Cognos Analytics: March 2017 Enhancements

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

Cognos Analytics Release 6 went live on March 17, 2017. This on-demand recording walks through the following enhancements

  • PORTAL: allows more flexibility to convert C10 portal pages, create report views, shortcuts and more
  • DASHBOARD: enhanced mapping plus now supports direct access to OLAP packages
  • REPORTING: allows access to queries from data modules in addition to the many enhancements to the interactive viewer

If you’ve been holding out on upgrading, watch this recording to learn how you’ll be able to leverage all the new features and capabilities of Cognos Analytics with your existing content.


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.

Questions log

Q: Is it possible for us to organize the content by folder type, then packages in Cognos Analytics Release 6? In Release 5, we can only organize by name regardless of the item.
A: IBM currently offers the ability to facet/filter the content to only show various object types. To do so, click on the little arrow to go into wide-view mode. Then click the filter icon. IBM is planning to enhance the experience to make it more accessible.

Q: Can Cognos Analytics Release 6 expose aliases from TM1?
A: Release 6 saw much better integration with planning analytics content. Read more.

Q: Does Cognos Analytics Release 6 have widget controls for filters on Dashboard?
A: Not in this release.

Q: Are Cognos Connection portlets coming back?
A: IBM is replacing the user experience and functionality of Portal page portlets with more modern paradigms in Cognos Analytics. For example, you have the ability to extend the portal with folder shortcuts to the side panel, object shortcuts and customizing the welcome screen. More enhancements are planned in future releases as well as to cover the remaining use cases.

Q: Will the OLAP samples be available in the Cognos Analytics online trial?
A: Good idea, IBM will put some up there.

Q: Can I filter Dashboard based on fields that I don’t want in the chart in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, that has always been available. Go into “expanded” view by clicking on the top right of the widget. From there, you’ll see a slot called Local Filters. You can place any field in there to act as a non-projected filter.

Q: What additional governance do you recommend we use in Cognos Analytics Release 6 around interactive dashboards and reports when users can change things and send to others?
A: Here are a few examples that may help you: 1) the admin can determine who can edit dashboards (by removing access to the little pencil icon), 2) the admin can prevent users from saving content to anything else but the user’s “My Content” and 3) the admin can control who gets to upload files and where they are saved.

Q: Does Cognos Analytics Release 6 have integration with statistical tools like R or Python?
A: If you have a FLAA license, you get IBM SPSS Modeler client that is a predictive tool. That content can then be accessed via Cognos Analytics.

Q: You mentioned some short cuts were brought back, is it possible to order items in how they show in Cognos Analytics Release 6? Has the shortcuts for Portal Tabs been brought back too?
A: The browser panel can sort items by name or date (in wide-view mode), but does not allow custom ordering or items. You can also filter the content to only show the type of asset you are looking for. As for Portal Tabs, IBM is moving away from this paradigm and more towards portal extensions such as adding folder shortcuts on the nav bar.

Q: Does Cognos Analytics Release 6 allow users to download dashboards in different formats, such as PDF or Excel?
A: Not yet, please vote for this feature on RFE 99477.

Q: Does Cognos Analytics Release 6 allow dashboards to be dragged and dropped to PowerPoint or Word?
A: No, that capability is not available. Cognos for MSOffice only allows this with reports.

Q: When I run a report, and put in the prompts and get the data, I didn’t see an option to rerun the report output or export that output in Cognos Analytics. Is this possible to do in Release 6?
A: This was a defect in Release 4 where it was accidentally removed. It has since been re-added since Release 5.

Q: Is it possible to search within a package for an attribute or measure and use it in “My Dashboard” in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, the dashboard interface has a find field to allow you to find elements in a Framework Manager package.

Q: Is drill-through enabled in Dashboard in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Not yet, please vote for this on RFE 84195.

Q: Where can I get the recorded version of the today’s webinar?
A: You can get it on the Senturus website

Q: It was mentioned that Cognos Analytics Release 6 installs over the previous version and preserves settings. Does it preserve settings automatically or is there something we need to do before patching?
A: Each release of Cognos Analtyics installs over-top of any previous release of Cognos Anatlyics, but not over Cognos BI 10. For upgrade recommendations, see upgrade central.

Q: Can we setup email notifications based on criteria defined in Dashboard in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Email notifications based on criteria are available via Event Studio or Reporting.

Q: After we create a dashboard using a template and share it with users in Cognos Analytics Release 6, can they then customize the dashboard?
A: Yes, if they have the capability to do so. Also, the admin may prevent them from saving over-top of the original, forcing users to do a Save As.

Q: Are DMR models supported in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, in reports and dashboards.

Q: When adding new users, we found it difficult to add Portal Tabs for users unless users added them themselves or we added each user manually. Can we add groups of users to a tab in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: We don’t support Portal Tabs any longer, they don’t appear in the new interface. Extensions are assigned by roles.

Q: Is custom color palette available in Cognos Analytics Release 6? We’d like users to have their own color palette rather than having them have to use the color provided.
A: Not at the moment, this is planned for a future release (no timelines yet).

Q: Is it possible to pull a report on Dashboard with Cognos Analytics Release 6? We want to assemble our reports on a dashboard on separate tabs. Apparently, the old Cognos portal page and dashboard component are not available in this release. What are our options?
A: Putting report parts in a dashboard is not available at the moment. See previous responses regarding portal pages and portal tabs.

Q: Do you know in which Cognos Analytics release MapBox mapping in reports will be available?
A: Soon, IBM is actively working on it.

Q: I see Cognos Analytics Release 6 has MapBox mapping enhancements, which were previously only available in Dashboard. Is it now also available in Report Studio with full functionality?
A: Not in this release yet, it’s still only in Dashboard. This capability is planned for a future release.

Q: Does the new map in Cognos Analytics Release 6 allow us to define our own shapes to correlate data for Division/Region/Area situation?
A: Not yet

Q: With Cognos Analytics Release 6, is it possible to start at the highest level as a U.S. map, instead of a world map, since my company is limited to the U.S.?
A: Currently, the map auto-zooms in when providing the state level and below.

Q: Are U.S. counties supported in the mapping in in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, counties are supported.

Q: Are all cities in Spain available for maps in in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes.

Q: How can I create custom layers in maps in in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Custom layers are not supported and therefore, unavailable.

Q: Does Cognos Analytics Release 6 have mapping to a zip code level?
A: Yes, five levels worldwide are supported, down to the zip code for the US.

Q: Is latitude/longitude mapping supported in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Not yet.

Q: Are we able to use our own map layers with Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Not yet, but it is part of the IBM roadmap.

Q: In Cognos BI 10, we can create URL links from Cognos Connection to Word docs that exist on the server. Can this be done in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: This object was removed as part of the Cognos Analytics revamp. You can still define links in Reports. IBM is looking at adding it as part of the dashboard. See RFE 98730.

Q: In Release 6, are the dot releases installed on top on existing Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, each Cognos Analytics release is designed to be installed over top of any previous Cognos Analytics release.

Q: Is Workspace Dashboard supported in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, CW is still supported, but placed as a legacy application. You can still open all of your CW objects and create new ones. However, IBM has announced future deprecation.

Q: How can I rerun the report in Cognos Analytics Release 6 from the report output page without going to report page?
A: Click on the little triangle that looks like a play button.

Q: Is the SharePoint integration available in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Not at the moment.

Q: Do we need to define relations in Framework Manager model to effectively use Watson Analytics?
A: No, the package should be available via Watson Analytics once it is configured to talk to Cognos Analtyics.

Q: We like that lineage in interactive mode was added to Cognos Analytics Release 6; however, I have not been able to make it work. I’ve tried IE, Firefox and Chrome browsers. Is there a trick to making this work?
A: Lineage is an option in the context menu when you click the explore icon. Make sure to enable pop-up blockers as it will open in a new window. Please log a defect with IBM if you run into complications.

Q: How do I freeze columns in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: This is not available. This would need to be done via JavaScript.

Q: There is supposed to be some sort of SSO-related release with Cognos Analytics Release 6 that is applicable to the Cloud environment. Where can we get access to the documentation to this?
A: IBM BlueID is the IBM identity service, a Cloud-based identity management solution that is supported. BlueID can be used to federate Cognos Analytics with many of their other applications that are federated using most SAML 2.0 identity providers.

Q: Will you describe how we can to an on-premise Cognos BI 10.2.1 report that is not yet migrated to our new Cognos Analytics cloud environment? We would like to be able this so that our users do not have to log in to both environments.
A: Cognos Analytics can only read a content store that has been upgraded to v11.

Q: Can Cognos portal pages that are imported from Cognos BI 10 be changed in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, portal pages can still be opened and modified, but cannot be placed as a user’s home page.

Q: Is Cognos Analytics Release 6 support on the Cloud for natural language processing and Watson Analytics?
A: That capability is not available in Cognos Analtyics.

Q: Will there be improvements in future Cognos Analytics releases for client modeling tools such as Framework Manager, Dynamic Cubes and Transformer?
A: While IBM has no plans to enhance those tools, they are still very much supported.

Q: How can I get to Story mode in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Click on the + button on the bottom left and select Story.

Q: How does Cognos Analytics Release 6 handle hierarchies defined in TM1?
A: You can read how to handle hierarchies on the IBM blog.

Q: Are OLAP packages supported in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, you can access dimensional data sources in dashboards. The supported OLAP packages can be based on PowerCubes, Dynamic Cubes, TM1 data sources, dimensionally-modeled relational (DMR) data sources and other data sources. Get all the details.

Q: Is it possible to download and install a complete Cognos Analytics Release 6 with data samples on my own pc to practice on?
A: Yes, if you have a valid license and are an existing customer. Please read the legal terms when it comes to trial environments.

Q: Are there any plans on offer drop-down (value list) selectors in Dashboard in future Cognos Analytics releases?
A: Yes, this is part of the IBM roadmap.

Q: How do I copy the folder content of a user to a folder in team content as an administrator user in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Via the Manage > CogAdmin console, it’s the same as in Cognos BI 10.

Q: How do we perform Cognos Analytics Release 7 install in a distributed installation?
A: Please review the install and config docs.

Q: I have a sizeable, complex list report created, what’s the easiest way to use that data (without recreating a data set) to build visualizations in a dashboard using Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Create a data set or export the report as CSV/XLS and re-import. Please feel free to create an RFE for this idea.

Q: Is there an email notification from Dashboard in Cognos Analytics Release 6, like what is available for Report Studio reports?
A: This feature is only available via Event Studio and Reporting.

Q: Are there any standard reporting changes or enhancements in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: See Rachel’s blog and the what’s new guide.

Q: Are SSAS (Microsoft) cubes supported in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes.

Q: How do I add a custom widget to Dashboard in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: It’s the same mechanism as in Release 5, see the documentation for additional information.

Q: Can business glossary be integrated with Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, business glossary is supported.

Q: Is report view and shortcut the same in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: No, both are now supported as of Release 6.

Q: Can we install Cognos Analytics Release 6 on top of Cognos BI 10.2. or do we need to move to an earlier release of Cognos Analytics first?
A: You’ll need to plan for a traditional upgrade to Cognos Analytics first. Then it’ll be install over top.

Q: Is report studio still supported in in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Report Studio is still in Cognos Analytics as the new reporting feature.

Q: Can we connect to Salesforce from in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: You can do this with the Senturus Analytics Connector. Read more.

Q: Is there a virtual machine or other option where can I test this version of Cognos Analytics?
A: A free trial is hosted on the main IBM site.

Q: For dashboards, besides the multi-select prompt and the new tree prompt when using a hierarchy, are there other prompts that I can create such as a slider, drop down in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Prompts remain the same from Release 5 to Release 6.

Q: Have there been any improvements to the navigation hierarchy button in in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: You can drill down and go back on an attribute in your dashboard or story. You can also navigate to any level in the path, passing your current context to that level.

Q: Can we have a global filters concept in Dashboards in in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Global filters are accessible via the data tray at the bottom of the screen. IBM is work on making them more accessible.

Q: What is the documentation link for SAML 2.0 capabilities?
A: Read more.

Q: Are there any changes in Dynamic Cubes since 10.2.2? It was working but with many limitations and prerequisites.
A: No.

Q: Are there any limitations on data sets in Cognos Analytics Release 6? What is the biggest data size we can load and does it need huge RAM on the machine or is hard disk fine?
A: There are no limits, play with the volume until you find the threshold of what your users expect. There are different philoposhies in which some customers place millions of rows in their data sets and others try to keep it to a few hundred thousand.

Q: In Cognos BI 10, I could create a URL which pointed to something else (i.e. as long as it was in the CAF settings. I can’t do that in Cognos Analytics Release 4. In which Cognos Analytics release will this be available?
A: IBM is not planning on bringing this object back in Cognos Analytics. Please submit and RFE if you see this as being a roadblock for your users. As an alternative, you can create hyperlinks in a report.

Q: Is drill-through in Dashboarding available in in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Not yet, please vote for this on RFE 84195.

Q: What version of Cognos Analytics is covered in Senturus training courses?
A: Training covers Cognos BI v10.x, up to Cognos Analytics, Release 5. See our list of classes.

Q: Is RAVE customization supported in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Yes, for RAVE1 charts. IBM is planning to provide the same capability for RAVE2 charts, but this is a longer-term goal.

Q: Is there an export option to Excel or PDF using Dashboard in Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Not yet, please vote on RFE 99477.

Q: How do the drill-through options in Release 6 compare to those in Cognos BI 10.2.2?
A: Drill-throughs are still available in Reports and behave in the same way as in Cognos Analytics BI 10.

Q: Is Transformer supported in Cognos Analytics Release 6 or will I need to use Dynamic Cubes?
A: Transformer is supported in Cognos Analytics. See how to configure it until the v11 version is available.

Q: Which version of Cognos Disclosure Management (CDM) works with Cognos Analytics Release 6?
A: Please contact IBM Customer Support for assistance.

Q: How do I convert Workspace reports to Cognos Analytics?
A: A conversion tool is not available, feel free to continue using CW or manually convert dashboard to either reports or to the new dashboard.

Q: Can users save their filters in Cognos Analytics Release 6 dashboards?
A: The dashboard saves the values of the filters as part of its spec. If you require additional filter “sets,” you can create report views from reports.

Q: Are there any plans to integrate Cognos plug-in tools with Cognos Analytics so that we can get dashboards/reports into PowerPoint?
A: This is supported via Cognos for MSOffice for reports.

Q: Is the ‘save as’ functionality fixed when I save a new report with the existing name in Cognos Analytics Release 6? I get an error message in Release 5.
A: Yes, this is fixed.

Q: Can I link a relation (Framework Manager) and dimensional (OLAP) widget in Dashboard in Framework Manger?
A: No, you cannot join two Framework Manager packages together in data modules.

Q: Does Cognos Analytics Release 6 allow for the install to be 64 bit and access the MDC files? Or do we have to stay in 32-bit mode?
A: Yes, a 64 bit env can use PowerCubes (32 bit).

Presentation outline

IBM Cognos Analytics: what’s new in R6

  • Factors shaping the future
  • Cognos Analytics releases
  • Highlights of R6
    • Dashboarding
    • Mapping
    • Storytelling
    • Reporting
    • Core app
    • Platform
    • Data access
  • Useful links

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