Cognos Analytics August 2017 Enhancements

View our entire library of updates and reviews on Cognos new features.

In this on-demand webinar, Nic Leduc, IBM product manager joined us to discuss and demo the new features and some important enhancements in Cognos Analytics Release 7.

Topics included

  • A cleaner, more intuitive user experience with improved navigation
  • Updated features and better functionality for homepage, dashboards and modules
  • Filtering enhancements across dashboards and reports
  • New visualizations and properties in dashboards and reports
  • Support for PowerPlay11 upgrade


Nic Leduc
IBM Cognos Analytics
Offering Management

Nic is part of the Product Management team for IBM Cognos Analytics. His main responsibilities are focused around dashboarding and mobile capabilities.

Question log

Q: Is it possible to remove quick reference – if yes – how?
A: You can extend and customize the look of Cognos Analytics. Learn how.

Q: Does IBM have a video that shows how to customize the welcome screen?
A: Yes, see how to customize the welcome screen and has samples.

Q: Cognos Analytics home page shows users the ability to upload data files and we’d like to disable this feature, how do we do that?
A: The home page can be set to show a report, dashboard or a fully customized web page. The new Welcome screen does have a section at the bottom inviting users to upload their data. For those who do not have permission to do so, they will get an error message if they try. We are planning on making that section to show or hide depending on the capability in a future release.

Q: Is it possible to show our team content instead of the new or recent content on the main welcome screen in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: No, not at the moment, but you can create your own web page and place it as the welcome page.

Q: Is customization (such as welcome screen) available in the Cloud with Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: No, not at the moment.

Q: Is it possible to hide the team content folder in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Yes, you can hide the folder by removing it from the customizations tab, but it will still appear in other dialogs. You can also remove the rights via permissions.

Q: How do users see their schedules/activities in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: IBM is planning on adding the My Activities and Schedules back into the product. At the moment, the admin can see the schedules/activities.

Q: How do I create thumbnails for the tiles on the home page to be able to show a graph in Cognos Analytics?
A: Cognos does not provide a thumbnail generator. This would need to be done outside the system.

Q: We use portal pages (report tabs) in Cognos BI 10.2.2. As we know, this functionality is deprecated in Cognos Analytics Release 7, can you show us an alternative way to create a custom button?
A: We have multiple samples as part of the Samples deployment archive. Get more information.

Q: Is there way for us to share folder location from the team content in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Unfortunately, no, not at the moment.


Q: Is currency or percentage formatting in dashboard charts supported in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: No, not at the moment.

Q: Is it possible to add dashboard tabs on top in Cognos Analytics Release 7, like we did in Cognos BI v8 and v10?
A: Tabs in dashboards are part of the template. Make sure to select a template with tabs.

Q: Can we sort by a field we are not displaying in dashboards in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Yes, the sort by is exposed.

Q: Can I use a Cognos report as a data source for dashboards in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: No.

Q: Are dashboards ready-to-use in Cognos Analytics Release 7 or just for ad hoc data exploration?
A: Dashboards can be used for both purposes.

Q: Do I have download any add ons for visualizations work in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: No.

Q: In using Cognos Analytics, I noticed that there are issues with the data grid not displaying data when there are too many columns in the data source. Can you suggest an interim fix? And will this be addressed in a future release?
A: In the dashboard, the number of data points displayed in the data grid is limited to 3000. IBM is going to increase lists and tables to 100,000, crosstabs to 10,000 and maps to 30,000 in Release 8.

Q: I have a package that gets loaded perfectly in Report Studio, but in dashboard it does not load the metadata in Cognos Analytics Release 7, how can we remedy this?
A: Contact IBM Support for assistance.

Q: Is it possible for me to copy a visualization from one tab to another in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: In dashboard, yes. Simply duplicate and drag the viz to the tab header.

Q: Is there a way to build in cascading filters in the dock (Product line > Product type > Product) in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Not currently, but you can use two or more viz on the canvas. They will cascade.

Q: Can we use complex reports, such as drill down reports and advanced sorting using alternative column, in dashboards in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Report parts are not available in the dashboard. But dashboards do support drill down and advanced sorting on other fields.


Q: What happens to the extensions we are already using (e.g. Custom Folder, Custom Welcome Page) when we upgrade to Cognos Analytics?
A: They are maintained through the upgrade.

Q: We have been using Cognos Analytics 11.0.x for two years and don’t find it that stable, will there be patches to stabilize it or do we need a different release?
A: Please contact IBM Support to help you resolve your issues.

Q: Do you have any information on how to do a distributed install? I have a test distributed system working on a single server. I installed the same way using two servers but I am getting connection errors.
A: Please contact IBM Support to help you resolve your issues.

Q: After I upgraded to 11.0.7, I am missing the personal menu (My Preferences, Sign out) and the create button (+) from the portal, how can I fix this?
A: Please contact IBM Support to help you resolve your issues.

Q: How is the report compatibility when I upgrade from Cognos BI 10.2 to Cognos Analytics Release 7
A: All your reports should be able to run as non-interactive in Cognos Analytics. When you want to access the new features you’ll need to look at converting certain items. Head over to the Cognos Upgrade Central for recommendations on how to upgrade.

Q: We haven’t migrated to Cognos Analytics yet, but Release 7 looks like it could give us the push to make us migrate. I don’t understand the new distributed installation. Does Release 7 load balance without a gateway? If the new gateway installation requires ARR and there is no multiple dispatcher in the config why do I need ARR and what does a gateway install give me?
A: Installing a gateway can provide you URL redirects, load balancing and other benefits that are not directly related to Cognos. To make it easier to get started, it is optional in Cognos Analytics.

Q: Can you confirm that when installing Cognos Analytics R7 over R6, do the R6 configuration values carry over? Is there any need for us to update Cognos configuration or the web server (iis) settings?
A: Your settings will be brought forward. Please read the What’s new documentation to see if there is anything that you should consider after doing the upgrade.

Q: Has the performance issues with Windows 10 been addressed in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Please contact IBM Support for help.

Q: Cognos BI 10 has the ability to order team content folders, this was missing in previous versions of Cognos Analytics, has it been fixed in Release 7?
A: No plans on bringing this forward at the moment.

Q: Is there ability to convert or upgrade old Cognos charts or reports with visualizations in bulk to the visualizations/charts in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: No, it’s a manual process.

Q: Are there any advanced features in datasets in Cognos Analytics Release 7? We currently have Release 5 and there are not many, except adding basic filters.
A: Not in this release.

Q: Should we redo the customizations that are already in place in Cognos Analytics Release 6 or will they work with the new welcome page when we upgrade to Release 7?
A: They will continue to work in R7.

Q: We currently use Cognos Analytics Release 5, which has limited visualization properties, does Release 7 have more options to change visualization properties?
A: We have added a few more options in both reporting and dashboarding. More features are coming in future releases.

Q: Is PowerPlay included with Cognos Analytics Release 7 or does it still require a separate license fee?
A: It still requires a separate license for existing users. New customers do not have access to PowerPlay.

Q: Do you anticipate any further changes to the user interface in the Cognos Analytics Release 8?
A: Not in R8, but the portal will continue to change in future releases as IBM evolves the product.

Q: Regarding the new capability to disable file uploads, is there a published document that shows a delta between Cognos BI 10 and Cognos Analytics Release 7 so admins know what new privileges need to be reviewed? How is security mapped from 10 to 11, ie: run, full, custom? Any gotchas or special considerations?
A: See the documents for What’s New as well as a list of the capabilities.

Misc. Questions

Q: Are triggers available in Cognos Analytics Release 7 in the Cloud?
A: Yes.

Q: Is it possible to edit line numbers in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: There are no plans to add line number in the expression editors. Please create an RFE.

Q: What is the difference between datasets and data modules in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: A dataset contains data such as an uploaded file or a data extract. Data module is a model that points to a data.

Q: Has the icon for packages changed in Cognos Analytics Release 7 so that it is easier to distinguish packages from other folders?
A: Yes, the icon is different.

Q: Is it possible to remove a source from the Sources pane of a saved data module in Cognos Analytics Release 7? I can remove it from the data module pane, but I don’t see a way to delete (or de-select the check box) so that it doesn’t even appear in the Sources pane.
A: Unfortunately, not at the moment.

Q: What is the likelihood of IBM bringing back the ability to create a link to a folder, like we did in Cognos BI 10? (We have submitted a RFE.)
A: This is planned for Release 8.

Q: Where can I get more details about support for OpenID Connect in Cognos Analytics?
A: Head over to IBM support docs.

Q: Can we use multiple data package in one crosstab in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: No, it is one package per visualization.

Q: How is the hardware requirements for Cognos Analytics Release 7 different from prior versions? Is there a base requirement document?
A: The requirements are the same as in prior versions.

Q: Is Transformer Client only available in 32-bit Cognos Analytics Release 7? Is it possible for us to read Transformer cubes from the 64-bit application server?
A: Yes, your 64-bit server will be able to read your cubes.

Q: Does IBM have plans to integrate R or Python for Cognos Analytics?
A: IBM supports R or Python via database support, but support is not available directly within the product.

Q: After we made changes and published in Framework Manager, the changes in dataset can be refreshed and seen, but not in data modules. Do you have a solution for this?
A: This should work. If you are not seeing the changes in the dashboard for example, close it and reopen it. If that does not work, contact IBM Support for additional assistance.

Q: I can now upload files in Cognos Analytics Release 7. Are there any storage management issues? Are there best practices on how to manage files?
A: The admin determines who can upload files and how much room each user has. The files get stored in the Content Store and extracted to disk once accessed.

Q: Are there plans for a fix pack for Cognos Analytics Release 7 bugs?
A: None are planned. If you are having issues, please contact IBM Support for assistance.

Q: Can the last modified date be removed from the end users in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: The nav panel is not customizable currently. Please go to the RFE site to vote for enhancements.

Q: How do I create a root level folder in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Use the little + icon to create a new folder.

Q: Can I view Tabular Data in Excel in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Yes! This feature is back into the product.

Q: Is prompt API available in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, get more information.

Q: Can the parameters have a default to current_date instead of hardcoding the values in Cognos Analytics Release 7
A: You can achieve this by using the Prompt APIs, but not through the My Parameters feature.

Q: Are there SDK APIs for uploading parameters in bulk in Cognos Analytics Release 7? Can they be imported and exported?
A: Not currently.

Q: Is there a way to impersonate a user to troubleshoot problems based on their roles in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: No

Q: Is there a new security implementation recommendation document available for Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: The same security features that existed in previous versions of Cognos are still relevant, none have been removed. List of the capabilities in Cognos Admin.

Q: Where can I get the slide deck for this webinar?
A: Get the deck.

Q: Is the data displayed in the webinar coming through package or an upload file?
A: Several sources were used to display data during the webinar: a FM Package, an OLAP cube and an uploaded file.

Portal Tabs

Q: Will Portal Tabs be supported in future releases of Cognos Analytics?
A: IBM has added many new mechanisms for administrators to provide content to their users. Customize the welcome screen, add extensions, shortcuts, folders, multiple-package support in reporting and global parameter values with the goal to eventually replace portal tabs. We recommend that you take a look at these new mechanisms. You can also vote on the Request for Enhancement.

Q: Are there any updates on portal page functions in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: There were a number of capabilities introduced in Release 5 that addresses portal tabs. Check out our webinar recording entitled: Under the Hood with Cognos Analytics Release 5: Say Hello to Portal Tab Replacement for all the details.

Q: Extensions are not a viable replacement for portal tabs for us, are there other replacements available?
A: Another workaround would be to create reports that have the portal pages embedded inside tab objects. Then place those as your home page.

Report Authoring

Q: Cognos Analytics Release 7 changed the method for passing parameters to drill-down reports, moving them all to the URL. This can easily run up against the character limitation in the URL in Internet Explorer. Cognos does not work on MS Edge yet, and we have a lot of IE users. How and when will this be addressed?
A: We are treating this as a defect. It should be fixed in an upcoming release.

Q: We understand drill-through is now available at the package level, does this mean that drill-throughs can now work on the dashboards and stories if we reference these packages?
A: Not yet, these drill-throughs are for Reporting.

Q: Is there a place to see the complete path in Cognos Analytics Release 7, even if the report name is very long?
A: You can now stretch the panel to show the full name. For the path, you can hover over the Location field in the properties.

Q: Can parameters be included and objects be conditionally rendered in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: You can do both in reports and neither in dashboards.

Q: Can the new ability for a consumer to see parameters for a report be disabled (reports that are drill targets for multiple source reports) in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Yes, the icon can be hidden based on the user.

Q: Is it possible to create a set up tabs within tabs Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Creating tabs within tabs is typically not a best practice from a usability perspective. But yes, in Reporting, you can embed multiple tab object within each other.

Q: Is JavaScript still supported for Report Studio in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Yes, read how to include JavaScript when in interactive mode.

Q: Do charts have a conditional pallet in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: In reporting yes. In dashboards, it is available on the Table and crosstab viz.

Q: Are chart visualizations going to be available in the reporting tool in a future release of Cognos Analytics or just the dashoarding tool?
A: The charts are available in Reporting today. There is actually a broader set of viz in Reporting.

Q: How do I convert current reports from Report Studio and Query Studio to Cognos Analytics?
A: You do not need to convert your reports; they will continue to work. See Cognos Upgrade Central for guidance.

Q: Is there any way to turn off interactive filters on authoring against relational source in Cognos Analytics? It wants to populate a full pick list.
A: This should not occur. Please contact IBM Support for help.

Q: Can folders be sorted first using Cognos Analytics Release 7? We currently sort them alongside reports instead of at the top.
A: No. However, you can filter only on Folders to narrow your search.

Q: Where is the execution time setting in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: You can enable the execution time in Reporting by going into Preview mode and Run Options.

Q: Can I change visualizations dynamically in an active report in Cognos Analytics Release 7? In Cognos BI 10, I’d have to recreate the chart.
A: The process is the same as in C10, it needs to be authored.

Q: How local can I get using maps in Cognos Analytics Release 7? Is it possible to map by county, postal code, address?
A: Five levels of granularity are supported in maps from country to postal codes. Postal codes (zip codes) are supported, but addresses require latitude/longitude, which is not yet supported, but IBM is planning to deliver this feature in an upcoming release. Read more.

Q: Are custom map layers from shapefiles or ESRI ArcGIS Server available in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: ESRI maps are functional in R7, in an unsupported fashion. Shapefiles are not supported.

Q: Does IBM have plans to render maps in PDF in a future Cognos Analytics release?
A: Yes, in the meantime, you can use the traditional chart (RAVE) if you need to export as a PDF.

Q: Is there a preferred recommendation for a third party to support the ESRI integration in Cognos Analytics Release 7 like we had in Cognos BI 10.2.2?
A: Yes, please contact Integeo.

Q: I’m assuming that all the prompts have to be the same across all reports like P_Country, but if another report used PCountry it wouldn’t apply to that one in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Correct, the name of the parameter is what drives the reusability.

Q: When using interactive performance assistant in Cognos Analytics, will it tell me the difference between database or local processing to execute the query?
A: No, get details.

Q: Does IBM have any plans to allow users to schedule “save reports” to a network drive in future Cognos Analytics releases?
A: This feature is available, get directions on how to do it.

Q: How can I schedule reports only on business days and exclude holidays or weekends? Is it possible to schedule a report to be generated on the first business day of every month in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: The best way to handle this would be to use an external calendar and call the Cognos scheduler based on a trigger.

Q: Is it possible for me to click on a cross tab column header (i.e. camping equipment) and have it take me to a new tab with a different object that gets filtered for the column header?
A: This can be configured in Active Reports.

Q: Is there a way to hide packages from team content view, but still allow access when authoring in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: It works the same as in Cognos BI 10, authors could be granted access to the package, while it is hidden from users.

Q: Can we access the query that gets created on the background in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Yes, in reporting only.

Q: Is Microsoft Tabular Model supported in Analysis Services as a data source in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Current versions of Cognos software do not detect whether a Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (MSAS) cube is operating in Tabular Mode. The Cognos software will therefore not attenuate its query generation for Tabular Mode; all else equal, the same MDX query statements will be generated regardless of whether the cube is in Tabular Mode or Multidimensional mode. The queries that current versions of Cognos generate are attenuated for the Multidimensional Mode. Tabular Mode supports most but not all of the types of queries that Multidimensional Mode does, so Cognos may send MSAS some queries that are not supported in Tabular Mode – these will typically cause the report at hand to error. Microsoft has documented some of the constraints of Tabular Mode. Attenuating query generation for MSAS Tabular Mode is planned for a future version of Cognos software.


Q: Will IBM continue to keep the other Query Studio, Analysis Studio and Event Studio in future Cognos Analytics releases?
A: You can still use the older studios they just open in a separate browser tab. IBM has announced future deprecation of Cognos Workspace, Query Studio and Analysis Studio. However, there are no firm timelines. As for Event Studio, IBM has no plans to deprecate it, but is no longer investing in it.

Q: Can I use Cognos PowerPlay Studio in Google Chrome in Cognos Analytics Release 7?
A: Yes, IBM added it as a conformance point.

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