How to Customize Your Cognos Analytics

Customize Your Cognos Analytics
Customize Your Cognos Analytics
October 22nd, 2020

Have you been using IBM Cognos Analytics for years?  You are a master of Framework Manager and building reports, but have you branded your Cognos Analytics to reflect your companies, colors and logos?  Today we will discuss how to customize your Cognos Analytics for your company, so you look like a Rockstar.  Don’t worry, if you tried this in an earlier version like Cognos BI and struggled, you will be surprised at the improvements.

Why Customize Your Cognos Analytics?

End users and executives like to see consistency across their reporting and analytic solutions.  They like to see the company logo and company colors to create a consistent look and feel.  Creating a unique standard for your company is called creating a Cognos skin.  Creating a customized skin is like wrapping a gift.  When you give a holiday gift, do you wrap it in pretty paper with a bow, or do you deliver it in the bag from the store where you purchased it?  Well Cognos Analytics Customizations is like putting the perfect wrapping paper on your gift. 

As a developer, setting up your own templates and theme will take some time, but it will save you development time in the future.  Developers will have a framework to start with and not have to add the same objects and formatting to each new report.  Additionally, if your company decides to change their corporate colors or logo, you won’t have to update every report. 

Cognos Analytics Customizations

Cognos Analytics allows you to customize your Cognos Analytics system by using themes to change the Cognos Analytics interface to display your organizations branding.  Themes allow you to change the color schemes, logos and portal verbiage.   Additionally, you can leverage the global color palette functionality to create standardized colors for your end users.   A global palette is defined by the administrator but can be available to all users.  Users can duplicate it and then modify their version of it.

Click here or more information on Cognos Analytics Global Color Palettes.

Cognos Analytics Themes

To get you started IBM offers sample themes you can modify.  The samples are typically part of the product installation and are located at, <installation location>\samples\.  In Cognos Analytics, you can upload customizations directly through the Cognos Analytics user interface.  The core of each theme is a spec.json file that defines it and the files (images) that the .json references.  The theme allows for modification of the brandiconsmall, appbar, brandicon, brandText and navbar.

Cognos Analytics Themes

Cognos Analytics Extensions

In addition to themes, IBM Cognos Analytics extensions are used to add or remove buttons, shapes, menus, etc… in order to extend the standard user interface.

Cognos Analytics Extensions

How to Get Started on Branding Cognos Analytics for your Company

Now you know that you can customize your Cognos Analytics to reflect the colors and logos for your company, are you wondering, where do I start?  Start by watching the informative IBM produced youtube video How to Create Themes in 11.4

In the video IBM will guide you on how to install the samples and provide a lot of the details. 

How to Install Samples

You also might want to check out the Creating Themes  section of the IBM knowledge base.

Time to Skin Cognos Analytics

Are you read to wow your executives?  It’s time to customize your Cognos Analytics for your company. You already have a lot of skin in the game, isn’t it time to create a customized skin for your Cognos?    The good news is that IBM has made it a lot easier to create your company branding.  For more information on what Cognos Analytics can provide your organization see our blog, What’s New in Cognos Analytics.

Client Presentation on How They Customized Cognos Analytics

If you are a Lodestar Solutions’ client you should have recently received an invite to our private, client only, Cognos Analytics & Planning Analytics User Group being held virtually November 10, 2020.  US Lumber, a long-time Lodestar client will be sharing how they customized Cognos Analytics for their company.  To register for the event or get access to the replay email,  

Please note, the Lodestar Solutions User Group is for current Lodestar clients that have purchased their renewal, services, software and/or training from us within the last 12 months.  This is a private group, as we share consultant secrets and are providing virtual peer networking sessions.  To learn more about how to become a Lodestar client and get invited to our exclusive events email us at  Check out our website to see how we help our clients succeed in Cognos Analytics.

If you need help to customize your Cognos Analytics, reach out to us at