As more and more Cognos users begin to explore all of the capabilities in Cognos 10, the subject of “geospatial reporting” comes up. Now, first off, Cognos 10 does have out of the box geospatial reporting capabilities. So, picture this, one Saturday you’re looking to kick up your feet and realize an Ottoman is needed. So off to Home Goods you go to find the perfect piece. While in line to check out, you find the perfect picture frame with the cliché stock photo of a smiling family. You think to yourself, “Hey, I’ll leave the picture in and let guests assume they’re my extended family.” This is all well and good until someone looks into it and then you need to get a professional photo of your smiling family, your dog, your cat, your ferret, your parakeet, and of course, yourself.
What does this have to do with geospatial mapping and Cognos? Just because something is functional and looks good out of the box doesn’t mean that it is the best route to take. Like I mentioned before, there are basic geospatial mapping capabilities with Cognos 10 that are available right out of the box. But, there are also some very impressive third-party products that plug seamlessly into BI. ESRI is one of the Geospatial providers that offers one of the best integrations with Cognos BI. You can see several examples by clicking on their website link above, or another example of ESRI from youtube. Remember, always question, because knowledge is power, and the best user is an educated user.