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With Cognos Analytics v11, IBM has taken self-service analytics head on. In this on-demand webinar, our guest from IBM previews the new functionality including the user-friendly interface with great visualizations.
Cognos Analytics will be widely available at the end of 2015. Highlights of the changes include
- Interactive and personalized self-service reporting that provides answers without involving IT
- No more multiple studios, just one clean, simple UI with intuitive functionality for reporting and dashboard needs
- The added functionality of modeling on the web
Business Analytics Portfolio Architect
Q: When will Cognos Analytics be available to customers?
A: December 2015.
Q: What licensing is required?
A: Licensing is the same as previous versions of Cognos. You just need to upgrade to Cognos Analytics to take advantage of this new functionality. If you have moved to the new four license roles that were released last summer, you will also get all this new functionality.
Q: Only about 50% of our users run reports. How does this affect licensing for those users?
A: Licensing does not change.
Q: Is there any cost difference between earlier versions and this version?
A: No, the license roles remain the same.
Q: Does Cognos Analytics require a migration or upgrade from v10.2.2?
A: It is an upgrade as opposed to a migration.
Q: Do we need any tools to upgrade from v10.2.x to Cognos Analytics?
A: The process for upgrading will be very similar to what you have done in upgrading from v10.2.0 to 10.2.1 or similar.
Q: How well does the new interface work with mobile devices?
A: The new portal, report viewing, and new dashboarding experience will be available on the mobile device.
Q: How does the installation size of Cognos Analytics differ from other versions?
A: The size is similar to previous versions.
Q: Since Query Studio/Analysis Studio still exists, is there any purpose to first upgrade from v10.1 to 10.2, instead of going straight to Cognos Analytics?
A: No, there is nothing stopping you from moving from v10.1 to Cognos Analytics.
Q: Do we need to be on v10.2 to upgrade to Cognos Analytics?
A: You can upgrade from any version, but upgrading from v10.x is easier (vs. v8.x).
Q: Is this Cognos Analytics or Watson Analytics? Because I saw the Watson icon when the report is refreshed.
A: This is Cognos Analytics. We have internal open sourced the assemble portion of Watson Analytics. This is an early build and we have actually replaced those spinners. Good Eyes!
Q: Will you be covering IBM’s Business Analytics Online during the webinar?
A: Unfortunately, we are not covering the details of Cognos BI Cloud offering. We are offering a complimentary consultation for cloud, if you are interested, contact Kay Knowles at Senturus at email@example.com or 303 330 7321.
COMPATIBILITY & SET UP
Q: Do we still need to have IIS with Cognos Analytics? We have gateways on separate servers running IIS.
A: You are not required to have IIS, we will be shipping/installing WebSphere Liberty which can handle the role of IIS.
Q: I’m really curious to know if Cognos Analytics will support responsive web design?
A: Our new UI is responsive; however, we are not adjusting reports in a responsive manner. This was a topic of much discussion.
Q: Is there a recommended level of memory and SAN required for Cognos Analytics that would be greater than existing Cognos v10.2.2 requirements?
A: The requirements for Cognos Analytics will be very similar to the requirements of v10.2.2.
Q: Is Internet Explorer compatible with Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, this release is IE compatible. We will be supporting standards mode.
Q: Is this still only DB2?
A: We support (and have supported) a wide range of data sources. This is where some of this stuff gets really interesting. The “personal data” is actually now stored in a very high performance columnar Parquet File Format. As you may know, this type of technology comes from the newer Hadoop world, and says a lot about where IBM is going.
Q: What’s the oldest version of DB2 that can be used as a reporting source?
Q: Is the information created in the new UI stored in the on-premise content server or is it moved to the cloud?
A: Watson Analytics, the storage location for this is either on-premise or cloud, depending on where you install Cognos Analytics.
Q: Will I need to manually change My Folder to My Content when I begin using Cognos Analytics?
A: My Folder is automatically updated to My Content when you upgrade to this release.
Q: Is Firefox compatible with Cognos Analytics?
Q: Will Cognos Analytics support Edge browser?
A: Not with general availability.
TOOL CHANGES & AVAILABILITY
Q: Are there new in-memory features added to this version?
A: This is where the new Parquet File Format storage of the personal data comes in. It is extremely high performing due to in-memory capability.
Q: Is Cognos Insight still available in Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, Cognos Insight is still available.
Q: Can Cognos Analytics use data from two packages in a same report?
A: Unfortunately, no, we are still limited as we were in previous versions.
Q: Is Integrated Framework Manager included in Cognos Analytics?
A: FM is still around, what we have is a line of business modeling experience.
Q: Is ABT Transformer still available with the new release?
A: Yes, ABT Transformer is still available in Cognos Analytics.
Q: Is Powerplay studio still available?
A: Yes, Powerplay is still available.
Q: Is Report Studio still available?
A: No, it is replaced by the new authoring experience.
Q: Is Workspace Advanced and Report Studio being combined?
A: Yes, we show what it looks like in the webinar.
Q: Are the different studios in earlier versions integrated into one in Cognos Analytics?
A: This a new studio, but there are still traditional studios.
Q: If there is only one studio now versus Report Studio, CWA, etc, how am I able to manage user functionality? For example, I want some some users to have CWA, but not Report Studio.
A: There is more then a single studio; however, we offer the same capabilities in the back end to control who has access to which capabilities.
Q: Is there a query view with Cognos Analytics?
A: Yes, there is a query view.
Q: Are there any differences with Dynamic Cubes in this new release?
A: No, Dynamic Cubes are relatively untouched and will continue to be supported.
Q: Is there a plan to release Cognos Analytics Planning (TM1) at the same time?
A: TM1 will be cloud only and, to the best of our knowledge, contains Cognos, so there should be no need to tie it back to another instance of Cognos.
Q: How will portal tabs and prompt pages work?
A: Portal tabs will be available and will open a new window, prompt pages continue to work as they always have.
Q: Are there any changes to Cognos Transformer?
Q: Can report queries still be viewed?
A: Yes, you can still view this in the new authoring experience.
Q: What does the Administrator Console look like and how does it work?
A: Administrator console is unchanged. This will be the focus of a future release.
Q: Did Cognos Analytics add security providers, such as ADFS?
Q: Are prompt pages going away?
A: Prompt pages will continue to be present.
Q: Are there any changes to ESRI maps in Cognos Analytics?
Q: Is the data module modeling similar to the prior Framework Manager, which is only for the Cognos Admin license?
A: This will be available to all users; it will be up to the organization who receives this capability.
Q: Currently, Framework Manager is a desktop-based tool, will that change in Cognos Analytics?
A: FM will continue to be a desktop-based tool.
Q: Is Data Module replacing Framework Manager?
A: No, FM is not being deprecated. It will be around for a long time.
Q: Is there a limit for Excel spreadsheets that can be uploaded?
A: We will allow limits to be set by the administrator as to the max file size and total space each user can occupy on the disk.
Q: Am I limited to the type of templates I use with multi-tenant?
A: Templates are found in the folder structure and as a result you can place any template in whichever tenant you wish.
Q: Is trigger-based schedule still available?
A: Yes, it is available.
Q: Can Dynamic or Power Cubes be mixed with flat files in creating new data models?
A: No, new data modules can only be created from uploaded files or database connections.
Q: Is the data on the Parquet File encrypted?
A: This is up to your organization’s administrator to determine.
Q: How does Cognos Analytics handle multiple subscriptions? We currently use a job which appears to be no longer available.
A: Jobs are still available. We handle subscriptions as individual elements.
Q: Can an administrator set different reports/dashboard as home pages for different group of users (not by users themselves)?
A: At this point no; however, it is something we want to look at moving forward.
Q: Are there challenges with Parquet Files multiple app servers?
A: No, you are able to specify and point all.
Q: Can I add widgets to a dashboard from a report as in Cognos v10.2?
A: No, it is something that we will look at in future releases.
Q: Can Dynamic or Power Cubes be used with flat files for new data model?
A: No, only uploaded files and database connections can be used.
Q: Can I use TM1 as a data source?
A: Yes, TM1 as a data source can be used with versions 10.2.X and higher.
Q: How can I achieve advance reporting like conditional formatting, master detail relationships, variables, etc?
A: This will be achieved in the same way as with other version, just in a different location.
A: No, you will still be able to extend Cognos. However, due to the nature of the new interactive experience you will be restricted to non-interactive viewer for these types of extensions.
Q: What flat files types are accepted as local sources of data?
A: Flat files: CSV, XLS, XLSX.
Q: Will Cognos Analytics have accessibility?
A: The general release will not be fully compliant, but we hope to fix this in the near future.
Q: We have several portal tabs by subject matter available to our users when they sign on to Cognos Connection. Will multiple tabs still be displayed for easy selection?
A: Portal tabs will not be available, portal pages will still persist and be available through their saved location.
Q: Is it possible to secure modeling so users can’t access this feature?
A: Yes, this is controlled by the administrator.
Q: Does Web Model have the capability to open the FM designed model?
Q: Will I be able to incorporate report/dashboard content in a mashup?
A: You will continue to be able to use Cognos Mashup with reports; however, not with the new dashboarding tool.
Q: Is “copy report to clipboard” functionality available from Report Studio in Cognos Analytics?
Q: Can I create Report Studio reports using custom SQL and distribute it to the users via email?
Q: What’s the support for low level security in the new data modelling?
A: If there is data level security in the database then we will respect that, but we do not provide the ability to state that support through the module.
Q: In data module, can I add data sources from other packages?
A: You cannot use an existing Framework Manager package as part of these data modules.
Q: Am I limited to MHT files for distribution and will run only in IE?
A: For offline distribution, yes MHT is still the format.
Q: Is there a way to use D3 charts in Cognos Analytics?
A: No, we allow organizations to use RAVE to build out custom visualizations.
DISPLAY & DASHBOARD
Q: Can you define the default chart/graph that display first – i.e.; priority of charts to execute?
A: In addition to the method demonstrated in the webinar, you can choose to start from a chart and fill in slots. Plus, you do not need to set compatibility mode.
Q: Can the dashboard be used offline/disconnected?
A: No, dashboards are required to be connected to the internet. However, Active Reports are available offline.
Q: Do all of the queries/reports need to be created first before being dropped on the dashboard? In the example you showed, all the data in the .csv had to be authored from somewhere.
A: Correct, you still need to prepare your data before dropping it into dashboards.
Q: Are these features available for customers who embed Cognos dashboards in their apps?
A: Yes, this will be available to our partners.
Q: My company has different user groups, and each user group will need a default home dashboard. What’s the best way to set home for a group of users? Are there limits to the number of dashboard?
A: No, there are no limits on the number of dashboards. Users can set a report as their home page.
Q: Are filters for charts available in the dashboard?
A: Filtering is applied to all charts from the same data source in a given tab.
Q: Is data module replacing Framework Manager?
A: No, FM is not being deprecated. It will be around for a long time.
Q: Is a Framework Manager package different from a Data Module?
A: Yes, FM packages and data modules are different entities. Similar in their use, but different in terms of technology and creation. Data modules is a simpler way to create models.
Q: Can I use Framework Manager to create reports and dashboards?
A: Dashboards can only use uploaded files and new data modules.
Q: Do the models created in the UI create a package accessible within Framework Manager to modify later?
A: Data modules are only available for use within the web-based modeling and not for export and further refinement with FM.
Q: So, do we really no longer need Framework Manager?
A: I wouldn’t go that far. In the right hands FM is a very powerful tool. This new modeling is targeted at helping line of business users create models without having to have a deep knowledge/skills.
Q: Could we add a new data source/ table/file to an existing Framework Manager model?
A: Yes, you can continue to use FM as it is today.
Q: You showed GoSales as an example. Was it the GoSales exposed by Framework Manager or is it the connection to the database itself?
A: In this case it was exposed via a FM package. Regardless, you still need to create a model, whether it is with FM or the new modeling experience.
Q: FM provides many complex joining and transformation capabilities, if these are needed based on our data, can we use the new capabilities?
A: The new data module tool is focused on line of business users, these users don’t do complex joins or use other advanced features.
Q: If we use relational data source, can we still use Framework Manager?
A: Yes, you can still use FM.
Q: Will the new data modules be able to open existing packages/models that were built using Framework Manager in a previous version? Or will they have to be rebuilt?
A: At this time, you cannot use FM packages as part of the new data modules. You can only use uploaded files, data connections, and existing modules.
Q: In Cognos Analytics, how can I tell if the report will be in Excel format? In Cognos v10.2.2, the sign of output version is next to launch report?
A: The report will take the default action when selected. There will not be an indication of exactly which format this will take.
Q: Have Active Reports been redesigned to produce reports similar to the displayed dashboard with the same functionality?
A: Active Reports are still available. We have tried to make it easier for you to create Active Reports with a new user interface.
Q: If multiple users subscribe to the same report at different times, would Cognos run the same report multiple times?
A: Yes, the reports will run when requested.
Q: We schedule long-running reports so that they will be presented to users very quickly when they are accessed at any time. Is that type of offline scheduling of report execution still available?
A: Yes, offline report scheduling is still available. Subscriptions are meant for individual users, where as schedules are designed for a wider distribution.
Q: Can I edit queries of the report as I did in Report Studio?
A: Yes, you are still able to view and edit the queries the same way you’ve been doing it in Report Studio.
Q: Does this allow reporting across packages?
A: This allows you to create new packages which can pull from a variety of sources.
Q: Do reports and packages that were built in a previous release still work in Cognos Analytics?
A: Reports will upgrade and run as they have previously. Models and FM packages will continue to work and can be augments and created net new. These new data modules are an additional tool.
Q: In the Report Studio, can we still work with queries, not just use drag and drop?
A: Yes, you can continue to work with queries in the new authoring experience.
Q: How can I use multiple packages in one report?
A: In dashboarding you can have this, but not in authoring.
Q: Can I subscribe to get a report as an email attachment?
A: Yes, you can choose system and/or email.
Q: How do I email to a group of users through a subscription?
A: Subscriptions are meant only for individuals. To send to multiple users, use the scheduling feature.
Q: Could you remind me where can I access the Reports Studio or WKA I made in the past?
A: You will find then in the team content area.
Q: How do I sort columns, by clicking the header?
A: Once you click on columns you will see all the options, one of which is sort.
Q: When we upload the files where do they get saved?
A: Uploaded files are saved to disk into a Parquet File.
Q: How difficult is it to automate updating the flat file?
A: At this point you cannot automate the upload of a file.
Q: Could I add new columns to existing model, instead of administrator?
A: If you have permissions to the modeling tool, then the module could augment it. Or you could use the existing module as a starting point to create something new.
Q: Can I save the output to a different destination other than content store?
Q: How do self-serve users manage size content or control limits on how much can be uploaded and saved?
A: The administrator can limit the max file size and total size each user can occupy.
Cognos Analytics portal – welcome screen
- Easy access to samples
- Coach marks to guide users
- New sliding panels for each section
- Helps to retain current context
- Allows easy navigation with minimal complexity
- Manage content in wide view
- Create folder, sort, copy, move and more
- Search: Newly redesigned
- My content: Content from my folder
- Team content: Content from public Folder
- Recent: List of all recently used assets
Portal pages and tab pages
- Opens in new browser tab, outside of the new UI
- Cannot set them as home
- Cannot create them
- Cannot be set as home
- Planned to create as shortcuts for the users
- Authoring interface merges Report Studio and Cognos Workspace Advanced
- It’s the same studio under the covers
- It uses same XML report specification
- Prompts have slightly different appearance
- User interface profiles not available
- Templates now in template folder
- No more editing XML file to customer template palette
Query Studio and Analysis Studio
- Studios still available
- No changes in functionality or look
- Launches in new browser tab
Existing reports assets
- Existing reports are upgraded in “non-interactive” mode by default
- Query Studio reports -> no change
- Analysis Studio reports -> no change
- Saved outputs -> no change
- Report Views -> no change
- Report properties -> no change
- Name, descriptions, security
- Opens in a new browser tab
- Fully functional (filter, toolbar actions, drill)
- Can edit, create new dashboards
- Cannot set as home
- Removed: Do More, new report widget
- Basic administrative capabilities
- Targeted at the departmental admin
- Simplified UI
- Existing reports will continue to work
- 2.2 My Data Sets are no longer updateable
- Re-upload your data using new upload files feature
Schedules and subscriptions
- All schedules and jobs are maintained
- Users can now subscribe to reports
- The report is delivered to their notification center on a schedule
Data, metadata and query
- Framework Manager, models and packages as is
- Compatible Query Engine (CQE) as is
- Dynamic Query Engine (DQE) as is
- Dynamic Cubes and Cube Designer as is
- PowerPlay and Transformer as is
- Gateway removed
- Moving internal APIs from SOAP to REST
- Life Cycle Manager will be updated and will ship later
Embedability and partner apps
- Viewer URL APIs should continue to work
- SDK is unchanged
- Some APIs may no longer work
- New UIs are not part of the SDK
- Portlets to embed content in third party portal unchanged
- Event Studio – No change (opens in new browser tab)
- Metric Studio – No change (opens in new browser tab)
- Cognos Office Connection – No change
- Drill-through definitions – No change (opens in new browser tab)
- Cognos mobile native apps – Remove access to regular reports and consume Active Reports and CW only