In December 2022, IBM released Cognos Analytics 11.2.4. There are several efficiency enhancements, changes, and some very important information on future releases. Please read below for all the important information.
In summary Cognos Analytics 11.2.4 provides the following:
- Query engine performance improvements
- Microsoft™ Teams integration for Cognos reports
- Data source support
- Capability to render maps in PDF and Excel
- Natural language generation in dashboards
- Themes support for toolbar colors
Now on to the details of these additions and more!
Long Term Support
IBM Cognos Analytics 11.2.4 is a long-term support release (LTSR) and provides standard support for a minimum of two years with an available one-year extended support option to provide coverage for a total of three years minimum. IBM provides defect corrections, security patches, and select conformance updates on Cognos Analytics 11.2.4 as needed during the supported period.
Why is this important? Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 was the previous LTSR and with this release the new LTSR is Cognos Analytics 11.2.4. This means that you should start to make plans to upgrade from any version prior to 11.2.4 soon. At a minimum, you should be on version 11.1.7 today.
Cognos Analytics 11.2.4 (LTSR) is the final release that includes IBM Cognos Query Studio, IBM Cognos Analysis Studio, and IBM Cognos Workspace. Support for Cognos Query Studio, Cognos Analysis Studio, and Cognos Workspace will not be continued after the current release.
What does this mean? You will still have support and availability of Query Studio, Analysis Studio and Cognos Workspace on version 11.2.4. Once you upgrade past 11.2.4, support will NOT be available through IBM and the studios will not be available in Cognos Analytics. I highly suggest you start planning to upgrade to Cognos Analytics 11.2.4, however, I also suggest you start to make a plan for the above studios to go away. How does that change what you do today and what can we do to help you through this transition? Reach out to us at email@example.com to start these discussions.
Hardware and Software Requirements
Something we don’t highlight enough are the requirements for Cognos Analytics. IBM provides links to each of these requirements, and I suggest from time to time, clicking on this link to read the latest and verify your set up.
We can also help you through this by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ok, on to the enhancements and product changes in Cognos Analytics 11.2.4.
Support for Assistant capabilities on data sources - The Use Assistant capability can now be set at the source level. Previously, capability to use the Assistant was set at the user level. When the Use Assistant capability is enabled on a source, you can interact with the source in the Assistant and ask questions or create a visualization or dashboard.
When you open the assistant panel, the source is set to the active data source that is in Dashboard or Explore, depending on which component you open the assistant panel from. If you do not have Use Assistant capability for the source, you might be prompted to select a source before you can proceed. If you do not have Use Assistant capability on a specific source, when you enter Show source <source name>, the Assistant displays a message indicating that the package cannot be used.
Narrative Insights - Narrative Insights derive and leverage data from outside the visualization (such as by using other measures, categories, or time dimensions) to explain or highlight potential drivers, underlying causes, or further breakdown data. These are different from insights that were released in Cognos Analytics 11.1.3. The new auto-generated narrative insights are in natural language, making it easier to read and understand these insights. Think explorations inside a dashboard visualization.
Zoom Levels on Dashboard Canvas -
Zoom Bar – the zoom bar in now in bubble, line, column and scatter charts. You can use this bar to zoom in on individual visualizaitons and drive deeper insights.
Bubble Size Limits – you can now spicify the minimun and maximun size on bubble charts.
Alignment position for zero in line and column charts - In line and column visualizations, you can control whether or not the line and column sections have zero in the same position.
Handleing missing values in line visualizations – you can specify how missing values are now handled in line visualizaitons.
Data Labels in Visualizations - You can show value labels in line visualizations and line and column visualizations so that the data values are clearer.
New VIDA Image Service - A new service, VIDA Image Service, is introduced in Cognos Analytics 11.2.4. This service allows Cognos Analytics reports to render maps and other visualizations into PDF and Excel formats. In previous releases, these visualizations were available only in HTML format.
VIDA Image Service supports these chart types:
- Map (Tiledmap using MapBox API)
To learn about installing the VIDA image service please click here.
Embedded Reports in Microsoft Teams – you can now add a tab within teams to embed a Cognos Analytics Report.
Bulk Conversion of Query and Analysis Reports - Convert a group object of type query (Query Studio report) or analysis (Analysis Studio report) to objects of type report. This supports the deprecation of Query Studio and Analysis Studio and allows you to migrate your analysis and query content to Cognos Analytics Reporting.
For instruction on how to accomplish this please see this link.
Trend Lines in Bubble and Scatter Visualizaitons - You can apply a trendline to the X- and Y-axis data items in bubble and scatter visualizations. Apply trendlines to X- and Y-axis data items to illustrate trends in those specific items, typically when charting predictions.
PDF Drill Behavior - Drill-through behavior in PDF reports is changed to work similarly as in Cognos® Analytics 11.1.7. In Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 and earlier versions, PDF drill through was supported only in Internet Explorer, using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader provided a mechanism that allowed for generation of self-contained PDFs where the drill-through information was encapsulated in the PDF. Drill-through links worked as long as the PDF was viewed in Acrobat Reader.
Starting in Cognos Analytics 11.2.0, PDF drill through became available in all supported browsers and their respective PDF viewers. Because some of the viewers don't provide the same functionality as Acrobat Reader, the PDF output needed to be saved in Cognos Analytics for the drill-through links to work.
For cases where the PDF output is not saved in Cognos Analytics, a change is delivered in this release (11.2.4) that allows the drill-through links to work like they did in Cognos Analytics 11.1.7: in self-contained PDF reports that can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader. The drill-through links don't work if the PDF report is opened outside of Cognos Analytics, in a viewer other than Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Downloaded PDF reports can be opened in any PDF viewer. However, drill-through links work only in the following situations:
- The downloaded PDF report is viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- The report output is saved in Cognos Analytics, such as when running a report in the background and selecting the Save Delivery option.
Dynamic Source Override - Data modules can be dynamically redirected to different data server connections, schemas, or catalogs at run time.
Convert and Relink Option Available for All Types of Tables - The Convert and relink option is now available for all types of referenced tables, including the except, intersect, join, union, and SQL-based tables.
Current_date Sesison Parameter added for Dynamic Query Mode
There are serval additions and changes for administrators. For all that information please see this link.
There is a lot going on with Cognos Analytics 11.2.4 and we are here to help! Please reach out to us at email@example.com and let our experts help you with this transition. As mentioned earlier, please start to plan for upgrading to Cognos Analytics 11.2.4 and beyond. Especially with the Query and Analysis studio announcement, planning is even more important.