Expert Training for Cognos Analytics

Expert Training for Cognos Analytics

Next Steps

Now that you have upgraded to Cognos Analytics, what's next?  How about expert training for Cognos Analytics?

Lodestar Solutions offers a number of different training options from self-paced to instructor led classroom and everything in between.  Below is an explanation of each type of training, ballpark costs and availability.

Self-Paced Training

Self-paced training is a good choice for entry level training or for those on a small budget.  The typical cost is around $350 per day of training per person.  This training includes an IBM image, workbook and is good for 30 days - once you start the course.  For a few dollars more, we can set this training up with 30 to 60 min of Q&A with a senior level consultant.

Instructor Led Training

Next on the training options list is instructor led training.  This training can be done virtually through web meetings or can be delivered onsite at your location or a local training facility.  Typical cost is approximately $700 per day per person.  A Lodestar Solutions Certified Instructor will guide you through the class material with slides, discussion and hands on work.  Each student has an IBM image and follows along with hands on the keyboard.  Again, like self-paced training and for a few dollars more, we can set this training up with 30 to 60 min of Q&A with a senior level consultant.

Online Education Programs

We are really excited about our newest training option, our Lodestar Solutions online education programs.  These programs are 100% created and owned by Lodestar Solutions or Heatherized, Inc (sister company).  Once you sign up for one of our programs, you will get access to a library of documents and a series of videos that take you step by step through the process.  Currently we offer a  comprehensive dashboard course that touches on the user interface, data and storytelling.  We also offer a software agnostic Destination Dashboard program that teaches you soft skills and techniques to produce killer dashboards that people actually​ use.    Check out this video to learn more and see pricing for the online programs.

One on One Training

Lodestar Solutions senior consultants can provide one on one training using your system and data.  Typically, we will meet with you ahead of time to plan out the training,  ensuring that we meet all of your needs.  Then we can come onsite and work in full day increments or plan virtual sessions from 2 to 4 hours at a time.   We find that when training virtually, smaller chunks of time provide a better environment in which to learn.  Please contact to discuss your one on one training needs in greater detail.

Small Project Services / Training

Is your task list overflowing with old work?  However, you are still given more and more assignments, reports and dashboards to add to your never ending list?  Do you have little budget but need to get things done? Lodestar Solutions offers small project services that includes help in all of these areas, including training.  Check out our small service webpage at

Upcoming Events

Bookmark this link for quick access to Lodestar Solutions upcoming events page. We have a lot of great things happening here!  Check them out, register and take your analytics game to the next level.       Upcoming Events

As you can see by all of the above options, we have your training needs covered.  When you think of expert training for Cognos Analytics, think Lodestar Solutions.  Contact for more information!

7 Practical Ways To Improve BI User Adoption

Heather Cole, President of Lodestar Solutions, was interviewed on her insight in to ways to improve BI user adoption.  Below is the article:

Business Intelligence is booming. In 2013, businesses spent $14 Billion on Business Intelligence software. By 2018, analysts predict that number will balloon to $114 Billion.

Why are we seeing such massive growth?

It goes hand-in-hand with the growth of data. It’s estimated that the world’s data is doubling every two years. With this data explosion, more businesses are turning to BI tools. These BI tools help them make sense of this data, and turn it into a competitive advantage.

The only problem: BI user adoption rates remain flat. A recent study puts BI adoption among employees at 22%.

In other words, businesses are investing in BI solutions more than ever before. Yet, users still aren’t using the solutions. That’s a problem.

What’s the solution? How can you improve BI user adoption? Today, let’s focus on fixing that problem. Here are a few ways to improve BI user adoption:

Improve BI user adoption

Read the rest of the article including Heather Cole's tip at this link:

Increase Your RIO While Decreasing Training Costs

As I’ve said in my numerous blogs, Lodestar is a big proponent of training. However, all too often, companies see the value in licenses and installation, but cheap out on training. Without proper training, maximum ROI cannot be achieved. An inexpensive and cutting edge way to decrease training costs to team members is to create short instructional videos that can be accessed from a shared drive or company web portal. Not only can videos be made to demonstrate how to use Cognos products, but also on common IT policies and procedures, and common questions. The best part is that they are reusable. This means that as additional employees are added, there is no additional cost to the company, only value.

Making these videos is easier than you think. Lodestar uses Camtasia recording software to create internal videos used for on-boarding policies and training. We also have also created custom Cognos BI tutorials for several of our clients.

Camtasia Studio is the complete recording solution. It provides editing capabilities and the abilities to share high-quality screen video on the Web, YouTube, DVD, CD and portable media players, including iPod.  It easily records your screen, PowerPoint, multiple audio tracks, and webcam video to create compelling training videos, screencasts, and presentations right from your personal PC.

Although the software is easy to install and use, take heed of my mistakes and reduce your learning curve by avoiding these pitfalls and “gotcha” moments.

Write a Script!

Weird things can happen to your mental and physical abilities when you try to record your voice and move the cursor at the same time.  Software you’ve been teaching and demonstrating for a year suddenly becomes foreign. As soon as you click the record button, you are unable to form proper sentences. Your tongue feels swollen and you feel like you have a mouth full of marbles. To overcome this, write a script. Not only will it help your stage fright, but you will increase the professional dialect tenfold. This is especially true when creating a PowerPoint video, but even when trying to describe a feature or property, it helps to write it down as a fully formed and clear thought.

Practice Out Loud

After you have written the script, practice speaking it out loud.  This serves two purposes. First, it will help you rewrite your script to be more natural and in more of a conversational tone. Second, the more comfortable you are with the material, the less takes and editing you will have to do on the back end.  Also, it is a good way to warm up your voice.

Before Recording – Double Check Screen Settings

A gotcha that has bitten me hard several times is not having the recorded image set properly.  Several times I have recorded a masterpiece; my voice was right on, the scripting was read perfectly and I effortlessly moved the mouse from object to object, only to find out during editing that part of the screen was cut off. Trust me when I say this is absolutely devastating and soul crashing. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, get in the habit every time before you hit the record button to press the full screen button and then adjust as needed.

Record Small Segments

Breaking up your recording into logical segments not only helps you keep the energy up and, if things do get funky in the recording, it’s only a minor setback. Sometimes, for an unexplained reason, the audio and visual don’t match up and since they are recorded on the same track, there isn’t anything you can do but re-record.

Edit as You Go

Editing your takes as you go is a preference, but I find that it is easier to edit a segment while your mistakes are fresh in your mind.  You can then add special effects at the end to add emphasis.

Finally – you’ll get better!

It’s like anything; the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll get and the more relaxed you’ll be about the whole process.

If you would love to decrease training costs and increase the ROI of your BI/BA investment though building a public video library but don’t have the time or manpower to get it done, contact one of our representatives at Lodestar to get a quote on having training videos made for your organization.

Cognos Training Leads to Success

Training is one of the most important aspects of implementing and maintaining your IBM Cognos system!  If you inherited Cognos or have recently been assigned to the Cognos team in your organization, I strongly encourage you to get some Cognos training.

If you have questions about IBM public training or Lodestar’s on-site training, please contact Kelly Ray at

Training is the first step to increasing your return on your IBM Cognos investment!

How do you get IBM Cognos training? IBM has a number of great Cognos public training classes offered to clients.   Lodestar Solutions can help register you for one of these training classes at a competitive price.  Training is offered at IBM training centers across the country and world.If you are not in a city that hosts IBM Cognos training classes, the travel costs to send several  team members to training can be expensive.  Additionally, if you are on an older version of Cognos, or running products that aren’t offered by IBM often, IBM public training may not be meeting your needs.

Lodestar Solutions offers an alternative to IBM Cognos public training.  We have created Lodestar training classes which are taught by our experienced consulting team on-site.  The material was developed by Lodestar and can be customized to meet your organization needs and versions.   You are only responsible for the class and the travel costs for the trainer.

Cognos training classes can include IBM Cognos BI Studios, Framework Manager, Planning, TM1, Cognos Finance … etc.

On-site training classes are available for 3-6 attendees.  If you have less than three attendees, Lodestar can provide consulting sessions where we teach you on your data.

Lodestar also offers customized end user training which can be conducted via a webinar.  Lodestar recommends that the end user training sessions are recorded so it can be used for future users.