Under the Hood with Cognos Analytics R5

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

Cognos Analytics 11 Release 5 was released in November 2016, and contains great new features – including (finally!) administrator controlled user group customizations that can help you migrate off Cognos BI 8/10 Portal Tabs.

In this on-demand webinar we get hands-on with some of the best features in Release 5 and discuss what to expect in Release 6.

Topics covered

  • Role customizations – bridge the Portals Tab gap to make the leap from Cognos BI 10 to Cognos Analytics
  • Geospatial mapping – today and tomorrow
  • Navigation paths – break free of traditional dimensional modeling


Todd Schuman
Cognos Architect
Senturus, Inc.

Todd has over 15 years of Cognos experience and heads up the Senturus install, upgrade and optimization practice. Todd presented alongside IBM product managers at the 2016 World of Watson conference Considerations When Upgrading to IBM Cognos Analytics. View his webinar on the same topic.

Question log

Q: We have upgraded to Cognos Analytics Release 5 and have lost the capability to search for content. Any idea as to why this is occurring?
A: We would need to review your environment to determine the cause for this. In the absence of a review, we recommend checking your permissions and possibly reinstalling the software.

Q: Where can we get Cognos Analytics customizations?
A: You can get the information at IBM Knowledge.

Q: How do I hide my content from other users in Cognos Analytics?
A: You can hide folder content the same way you did in previous versions. You can also create user groups and customize the UI for these groups.

Q: What happens if two groups have the same priority in Cognos Analytics? Which one takes precedence?
A: You are able to assign the priority order. The higher priority will take precedence.

Q: Is Google Chrome the primary supported browser for Cognos Analytics?
A: It is supported, but not the primary support browser. IE, Chrome, Safari and Firefox are all supported in Cognos Analytics. For full browser details consult IBM Knowledge Center.

Q: Does the underlying security govern what you see on the nav bar in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, you will need to use the user group customization to hide/show any element on the nav bar.

Q: Is there a description of the specifics of each of the features and what they remove in Cognos Analytics?
A: Most of these can be found in the IBM documentation. Learn how to get information about the buttons in the reporting tool.

Q: In extensions in Cognos Analytics, such as Quick Links, is it possible to create a menu item that allows me to open an external website page in a new window instead of an iFrame?
A: We have not tried this, but would imagine it’s possible.

Q: Does navigation paths work with DMR package in Cognos Analytics?
A: You would need to use a data module to do this.

Q: When will IBM stop supporting Cognos BI 10.2.2 ?
A: Cognos BI 10.2 is scheduled to go end-of-life in April 2018.

Q: What is the difference between dashboard, story and report in Cognos Analytics?
A: Dashboard is the new interactive visualization tool. You can drag and drop elements onto the canvas and the tool will connect the objects and provide recommendations on the best way to display the data. Story is a new feature that allows you to skip copying reports and visualizations to PowerPoint and present live data directly in Cognos. Report is the evolution of Report Studio and Workspace Advanced. You can create your complex, prompted, pixel-perfect reports using this tool.

Q: If we transition from Cognos BI 10.2.2 to Cognos Analytics Release 5, will existing Portal Tab dashboards need to be rewritten?
A: Yes, there is no migration path for Portal Tabs. The purpose of this webinar was to demonstrate how to recreate the concept and functionality of Portal Tabs in Cognos Analytics.

Q: Is there a way to do a “save” instead of a “save as” for reports in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, use the down arrow next to the save icon, which should provide this option.

Q: In dashboard visualizations in Cognos Analytics is there a way to show numbers presented in currency format (with leading $ sign)?
A: Yes, you should be able to change this in the properties.

Q: Is it true that Workspace is totally going away? We use Workspace as our home page, which contains reports.
A: Yes, Workspace is going away. We recommend halting any development using this tool and focus on the new dashboard tool.

Q: After upgrading to Cognos Analytics, the distribution lists that were in place still work but no longer show for a new setup. How do we see them for a new set up?
A: We would need to review your configuration to troubleshoot this. Please contact us at [email protected] if you would like assistance.

Q: Is there any improvement regarding export/print dashboard in Cognos Analytics?
A: Not that we are aware of. This is currently a tool for HTML only.

Q: If I’ve installed Cognos Analytics Release 5 without the samples selected, can I run the installer again and pick it? Or will that affect my current install?
A: Yes, you should be able to re-run the install and just select the samples.

Q: Are the dashboard PowerCubes available in Cognos Analytics Release 5 and if so, what are their features?
A: No, they are not part of Release 5; however, they are part of Release 6, which was available on March 17, 2017.

Q: I saw that having something at priority 10, any other priority a user might have will not show up, but what if portal user 3 had portal 1 and portal 2 set both at priority 10? Would portal 1 show or portal 2?
A: To be certain of the outcome, we would need to test this because we’re not sure what logic is used to break a tie. It might be based on the alpha sort of the groups.

Q: How do I share the GEO coded mapping rules? I’d like to map latitude and longitude coordinates in our database to the new MapBox visuals.
A: This is currently unavailable, you will need to wait for IBM and MapBox to add this capability.

Q: Will you describe how I can disable the edit mode for a specific user in Cognos Analytics Release 5?
A: You can create a group or role in the Cognos namespace and then remove this option from reporting, dashboarding, data modules, etc. Each area of Cognos Analytics has its own set of menus that can be customized.

Presentation outline

Portal Tabs in Cognos BI 8/10

  • Search
  • Websites/intranet
  • Report/dashboard viewer/landing page
  • Security – limit access
  • Remove public folder

Cognos Analytics Search

  • Vastly superior to Cognos BI 10
  • No need to run index jobs
  • Auto complete
  • Save searches


  • Every report you run

Cognos Analytics Landing Page

  • Users can set as home
    • Report or dashboard
    • Run report or dashboard, click ellipsis to set
    • My preferences, home page, reset to default to revert back
  • Administrators can set as home
    • Cognos groups only
    • Available in R5
    • Manage -> accounts

Cognos Analytics Customizations

Cognos Analytics Sample JSON

Cognos Analytics Customize Accounts

  • Administrators can now control
    • Home page
    • Features
    • Themes
  • Create Cognos groups
    • Add in AD groups/users
    • Assign home page, UI features
    • Set priorities
  • Extensions can be enabled/disabled
    • Grant/restrict access to folders
    • Restrict access to team content
    • Restrict new content creation


Navigation Paths

  • Create with data modules
  • Access with dashboard
  • Special context icon
  • Break free from dimensional modeling

Geospatial Mapping

  • Today
    • Visualizations
      • Dynamic map (older)
      • MapBox (one with pin)
  • Dashboard only
  • State level shape coloring
  • Tomorrow
    • City and zip code color boundary
    • Available in reporting
    • MapBox customizations
    • Custom shapes – building interiors

Cognos Analytics Release 6 Update

  • March expected release date
  • BlueID SSO
  • Additional mapping capabilities
  • Planning analytics
  • Dashboard PowerCubes

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