0.4 Unveils Data Sets” was written regarding the details of data sets by Jason Tavoularis, a Cognos Analytics Offering Manager. It’s a great reference and we suggest checking it out.

6) Time and Geolocation Field Types – Cognos Analytics now recognizes time and location fields while marking them appropriately to provide a better user experience. For instance, when a location field is denoted, it makes creating a map widget much easier. And by the way, we are expecting Release 5 to have the new geospatial mapping with Mapbox!

7) Sorting Based on Other Field Values – With Release 4, you are now able to define sorting of 1 field with another field.  For instance, sort months on a number value and not the spelling that is the field you want to display.

Reporting Additions

In IBM Cognos Analytics, Release 4, the reporting area also gained some important functionality. This includes full interactivity drill through, optimized interactive viewer and data list formatting.

1) Drill Through – Now available when a report is set to use full interactivity allowing you to reap the benefits of the interactive viewer in Cognos 11. At the same time, you can drill through to a report.

2) Optimized Interactive Viewer – Through many tests, you should be expecting to see a two to three second quicker open and about 15% less memory usage.

3) Data List Formatting – This was introduced in Release 3, however, you are now able to format this as a normal list.

Modeling Addition

In IBM Cognos Analytics, Release 4, the modeling area also gained important functionality. As a result, it's giving the modeler the option to hide tables or columns, undo & redo, clean null values, validate recognize time & location fields, and smarter relationship detection.

1) Hide Tables or Columns – You are now able to hide tables or columns in a data module. These tables will remain fully functional in the modeling interface but will be hidden in reporting or dashboards.

2) Undo / Redo – The option to undo and redo in the modeling application has been added.

3) Clean Null Values – You can replace null values with text, numbers or dates. You can also replace N/A with a null value.

Cognos Analytics

4) Validate – You can validate your model to ensure it will work with reporting or dashboards. This gives you info including:

  • Table or column that no longer exists
  • Bad calculation expression
  • Filter that references a column that no longer exists
  • Table or column that it references in a join that no longer exists

5) Time and Location Recognition – When modeling, the system will look for columns with a data modules that represent time of location data and mark them as such. You can change them if the recognition was incorrect.

Java Script Support in Interactive Viewer

New to IBM Cognos Analytics, Release 4 is the ability to render reports in the interactive viewer with java script embedded. There is a slight catch however. The java script that you want to add to a report must exist in a separate file which your web browser can access. This allows the same script to be used in multiple reports.

Rachel Su, an Offering Manager for IBM Analytics, has done a great job of explaining Java Script support and it’s uses in her blog entitled “JavaScript Support in Interactive Viewer”.

Customizations

Now you can customize the IBM Cognos Analytics interface with Release 4. You can remove buttons, menus and define new views for the user experience. In addition, you can substitute in your company colors, logos and brand info. There are a few samples with Release 4 to get you started! We suggest checking out this information on customizing your interface in Cognos Analytics.

Storytelling

Simply put, storytelling is utilizing your dashboards and reports in a better way to tell a story to your end users or during a presentation. You no longer need to present static reports or charts!

1) Pinning - Pin any widget to your pin panel and then utilize these objects in any new dashboard or story.

IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics

2) Timeline - You can utilize the timeline to have your widgets appear or disappear over the course of your story.

IBM Cognos Analytics

Lifecycle Manager

In IBM Cognos Analytics, Release 4, Lifecycle Manager introduces some great enhancements. For those who do not know anything about Lifecycle Manager, the short version is that it’s a stand-alone application which validates and compares report outputs between different versions of Cognos. In other words, it helps ensure that your reports from 10.2.2 move to 11.0.4 accurately or provides a list of the issues.

1) Lifecycle Manager now available for both Windows and Linux

2) Part of the Cognos Analytics cloud

3) Users can compare live environments or static files using benchmark tasks

4) Manually define prompts or set prompt values for multiple reports automatically

Release 4 brings some seriously fantastic additions to IBM Cognos Analytics. If you have suggestions or features you want to see, please check out this link to the IBM RFE community. This is the area you can see what has been requested and add in your ideas. If you would like to read a detailed list of fixes in Release 4, please use THIS LINK. New samples are added to the Cognos Analytics community all the time. Check out the latest HERE.

How to Save Time with IBM Cognos BI 11 Release 3

8/23/2016

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 11.0.3.0 Fix Lists

IBM Cognos Analytics 11- Top 14 Questions Answered

4/11/2016

IBM Cognos Analytics 11 (you can think about this as Cognos BI 11) is the new powerful Business Intelligence platform recently introduced by IBM. On April 14, 2016, I presented a webinar highlighting some of what IBM Cognos Analytics 11 has to offer along with a demo of the product.

Cognos Analytics 11

Throughout the demo, the registrants had an opportunity to ask questions and I wanted to take a minute to provide answers for those questions. We also wanted to thank everyone again for joining. I will be hosting another webinar showing IBM Cognos Analytics 11 on May 19, 2016 at 3pm eastern time. There is no charge for this webinar and you can join us by registering at AnalyticLeadership.com.

Cognos Analytics 11 Q&A:

1. When will Cognos Analytics 11 be available for Cognos Express licensed users? Currently scheduled to be available late Q2.

2. Is IIS required if you use single sign on? Yes, it is required.

3. Can users set folders as home pages? No, not on this current release.

4. Is Framework Manager part of IBM Cognos Analytics 11? Yes, FM is part of Cognos 11 for meta data modeling, connecting TM1 cubes as packages, etc.

5. Is drill up/down available in Cognos 11? Yes.

6. Is drill through available in Cognos 11? Yes, if option to run a report with full interactivity is set to no. When set to yes, report interacts via Cognos 11. When set to no, report acts more like Cognos 10.

7. Are traditional studios available? Yes, although they are hidden by default. See chart below:

Cognos Analytics 11

8. Where is data stored via file uploads? Stored in a high accessible columner type data file.

9. Does data model snapshot refresh automatically? Not at this time, must be done manually.

10. Will items such as agents be available in Cognos Analytics 11? Yes, it is in the roadmap.

11. Migration path between version 10.2.2 and Cognos Analytics 11? Cognos 11 is an upgrade, not a migration.

12. With all of the new features, how is performance? Performance remains as fast as 10.2.2 while being monitored for future improvements.

13. Any licensing changes? Currently all licensing remains the same.

14. How can I “turn on” other studios? The easiest way to do this is during install by choosing custom install option.

Thank you for the great questions! I would expect additional questions and answers to be added to this blog.

Cognos 11 Review: Simple, Quick, Powerful – Gamechanging!

3/22/2016

WOW! That was my first impression of IBM Cognos Analytics (Cognos 11) as I spent some time with working with it over the past week.  Lodestar Solutions has planned a webinar to walk through IBM Cognos Analytics on April 14th, 2016 at noon EST.   Below are some highlights of Cognos 11 and we will spend more time on April 14th going through each of these items in addition to having a live demo.

The install on my machine was quick and simple. You no longer have to spend time dealing with Internet Information Services (IIS) and it installs a default content manager, although I easily changed that.

Once the install was complete, I opened up BI and the portal has changed significantly. However, it has changed for the better!  The top left has buttons for my content and team content along with an improved search box and a recent area, much like windows.

At the bottom left, you will find a new button which gives you quick access to build a report or dashboard and create a data module. You may, from here, also upload files, see any notifications, and manage the system.   Inside the manage tab you will be able to manage all of the accounts and activities, manage content and data servers, configure system setting and link to the admin console that you would be familiar with in version 10.

Cognos 11 Screenshots Reporting is considerably different in Cognos 11. There is no longer a report studio, analysis studio, query studio and workspace advanced to build reports.  What you do get is all of those studios rolled in one reporting area.  You can customize it to fit your needs and the needs of the report writer.  Personally, I think IBM hit a home run with this reporting area!  When you first access it, it will feel a little overwhelming.  However, as you spend more time in the reporting area you will find that the flow and set up make writing report so much easier.  The included templates and themes help you format reports quickly and professionally.

Cognos 11 screenshot 2

If the reporting area is a home run, then the dashboard area is a grand slam! I will go into a ton more detail on the Cognos 11 dashboards during the April 14th webinar, but as you can see the image below looks great and it took me less than an hour to build! 

 Cognos 11 Dashboard

One last item I will highlight is the “my home” area in Cognos 11. Here you can go to the home screen without closing your reports and the even better news is that you can seamlessly go from report to report!  Doesn’t seem like much but in my opinion this is a huge timesaver!

pic6

I believe that IBM has hit a home run with Cognos Analytics!!! Are there a few things missing? Yes, but I would expect those items to be part of an update in the future.  I will cover all the good and the couple missing items on the webinar on April 14th!  Please join by clinking the link below!

http://analyticleadership.com/cognos-11-demo-lodestar/

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