Learn self-service reporting features in Cognos Analytics: data modules, data sets and data servers. In this demo-packed session, we review the differences – and benefits – of each feature and provide how-to guidance for data acquisition and storytelling with these powerful visualization features.
This wall-to-wall Cognos Analytics demo bonanza teaches you how to:
- Upload your personal data
- Connect to centralized data assets like SQL Server
- Link data sources using lightweight modeling tools
- Use existing packages to tell stories using dashboards and intuitive visualizations
This 45-minute session is 100% demos: no PowerPoint.
Vice-President of Learning Solutions
Albert has spent the last 15 years as a technical trainer focused on business analytics and performance management. Before joining Senturus, he was a Senior Education Specialist at Cognos. He is an IBM Cognos Certified Trainer and has his lifetime CTT and certification from CompTIA. Albert has served as a Senior Consultant, Solutions Architect and Director of Education for Senturus.Read more
Q: Where does the personal data in Cognos Analytics get loaded?
A: Uploaded files and data sets are stored in a columnar database which resides on the Cognos Analytics application tier.
Q: When a file is uploaded on Cognos Analytics is it available to everyone who is looking at the server or only available to the person who uploads it?
A: Uploaded data is available to everybody by default. Also by default, the entry will be placed in the user’s personal folder.
Q: When creating a data server connection in Cognos Analytics is the data saved locally on the BI application or does it query the database for every run?
A: A data server connection is a pathway to the live database, so queries based on a data server connection will query the underlying database each time. An important takeaway from this session is that there is also a data set, which can be based on a data server connection. The data set is an extract of data that lives on the Cognos Analytics server.
Q: Can I hide fields in a data module using Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, you can hide columns in data modules.
Q: We have Cognos BI 10.2.2 FP7 installed, does Cognos Analytics, release 5 need bigger or better hardware to match performance?
A: Hardware is dependent on your concurrent user load. You can get the hardware specification from IBM at: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27047186
Q: Can we use report parts in the Cognos Analytics dashboard capability like we can in Cognos BI Workspace (10.x)?
A: As of the most current version of Cognos Analytics, release 5, this is not possible. However, IBM has indicated that reusing report parts in dashboarding is on the product roadmap and could be released in early 2017.
Q: If I loaded tables in Cognos Analytics via a data server connection and then linked to an existing package using a data module would the additional tables become part of the existing package?
A: No, with a data module you are creating a metadata model that is blending your existing packages, data server tables, uploaded files, etc. You will not be making any changes to your existing packages.
Q: Is it possible to use custom colors in the dashboard in Cognos Analytics?
A: Palettes can be changed, but to truly customize the available colors and palettes you would need to modifying the underlying system style sheets.
Q: Can we assign a home page for other users in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, unfortunately we have not yet found a way to do this.
Q: I noticed you are using Firefox for your browser. What has been your experience when using IE with Cognos Analytics?
A: We have had good results using either of the supported browsers. Our preference is with Firefox or Chrome, but IE 11 has been stable and reliable.
Q: Where are uploaded files stored in Cognos Analytics, in the content manager database or in a network location?
A: Uploaded files are stored in an Apache parquet file that is stored in the content store database.
Q: What happens to our files when we migrate from a DEV to a PROD environment in Cognos Analytics? Do we need to do an upload again in the new environment?
A: You should not need to upload again if you use proven migration practices, doing so should bring all your uploaded resources to the new environment.
Q: I found that if I modified the uploaded file in Cognos Analytics by adding a column for example, I must delete the uploaded file then re-upload it. Using the update only (values) option won’t work. Is this the correct process?
A: If the source file has a structural change as you describe, new columns, or columns removed, reordered or renamed, then it is recommended you delete and re-upload the file.
Q: What types of files can we upload in Cognos Analytics?
A: CSV, Excel or other delimited flat files.
Q: When creating a data server connection in Cognos Analytics are the credentials used for pulling data from the database server stored on the connection used by other people?
A: Yes, data server credentials are set at the highest level. The owner of the data server connection can then assign permissions and access to tables and schemas by user or user group.
Q: Are portlets (portal pages) available in Cognos Analytics?
A: Not right now, but IBM has mentioned that portal pages are on the roadmap.
Q: When defining a data server connection, does the Cognos server (the physical hardware) make the connection to the database, and if so, would a firewall potentially block access in Cognos Analytics? Or, does something in the browser make the connection to the data server on the port and relay the data to the Cognos server? In other words, does the Cognos server have access to the external database?
A: The Cognos BI server connects directly to the database, so that is where the connectivity must live. There is no connectivity needed from client browsers to the physical data sources.
Q: Is SSO (single sign-on) available in Cognos Analytics, release 5?
A: Yes, here is a description of the steps required for setting it up: http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSEP7J_11.0.0/com.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.inst_cr_winux.doc/t_gateway_iis.html#gateway_iis
Q: Can we build our own hierarchies in a data set in Cognos Analytics?
A: Not directly, you must create a data module on top of the data set first. Then, you can use the new feature called navigation paths to create your desired drill paths/hierarchies.
Q: If the data set refreshes on a schedule, how does the dashboard refresh in Cognos Analytics?
A: The dashboard would need to be re-run if a data set refresh occurred while it was being displayed, but the dashboard does refresh each time it is opened.
Q: Do the charts still use JSON in Cognos Analytics? I heard IBM was thinking of changing it to something else?
A: Visualizations in Cognos Analytics are based on the RAVE2 engine, so yes, JSON is still the standard.
Q: Are Active Reports and Cognos Insight still available in Cognos Analytics?
A: Active Reports are still available and are part of the reporting tool. Active Reports is still the go-to-solution for mobile and IBM plans to continue to build its functionality. We don’t believe there is much development regarding Cognos Insight and have heard it is not the focus at IBM.
Q: How can I get a report’s search path in Cognos Analytics? Can a report with parameters be embedded on an external website?
A: There is a share and embed option in release 5, which allows you to grab the URL of a report. Using URL methods, reports can then be embedded into external pages, but it does require a license to view.