Up until now, demos of Cognos Analytics have been more about look and feel than its implications to users. In this show-and-tell, Nic Leduc, Product Manager of Cognos Analytics shows demos and covers topics that satisfy your curiosities
- IBM’s intent behind the radical new design
- How Cognos Analytics solves the riddle of providing enterprise level analytics and governance while still being friendly for line-of-business users
- How Cognos Analytics has made authoring easier while maintaining the robustness
- Data discovery: how users can directly access data sources
- See a demo of the new dashboarding, self-service modeling and simplified authoring
Nic is part of the Product Management team for IBM Cognos Analytics. His main responsibilities are around the dashboarding and mobile capabilities.Read more
Q: What kind of data sources can the data modules use other than Excel and IBM?
A: Data modules use uploaded files such as Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx and .xls) and text files with comma, tab, semi colon or pipe separated values. The data servers use tables from existing database connections while data modules use existing data modules.
Q: Can the data source for a dashboard be a database or is it limited to .csv and Excel files?
A: If you create a data module, you can use the database.
Q: Do I have to do anything special in the data model to take advantage of grouping? Can I disable/enable specific capabilities for given users?
A: No, the grouping feature is for binning. View this How to Create Custom Groups in Data Modules video for more information.
Q: For the dashboard can I use the tables in database?
A: Yes, via data modules.
Q: In the demo you show how to build the data module and are using a table. Is the data coming from a data model or are you working directly with the data tables in the database?
A: You would work directly with the tables in the database.
Q: Is there a way to refresh uploaded data files? Can I create a reference to a data file rather than upload a data file in Cognos Analytics?
A: You can only refresh an uploaded file manually through a right-click menu. The resulting artifact in v11 is not a reference though, the data lives in Cognos.
Q: Is dashboard interactive performance against databases fast in the real world or just fast with .csv/.xls files in Cognos Analytics?
A: Like any tool that can go against live sources, the dashboard is bound by the performance of these source. If your database is properly indexed and sitting on a beefy server, then the dashboard experience will be fast.
Q: Is Excel freeze functionality available with Cognos Analytics?
A: V11 supports freezing column headers in reports set to non-interactive currently. This was added in Cognos BI v10.2.2.
Q: How does Cognos Analytics support governance since clients can create their own data modules? How do I ensure there is a single version of the truth, especially when existing models and relationships are not used?
A: It is entirely controlled by your admin. By default, uploaded files are stored in each user’s My Content. The admin can then decide whether to allow sharing of these files.
Q: Will data modules replace Power or Dynamic Cubes?
A: No, data modules have a different use, they merge external data with existing database tables and packages.
Q: I saw you were using a data module (package + .xlsx) for a Report Studio report during the Cognos Analytics demo. Is it possible to use a data module package for a dashboard?
A: Yes, this is currently the only way to load data into a dashboard.
Q: Can I schedule the extract of the data module in Cognos Analytics? And how are the maximum records determined, are they based on the tables modelled?
A: You cannot schedule the refresh of a snapshot, it is only done manually in v11. The admin determines how much data can be uploaded per upload as well as total per user.
Q: Have the subscription features changed in Cognos Analytics?
A: The subscription feature is new to v11. It allows you to select a report, answer the prompts, and schedule a delivery date.
Q: Does the search engine require manual scheduling/running of indexes in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, the search is now integrated in v11, you do not need to schedule the index jobs anymore.
Q: Does Cognos Analytics work with SDK or is that going to be in a fix pack?
A: IBM has not updated the SDK for v11, but the previous version should continue to work with items that have not changed in this release. SDK will be updated soon to offer the new set of features.
Q: Is the IBM content archive available in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, this is still available.
Q: Will PowerCubes be supported in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, 100%.
Q: Are there changes to Framework Manager in Cognos Analytics?
A: Framework Manager is still a big part and required for non-cube based packages in v11. Framework Manager remains the same and is 100% supported.
Q: What is the difference between the data option and model in Cognos Analytics?
A: An uploaded file could be represented as a single table with cached data. A data module is defined as a set of tables referencing a source(s). You can then decide to create a cache from a data module.
Q: We use lot of portal tabs to organize content, are they still available in Cognos Analytics?
A: They are still available, but they can no longer be set as the default page. You can click on a portal page and it will launch in a new browser window / tab.
Q: Are there any changes to Cognos TM1 and OLAP Transformer in Cognos Analytics?
A: There are no changes.
Q: Will I be able to see the Query Editor in Cognos Analytics? I do most of my work from the backend.
A: Query Explorer is still a critical part of reporting and has not changed other than the look in v11. It is only available when using Framework Manager packages.
Q: Can I create the hierarchy and drill-down from dashboard to report in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, this is not available at this time.
Q: Do I have to go into Cognos Analytics to see the subscriptions or are they still emailed to users?
A: You can have your subscriptions emailed to you, you will need to set your delivery preferences to email.
Q: What are the changes to Cognos Connection in Cognos Analytics? Will it work in the same fashion?
A: Cognos Connection has been replaced with the the v11 user interface. The biggest difference is the lack of portal tabs. Navigating through folders is similar, but the search capabilities have been greatly improved to make this the new standard for finding reports.
Q: What are the differences between Workspace and Workspace Advanced in Cognos Analytics?
A: Workspace is a dashboard canvas tool that allows you to drag existing content onto the page and arrange it in a way that is useful to you. Workspace is hidden by default because it has been announced for deprecation. Workspace Advanced is similar to Query Studio and is a lighter version of Report Studio with fewer features.
Q: Are data server database connections or Framework Manager packages available in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, all existing connections should migrate to v11.
Q: The presentation layer looks great, like the user interactivity. Does the recommended data structure format needed to support the analytics layer change in Cognos Analytics?
A: The same rules apply for v11 as they have for v10 and earlier versions. Star Schemas, Dynamic Cubes, and PowerCubes still give the best performance.
Q: Are there any changes to mapping in Cognos Analytics? It would be ideal if zip codes were available.
A: Maps are part of the visualizations. The existing maps will most likely not be provided at a zip code level as there is a good deal of maintenance keeping this up to date. ESRI would be a good place to go for this specific need once they re-integrate with v11. We do not have a time frame for when or if this will happen.
Q: In the “New” button menu, I saw an “Other” option. What does this option refer to? We have already upgraded to Cognos Analytics and do not currently have this option.
A: The “Other” category is where the companion applications appear, such as Query Studio, Analysis Studio, Cognos Workspace, Event Studio.
Q: The Event Studio functionality was extremely useful. Will this type of functionality continue to exist in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, Event Studio is included in v11, no changes or enhancements are planned for it.
Q: What are the changes to the modeling tools in Cognos Analytics?
A: There are no changes to Framework Manager and transformation tools. The data module tool is not a replacement for these tools as its main focus is to provide a simple way for business users to merge and create a quick model.
Q: Can I still create customized views with saved prompt values in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, you can do this from the Report Viewer.
Q: Can I change the Cognos portal in Cognos Analytics like I did in v10.x?
A: You can assign a report or dashboard as your home page, but the UI is not yet customizable.
Q: Is there Android support for mobile devices for Cognos Analytics? And if so, which browsers are best to use?
A: There is no Android browser support for Cognos Analytics. Android is supported via the native app.
Q: How do Gateway services on multiple dispatchers work with Cognos Analytics? How is the load balancing done for web services?
A: App tier dispatchers do the load balancing. To balance across the web servers you will need an external load balancer.
Q: Are there changes to Metric Designer or Metric Studio in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, there are no changes to either of them.
Q: Is the RAVE (graphics) engine enhanced with Cognos Analytics? The version in Cognos BI v10.2 is a bit cumbersome, especially in terms of performance.
A: The RAVE engine is the same.
Q: When will dashboards be able to use Framework Manager models?
A: We expect at some point you will be able to use Framework Manger models on dashboards; however, currently this is not possible. We do not know when this feature will be available.
Q: Do dashboards support Cube data sources in Cognos Analytics?
A: Not currently, although we think it might with an update at a later date.
Q: Is SPSS supported in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, it has the same flow as in previous versions of Cognos BI.
Q: Is auditing functionality part of Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, you can still enable audit logging as you have in the past.
Q: Will the customizations we have on native visualization in RAVE be the same in Cognos Analytics?
A: V11 uses the same RAVE specs as in v10.2.2. If you have created new visualizations or modified existing one, the same visualization bundle will continue to function.
Q: Will IBM Connections be supported in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, the integration is no longer available.
Q: If portal objects are no longer available as tabs in Cognos Analytics, how do I open them?
A: You could always see the portal tabs as objects in the past from where they are developed and maintained. To open them, click on them like a report.
Q: The map on the screen now is a Mercator projection, designed for sailing ships. Do you have projections that are more modern with less emphasis on the Northern Hemisphere?
A: Yes, it will be part of the v11 roadmap.
Q: Where can I get the recording to this webinar?
A: You can get the slide deck and recording at the Senturus website at: Cognos Analytics v11 Closer Look: New Report Authoring, Dashboarding, and Modeling Tools
Q: Is Cognos Analytics a replacement for Cognos BI or is it part of standard Cognos?
A: It is the new version of Cognos BI. So it becomes the new standard version.
Q: How do I install Cognos Analytics?
A: Please refer to the Cognos Analytics Installation and Configuration document.
Q: Does Cognos Analytics run on Chrome as well as it does on IE?
A: Chrome 45 and beyond is supported. IE is still the most supported browser. See the full list of v11 supported software.
Q: Are there any security changes in Cognos Analytics?
A: Your existing permission settings will be carried forward. The permissions UI has been simplified, but you can always revert back to see the traditional policies, such as read, write, traverse.
Q: To my knowledge there has only been an interim fix pack for Cognos Analytics, when is this expected to be available?
A: Cognos Analytics 184.108.40.206 is available today.
Q: How do I change the Welcome to IBM Cognos Analytics homepage to customize it for my company? In addition to customizing it for my company, how can I place multiple reports on the home page?
A: This functionality is currently not available. However, you can set your homepage per user or group, which is described in the v11 roadmap.
Q: My client is using Microsoft Windows phones. Currently Cognos BI v10.2 is not supported on the IE browser on these phones. We made it work by setting the IE to desktop mode, but the client is not happy. Are these phones supported in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, there is no support for Windows phones.
Q: I have heard of a Cognos Centers of Excellence. Can you explain what it is and provide a link to the site?
A: We don’t have any information about these Centers at the moment.
Q: Is there a procedure on getting SSO implemented via optionally installed Gateway?
A: No, you will need to follow the IIS Gateway configuration as you have done in the past for SSO.
Q: The IIS Gateway seems broken. I contacted IBM support and was advised that the URL rewrite was required to setup a reverse proxy to the dispatcher. We can’t be the only ones with a multi-dispatcher environment with IIS Gateways. Will this be remedied in the first fix pack?
A: We don’t have detailed information about fix packs at this time. Please work with your IBM team for timing of fixes.
Q: Will limited local processing be better in Cognos Analytics compared to Cognos BI 8.x-10.x?
A: There are no changes to joins and queries. Chart rendering and dashboarding are done on the client browser.
Q: Have timelines been announced for the next release/update of Cognos Analytics?
A: Releases are planned every quarter with fixes and enhancements. You can download them from Passport Advantage.
Q: Does Cognos Analytics integrate with Watson Analytics?
A: No, but Watson can import data from v11.
Q: What is the best hardware to use with Cognos Analytics?
A: V11 supports a wide range of hardware. View the IBM compatibility report for more information.
Q: When will Cognos Analytics Express version be available?
A: There is still Cognos Express licensing, even though the software is the same as Cognos Enterprise. Express is currently on v10.2.2 and will be updated to v11 at the end of Q2 or early Q3, 2016.
Q: We have over 5,000 Cognos users and it has taken us years to get them trained at a pretty big cost. Before migrating to Cognos Analytics they will have to train again which will not be an easy task. We’d like to use v10 as long as possible. How long will Cognos BI v10.2.2 be supported?
A: Cognos 10.2.x was released September 2012, and does not currently have an end-of-support date set. However, 10.1.x had a six-year support window. Based on that, you would need to upgrade to v11 by the end of 2018.
Q: Does Cognos Analytics require DB2 for the content store?
A: No, all the standard databases apply: SQL Server, Oracle, and others. For more information, view IBM compatibility reports.
Q: It sounds like Cognos Analytics is still in the alpha development stage. When will the full version be released?
A: The full v11 version was released Dec 23, 2015.
Q: What were the results from the poll question asked at the beginning of the webinar: Are you planning to upgrade/migrate to Cognos Analytics Version 11?
REPORTS & STUDIOS
Q: In reporting can I have one group that has full capabilities and another group that has limited capabilities of this module?
A: Yes, you can do this by restricting access in the data module interface.
Q: Will Reporting in Cognos Analytics have an option to show the filters like Query Studio currently does?
A: Yes, that is part of the v11 roadmap.
Q: Is PowerPlay Studio available in Cognos Analytics?
A: PowerPlay is currently not available in v11 due to a known bug. IBM is working to fix the issue. You may also want to check out the recording from our webinar: Preparing for Cognos Analytics v11: Prep v10 Now to Ensure a Smooth Upgrade Later, in which we discuss the topic in detail.
Q: Is the Report Studio user customization tool in Administration->Library available in Cognos Analytics?
A: Unfortunately, this feature has been depreciated and is not available in v11.
Q: If the Report Studio customization tool has been depreciated in Cognos Analytics, how will I be able to limit the functions of the former Query Studio and Workspace Advanced users?
A: With the new interactivity in the Report Viewer, and the simplification of the UI, IBM decided to remove the v10.2.2 profiles, you will not be able to limit the functions.
Q: Is Event Studio replaced by subscriptions in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, subscriptions are meant as an easy way for you to setup a schedule to receive a report on a chosen interval.
Q: How do we migrate our previously created reports in Report Studio to Cognos Analytics?
A: Report Studio reports will automatically migrate to v11 and be 100% compatible. So, there is nothing for you to do after migrating.
Q: How would we separate former Workspace Advanced users from Report Studio users if they are in one reporting mode now?
A: If you have upgraded to the new licensing model, you shouldn’t need to differentiate anymore. They are now the same.
Q: What do we replace Event Studio with in Cognos Analytics?
A: Event Studio is still in included in v11. By default it is hidden, but you can find it under the “Other” menu.
Q: Before editing a report in Cognos Analytics, is it possible to see what subject area the existing query items are coming from?
A: Yes, you can see the source of each field in the report using the lineage functionality. This is available in the non-interactive viewer.
Q: How do I see the Query Viewer while creating a report in Cognos Analytics?
A: There is an icon that will allow you to select the page, query, and conditional explorer viewers. The viewers are the same, only the process of getting to it is different.
Q: Can I lock scheduling to follow an event (such as when I want to refresh the data) similar to a trigger-based event, as was possible in Event Studio?
A: Trigger-based scheduling is available in v11, you do not need to use Event Studio for this.
Q: I am a report author. When I schedule a report to be delivered by email, is there an option or setting to specify the “From” field in the email address?
Q: We would like to output a scheduled report to a file location outside of the Cognos server such as a shared network location. Is this possible to do in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, this works the same way as it did in the past.
Q: Will complex crosstab reports be available in Cognos Analytics?
A: Crosstab reports built in Report Studio should function the same in v11 as they do in v10.
Q: Does Cognos Analytics support Active Reports?
A: Yes, Active Reports are part of the reporting tool.
Q: Do you know of any tool for migrating Hyperion reports to Cognos Analytics?
A: There are several articles online that can assist.
Q: Is it possible to embed report outputs in webpages or allow reports to be FTP/SFTP out of Cognos Analytics into the wider world?
A: Without knowing more about your vision, I would suggest the SDK could be used for projects like this.
Q: Is dimensional reporting still supported in Cognos Analytics?
Q: Is Metric Studio being supported in Cognos Analytics?
A: You will still have access to Metric Studio in v11 in a separate tab, but this will be the last version supporting Metric Studio.
Q: Are there plans to merge Report and Active Report with Cognos Analytics or just enhance Active Reports for easy use?
A: Active Reports are more tightly integrated into the new reporting tool in v11.
Q: The on-demand toolbars that appear when authoring a report against a data module is different from working with a package. Which features in Cognos Analytics work with data modules?
A: Both authoring (reports) and dashboards work with data modules.
Q: In Cognos Analytics, will I be able to add reports built against different packages onto a dashboard, like I used in Cognos Workspace?
A: Not currently, but this should be available in a future release.
Q: Can charts be upgraded into visualizations in existing reports in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, this will need to be done manually on a report-by-report basis.
Q: Are there any plans to add the old Report Studio interface to the companion applications in Cognos Analytics?
Q: Could subscriptions to reports cause the same queries to be scheduled and run multiple times in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, this is because the Cognos server caches and re-uses queries whenever possible.
Q: Where is the admin console located in Cognos Analytics?
A: The bottom left icon is called Manage. Clicking on it will allow you to launch the admin console.
Q: What changes have been made to the admin console in Cognos Analytics?
A: The admin console is essentially the same as in v10.
Q: Is there a replacement in Cognos Analytics for being able to limit capabilities based on a user group’s tech comfort level?
A: All v10 capabilities are available in v11, with one exception, Report Studio Profiling is not carried forward in v11.
Q: Is it possible to grant users authoring ability and specify which reports/packages they are allowed to edit/author in Cognos Analytics? If so, how would I do this?
A: Yes, you can limit users abilities in the properties of a package, here you can define the permissions.
Q: Can I disable a users ability to set up time-based scheduled events in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, you can do this using capabilities.
IBM Cognos business intelligence in review
- General availability of Cognos BI v10.2.2 on Cloud – March 27, 2015
- Announced Cognos Analytics – October 26, 2015
- General availability Cognos Analytics – December 23, 2015
Cognos Analytics on cloud
- Cloud computing expertise delivers a highly secure BI SaaS offering
- Managed by IBM, with no need to move your data or security to the cloud
- Choose from three editions starting at 25 users, full user flexibility
Factors shaping the future of business intelligence
- Self-serve analytics
- Data governance
- Smarter, more embeddable analytics
Cognos Analytics v11 delivers ease of use for business without compromising IT functionality
- Completely re-designed experience – dramatically increase productivity for departmental and enterprise reporting
Cognos Analytics demo
- Intuitive and interactive
- On-demand toolbars and menus
- Easy access to corporate or uploaded data
- Easily combinable data modules
- Intent-driven modeling and authoring
Creators, simple dashboards and reports
- Select data source and get started
- Guided experience
- Design and layout
- Drag and drop content
- Recommended visualization
- Progressive interface
- Create dashboard on a tablet
Creators, power users
- Intent-driven modeling process based on the selected data
- Search for fields
- Join multiple sources
- Automated model generation
- Improve data quality – data cleansing
- Visualize the model
Updating to Cognos Analytics
- Cognos Analytics is an upgrade to Cognos Business Intelligence (v8, v10)
- All your existing content will be brought forward
- Traditional 10.2.2 studios are available (now called Companion Applications)
- No license changes (free to download from Passport Adv for existing customers)
- Life cycle manager is planned to ship in Q1, 2017
Simplification of the studios
- We’ve reduced the number of interfaces for simplicity:
- Data module
- IBM recommends to create new content using the new tools
Where are the old studios in Cognos Analytics?
- Companion applications are still available for existing customers
- Cognos v10 studios
- My Inbox
- Drill-Through definitions
- My Watch items
Cognos Workspace in Cognos Analytics
- Still available in Cognos Analytics, opens in a new browser tab
- Removed certain capabilities such as the Do More
- Announced for deprecation
- What we are looking at:
- Reusable parts in the new dashboards and reporting
- Multiple packages in reporting (vote on RFE 68073)
- Master filtering across multiple sources / widgets / pages
- Auto-refresh of widgets in dashboards
Portal pages and tabs in Cognos Analytics
- Portal pages open in a different browser tab
- Portal tabs are no longer accessible
- Users can set a report or dashboard as their home page (not portal pages)
- Recently used list provides a quick way for users to get to their content
- Search has been greatly enhanced to find content they need
- What we are looking at:
- Ability for admins to set their user’s home pages based on users and groups
- Vote on RFE 84915
- Installation options
- Ready to run! Provides a quick way to get up and running in minutes without any additional configuration or third party software
- Custom: same as previous version of Cognos
- Gateway component is optional, meaning no dependency on a web server
- Only required for advanced options such as SSO or third party portal integration
- Items to consider
- Size of snapshots and uploaded content
- Potential additional load on the servers as users interact with their content
- iOS Safari for connected experience
- Native apps for disconnected
- Interface only shows the capabilities that are supported on mobile devices
- On-demand toolbar menus are touch friendly
- Report prompts are converted to native controls
Models, OLAP, Query engines
- Main Cognos Analytics page – http://www.ibm.biz/cognosanalytics
- Videos and demos – https://www.youtube.com/user/Analyticszone/videos
- Free trial – http://www.analyticszone.com
- Documentation – http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSEP7J_11.0.0/com.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.cbi.doc/welcome.html?lang=en
- FAQ installation steps – http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21974153