The New Reporting Experience in IBM Cognos Analytics

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

Report authoring in Cognos Analytics delivers a radical new user experience. Authors will be able to master this new interface – and take advantage of some cool new features – with a little training.

In this on-demand webinar, see step-by-step demos of the new reporting interface. We show you how authoring works in Cognos Analytics and how it contrasts to Cognos BI v10. We go deep on various aspects of report creation including

  • New vs. legacy templates
  • Adding new report data
  • Creating calculations
  • New data discovery features
  • New OLAP features


Albert Valdez
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. During his tenure at Senturus, Albert has served in the roles of Senior Consultant, Solutions Architect and Director of Education.

Question log

Q: Do you have any idea what IBM has planned for Metric Studio going forward? I understand they are dropping Cognos BI 10.2.2, but do they have plans for the future?
A: Although IBM has announced an end of service (EOS) date for 10.2.2 as of April, 2018, IBM will still continue to support use of this version indefinitely. There are no plans to replace Metric Studio on the new Cognos Analytics v11 platform.

Q: Would you advise giving the edit tool to business users? We are concerned they may overwrite an existing report not knowing what is being done.
A: We recommend all users should have edit capabilities if you hope to evolve to true self-service analytics. You can protect content easily using standard content administration practices, such as keeping certain content in protected folders with read-only access and training users to collaborate in other areas where they would have permissions to save their entries. This provides an opportunity for your company to define a policy at the folder level in the portal.

Q: Is an authoring license required in Cognos Analytics?
A: All authorized users will have access to all the capabilities in v11.

Q: What happens to the report source definition when users modify the report display? Does it overwrite the “shared” copy for all users?
A: As long as the source entry is protected, users will not be able to overwrite it, they will have to save their modifications as separate entries in their personal or shared folder in which they have permissions to write.

Q: Is the licensing different in Cognos Analytics to be able to “edit on the fly?”
A: These types of edits can be made with all user type licenses.

Q: How does the administrator load visualizations in Cognos Analytics?
A: Same as always, go to the Administration console and from the library you can upload the Viz files just like in Cognos BI 10.2.2.

Q: Is Query Studio still available in Cognos Analytics? Is there a “drop-dead” date for its deprecation?
A: Yes, Query Studio is still available, but is pulled into a separate tab using the Cognos BI 10.2.2 interface. IBM was going to deprecate it when v11 came out, but then they allowed it to be pulled in a separate tab.

Q: Is it possible to open an Active Report in an iframe? And if so, how is it done?
A: An Active Report output is a .mht file. We don’t see why it couldn’t be rendered as an iframe as long as the target browser will support the MHT. How you do this depends on whether you want to have the report called to be run and then placed in the iframe; otherwise, you would just take the MHT output and host it, and have the iframe call that file.

Q: Can the colors in the bars be changed on a chart in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, the colors in the bars can be changed. We’re surprised Cognos has not changed the default colors, but at least they are updateable.

Q: Is the Cognos Analytics demo version 6?
A: The demo is 11.0.5.

Q: How do I set the revenue ranges and colors on the map?
A: This depends on the type of map being used. You can control the palette using the legacy maps easily; however, the RAVE v1 maps are less functional in this area.

Q: Do I need to import any kind of visualization to have maps within a report using Cognos Analytics?
A: The default install will provide some RAVE 1.0 maps. You can access the entire visualization library.

Q: Does the admin console still show Query Studio and Report Studio in Cognos Analytics?
A: Report Studio and Cognos Workspace DO NOT EXIST in Cognos Analytics. You can still access Query Studio, Analysis Studio, Event Studio and Cognos Workspace in v11.

Q: How do I hide the edit for people who are not intended to see the pencil icon to edit the report?
A: You set permissions for capabilities the same way as in Cognos BI 10.2.2 via the administration console. You set the policies for entries and folders via the portal, the same way as in v10.

Q: Will Cognos Analytics version 7 ship this month? What major new features will be in it?
A: We are told release 7 will ship by the end of July, but we don’t have a hard date. Final features are not yet announced, but as soon as they are, Product Manager Nic Leduc will be joining us for a webinar sometime in August.

Q: Is there a way to change the look and feel of Cognos Analytics like Cognos BI 10 and 8?
A: No. The UI is a complete re-write.

Q: Are there any known limitations to web browsers concerning authoring of reports with Cognos Analytics? What possible add-ins are required?
A: Not that we’ve found.

Q: I see you are using Firefox for the Cognos Analytics demo, is that the best browser to work in?
A: The browser you use is really a personal preference. We have found most of people at Senturus prefer Chrome, but Firefox works great for everything.

Q: What is the difference between Professional authoring and Self-Service?
A: Professional authors are typically tasked with the heavy-lifting associated with developing more sophisticated reports that are delivered to a wide audience. These are sometimes referred to as “standard” or “operational” reports. These reports have sophisticated features such as built-in prompts, complex calculations and aggregations, and other functionality that require specialized skills typically acquired after many days of formal training and hundreds of hours of practical experience. Self-service users are typically consumers of standard reports that want to expand their investigation using existing reports as a starting point. Self-service users may evolve into the authoring role, but typically won’t need the full breadth of capabilities available to professional authors.

Q: How would you compare the Cognos Analytics update to Tableau?
A: We believe there are places in most enterprise environments for both of the tools. Cognos has many things it does well that are not done as well in Tableau and vice-versa.

Presentation outline

  • A brief history of report authoring with Cognos Analytics
  • Demo #1: Our favorite new features in Cognos Analytics
  • Demo #2: Authoring and data exploration in Cognos Analytics
  • The IBM Cognos author – the path forward

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