Measuring User Adoption of your Cognos BI System

October 16, 2012

System Admin & Security

Implementing a Cognos Audit Database

One of the keys to business intelligence success is user adoption; do you know who is using your BI system? Of all those Cognos reports you have to administer, how many are really being used? Do system updates, migrations or outages require undue efforts due to the large amount of reports that need to be moved or recovered? By implementing an audit database, you will be able to gauge the success for your BI system and tell which reports are really being used, how often and by whom.

During this webinar we show you how easy it is to implement an audit database and deploy the Cognos-supplied audit reporting package. We teach how to create custom, dynamic audit reports using Report Studio. We also demonstrate how to create an Agent using Event Studio that can trigger an alert to administrators when specific events occur.

Business Context

Knowing the details of the BI system usage supports informed decisions that improve performance, increase user adoption, help plan future capacity needs, and put on-going administration and maintenance efforts where they are most beneficial.

Details such as identifying bottlenecks, under and over used system resources, unused reports, problem queries or reports, users in need of training, etc. are some of the results possible with standard and custom reports from the audit data base.


Cognos Audit Database; Event Studio; Report Studio


Cognos BI Developers; Cognos BI Administrators


Albert Valdez

Director of Education Services, Senturus, Inc

Albert has spent the last 12 years as a technical trainer focused on business intelligence and performance management.  Before joining Senturus, he was a Senior Education Specialist at Cognos for five years.  He is an IBM Cognos Certified Trainer and has his lifetime CTT and certification from CompTIA.  Since 2007, Albert has acted as a Senior Consultant, Solutions Architect and Director of Education for Senturus.


Track Cognos BI Usage in order to:

  • Identify what’s used and what’s not (and in what volumes)
  • Support capacity planning and bottleneck resolution
  • Identify where retraining would be useful

Configure an Audit Database

  • SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, Informix, Sybase
  • URL_XML data source
  • Java Development Kit (JDK) and Runtime Environment (JRE)

Training Demonstrations

  • Create a database in SQL Server (named: Audit)
  • Configure IBM Cognos 10 for database logging
  • Deploy the vendor-supplied sample Audit package
    • Installing the separate samples package is needed for access to Audit’s Framework Manager configuration, etc.
    • Administration => System => Dispatcher (each one) => Set Properties => Audit Settings
      • Minimal, Basic, Request, Trace, or Full
      • Webcontent and deployment folders
      • Data base connection (so SQL server db Audit)
  • Create custom reports using the Audit package
  • Create an Event Studio agent to automatically alert when a user logs in
    • Alert setup
    • How to eliminate repetitive alerts for the same event

▼ Q&A


Alerts for scheduled reports that fail

Troubleshooting queries relative to the data base being accessed (using the data base log versus auditing the native query)

The report description is not in the audit data, but is in the content store

Studio identification in audit data

Audit report specification changes

Power  Play auditing capabilities comparison in version 10 versus version 7

Data about reports that haven’t run is available via the url_xml source only (there is no data in the audit tables for reports with no activity)

Multiple dispatchers use the same audit data base

Sufficiency of the sample audit reports