I’m proud to call myself a Cognoid.

I have to admit staying up into the early hours watching the live-streams of a Las Vegas Cognos 10 launch back in 2010 with a handful of fellow Cognos geeks. We were like kids waiting for Christmas… And then – once the wait was over and the release was finally available – the unbridled delight at getting to grips with the new version, pawing over every little feature… It was the same with Cognos 8 before it and, more recently with Cognos 11 after that!

Now, I’m not saying that every business intelligence connoisseur will share my exhilaration at a new software release – I’m not even sure it’s healthy – but what I do know is that there is real reason to get excited about the new release of Cognos Analytics 11.1.

Watch our Webinar Again: What’s new in Cognos Analytics 11.1

Worth the wait

Nearly three years in the waiting it was always going to be something special. And, now, having had the chance to get my hands on it… I can confirm that it is definitely worth the wait! And some…

Yes the BI world has changed since my late nights Vegas habits of 2010. Yes, there’s new competitors, and new visualisation eye candy to catch the eye. But having spent time looking at the competition and discussing with colleagues, customers and fellow BI consumers and developers the continued relevance of Cognos Analytics, it’s clear that it’s both competitive and innovative in today’s world of desktop visualisation tools (Cognos Powerplay anybody?)

In fact, with this new release, I think we’ll see Cognos Analytics regain its place as the most relevant BI tool in the market. And that’s why I’m gonna give you a sneak peak into why Cognos Analytics 11.1 is going to rock your world.

The all new IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1Having seen IBM take onboard so many enhancement requests, augmenting its product in response to customer feedback, Big Blue is showing its intention to give the customer (and business partners) exactly what they want.

While there are some truly amazing innovations in this release, with so many customers using the solution, IBM is astute in giving them what they ask for – especially as the hunger for capability and analytics insight grows among business users.

But, I hear you say, what about the shiny new stuff? Well, in Congos Analytics 11.1 there is certainly plenty of that…

Evolution of AI in BI

While we’re still perhaps at the dawn of AI, we’re already living in a world that’s infused with automation. But as machine learning techniques evolve and are embedded in so many different parts of our modern digital lives, this evolution is now being applied to our analytical lives too. We can look at the data we hold, use heuristics to determine the best way to represent that data, and then identify and spot hidden patterns and correlations… All without the need to become a data scientists.

This dawn of AI-infused analytics sounds wonderful in an age where code-writing and understanding complex machine learning libraries is expected (although this pains me having spent my university life understanding and programming neural networks, back in the day.)

So what does this fusion of Analytics and AI mean? Simply put, it allows business users to manage, explore and analyse their data in an easier way. It means smarter ways of interacting and visualising data, smarter ways of working with different data sources – both governed and ungoverned, and smarter ways to explore data patterns and correlations.

It gives every user — whether data scientist, business analyst or non-specialist — more power to perform relevant analysis in a way that ties back to their own objectives, shortening each user’s journey from simple to sophisticated analytics, to get a deeper understanding of outcomes and to challenge the status quo.

With all this capability at your fingertips you will be able to go from data zero to data hero in a matter of minutes, instead of spending days wrangling and wrestling with data and technology.

That’s why in Cognos Analytics 11.1 IBM has created a platform that can instantly transform your data into relevant insights using augmented intelligence (AI), machine learning, pattern detection, data science and more.

4 key areas of focus for Cognos Analytics 11.1

1. AI Conversational Assistant – your personal analytics assistant (dare I call it a chatbot or even a cogbot ?) allows you to ask questions against your data to surface hidden insights. It allows all users – from the casual business user through to the citizen data scientist – to question data and analyse insights further

2. Advanced Analytics – Cognos Analytics 11.1 embeds natural language understanding to help users harness all available data assets to provide deeper insights. Users can now explore relationships and significant correlations in their data, leveraging all the great capabilities and innovation from IBM’s Watson Analytics over the years.

3. AI recommended visualisations and insights – Known as augmented analytics, Cognos Analytics suggests suitable visualisations and data joins to produce relevant & compelling dashboards. Will we ever see the humble pie chart surfacing again? Well, only if it’s the best graph for the job!

4. Data preparation & modelling Data preparation in Cognos just got a whole lot easier! The bane of most analysts life is spending too much time preparing data for analytics. Tasks such as identifying data quality issues, data cleaning and preparation can take up too much valuable time and often is pushed back to overworked IT departments to resolve resulting in reduced time to value. Well, in 11.1 that will be a problem consigned to the past.

Over the coming weeks we will look at these new areas in more detail – as well diving in deeper to look at some of the other new additions and improvements to existing reporting and administration functionality, including how Cognos Analytics will help:

  • Make uploading data easier
  • Explore relationships in data
  • Suggest visualisations
  • Create custom colour palettes
  • Communicating with your data

In the meantime, you can read what IBM are saying about their new release, as they herald the all-new IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1




Posted in Cognos, Cognos Analytics, Watson Analytics On October 4, 2018 By

Author Bio

Nick Waters

Nick Waters

Senior business analytics consultant at Barrachd

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