This month sees the release of the much anticipated release of Cognos Analytics 11.1.4.

This new version has so many new features and improvements I should probably split this exploration into 2 parts, but because I think you’ll want the full lowdown, I’ll cram all the best bits into this one post… So *deep breath* what’s new in Cognos Analytics 11.1.4?

What’s new?

Firstly you will notice a new welcome screen that has been designed for both new and existing users alike.

New users now have access to some new guided quick tours to help them get going with the product and give them access to samples that help guide and improve their understanding & productivity.

Existing users can now toggle between the classic tile view of recent content or list view of tagged content. The new welcome screen certainly makes analytics much more appealing!

IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 Welcom Screen

Custom Visualisations

For many years we’ve had the ability to create custom visualisations (anyone remember RAVE ?) but the rise of open source & packaged visualisation libraries such as D3, HighCharts, iCharts etc. has brought about a wealth of community driven visualisations that can now be used inside of Cognos Analytics 11.1.4. 

This release sees the ability to take these visualisations and libraries and integrate them into Cognos Analytics as a custom visualisation. You do need to understand how to code these in terms of exposing different properties in your dashboards and reports, but this gives you endless possibilities to expand your dataviz prowess in Cognos Analytics 11.1.4. This version ships a number of custom samples such as the infamous Sankey diagram so you can explore these customisations and test them against your own data or requirements.

IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 Custom Visualisation

  • Custom visualizations can be uploaded directly from Reporting and dashboarding for reuse.
  • Developers can preview and test custom visualizations live within Cognos Analytics before uploading.
  • Administrators can set permission on custom visualizations for access control.
  • Additional properties can be included as part of the custom visualization

For more information on developing custom visualizations, see Developing custom visualizations.

Dashboarding

Apart from the new custom visualisation as mentioned above, dashboarding in Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 has a wealth of new features to take advantage of. In this release we see a huge improvement to crosstab support, now before you ask… we’ve had crosstab support since the early days of CA, but in this release we finally see more finely grained controls of what is possible within your crosstabs. You can now control the sizing of rows and columns as well as format the style such as fonts, colours etc. OLAP databases also now support zero suppression which again helps keep your crosstabs clean and tidy.

There is also a new KPI dashboard object that allows you to take two similar measures and compare them in terms of trends and behaviours.

IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 KPI visualisation

Another huge feature is the forecasting feature on line and bar charts. In previous releases you could turn on/off insights on these chart types or use the new Jupyter notebook support to produce this forecast, but in this release you can now enable a forecasted view of your data in one click, and see a forecasted set of values based on historical data patterns direct inside your dashboard.

IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 Forecasting

Explorations

The exploration mode of Cognos Analytics sees a new starting page that guides users better around their data. Users are presented with a number of interesting starting points to explore or you can dive straight into the compare mode which also provides a number of interesting comparisons of relevant data points.

AI Assistant

The Cognos assistant has also had some improves made to it’s conversational approach to analytics and data visualisation. In the previous release we saw the ability to ‘create dashboard’ which would build a starting dashboard against your data, designed to showcase the smarter insights gained from your data. In this release this has been improved to allow for additional filters and more refined visualisation building. Users can, via conversation, introduce categorical filters which will allow Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 to use it’s smart engine to determine which column to filter.

Reporting

Inside the reporting mode, report authors can now use the custom visualisations (mentioned above) inside their production reports as well being able to incorporate results from the Jupyter notebook integration inside any schedule and production reports being created. 

Another useful feature is the ability to compact or resize the legend bar for charts using large data sets. The ability to compact the legend bar to save valuable screen and report space is now available in reporting and dashboarding.

IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.4 compact legend bar - reporting

Once you’ve identified the insight you need, Stories are a handy tool within Cognos Analytics that really allow you to tell and share the narrative of your data. Now, in 11.1.4, you can export your IBM Cognos Analytics stories to PDF.

More data?

New IBM Weather Company data source is now available for organisations looking incorporate weather related data with their own data. Whilst this does require a separate subscription to weather company data, this integration allows organisations to quickly overlay external data to gain additional insights that would have traditionally been difficult. You can see The Weather Company sample here.

What’s next?

Here at Barrachd we’re currently busy upgrading a number of customers to the latest version of Cognos Analytics (BI). If you’re still running version 10.x of Cognos BI you’ll hopefully know that it is no longer supported by IBM. (Of course, it will continue to work but will not be enhanced or supported in full by IBM.)

It’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest versions of IBM Cognos software – and by using the latest products you’ll have access to an improved interface, enhanced features, and better performance. However, knowing which version is the right one for you – or when to make that important upgrade – can be a challenge. 

As experts in IBM Cognos Analytics, we will work with you to ensure you have the right version for you! Simply use the contact form on this page – or email info@barrachd.com – to find out more or arrange a hassle-free consultation.

Find out more about the previous Cognos Analytics releases, release by release:

Cognos Analytics 11.1.3

Cognos Analytics 11.1.2

Cognos Analytics 11.1.1

Cognos Analytics 11.0.12

Cognos Analytics 11.0.11

Cognos Analytics 11.0.10

Cognos Analytics 11.0.9

Cognos Analytics 11.0.8

Cognos Analytics 11.0.7

Cognos Analytics 11.0.6

Cognos Analytics 11.0.5

Posted in BI, Cognos Analytics On October 16, 2019 By

Author Bio

Nick Waters

Nick Waters

Senior business analytics consultant at Barrachd

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