After a long wait, Cognos Analytics R7 is finally here! I got a chance to get hands on with the latest build and here are some of the new features/capabilities I am most excited about:
Look and feel
The Cognos Analytics look and feel had been updated and now looks cleaner and more user friendly. Recent reports are shown in the center pane. New colors and icons on the top and left bars replace the ones from earlier versions. You can drag files right onto the main page to upload files. Team and My Content folders allow you to adjust the width and no longer slide out to three windows, and work similarly to Cognos BI 8/10.
Labeling has been improved significantly. Axis and values on the charts look and work much better now. Filtering and advanced calculations are also improved.
Maps and Navigation Groups are now available in the reporting tool. These were previously limited to dashboards only.
Do you wish you could see the sales number for China in 2015 for all reports without having to select the same values over and over? Now you can. My Parameters provides the ability to filter multiple reports using the same parameters.
If you have a large PowerPlay user base and have been holding off on upgrading, this is the release you have been waiting for. New versions of the Windows client, the Studio and Transformer now are upgraded to Cognos Analytics. This will require a separate install and configuration as well as licensing similar to what was required in the past. The functionality will remain the same as it was in the Cognos BI 10.2.2.
Cognos Analytics now allows you to use OpenID as an authentication namespace. ADFS, Azure, Google and Salesforce are among the many options now available to users.
This may not be the sexiest feature or one you were looking for, but a good deal of work was put into redesigning the way we track down and resolve issues with Cognos Analytics. No longer do administrations have to edit ipfXXXconfig.xml files and restart servers. All logging can be enabled through the portal and a restart is no longer needed.
Session logging is now also a new option in R7. You can enable logging for a session and specific log files will be created for each user. This feature can help administrators track down those hard to find user issues. Session logging is turned off after closing the browser or ending your session, so you don’t have to worry about people leaving it on and eating up all the disk space on the server.
Performance logging will allow you to identify bottlenecks with reports and which objects queries are the cause for slow performance. Check a box under the run options to enable this feature and you can quickly and easily tune slow running reports.
IBM has been putting out quarterly improvements of Cognos Analytics. Nic Leduc, one of the IBM product managers for Cognos Analytics, describes the Cognos Analytics November 2017 Enhancements in this webinar recording.
Thanks to our own Todd Schuman for writing this post. Todd is the Cognos Practice Lead for installations, upgrades and performance tuning.
Todd has also presented on a number of other Cognos Analytics topics, you may be interested in these webinar recordings: