What’s New in Cognos Analytics 11.2

What's New in Cognos Analytics 11.2
What's New in Cognos Analytics 11.2
Written by Mike Bernaiche on June 10th, 2021

The next major update from IBM on the Cognos Analytics platform was released in late May.  Cognos Analytics 11.2 brings several enhancements improvements and a new user interface.  I will detail a few of the new items below.

User Interface

IBM has moved to Carbon, the IBM open-source design system for digital product and experience.  Personally, I believe it is a beautiful interface, very clean and makes sense as you move throughout the product. 

  •  Welcome Page – A quick launch and samples area has been added to the welcome screen.  This is for ease of use and efficiency.
  • Open Menu – Compact point to enter any area of Cognos Analytics 11.2.
Open Menu
  •  Full page content viewer – Here you will find your content, team content and samples in a full page view.  You can switch between tiles and a list view.
  • Search and Assistant – these items have been moved to the global content bar.
  • Edit Icon – Is now a toggle button at the top of dashboards, reports, etc.

For the complete list of changes to the welcome pane and user experience please check out this link from IBM.  Getting started - IBM Documentation

Dashboards

There are a couple of new changes to dashboards in Cognos Analytics 11.2.  They include:

  •  2 New Visualizations – Boxplot and Radar.  These visualization are also available in Explorations.
Boxplot
Radar
  •  Show labels on maps in local language. 

Notebooks

New in Cognos Analytics 11.2, if you have access to an external Watson environment enabled, you can import notebooks that were authored in IBM Watson Studio and use that data in reports or dashboards.

Reporting

A number of items were added to reporting in Cognos Analytics 11.2.  They include:

  • Add baseline to visualization using layout or query calculation.  Baselines are horizontal or vertical lines that cut through the chart to indicate major divisions in the data.
Reporting
  •  Local language labels in Maps - as in dashboard, you can show the local language in maps in Cognos Analytics 11.2.
  • New Themes – Carbo X Light and Carbon X dark are now available in reporting.
  • Support for PDF drill actions in Chrome and Firefox.

For the complete list of new items in reporting please check out this link from IBM. Reporting - IBM Documentation.

Modeling

  •  Navigation Path Enhancements – Navigation paths are now grouped into a folder named Navigation Paths and allows for a much cleaner and efficient use.
Navigation Enhancements
  •  Java Examples for modeling – using the rest API you can now perform the following:

- Load metadata
- Load metadata with select tables
- Reload metadata
- Upload new files
- Replace uploaded files
- Append to uploaded files

To access the examples and readme.txt, navigate to ../sdk/modeling/java/examples in your local installation.

Administration, Installation and Configuration

For more information on all of the changes in administration and installation of the product, please check out these links.

Administration - IBM Documentation

Installation and configuration - IBM Documentation

Call to Action

As you can read IBM has made a number of enhancements to Cognos Analytics 11.2.  Many of them are based on the user experience and I believe that is setting the stage for some great customizations and enhancements in future releases.  As of now, I believe Cognos Analytics 11.2.1 will be released in early fall and from what I have heard, it could be a very exciting release. 

Recently Lodestar Solutions created an Upgrade Bundle to help our clients with the upgrade process on both Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics.  The bundle includes technical support hours as well.  Trust me when I tell you this is a great deal!  For more information check out this blog on

Solving the IBM Cognos Upgrade Challenge - Lodestar Solutions.

If you have questions regarding Cognos Analytics 11.2 or the upgrade bundle, please reach out to services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Is Your Cognos Analytics Content Store Causing Performance Issues?

Is Your Cognos Analytics Content Store Causing Performance Issues
Is Your Cognos Analytics Content Store Causing Performance Issues
October 8, 2019

As you are planning your IBM Cognos Analytics upgrade you need to ask yourself, “Is Your Cognos Analytics Content Store Causing Performance Issues?”

What’s in the Cognos Analytics Content Store?

Your Cognos Content Store holds a lot of information.  It contains Cognos report specifications, scheduling, packages, data source connections, report outputs, etc. Over time your Cognos Content Store is like your garage, it accumulates a lot of clutter. 

Cause of Content Store Bloat

One big contributor to Content Store bloat is when the end users’ MyFolders content gets out of control.   Years ago, self-service was just a dream. Most end users didn’t really create their own content they just ran reports. But over the years IBM Cognos has become more self-service friendly. Unfortunately, as end users create their own content, they often have multiple versions of the same thing. This can cause Content Store bloat. If too large, the size of your Cognos Analytics Content Store can slow performance and create instability. So yes, size does matter.

Declutter Your Cognos Content Store

There are a few steps all Cognos Administrators should do to help prevent their Cognos Analytics Content Store from causing performance issues.

  1. Turn on Cognos Analytics Auditing to understand what’s being used and what is not. Check out this ​IBM Video for turning auditing on. 
  2. Identify Orphaned content with consistency checks. Orphaned content typically happens when an end user who has created content and stored it in their MyFolders leaves the organization.  The user is removed from security but their content stays and becomes orphaned. This content should either be removed or assigned to someone else. 
  3. Create guidelines for the number of versions retained. Saved report output is stored in the content store database, so it’s recommended you retain the least number of copies. This is possible by modifying the report output versions settings in a report's properties.
  4. IBM Cognos Content Archival allows you to store archived content in an external repository, this helps reduce the size of the content store and could help performance. See IBM Cognos Analytics Administration and Security Guide for more details. 
  5. As a Cognos Administrator you can leverage the Content Removal option to remove output versions in the Public Folder or MyFolders.
Content Removal Option

For more ideas on how you can declutter your Cognos Analytics Content Store so it doesn’t cause performance issues, click here to join our Lodestar Solutions’ Cognos Analytics Club. 

Once you join you will have access to our latest video on this topic as well as many other informative videos for Cognos Analytics Administrators looking to get the most out of their Cognos Analytics Upgrade.

Motio Tools to Improve the Content Store

Cognos Administrators should evaluate Motio Tools when planning their upgrades. Motio has tools that can help you declutter your content store.  Please refer to our previous blog on this topic. IBM and Motio have created an agreement that benefits you! You can leverage MotioCI for 30 days. For more information on Motio products check out their feature Matrix

Lodestar Solutions, Inc. is a reseller of Motio products so we are available to answer any questions you have. Just email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Don’t Upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

Don't Upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio
October 4, 2019

WARNING! If you are planning your Cognos Analytics upgrade and you haven’t heard of Motio, your upgrade will take more time and cost you more than it needs to. Don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

Use the Right Tools for the Job

Let’s say you had a 5-acre yard to mow and you have two tools you can use. You have a push mower or a large green John Deere tractor.  Which tool would you pick?  The tractor of course!  But clients that aren’t planning to use Motio to streamline their upgrade are choosing the push mower when they don’t have to! Motio provides tools that help IBM Cognos BI administrators succeed with their upgrade.  IBM believes so much in Motio tools they use them internally and they have an agreement to give clients like you access to the Motio tools for 30 days for free. They call it, “Motio in the box.” Check out Motio’s blog for more information.

Don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

Motio Benefits for Cognos Clients

Benefits of Motio tools for your upgrade to Cognos Analytics

  • Reduce the clutter of old, unused reports and objects before you upgrade or after
  • Complete regression testing
  • Control versioning so production changes can be promoted to sandboxes for testing
  • When you identify issues, you can update in mass
  • Stress test below going live to ensure success
  • Retrieve content from orphaned/deleted users

Motio recently came out with an amazing new MotioCI module called Inventory. This tool has helped clients understand what’s really in their content store and what report objects are being used. For some clients this has helped them reduce the number of reports to upgrade in half! 

Do you really know what’s in your content store? 

Try this, in your Cognos Product Environment run a query to find the number per object type. The objects can be found here:

<cognos_dir>\configuration\schemas\content\<database_type>\CSsize_profiling_<database_type>.sql


Here’s the query:

select c.NAME as "class name", count(*) as "number of objects"
from CMOBJECTS o, CMCLASSES c
group by o.CLASSID, c.CLASSID, C.NAME
having c.CLASSID=o.CLASSID
order by c.NAME;

Did the size of your Cognos Content Store shock you?

I like to say the content store is like my garage. It’s amazing how quickly it gets cluttered.  Keep an eye out for my next blog where I’ll cover how to declutter your content store. There are ways to declutter it but Motio tools will help you do it faster! Don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio.

Motio Tools for Every Step

Motio Tools will help you reduce the clutter before you upgrade. They will help you with the upgrade, and MotioPI Pro will help you quickly repair issues in mass. MotioCI Versioning will help you bring changes to Prod that happened while you were testing over so you can control the versions. Finally, Motio Report Card will ensure your system has top performance.

Motio Tools
Check out the MotioCI and MotioPI on the Motio website.  

Lodestar Solutions is a value added reseller of Motio products. So as you are planning your upgrade connect with Services@lodestarsolutions.com and we can help you upgrade faster and cheaper. Again, don’t upgrade to Cognos Analytics without Motio!

To learn more about upgrading to Cognos Analytics and to view our videos on Motio, join our new and improved Lodestar Solutions’ Cognos Analytics Club for free. Club members will gain access to videos, tools and special training offers. Click here to join the club. 

Upgrade IBM Cognos Analytics or Planning Analytics?

4/17/2018 

Should I Upgrade IBM Cognos Analytics or Planning Analytics?

Upgrade IBM Cognos now!  Do you know why you should upgrade today?  Did you know that Cognos BI has been rebranded as Cognos Analytics and that TM1 has been rebranded as Planning Analytics?  There are many reasons you should consider upgrading today!  Below are my top reasons to complete your IBM Cognos upgrades as soon as possible!

Top 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Cognos Analytics

  1. End of Support - Cognos BI 10.2.x will end support on April 30, 2018.  What does this mean to you?  There will be no more support from IBM in terms of patches, bug fixes or fix packs unless you purchase extended support for an additional cost.  Link to end of support page.  Link to what is included if you choose to purchase additional extended support.  If you are on Cognos Bi 10.2 or earlier, support ended April 30, 2016.  For a quote on purchasing extended support, please email sales@lodestarsolutions.com
  2. User Experience - IBM has provided a completely new user interface that is easy to use, organized and frankly, so much better than Cognos 10.  Not much else to say here, you just have to see it and try it!
  3. Dashboards, Dashboards, Dashboards - Anyone who tried to build dashboards in Cognos 10 knows that the process was not an easy one.  Actually, it probably made you rethink using dashboards.  Enter Cognos Analytics!  Creating a dashboard is a simple, no nonsense process that is quick and easy.  You can take a uploaded file, package or cube and create a dashboard in less than an hour.  No longer do you have to create the widgets in report studio and bring them into workspace.  This simple process is no drag and drop, put in production and use!
  4. Upload Files and Data Modules - Uploading files is very easy to do in Cognos Analytics.  The system will actually identify the columns and assign them as time, facts or measures.  You can use these files to merge with package data or cube data and the update process is very easy.  Take a bunch of offline files and upload them and merge then together using the data module function in Cognos Analytics.  There are many possibilities when it comes to utilizing the new data area in Cognos Analytics.  Truly provides on the potential for on the fly self service data modeling.
  5. Continues Updates - The IBM Cognos Analytics team has done a great job of continually updating the software.  Currently we are on version 11.0.10, meaning they have released 10 upgrades in a couple of years.  Each update provides not only bug fixes and code enhancements but also new features and items that the user community has identified as important enhancements.  IBM has a dedicated site for enhancements requests that you can check out here.
Upgrade IBM Cognos

Why Wait?

https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSD29G_2.0.0/com.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.tm1_prism_gs.2.0.0.doc/c_prism_what_you_can_do.html​​​The above list are just my top reasons to upgrade IBM Cognos Analytics.  Candidly it was hard to narrow the list to just five as there are so many more reasons to upgrade.  I would love to talk to you about your upgrade and the costs associated.  In most cases, it is less than you think to upgrade.  You can reach me at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Top 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Planning Analytics

  1. End of Support - TM1 10.2.2 will end support on September 30, 2019.  TM1 10.2.0 will end support on September 30, 2018 and all other versions of TM1 end support a couple of years ago or longer.  Again this means that their will not be any big fixes, patches or fix packs unless you purchase extended support.  Link to end of support page For a quote on purchasing extended support, please email sales@lodestarsolutions.com
  2. Workspace - Workspace is a web-based interface that provides an interface to TM1 data, with ways to plan, create, and analyze your content.  There are MANY things you can do in workspace that are too numerous to list here.  Check out this page to see everything you can do in workspace.
  3. PAx - Planning Analytics for Excel - Provides Planning Analytics access in excel and also integrates with workspace.   You can slice and dice, create quick reports, create dynamic reports and create custom highly formatted reports all in excel.  Then publish the reports to workspace and get all the benefits that workspace provides.
  4. New "Hierarchies" - The new "hierarchies" allow you to create virtual dimensions which can allow you to limit the number of dimensions in the cube.  This allows you to perform more complex and quicker analytics on your data.
  5. Speed - Planning Analytics integrates better with Cognos Analytics and utilizes better memory management, which allows better performance.  TM1 has always been quick with its in memory technology.  Now the best iseven better! 
Upgrade IBM Cognos

Why Wait?

Like with Cognos Analytics, these are just my top reasons to upgrade IBM Cognos Planning Analytics from TM1.  There are many many more reasons and again, the cost is not huge when compared to everything you get when you upgrade.  You can reach me at services@lodestarsolutions.com.

Upgrading to Cognos Analytics

9/26/2017
Upgrading to Cognos Analytics

First Step - Get Lodestar Tool Kit

As someone who used Cognos 10 for years, the thought of upgrading to Cognos Analytics was daunting.  I was not sure where to begin, what to do or even how to sell it to the organization.   Here at Lodestar Solutions we thought about how best to prepare you for this upgrade.   We created a fantastic online toolkit to prepare you for the upgrade called the  Cognos Analytics Upgrade Evaluation Toolkit.  Read this blog to see a great summary of the tool kit.  https://lodestarsolutions.com/cognos-analytics-upgrade-evaluation-plan/

How do you get this toolkit?  Simple, sign up for the Lodestar Solutions Cognos Coaching club by clicking the Upgrade Evaluation Toolkit picture to the right of this.  Once on the main page you can choose to join the Lodestar Cognos Club, the Lodestar Coaching Club or both.  I highly suggest both!  Next, click purchase offer (this is FREE) and then fill out the short form and you are in the club!

Upgrading to Cognos Analytics

​Next, click this link to take you to the offer page for the tool kit, sign in if needed and you will have access to the toolkit! https://lodestarsolutions.mykajabi.com/offers/rwT9X6qx

I Have the Toolkit, Now What?

​Start with watching Heather Cole's video on Evaluating Whether It's Time to Upgrade to Cognos Analytics.  This is a presentation she gave at IBM Vision in April, 2017.

Upgrading to Cognos Analytics

Next, start at the introduction section, which will teach you how to use the rest of the toolkit, then follow each step in the process.  There is a lot of information in this tool kit so block off some time and really concentrate.  Being prepared for the upgrade is such a stress reducer!  Now that you have a solid understanding of the process and the opportunity to WOW your end users, it’s time to take action!

Contact Lodestar Solutions

Now that you have prepared for your upgrade it is time to contact Lodestar Solutions.  Our technical team has many years of experience with Cognos software and are experts in upgrades and installs.   They will migrate and configure everything for you, provide detailed information and ensure your system is perfect.  Contact services@lodestarsolutions.com to schedule your free assessment call.

Do You Have A Cognos Analytics Upgrade Evaluation Plan?

What's Your Cognos Analytics Upgrade Evaluation Plan?

It’s been almost 2 years since the initial release of Cognos Analytics, aka C11. It is common for companies to wait 12 to 18 months after the initial release of any technology before adopting new versions. So, now is the time to evaluate!  So I ask the question, " Have you upgraded yet"?  If not, did you know Cognos BI 10.2 is going unsupported in April 2018?  (For information on Cognos support check out our blog on Cognos BI 10.2 Support.

 "What's your Cognos Analytics upgrade evaluation plan"?

Our Toolkit is broken down into a simple 6 Phased Framework.

Cognos Analytics Upgrade Evaluation Plan
1. Environment and Admin Prep

The first thing you need is a viable test environment. Our toolkit provides instructions on how to download Cognos Analytics from your IBM Passport Advantage site plus user guides on installation and configuration. Before you start implementing, we recommend that your administrators and power users get up to speed on Cognos Analytics.

2. End User Adoption Success

The next step in the evaluation is end user acceptance testing because this can be a game stopper. If your end users are resistant to change and are not going to embrace this new user interface, you have two options: Create a plan to get them to love it or stop and save your company’s money by keeping the status quo. Since end user acceptance is so critical to the project's success, this is where you should spend most of your time. In our toolkit, we teach a four-part framework on how to analytically evaluate end user acceptance. It also teaches you creative techniques on how to get your organization to embrace change by putting out an “Under New Management” sign.

3. Deployment Team Readiness

The next section covers how to determine if your deployment team has the time and resources needed to deploy Cognos Analytics. If you’re in the middle of an ERP implementation and you are using the same resources, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you do not have the resources available now. The Cognos Analytics upgrade is a fabulous time to incorporate a lot of positive changes and you want to ensure you have the resources to maximize this unique opportunity.

4. Rollout / Training Strategy

In the rollout assessment, you evaluate what would be the most effective way to rollout and train end users. Remember, this is a brand-new user interface so all users will need some type of training. In our toolkit, we mention some easy to implement methods to make you scalable while providing effective training that you can afford.

5. Budget / ROI

Many of you will need to secure funding, which means management will want to understand the ROI of the upgrade. No one ever likes to ask for money, but we have made it easy for you. In the toolkit, there is a budget template to get you started and we teach you how to build your ROI case starting at the beginning of the evaluation.

6. Conclusion

Finally, based upon everything that you have learned, you and your team will make a go or no go decision and define the next steps. To access the Cognos Analytics toolkit just click the image below and sign up!

Cognos Analytics Upgrade Evaluation Plan

Helpful Links

Sign up to get your complimentary access to our Cognos Evaluation Toolkit.  Be sure to check out the first video in the toolkit.

Also, check out this video on our free training on Being an Awesome Cognos Developer.  It includes a high level overview of  Cognos Analytics (BI v11)


Looking for Training?

We have an awesome offer for you.  Comes with a money back guarantee!  Check it out below.

Cognos Analytics Self Paced Online Training for administrator.   Includes access for 1 year release updates, and live quarterly Q/A calls with a Sr. BI Consultant, for only $497.

Destination Dashboard Self Paced Online Training for administrator.   This course trains you to facilitate meetings with end users to understand what they really want on their dashboards.  You will learn our proven methods so you develop dashboards your executive and end users love.  Includes access for life, a for only $497.

For more information on your training options include on-site training contact us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com

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