Over the last couple of weeks we had a sneaky peak into what was coming in the this new release of Cognos Analytics R6, and I have to say it’s going to be BIG!

I am really excited about 11.0.6 as it brings together some great new innovations from IBM and bridges the gap for older C10 customers to experience this new version.

Prior to its release, at a recent IBM UK showcase event, I got to meet the Cognos Analytics product management team and hear about what was coming in this new release. So, here’s a run down of what you can expect when you download this exciting next release…

1. Dashboards now support OLAP sources…

Yes you heard it!  Now you can use all your old powerplay cubes, TM1 cubes, DMR packages, Dynamic cubes, Essbase and MSAS cubes and create compelling beautiful dashboards from these sources of data. I have to say working with lots of Cognos customers over the years this will breathe new life into how you can analyse your existing powerplay cubes and I know a lot of customers have been waiting for this moment. Lots of customers that also have and use TM1 will be blown away with how they can dashboard against their TM1 cubes, giving customers a new way to analyse and gain insights on their data, quickly and easily.

2. Dashboarding (general improvements)

Whilst we’re on the topic of dashboards (you can tell I love dashboards, right?), loads of new tweaks have been made to the dashboarding UI such as being able to connect and disconnect dashboard components (being able to disconnect auto-filters where it makes sense) – enhancing that exploration of data even more. Navigation paths, something that was exciting in R5 (see our previous webinar for details), have also been made more accessible in this release. In the previous version you could only access this via the smart bar, now you can see any navigation paths setup in the metadata tree panel – again allowing users to quickly explore different aspects of their data easily and quickly.

Make the old new 

  • Access to OLAP FM packages (DMR, PowerCubes, TM1, Dynamic Cubes, Essbase cubes, MSAS cubes)

Analytic Gestures and Visualizations 

  • Disconnecting widgets
  • Mapping enhancements

Ease of use 

  • Summaries on new grid widget
  • Show nav paths in metadata tree
  • Better scaling for text widgets

3. Reporting improvements

Cognos Analytics R6 doesn’t neglect our reporting authors… some great improvements have been made to the interactive viewer when running a report. You can now freeze list column headings, explore the lineage of data items (we did have this in cognos 10 but it has returned to us in CA 11 !). You can also access data modules inside of the report authoring mode too, allowing you to reuse any data models you’ve built in previous versions of cognos analytics. Being able to edit queries, custom calculations, filters and drill-through options against a data module inside of report authoring is a welcome new feature and allows us to reuse metadata content across the product more easily.

Interactive viewer improvements 

  • Performance
  • Lineage and Business Glossary
  • Freeze List column headings

Data module support 

  • Query editing
  • Create custom calculations
  • Parameterised filters
  • Drill-through

4. Administration (new features)

Previous versions of Cognos 10 (and earlier) allowed certain users the ability to create shortcuts to report content – this feature has come back into the product by popular demand. Creating custom folders for specific roles is another great feature that allows you to generate shortcuts to folders and content to store specific role based reports and content.

5. Mapping

I loved the new mapping capability (with the new Mapbox integration) in R5 and it was the first step on the journey to awesome ways to explore location-based data in Cognos Analytics. In this new release we see the next wave of innovation on the partnership of IBM, Mapbox and Pitney Bowes.

In Cognos Analytics 11.0.6, we can now explore further levels of location data, being able to go down to counties, cities, parish and postcode-level views of data. This means you can visualise your location data against these levels. And using the new Pitney Bowes ‘polygon’ functionality you can explore your data easily with some great new mapping styles and themes. In R5 I found some problems mapping location data that didn’t quite map to the specific countries and province levels defined here. So in this new release you can manage this ambiguous location data better and highlight data that it couldn’t find – again a great way to quickly organise and understand location data without the need for cleaning and removing the data to make it suitable for visualisation.

You can see how IBM are investing lots of effort in enhancing this capability, release by release. I can’t wait to see how we can create our own custom maps (stadium, retail floorplans etc) in later releases to explore other sources of data in better ways.

Pitney Bowes Polygons focusing on: 

  • Multiple admin boundaries

• National: Country
• Admin 1: States, Provinces etc.
• Admin 2: Counties, Cities etc.
• Admin 3 – 5: Precinct, Village, Subarea, Parish

  • Postal Code Support
  • New map styles
  • ‘Refine Region’ data slot to disambiguate locations
  • Ambiguous and unrecognized regions list

6. Storytelling

In previous versions the creation of storyboards or snapshot insights were a welcome addition to Cognos Analytics – but to be honest it was a bit limited IMHO. In this new release you can create some really neat guided journeys against your data for example a time frame guided journey. Insights can be snapshotted by time or suitable interval and then narrated and played back so that users can understand trends and patterns easily.

  • New guided journey templates
  • New animations and effects

7. TM1 and Planning Analytics integration

For thousands of years (well maybe not thousands !) Cognos BI and TM1 has integrated and coexisted in perfect harmony making reporting against TM1 cubes quick and easy. With lots of new innovation in the TM1 world around the new Planning Analytics release (see previous blog and webinar), it’s now time to see Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics reunited again.

Cognos Analytics users can now create dashboards against TM1 cubes – enhancing the analytic experience of TM1 cubes which was limited previously to just report writing. Welcome to a new world of exploration of TM1/Planning Analytics data with support for the new and exciting Planning Analytics hierarchy capability and improved reporting performance via the TM1 REST API. I personally can’t wait to start building dashboards against TM1 data and I know some of our customers are already excited too.

  • Dashboard support for OLAP data sources including TM1/PA
  • Support for REST connections to TM1/PA
  • Support for PA hierarchies capability

[Edit] Cognos Analytics R6 is now available to download… 

Sign up here to register for the webinar, and be among the first to get the full lowdown on the exciting new release.

Newer Releases:

Cognos Analytics 11.0.7

Previous Releases:

Congos Analytics 11.0.5 – find out more.

Cognos Analytics 11.0.4 – find out more.


Posted in BI, Cognos Analytics, IBM On March 17, 2017 By