Cognos 11.1.3: Demos of New Features
Presented by Cognos Lead Product Manager
IBM Cognos 11.1.3 has some features we’re psyched about. In this on-demand webinar, Analytics Offering Management Leader Chris McPherson provides an overview and demos of the new features and answers questions.
Here are some of our favorite features
- Share your content by email. Not only can you now share a report via email directly from within Cognos, you can also annotate the visual before you share.
- Enhanced Assistant capabilities. In addition to offering type-ahead support to improve usability, the CA Assistant understands modifiers like aggregations and filters. But what really caught our attention is that the Assistant can generate a complete dashboard based on what it finds interesting in your data. This feature gives you a starting point when you don’t know anything about your data.
- Target for bar and column visualizations. You can use the Target data slot in bar and column visualizations in reports, dashboards and explorations to show measures that need to be compared against a target value.
- Little things…but we liked them. A new font plus improvements to filtering and the Explore feature.
Cognos Analytics Offering Management Leader
Chris’s areas of responsibility include the Cognos portal, APIs, mobile and the business partner channel. He joined Cognos in 2005 and held a number of senior technical roles in the support organization before moving to product management in 2008 when Cognos was acquired by IBM.
OK, you can hear me?
Well, this is typically the volume that I would be speaking at when I’m doing this presentation, OK, and that’s the USB headset because it sounds good to me, the phone again, because the USB headset crashed the shooting halfway, yes.
Yeah, OK. All right. Well, we have what we have into. A block. The ability to select the screen I’m sharing.
Greetings everyone and welcome to the latest installment of the Senturus as Knowledge Series. Today, I’m pleased to be presenting to you along with my colleagues, the topic of Cognos 11: 1 3 Demos of new Features.
Before we get into the content, we have a few housekeeping items to take care of.
For starters, the Go to Webinar panel on the next slide allows you to collapse and expand the control panel to, you know, have it in your, on your screen, or move it out of the way, if it’s in your way. Importantly, all microphones are muted, but you are allowed to and encouraged to submit questions via the question pane that you’ll find near the bottom of the Go to Webinar control panel, so please enter those questions there. We do our best to try and answer all of the questions live, time permitting.
But if we don’t are unable for some reason to reply immediately, we will provide a written response document that we post to… com, which if you go to the next slide, leads right into that. The first question we usually get and throughout the presentation is, can I get a copy of the presentation to which the answer is and unequivocal yes, It will be available and it actually is currently available on… com on our Resources site. So you can see the URL there near the top of the screen.
We invite you to head over there and select the Resources tab and you’ll be able to get the deck as well as the question logs and a recording once we have that readies usually in a couple of weeks.
Today’s agenda, after a brief introduction of the speakers, we’ll get right into the meat of our presentation. First, well, we’re going to talk about the 11.3 new features in the various areas of reporting and data modules, dash boarding, the Assistant, the Exploration Capabilities and Collaboration. So, the major functional areas of Cognos analytics. There’s some very exciting new features in 11.3 that we think you’ll be excited about.
Afterwards, we encourage you all too please stick around through a brief Senturus’s overview, because we provide a lot of great, additional, mostly free resources. And we get into the question and answer which always pretty action is packed here in this particular webinar.
So, I am pleased to be joined today and want to thank him upfront for joining us by Mister Chris Macpherson, was an offering management leader with IBM and the Cognos Analytics arm. His area of responsibilities include the Cognos Portal APIs Mobile, as well as the Business Partner Channel.
He’s been with Cognos since 2005 and has held a number of senior technical roles within the support organization before moving into Product management in 2008 when Cognos was acquired by IBM.
And we’re also joined by Michael McGinn and Michael Peters from IBM as well who will be supporting us throughout the webinar and Q&A and whatnot.
So, couple of my Cognos alums I joined Cognos back in 2001, so there’s a lot of Cognos experience between the four of us on this call All right, so the next slide here.
We always like to put our finger on the pulse of our customers here, and those of you who’ve done this, you’ll know the drill. I’m going to put up a poll. Thank you for putting that up. What version of Cognos or you’re currently running? Please select one of those or, you’re running ice. Are you a legacy hold down on version eight?
Are you on version 10, have you upgraded to Cognos 11 webinar or something? Or are you on the vanguard with 11.1 with all the exciting new features? So, we’ll give people a few seconds to answer that.
We’re at about 75%, 80% here, and then we will close that out, and we’ll show the response.
So, yeah, about half of y’all have moved up to 11. Still a good quarter.
Sort of hanging back there on 10. Go for only one guy out there on, let’s see, we’ve got 185 people on here.
So we got lucky, two people hanging back there on eight, and then quite a few people, but a third of you almost that are on 11 1. So, fabulous, Thank you for sharing your insights with us. We’ll cut back to the deck here, And with that, I’m going to hand the microphone on the floor over to you, Chris, and lets you take off into the content. The floor is yours.
Great. Thanks very much, Mike. Thanks for everyone for coming. I’m very pleased to be here, to be joined by my colleagues, Mike Mckean, and my computer, to talk to you about our latest release of cognitive analytics. This is version 11.1.3, was released, I think, on or around July nine, so it’s been in market for about roughly two weeks, But as Mike said earlier, we’ve got some, some really cool things included in this release, you know, in a number of different areas across the product. So, I’d like to do, for the next 30, 40 minutes or so. Just take you through a few slides to, to highlight some of these areas that we’ve improved in this latest release, and then spend 5 or 10 minutes doing some live demos to, to check out some of the, some of these things in real life.
So, the first area I’m going to talk about is theory of reporting near and dear to all Cognos, Cognos users and organizations that use cognitive analytics course reporting.
So, we have done some pretty nice things in reporting in this latest version on the topic of visualizations. We’ve done some work on making the whole drill through experience better, So, in previous versions, we did have a bit of a limitation with these new client side visualizations. You didn’t have this drill through capability that you did with some of our legacy visualizations. So, you’ll now be able to create this drill through definition directly on the 11, 1 visualizations. We’ve also enable gesture based drill through the DoubleClick. So if you, for example, in the scatter chart that you see here, you’d be able to select one of these bubbles and then just simply double click to drill through to your target report.
You still, of course, have the option to click in and use the toolbar, the context toolbar, but you do have that direct DoubleClick drill through enabled. Likewise, you’d be able to multi select on your visualizations, so that if you had a number of different prompts in your target report that you wanted to satisfy, you can make multiple selections on either the main area of the visualization or the legend, and then have those values pass through when you do your drill through. The last thing I’ll mention here, on the terms of visualizations, and this is something that we’ll see in dashboards as well. But we have this nice target line, so that if you’re using an actual and a planned measure, you’d be able to have this target line visible on your visualization, to just provide additional effectiveness for getting that message across.
Another thing that we’ve done in and reporting with 11.1 to 3 is a brand new filter dialog. So as an author, when you’re building out these filters, and you’re interacting with these visualizations. We have a new filter dialog that has search capability. You have the ability to manually put items in a, in a very elegant way. We’ve got some simple conditionals that you can be, that you can use. We support a host of different format string, numeric range of dates, and so on. And we also have some tools available to help eliminate some false hits and things like that, when you have nulls or No Trailing or Leading whitespace in the values. So we can have a look at that a little later, when we get into actually walking through some of these things live.
Some other improvements in the area of reporting, are, we’ve got custom blank templates that are now available. And then something that we’re calling an enhanced report overview. So in previous versions, you had the ability to see an overview of the reported, which show you all of the various elements that were on the reports, on how many tables you had, how many, how many controls you had, how many visualizations you might have the time.
So, we’ve really sort of put some additional focus on that, so that now you have a much more complete picture of everything that you’ve got in your report, whether it be parameters, whether you be individual items, prompts, and so on. So, a really nice one stop place to go and see everything that you’ve got in your report and what you need to keep track of.
So moving away from reporting. We’ve also done some great work and data modules. And my colleague, Mike McKean, who I mentioned earlier, has joined us to do some moderating the questions. This is his area. So he’s done some great work. He and the team have done some great work in the area of data modules. And 11.3.
1 of the primary things that we’ve done is been able to retain the formatting that you have in a spreadsheet, if you’re using it as a data source. So in previous versions, if you had formatting applied to the columns and rows that you had in your spreadsheet, you’d have to typically go and redo that in the data module. So we’re now able to detect that when you do your import, and you’re not going to have to re-apply that, will maintain that.
That formatting as best we can whenever we use it as a, the starting point for your data module.
Another thing that we’ve added in data modules in this releases called, numeric data groups binning. So we now have multi language support for that. So you can see on the screen here, the name, it’s picking up the content locale. We’ve got French here as the content locale. So it’s now, these range names are now reflecting that product to content locale settings. So prior to this version, this would have been all English. So now we’re very pleased to be able to support that and render it in the language that you’re using the product?
And Model validation so we’ve made it much easier for you to do this validation right inside the Web based Modeling interface.
You have this nice, you know easy to find button in the top, right?
And you can run the validation, and it will give you the details of any issues that it happens to find and not. You’ll have an easy way to be able to copy and paste it into, you know, another Word document, or whatever else that you want to be sharing with customer support if you have to go that route. So.
No, just really to make the whole usability and maintainability of your modules. Modules easier.
So moving into the next area, we’ve got a dashboard. So we do have a couple of really neat things that we’ve done in dash boarding and 11.3. And we’re going to talk about them here. And again, we’ll show some of these little later. So I talked a little bit about the Target line, so that’s a really neat thing that we’ve added for these visualizations, where it makes sense of bar charts stacked bar, and so on. So you now have a target slot. So in the details of the visualization. So as you’re building it out, you’ll have a slot where you can drag in something like Planned Revenue, for an example, and then it’ll show that on the visualization itself. You have some properties available as well, to control the width, the color, and so on.
But, the other thing is that we’ve also added the smarts to the vias recommender Visualization Recommender. So, that if you happened to drag multiple measures, and one of them looks like it’s a target, and we were able to determine it’s a target and an actual will actually automatically show that target line for you without you even asking for it. So, it’s, you know, it’s a subtle improvement, but I think a really effective one, when you’re using these kinds of visualizations to, and you’re using it for those types of use cases.
Again, in terms of troubleshooting and maintainability, we’ve also added some nice troubleshooting capability into the dashboard. So you now have the ability to see the actual dashboard spec and examine the IDs and the various elements that you’ve got in your dashboard in this nice window. So, it’s a keyboard shortcut is control Q slash, and I’ll show this little later in the demo, but very easy to get this screen up and let you do some additional examination of, you know, what the elements are and where you might be running into the air. Also, a nice way to be able to share the dashboard spec with the customer support organization, if you do happen to run into an issue, and need to get their help troubleshooting.
I think the next item we’re going to talk about is some improvements we’ve made in the Assistant. And this is going to, you know, going to be sort of the bulk of what I’m going to show you when we get into the actual product. But we’re really excited about some of the things we’ve done with the Assistant. We’ve had some great feedback and great response to, from our user base on, on using the system, and how easy it is for you to do analysis of your data and to create and generate compelling visualizations using the Assistant. So what we’ve done is really taking the goodness that we had an 1111 to, and make some usability improvements. So we’ve added things like, can tell a sense and type ahead, so that you don’t have to, you know, as you’re typing in, things that it’ll actually show you what you have available to you. To select. You can add simple filters, and modifier.
So top X, number of, know, values that you’re looking for a particular, for a particular area. It also is time and geography aware, so you could actually ask for something. And so if you have country, for example, in your data, you can actually ask for country name. We, It’s the smart engine is aware of the list of countries in the world and will be able to actually recognize that and give you the right visualization based on that selection.
You can also see influencers, so it’s not simply a case of show me this value by this value. You can actually say, you know, show me the influencers of these values, and it will apply to these predictive algorithms to be able to identify things that, you know, are influencers and are driving the values in that particular area. And then, last, but certainly not least, on a generation of content.
So you’ll know from having used and or seen previous versions of Cognitive Analytics 11.1, you can just simply type in commands to generate visualizations. Really, where we want to go with this, ultimately, is enable you to be able to simply type in questions and then have the product generate dashboards or reports for you to use as a starting point. So, that’s something else that we’ll look at in the demo. But that’s, I think, a really cool thing that we’ve been able to introduce in this latest version.
And the next item to, we’re going to talk about is explore. We’ve got some great things that we’ve done here, as well.
The relationship diagram, this, is something, we had some customer feedback, that the, sort of the default view of the relationship diagram and previous releases could be a little difficult to interpret. What we were doing was identifying relationships in the data, and these are not primary foreign key relationships. These are really data level relationships in the data source that you’ve selected, and we would show you all of those relationships, and we’ll show you the, you know, the relative strength of those relationships. So, we found that when we are including primary and secondary relationships, you’d end up with a rather busy type of display.
So, the, the item you see on the bottom would be the pre 11.1.3 version of that diagram, so you’re seeing all of the relationships, primary and secondary. What we’ve done is made the default view, primary only. So you’ll see just the strongest relationships, and the most direct relationships by default, and then you’ll have the option to expand. Expand that to secondary relationships.
You also have a nice slider available where you can determine the strength of the relationships that you want to show. So in other words, don’t show me anything that’s below, let’s say, 60% relative strength. So, really, like, it gives the user some added control over what they see, and, you know, it just makes for more elegant cleaner effect for the actual visualization itself.
Something else we’ve done, an explorer, is done some work on the compare card. This was a really great feature that we introduce an 11.1, where you can take two visualizations that you similar data points, and compare them side-by-side, and have the product identify some things that they have in common and some key differences. So, in previous versions, this was limited to two visualizations that use the same measure.
So in other words, you had up, you were using product, product line and revenue, and geography, both visualizations had to have the same measure. So revenue. So now we have the ability to use different measures, but then still keep the scale in sync.
So that’s real big step forward for this compare card and really makes it far more useful. We’re also able to now use measures that are aggregated with the average in previous versions that were limited to using measures that were aggregated as some. So much easier to. And much more useful to be able to use those additional aggregation types. And we’ve also made it easier for you to access the compare card.
So, in previous versions, you know, it was a sub item in one of the menus and Explore area, it right now, You know, it’s been so popular that we’ve brought that button right out, front center right at the top of the screen, So that Azure, and explore, as you’re doing, interacting with your data and your visualizations, you have that compare button right there. So clicking, it will just lay these two visualizations out automatically for you, and let you know very easily and quickly see how they, how they are the similarities, and the differences between the two.
Another key feature that we’ve introduced, an 11 month 3 is the ability to use categorical targets for the driver analysis. So, in previous versions, if you wanted to use these visualizations, predictive driver visualizations, you needed to select a measure as your target. So, we’ve now enabled you to be able to use a categorical target. So, an example of this would be might be churn, you know, if you’re a telco company, obviously you’re going to be very interested in what drives customer churn, but that isn’t necessarily going to be, you know, a measure that you’d have aggregated. So, it just really expands the number of use cases that you’d be able to leverage these capabilities, you know, in your, your day-to-day business, with your data sources. So, this is a really big step forward for us that we’re very excited about.
And then, moving on to the last of the slides that I wanted to show you, We were able to do some really good work in collaborations, and I’ve actually got some animated gifs on these slides. So, if you watch the, the, the screen carefully, you will see that. So, really the, it’s about sending being able to share your annotated visualizations and dashboards or screenshots, the e-mail. So, in previous versions, we had the ability to share this via Slack.
You’ll recall that in a loved one, we added Slack integration so that you can collaborate with your team and distribute this content via Slack but, you know, many of our existing Cognos customers, you know, we’re used to having e-mail capabilities built into the product and being able to share reports and so on via e-mail, So now we have a very easy way to share these share these assets via e-mail. We’ve got quick search that will scour through the members of the namespace that you’re authenticated in so that you can search for other users that you may not have their e-mail address just at your fingertips. So, a really neat way to be able to share this content with the rest of your organization.
Just keeping on the e-mail topic, we’ve also got most recently useless. So we’re going to automatically keep, you know, a list of the last up to 30 addresses that you’ve used.
So, typically, most users are, you know, have a group of colleagues or people in the organization that they’re sharing, sharing their content with. In most cases, most users don’t access hundreds of reports or dashboards on a day they access, you know, 10, or 15, or 20. Likewise, they’re not communicating or sharing information with hundreds of people on a daily basis. It’s their immediate team, their management chain, and so on. So, we’ll keep that list of most used addresses at your fingertips, so that you can quickly select the ones that, the people that you want to be able to share these, these assets.
And then, last, the last thing I’ll say about e-mail support, we have the ability to now let you type e-mails, and you’re able to copy and paste them, comma separated lists, semi colon separated lists, or even to limited lists, like it. You’ll see at the top we have our IBM way of reconciling users and e-mails, so a lot of options available to you to be able to share these assets on the content with your, your, the rest of your organization, via e-mail, if that’s what you want to do.
So, that is the end of the slides that I wanted to share with you. I think what I’d like to do is take the next 10 minutes or so, and maybe jump into the actual product itself, so that we can look at some of these things in real life.
So I’m just going to maximize my screen here.
So this is the brand new Cognitive Analytics 11.1.3. So not a lot of change here on the main screen. But what we’re going to do is look at a couple of the things that I highlighted. A couple of other things that are minor things that, you know, are worth calling out to. Because, frankly, I’m pretty, I really liked them. So the first thing I wanted to show you was, we didn’t talk about it earlier, but I’m just going to scroll down to the samples. We did some work on mapping.
It’s not a big change, but I think it’s really going to help the esthetics of the, the dashboards and reports that you’re generating. So this is just a sample that’s provided with 11.1.3. But you’re going to see that we’ve updated the map box, base map, so that we don’t have the, you know, the kind of distracting blue for the ocean. So, you have a number of different styles now available to you. So that you can have a, you know, a nice, kind of, transparent effect for the water in the ocean on the world map. So, it just makes it a lot more a tribe, much more visually appealing, and makes it much easier for you to really tailor the look and feel of the reports and the dashboard you’re billing. Because, you know, obviously, we want to make that, make it easy for you to build very attractive and very compelling content. So that’s, you know, it’s a small change, but I think it’s a really great thing that customers are really going to like.
So, the next thing I’m going to show you is, we’ll just jump back here at home, I’m going to show you a sample of the new filter dialog that we’ve introduced. So this is just, again, another one of our sample reports. Something nice that we’ve done with the samples in the last few releases, you may have noticed, is we’ve actually added the ability to see how these vision, these visualizations and these reports were created.
So you’ve got, in this case, you’ve got some description about, know, the type of visualization we’re using, But we’ve also got, on some of the others, actual links to videos on. Here’s how you build this report.
So a really neat way to have some of your content creators be able to quickly go in and get some tips and tricks on how to quickly build out some of these reports.
So what I’m going to do here? I’m in Edit mode now. So I’m an authoring mode and if I select the visualization, I’m going to get the data Tre we call it, which will give me the slots available to select.
So if I simply select one of these areas, and then go up here to my filter panel, I can create custom filter. And this is a brand new dialog that we’ve got that lets me select these available items. I can manually input items if that’s what I want to do using.
I have a choice of what the limiters I want to use. If I were looking at a if I’m looking at a measure, for example, you will have other options available to me. I can keep these values or exclude. I can provide a range. I’ve got various advanced settings down here as well. So I can include missing values nulls handle that. And then again, manually input items. So this is going to be very flexible, it’s very easy for authors to use. If I go back to previous one, I also have a nice search capability. And let’s look at that. So, if I go back here.
By default, I’ve got my nice search capability here with these various options that will help me do, know, a more exact search, and really increase the likelihood of finding what I want. I can sort, again, how, however I want, I choose. We have a lot of options here, so I think this is going to be really useful for, for report authors and consumers are reports.
From here, I would like to show you some of the things that I was talking about with the Assistant, because I’m really quite excited about that. So I’m going to create a brand new dock board here.
I’ll just select a blank template.
And instead of selecting a data source, I’m going to go right to my assistant. So, for anyone who hasn’t seen a demo of this, previously, this is the new, what we call, the Conversation Assistant. So this is really the, you know, leveraging the smarts. That we’ve built into the product. So that you can simply ask questions and start generating visualizations based on keyword questions, and so on that you’re asking.
So, I’m going to just say, show data, and this should show me whatever data assets I have available to me. So, I can either type in the name of the asset that I want to use, or I can simply selected. So I’ll go ahead and do that. And it’s going to show me some interesting things about this data source of selected. So, this is just a spreadsheet that I’ve uploaded for purposes of this demo. It’s got some standard sales information. So, it’s showing me some of the columns and the various concepts that it feels, you know, are related to these columns. So, what I can do now is start building our visualizations, or doing some additional exploration simply by typing. In my command. So, so, let’s say, show me revenue. And you can see now, as I’m typing in.
The words, it’s going to show me the various options that I have available to me. So I don’t need to worry about whether I’m spelling it correctly or getting every character correctly, I can type it in by looking at it, or I can simply go ahead and select it by, let’s say, product, line.
And I submit this and what it’s going to do is show me as generate a series of visualizations for me based on what I’ve asked for. So, in this case, you can see, it’s generated this, this bar chart, But it’s also into, because, as, I mentioned earlier, because it’s detected that I’m using, you know, an actual value in a plan, that, so a target value, it’s going to automatically show me this target line. So I’ve got my revenue here in the bars, and I’ve got my plan revenue as the target, that’s drawn on the visualization.
And, of course, I’ve got, you know, a number of different options. I can simply scroll through the various ones until I find one that I like, and then it’s simply a matter of dragging and dropping it onto my canvas, too.
Continue building out my dashboard, so to use as a starting point. But some of the other things that it’s done for me, is it’s found these other matching data sources, that I might be interested in, it’s got some related visualizations that I might, might be interested in, as well.
But 11.1.3, 1 of the nice things that we’ve added is the ability to use these modifiers in these filters.
So for example, I could say, show me the top five product type.
By Revlon Oops.
By Revenue for the US.
And what it’s going to show me is it’s going to show me no revenue for these product types. But you can see here, if I go up to the filter, it’s going to show me that this is filtered for the US, so it’s country aware, As I said earlier, it’s time where I could, just as easily have done, show me the top five, product types by revenue for, say, 2018, and it would have done that, as well.
So it’s, we’re building out these additional smarts into the engine, sort of as we go. We started with things like time and geography that are, you know, well understood and well defined. And we’re going to continue to, to grow that list of additional contexts that we’re going to recognize to make your experience much better. And, of course, make the tool much more useful to you.
The last thing I wanted to show you here in the Assistant that I think is a really cool thing. Well, first of all, before we get there.
So, the other thing, I mentioned earlier, is, you can show influencers.
So, if I were to, say, show influencers of revenue, it’s going to show me a series of columns That it’s decided are, you know, have a predictive relevance to, to the target that I’ve selected. But the last thing I wanted to show you here really is this auto content creation. So, this is really just sort of step one in the journey for us in terms of auto generating this content, but you now have the ability to simply say, generate dashboard.
And what it’s going to do is look at the various data elements I’ve got in my data source that I’ve selected, and it’s going to draw and layout dashboard for me automatically. So, it’s a multi tab, it’s going to select a series of measures that it’s interested in. So, I’ve got quantity revenue and price. Let’s go to Revenue. And you can see it’s built out a series of visualizations for me based on that particular measure, and some of the other related fields that it’s been able to detect around it. So, a really neat way to quickly generate content to use as a starting point. I may look at this and decide that I know I really liked this visualization, but, you know, I’m not so sure I want a map.
And this one down here maybe is a little over the head of the, some of the users that my target audience will be comprised of, so I just remove those, keep this, and then continue building it up from there. Or, I may decide that, you know, this really wasn’t what I was looking for at all. And go back and do some additional exploration and then build this up manually. But, you know, you can see it took me literally Nan to type that in. And I’ve got something that’s a reasonable looking, starting point to build out some additional content, and do some additional data exploration.
So this is an actual dashboard. I can from. Here.
I can create navigation groups, I can edit it. I can move things around, replaced, the visualizations, change the filter criteria. We can launch explore, Use any of these visualizations as a jumping off point to get into Explore if that’s what I want to do. So, I think it’s really, really neat. And, again, the first step in our journey, on this Smart content creation path that we’re on. The last thing I wanted to show you in here was really the debug, which I think some of the more advanced more technical users on the on the call, probably be interested in it. So, once I’ve selected A, I’m in my dashboard.
If I simply use Control Q and slash, it’s going to launch this board specification, which is going to show me the, all of the elements that I’ve got in my dashboard with all the Properties, and so on, So that you’d be able to, as I say, share this with others in support or elsewhere. You’ll be able to copy it and update. So, if I were to go in to another dashboard, I would be able to update it, paste it in, and then move dashboard dashboards around much like you would do if reports specs today, copying the actual XML document for report and moving from place to place.
So, a really neat way to help, both in our, our customers, but also, our internal support end support and development QC people as they try and help customers troubleshoot some of these issues that they happen to run into.
And, I think that’s about the end of the demo that I wanted to show you. At this point, perhaps, I’ll hand things back to Mike White Howard to take us into the next, sort of the next phase of the call.
Great. Thank you, Chris. That’s fabulous. I mean, it’s certainly, I’m really impressed with what it looks like having, you know, being a Cognos veteran coming from the days of impromptu through…
Didn’t even see 10, and even the early releases of C 11, so, 11 1 to me.
It really feels like a fairly big quantum leap for Cognos. So, I’m sorry. I imagine you guys are excited as well. It’s always fun to demo cool. New features that will be useful to customers. So, so, stick around, guys, I’m going to run through a few slides about, about us and tourists, but we’d have some great resources after. I’ve got a ton of great questions here.
So you guys might want to peek through the question login. Michael McGinn and Michael Peters, you can change my flags if you want to as I sort of triage these.
But there’s a good 20 plus questions, so, go ahead and keep bringing those questions And I’ll bang out these slides here and we will get to the Q&A that I’m sure you’re all anxiously awaiting for. So, we here at Senturus would like to provide several options in terms of helping you upgrade your environment.
So, if you’re on an earlier version of Cognos and you want to get going on the latest and greatest, or just moved to a later release, we have several different options ranging from Quick Starts, which involves basic installation and configuration of a dev environment, plus, documentation to a full upgrade implementation, which is the same thing across all of your appropriate environments.
We also offer expert staffing slash BI concierge services, where we give you access to our very seasoned, entire team of BI experts to fill in, as needed, at your, or in your organization, wherever that might be. You can reach us at info@.com, or at the Triple eight number, now, a couple of slides about who we are, so you can skip ahead, actually, one slide there. We are known for providing clarity from the chaos of complex business requirements, myriad disparate data sources, and constantly moving business targets and changing regulatory environments.
We made a name for ourselves because of our strength in Bridging the Gap between IT and business users. We deliver solutions that give your organization access to reliable analysis ready data across your organization, so you can make better decisions and take more effective actions at the point of impact.
Our consultants on the next slide are leading experts in the field of analytics. They have years of real-world pragmatic field experience.
Advancing the state-of-the-art, were so confident in our team and the Senturus’s methodology that we back our projects with a 100% money back guarantee that is unique in the industry.
If you go to the next slide, we’ve been at this a while. We’ve been doing this for nearly two decades, across over 3500 clients, and over 2500 successful projects, a lot of names you’ll recognize that. We’ve covered virtually every vertical and very line of businesses ranging from sales to the Office of Finance, Marketing, HR, Supply, chain, et cetera, et cetera. We’re so confident in our team and our methodology.
I’m sorry, weren’t we?
If, if you have analytics needs, we invite you to contact us and leverage our expertise.
In terms of additional resources, you can kind of jump ahead one slide there, too. We’ve got some great upcoming free events. One of them being using visual analytics tools like Tableau and Power BI with your trusted Cognos data.
That’s featuring our Senturus is Analytics Connecter, that’ll be Thursday, August first. You can register for that over @.com/events. We have a webinar about Power BI Beyond the Buzz: Straight Talk about Microsoft’s Data Visualization Tool, and then, we’re doing a reprise of our comparison of Power BI tableau.com, and Cognos is a really popular webinar.
We’re putting that on in late September, so go sign up for that.
Over @.com/events, as I mentioned, in the early part of the webinar, we have a bevy of free resources @.com slash Senturus resources. So it’s a little wordy, but you can click the link or head on over to Senturus and you’ll see the resource area. We’ve got our upcoming events that I mentioned before, that’s constantly being updated. Our resource library, which has, in addition to the recording, the deck, in the questions log from today’s webinar, has hundreds of past webinars with great tips, tricks, and new features and exciting. Technical and other type presentations over there.
Not to mention our blog, which is great bite size information on Cognos, Power BI and Tableau, and kind of, what’s top of mind at send tourists.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up our training options if you go to senturus.com/training/cognos training. Come back. One slide, please.
We have training that across the spectrum, right, or however your organization needs to learn. We have self-paced learning, we have in person, or customized corporate training and mentoring. We find that a lot of people beyond the basics need specific help that is outside, kind of the parameters of a normal course. And so we find the ability to plug in our experts, and help you, and one-on-one, or a kind of one to a handful of people to answer your specific business questions and issues around the tool, are very helpful.
If you look at our schedule on the next slide, you can see, we have some great new courses. We’re updating all the materials to 11.1, which we’re very excited about that. So we have things like data modules and new features in 11.1. Over on our course schedule, you can see when we’re offering all of those courses, again, with our world-class instructors.
All right, so with that, let’s go to the Q and A slide and jump over to that. So you guys can see that there’s a, there’s a bevy of great questions up there.
I think where to start here.
Someone was asking, I think right up frontier about maybe comparing 11, 1, 1, versus 11, 1, 3.
I think that might be a little, a little tricky, in this context, but if someone wanted to do that, or maybe you can hit the high notes, How would they go about doing that?
Yeah, so I think, well, you know, with 11.1 really, was about introducing these new capabilities. So the new data exploration capabilities, really moving the ball forward in, terms of our self-service discovery, dash boarding, and making a big leap forward in reporting, which is something that we really hadn’t. We really hadn’t made a lot of big changes up until that point. So I think that was 11.1 was really introducing these features into the market. And now what you’re seeing in 11.1.2 and most recently, 11.1.3. We’re, we’re really continuing to build out these capabilities and make them, you know, really game changing. So an example is, you know, the Assistant at it, you know, introducing an 11.1 was great but we’ve really made it much more useful much, much more powerful, and 11.1.3. So these are the kind of kind of advancements and kind of, you know, the innovation that you’re going to continue to see in these point releases. As we continue moving the ball forward. In a lot of the areas that we introduced and 11.1.
Excellent. I mean, another question. A lot of these are very technically specific, but our slider is available to use in Report Studio.
So, if, by that, they mean the slider filter capability, I believe, that’s what they mean. Yeah, because the question popped up when you were showing some of that functionality off in the new demos.
Yeah, I believe that’s still limited to the dashboard. But we are continuing to build out the, the, well, to build out the client side visualizations that we have in reporting. So all of the visualizations that you see in the dashboard, are all client side rendered. Historically, reporting, we’ve had server side visualizations for the reason being that many of our customers wanted to generate a PDF, and print, and so on. So for that reason, all of our visualizations were rendered server side. So we’ve been bridging that gap slowly.
So we’ve had, you know, every release. We get a little closer to parity between dash boarding and reporting, but we still have a few that we need to finish off. So I think the slider is a good example of one that today is just limited to dash boarding only.
OK? That’s good answer. How about someone who is asking about, same person, was asking, about, commentary, being able to comment on data points on different charts and visualizations, so I think you’re talking about maybe got annotations. Yeah. So, what we have today is the ability to, and I think I showed an example. In one of the previous slides when we were talking about e-mail. The Actual, You know, what we were doing was, we have the ability to create a sort of an image, I think it’s a PNG file of the dashboard itself. And then, you can annotate that, and then share it with your colleague, the Slack, or via e-mail, now as of 11.3. What we are is on our roadmap, and what, you know, where we’re getting to is the ability to annotate, truly, entity, but those artifacts, so that you can collaborate with, you know, other groups and other users, not necessarily in a real-time fashion.
But make those annotations, so that you can collaborate, and then have a historical record of what the, the input and what the feedback was.
So, I would say, coming soon, great. Yeah, obviously, we know that collaborations really important to, to self-service and whatnot, so, I know that’s a priority for you guys. There’s another question here around, do you plan to add capabilities in terms of roles and groups to e-mail delivery?
So, I would guess that they’re asking about being able to turn on or off the ability to distribute the e-mail based on your group or ownership. So, we, I believe, that is a capability today.
What we don’t have today, we did have, in Communist hands, we don’t have, today, it’s a gap that we’re in the process of filling right now, is the ability to universally disable the ability to generate e-mail from within the product. That was something that you could do and Cognos 10 by modifying system XML file. We don’t have it’s a different architecture and a loved one. We don’t have those system XML files everywhere, like we used to. So, that is a gap in functionality between Cognitive and Cognos. Analytics, 11, but, it’s a gap we’re filling in the process of filling right now.
So, soon, you will have the ability to completely disable the, the ability to generate e-mail from within the product itself.
Today, it is a capability that you can control, but there’s no way to universally disable it out everywhere.
Great. Wait. A few questions on Maps.
So for the new maps, will the focus automatically take the visualization to the lowest level view based upon the map data?
Does that question make sense?
Um, hmm, hmm, hmm, I don’t know if I understand that question.
I think what it is, perhaps it’s asking if, I know, if I’m looking at the map, and I’m looking at it, the city values. Would it zoom in?
Would it render and zoom in down to that level, or would it be at the top level, and make use scroll, or zoom in it manually? So I think, if that’s the question, then it should automatically zoom in by itself, to take you to that whatever level that your data is plotted out. So if it’s plotted at zip code, for example, it should take you down to the zip code. You look at the continental US and see the individual zip codes. It wouldn’t show you a map of the world that you’d have to go and find the US. And then zoom in.
Got it. So based upon the context of your data, it would, it would zoom in on the proper carbon map.
Yeah, that seems like a good interpretation. That question. For whatever reason, this came in via private message, instead of through the question pane, but they wanted to understand if the visualizations, and in parentheses says, no blue and ocean.
Where, if so, I guess that new view would work in 1001 2, Can you just download a new visualization file? So it almost seems like this. And can you use that new functionality and 11 1 to let It seems as he couldn’t.
No, Unfortunately, no. That would be that’s a characteristic of the latest version, so you’d have to pick up the latest version, 11.123.
Makes sense. Now, moving onto some of the, It looks like you were doing some of the reference line and target line stuff. So, somebody was asking, can you type in a value to be used as a target? So it, can you make that prompt driven, or calculation or parameter driven?
I don’t believe so. I think today, its data driven, so, it needs to be driven by a value that you’ve got in your data source.
Great. And, does the assistant work on Excel as an input, or does it work on packages as well? Yeah, absolutely, in fact, that it works on any data source that you’ve got, any relational data source that you’ve got. You know, we’re still working out, supporting the … sources. But, actually, the demo that I showed just a few minutes ago was using an uploaded spreadsheet. I created a data module, but I didn’t do anything to what I just simply drop the file into the data module and saved it. So I could use an Excel file directly, I don T Ds or Data Module should work on any.
Any support very exciting. Are you able to extract SQL from explorations?
So, are you able to extract secret from visualizations? So, no. The, the real, you know, in one of the reasons for that is, we were, when we came up with the, the Design for Explore, it was really about doing data discovery, and really having that aha moment, That, that, that’s really what that whole explore studios for. It’s not for building pixel perfect visualizations, dashboards. That’s where you go into one of the other authoring environments for that.
So, so we were kind of exercise some discipline, let’s say, in what we decided to include in Exploration Studio. So I think what you could do is, you probably, you could take your visualization into dashboard, and you’d have the access to the, the underlying data is. Likewise, you can take it into copy and pasted it into reporting, and then you’d have the ability to create a query for you automatically. And you could generate SQL for that visualization.
Sure, so you can get to it, but I take a few extra steps.
That’s, it seems reasonable to me what a visual tool tips, when you hover on visualizations, or any of those visual tool tips. But I know in a in, in like Power BI or Tableau, for example, you hover over Data Item and whatever items you put into that visualization It’ll pop up as a, as a tooltip. So I think that’s kind of what they’re asking about. Oh, OK.
I think that I I think it’s there today. As a matter of fact, I would have to jump into back into the browser to double-check, but I’m pretty sure that that should be there today.
OK, great. Are you able to schedule and e-mail dashboards?
So we’re able to share dashboards via e-mail.
It’s done via a link today, so if you, if you’re looking at a dashboard on the top right-hand area of the navigation bar, you’ll see a share icon. And then that’ll give you the ability to generate. It’ll generate a parameterized URL for you. It will also give you the ability to, it’ll give you the HTML code to embed it as an i-frame. So, you simply need to copy and paste the e-mail link and send it like that, or you have the version, you know, the capability that I showed earlier in the slides, where, you know, you’re creating a screenshot of this dashboard and then sending a static version of it via e-mail. So you have those two options for dashboards. We don’t have the idea of scheduling, because a dashboard is always live. It’s not like a report where you, you access a report, and you either run it interactively or you scheduled to run later, and you can generate output from it. The whole idea of a dashboard is that it’s being consumed, live, and you’re interacting with the various elements on the Canvas.
So for that reason, we didn’t feel like the scheduling paradigm really fit the dashboard use case.
So someone was cheering the dashboard specs, they said dashboard specs. All right, so. Another person asked about the command line, command you use to get the dashboards back, that’s probably something best provided via the document. So, yeah, a Ninja check back for that document down the road. We’ll try to put that in there. In terms of server resources, do you need more server resources? Are needed to add server resources for two, for the assistant and for auto dashboard?
So you don’t need any additional resources. So let’s just take 11.1.3, for example. So the resource requirements for 11 months, where you haven’t changed from 11.1 with 11.1? We did make some recommendation changes based on you, know, the additional resources that you needed. So this system requirements for 11.1 are 16 gigs of memory. For an example, let’s change from previous versions. The reason for that is we do have some additional overhead with the smarts engine and the various other services underneath that we’ve had to add to do this. So, there’s no change in capacity or anything like that between 101 and this latest version, but the system requirements have changed from Cognos 10, for example, to 2001?
Great. Are there additional license costs for any of these new features?
So, no. We have done a rationalization in the past couple of years of our licenses in the Cognos 10 world. We had, I think, 25 or 30 different user roles that we licensed individually. We’ve made it much simpler in version 11, where you’ve got an analytic user who’s really just a line of business user, who’s going to be consuming, creating, dashboards, doing some lightweight modeling consuming reports, and others have built.
And then you’ve got your analytic explore, which is really, you know, perhaps some more sophisticated user that would have the ability to do exploration.
So that’s really the distinction, If you want to be able to do exploration and leverage some of those other predictive capabilities, it’s the Analytic Explore user that you license that you would need, but for consuming anything in the environment, using the assistant to generate visualizations, generate dashboards, that’s all covered under the standard analytic user license.
Great. That’s, that’s great. And then, I finally found this question that always gets asked, but she left here, the currently running 1009, and, Do you recommend moving directly to this version, and, then, Can you do an over the top install?
So, I guess, I’ll just expand that to, say, you know, for you guys, on Cognos 8 or Cognos 10, can you talk about the jest that over that upgrade process? Overall?
Sure. So, moving from any version of 11 to any other version of 11, so, in this case, 11.0.9 to 11.1.3, you can simply install overtop sobering. You know, make a content store backup, which is something we always recommend people do. And then you’d be able to install 11.1.3 right over top of your existing 11.0.9 environment, you know, restart to services.
And it will upgrade the content as it’s starting up, so that, that’s true for any version of 11, moving from one to a greater version of 11, in the case of moving from Cognos 10?
It’s a It’s not an install, Overtop, but you still have the, the same processes available to you that you would have had moving from one version of 10 to the other. So, you could either stand up a, you know, the 11 environment next to it, and then move the content over piecemeal by deployment and do your testing gradually. Or you can simply make a copy of your content store point your 11.1.3 environment to that Cognos 10.2 or Cognos 10. X content store? And then, have the product upgraded, you know, as it starts up. So, those are all options that are available to, it really just depends on you, as a customer needs, or how, you know, what approach you want to take.
And, Yeah, so, and, again, just as you know, just to highlight its interests, we do tons of these upgrades and we’ve been doing Cognos for the better part of 20 years. So, if you need help on that, those, those waters get deep, pretty quickly. So, definitely encourage you to reach out and we can help you with everything from something very lightweight to a much more comprehensive, …, enterprise wide upgrade of that system to really take advantage of what I think are pretty game changing features for Cognos.
And I think you already addressed this is 11.3 require additional resources, compared to 11.2, in terms of memory and hardware?
The answer is no. It would be no change from 11.2 to 11.3.
So there are a couple of questions about the studios mm.
Hmm, especially Query Studio and whatnot there. I guess there’s some impression that it might move over to some of the version 11 releases. Maybe you can adjust that. Sure, so this is a question that comes up quite a bit.
You know, we have, in the case of Query Studio specifically, you know, we did some years back, you know, make an announcement that we would be deprecating Query Studio. We haven’t done that yet.
And, you know, honestly at it, we have no plans to do that in the next 12 to 18 months.
So, know, we were not in the process of doing that. We have these Legacy Studios query Studio Analysis Studio is another excellent example where customers have a big investment. They’ve got assets there. And we really don’t have today a like for like set of capabilities in the dashboard yet. So you know, what we’re doing is, we’re building up the self-service capabilities in dash boarding in a particular area of Focus. For us, for the next 6 to 9 months is going to be the overlap and multi-dimensional support and dashboard so much better, more robust, cross, tab, better list, much more powerful sort of slice and dice analytic controls. And the dashboard. So we’re going to be building up those capabilities and Dashboard.
But until such time as we have like for like functionality and capability between Inquiry Studio Analysis, Studio Power play Studio and dash boarding, we’re going to continue to support those legacy Studios. So if you’ve got users that are, you know, using Analysis Studio today, they’re very happy. There’s no reason why they can’t continue using Analysis Studio and 11.3 or other versions of 11. We would just ask that you consider using the new interfaces for any new workloads, any new projects. Because at some point in time, we will be deprecating those legacy studios. We just don’t have any immediate plans to do that, at the moment.
I always find that hilarious. That is, like, power cubes, right? …, just like AS for hundreds and EDI are going to be running long after are dead, and buried on. That list.
Now, there’s several questions about transformer now that you’ve referenced overlap with the dash boarding. So maybe you can speak to that. Nice segue.
So, can you talk about transformer and power play and kind of its relative status? I imagine you could sort of take the course to answer and apply the same fill in the blanks. Yeah.
Yeah, so, I mean, power play your transformer and some of the other Series seven products or capabilities, you know, they’re very mature there.
They’re very useful. We have a there’s a very loyal customer base for PowerPoint transformer in particular but you know many of the other capabilities in Series seven So we have version 7.5, 3, 7 and we have version 11 probably transformer. So we have no plans to stop supporting. Those. They worked very well, their lives, they say, they’re mature. They don’t generate a lot of support activity or defect activity for us. So, you know, customers love them, and we’re happy to let them continue using them. So, you know, we still do support Power play studio and 11 we still support per cubes as a data source and we have no plans at this time to stop supporting them.
Do you plan are the plans? So, two related questions. Sorry, but, are the plans with dash boarding? You referenced kind of a lab?
Like, what are the plans for the modern no overlap tool with Power BI Analytics, I guess? So, we do have quite a good experience today and reporting, so we have a very, you know, you can do some really powerful reporting in on all that sources in the reporting studio. So, you know, we’ve, I think we’ve done a very good job of building out those capabilities there that is a bit of a steep learning curve for the casual line of business user. And it doesn’t give them that real kind of live, slice and dice experience. So, what we want to do is really build out those capabilities in the dashboard.
And, I think the way we do that, is we, we, you know, really build out capabilities. We’ve gotten them crossed up. Because that seems to be the visualization of choice for most folks when they’re looking at multidimensional sources. Building out the capabilities and the list, to make that more flexible, add support for, you know, members in the metadata tree indoctrinating. So that you can interact with them in the members directly.
There are some other things that we, can, we want to do, to make the whole experience of leveraging, planning analytics cubes better when you’re using them as a data source. So, we’ve got a, quite a good backlog of things that we want to do in the Dashboard, too.
Really enabled. You know, that slice and dice experience for users who are using power cubes, or … cubes are plenty analysts, keeps whatever the source, maybe.
Great. And then, one last question that comes up is all the time, and someone just asked me about it is Event studio, it’s, you know, some people have very specific needs around that. What’s the plan there?
So then studio is very much like the other legacy studios? It’s still supported. It’s not turned on by default. So, you know, to be fair, it’s not turned on by default. There is an extra step to enable it, but it is very much supported. We have no plans to sunset it at this point.
What we would like to do is take those capabilities and expose them more in place, know, so make them more accessible when you’re doing the actual offering or interacting with the content itself, versus having to go to the event studio itself to try and build this out. We also want to make it easier to use, because events, Judy is an incredibly powerful tool, but it’s also, you know, fairly complicated tool to, to use. It’s not certainly not something that a line of business users going to be able to get up to speed on quickly. So, we want to move those capabilities into the core product, make them much more accessible, easier to use.
But, until we get there, we’re still going to be supporting events to you as is for the foreseeable future.
Excellent. That’s great stuff. We had a few questions and about, I think I know the answer to, but, framework, manager, any, any big changes there.
No framework manager really falls into the same category as purple transformer framework manager still very much supported. We have no plans at all to deprecate that you know, to be fair. Our investment is going into data modules versus framework manager.
You know, we’re going to continue supporting framework Manager, but we don’t have any plans to invest in it.
Like I say, it’s, it’s a mature product works well, and, you know, we will continue to support it, but any new features, new functionality that we’ve got are going to be going into data modules, you know, with 11.1.3. I think we’re at a point now where I would say 90% of your use cases can be satisfied using the web based model modules and modeling, but we’re going to continue to build up those capabilities until we get to a point where really, there’s no, there’s no need to go back into framework manager.
Wow, that’s, that’s very exciting.
And then, so we’re at the top of the hour here, but one last question, somebody asked about the path plan for cafe, and I know that’s going to be one that will be of great interest to our audience here. So can you talk to that?
Yeah, so, Yeah, I mean, we’re still, we’re haven’t done. A lot of investment. And that we sit still supportive Of course, A lot about, you know, really, a lot of our investment around Excel in Excel tools. And the interactivity is around planning analytics. So you know, the investment we make in supporting exile as an interface, is really on the planning analytic side, because that’s where we see financial analysts.
And people doing financial planning there really hooked on Excel. So that’s where the bulk of our investment for Excel is going to go, but you know, we still do support those Excel interfaces into cognitive analytics, and we don’t have any plans to discontinue that.
Excellent. Well, that was a great whirlwind tour there for an hour and a lot of great questions from the audience. So thanks to the audience for joining us today. If you can advance the last slide here. I want to thank all of you for joining us today. First and foremost to our presenter, Chris Macpherson from IBM. Thanks as well to Michael McGinn and Michael Peter for joining us today and supporting us here in the Q and A. As mentioned, we will post this recording and we will answer the provide responses to the question login, post that up to send tourist.com as soon as we can. And want to just invite you to visit us over its interest’s .com if you have any analytics needs or questions or anything around that.
Feel free to e-mail us at info @.com. Or if you’d like to pick up the phone, check out our AAA number, connect with us on our various social media interfaces, LinkedIn, slide share, YouTube, Twitter, and or Facebook. And we appreciate your time today and look forward to seeing you on our next installment of the Senturus as Knowledge Series. So, thank you, everyone, for your time today. Have a great rest of your day, wherever you are.