Cognos Analytics R8 has been released today.

11.0.8 introduces a range of “small, but significant enhancement” to its industry-leading BI tool, with reporting, datasets, dashboarding, data modules and story telling all benefiting from IBM’s hard work.

The return of XML reports, the introduction of latitude/longitude support in mapping and dashboard auditing are just some of the enhancements in R8.

It may feel like Cognos Analytic 11.0.7 was only released a couple of months ago. And that’s because it was. At the end of August, R7 introduced a host of new support, new functionality and enhancements.

This release takes a slightly different approach, addressing some of the top Requests for Enhancements (RFE) from users around the world – showing that IBM is listening to (and acting on) feedback from its customers.

While we’re still exploring the new release thoroughly, Nick Waters, one of Barrachd’s senior business analytics consultants, takes a look at the most significant introductions in Cognos Analytics 11.0.8.


IBM has responded to the most in-demand RFEs from customers to update the reporting capability in Cognos Analytics R8, including:

XML Reports – The Cognos 10 ability to run reports out to an XML format has made a welcome return.

Cognos Analytics R8 Run XML reports

Hyperlinks – Anyone that uses hyperlinks inside reports used to get strange behaviour when hyperlinks interacted with the UI Cognos Analytics switcher UI. There’s now a new property for hyperlinks that allows them to be controlled better and opened in a new window.

Image support – images can still be browsed and referenced via direct URL, but in this release you can upload images to a more formal image gallery section using the cognos analytics extension functionality. Images can be browsed using the new image gallery viewer.

Lat/Long support in mapping – Only for Reporting at the moment, but you can now plot Latitude/Longitude values against maps in R8. This again shows the innovation and investment of Cognos Analytics in its mapping capabilities. (Quick tip – unknown Lat/Long values will map to 0,0 which will appear as a value in the central Africa region aka Null Island

Longitude and Latitude Mapping Cognos Analytics R8


Cognos Analytics R8 now offers the ability to design datasets from a metadata perspective before previewing the data (this is especially good when you have lots of data!)


R8 dashboard enhancements focus on ease of use and flexibility, including:

Ambiguous connections – if you have multiple data source connections in your datasources, this new ambiguous connections feature in R8’s Cognos dashboarding will ask you to select the right connection.

Widget title scaling – in the previous release the title font scaling was problematic and made your dashboards look a bit weird. Now in R8 the titles are made to look consistent regardless of how you size your content.

Multi-exclude data items – in previous versions, when you excluded data items in a dashboard, you are limited to the number of excludes you could make. Now in R8 you can multi-exclude data items and these can be stacked. So, should you wish to re-include your data items back into your dashboard you can with ease.

Auditing dashboards – new auditing capability has appeared in this release allowing your administrator to understand which dashboards and content is being used.

Data cap limits – this was a BIG issue in previous releases and thankfully in this release we see the limits being extended. Tables & Crosstabs now are limited to 10k rows, and Mapping 30k data points.

New data sources

Amazon Athena, SparkSQL, AzureSQL and MongoDB for BI v2.0

Data Modules

Cognos Analytics R8 data module

Some new features around model diagramming have come into R8. If you have large model diagrams and finding it difficult to find your relationships, this release allows you to highlight only certain sections of your model directly related to immediate joins and also allows you to save a custom layout for neater customised layouts.


The new capabilities in Cognos Analytics R8’s storytelling aim to help you create compelling stories that better communicate your message and findings. Including:

Highlight a point in time – a new feature that allows you to select items at a point in time within your storyboard to focus on.

Kiosk mode – now allows you to PLAY ALL SCENES within your storyboard and LOOP. Good if your storyboard needs to sit on a big flatscreen monitor and repeat ad infinitum.


You can find links to all the details on the contents of Cognos Analytics Release 11.0.8 (R8) here.

Previous Releases

Cognos Analytics 11.0.7 – find out more.

Cognos Analytics 11.0.6 – find out more.

Congos Analytics 11.0.5 – find out more.

Cognos Analytics 11.0.4 – find out more.



Posted in BI, Cognos Analytics, IoT On November 3, 2017 By