Move forward into the future with Cognos Analytics



As an IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence customer, you rely on its professional reporting capabilities to understand your business. Over the years you have probably found the more information you provide, the more the appetite for data insight grows. Perhaps you’ve been waiting for a solution that makes data-driven insight accessible to virtually anyone, regardless of technical skill level. Well, the wait is over. IBM Cognos Analytics is the next generation of Cognos Business Intelligence. It is designed to address your need for easy-to-use analytics that lets business users monitor and stay on top of what matters most to them. Cognos Business Intelligence customers with a current support contract are upgrading to Cognos Analytics today at no additional charge.

Data discovery and self-service for business users

Data discovery and self-service for business users

Cognos Analytics delivers a new engaging and intuitive experience for business users while providing IT with diverse levels of control — all without sacrificing scalability or analytic governance. Cognos Analytics provides a familiar workflow for experienced professionals while still being easy to use for business users. A single interface means there aren’t multiple training levels required; advanced features become available as users require them. It is completely web-based, providing a consistent experience whether you are on your desktop, laptop or on your iPad.

Powerful new self-service capabilities, such as easy data upload, smart search and smart visualizations, make it easier to create and customize dashboards and reports without expert skill. The new interface helps guide users in building visualizations, data models and dashboards based on keywords that you define. With this unified environment supporting visual data exploration, self-service and operational reporting, each user can create reports and dashboards based on trusted data without compromising its integrity. A new “data modules” feature also helps users augment these reports and dashboards with other data. Quickly distribute findings to teams, divisions or the entire enterprise by sharing or scheduling.

Content management features

  • New re-sizable panel for easy navigation
  • Consistent folder security specifications from Cognos 10
  • Ability to create folders, sort, copy, move, change properties and more

Built-in intelligence is designed to make analytics easy for all users.

A guided experience helps users to access data and create dashboards and reports.

New search capabilities have been fully integrated into the redesigned portal using a powerful, fast and scalable search engine that requires no administration and is always up to date. Business users can quickly find or upload the data they need and use the built-in intelligence to guide them in visual data exploration and the creation of great-looking dashboards and infographics.

In Cognos Analytics, natural language processing is the basis for user-friendly interactions. An integral part of Cognos Analytics is its powerful, guided search function that helps users use natural language to find data across they have access to the sources. These new capabilities have been fully integrated into the redesigned portal using a scalable search engine that requires no administration and is always up to date.

The intelligent search function means that it is more than a simple word match — it provides type-ahead logic and returns search suggestions for related terms. The search returns objects matching the criteria, based on fields such as names, descriptions and metadata. A user typically knows what data they want, but they do not know where to find it. Cognos Analytics helps them to search within data sources for the content they need (for example, tables or columns). The system will find and display the most relevant content.

All these features are designed to make analytic insight faster, easier and more accessible. This can help individual business users do their jobs better. But perhaps the most important effect is on training and human capital at an organizational level. With guided BI, your IT department can focus on real value-add activities instead of being a gatekeeper for every analytics request in the organization. IBM believes that modern BI and analytics can be both a proven platform for security and scalability and an engaging and easy-to-adopt user experience. You get both with Cognos Analytics, data discovery and enterprise reporting.

Fantastic visuals to add layers of meaning

Create great-looking visualizations in a wide variety of chart types, taking advantage of new features like embedded geospatial mapping capabilities, ability to customize your color palette, new visualization types and better-looking visualizations with optional data labels. Business users often want to use data from both corporate and personal sources and with Cognos Analytics it is easy to upload personal and external data to combine it with corporate data.

The new user interface makes it much simpler to drag and drop this data onto the canvas — the system will automatically choose the best visualization based on the type of data. New visualizations types are being added with each release. The new visualizations make use of the next generation of Rapidly Adaptive Visualization Engine (RAVE), which produces better looking images.

The enhancements to the visualization capabilities that RAVE2 brings to Cognos Analytics are focused on delivering a consistent set of capabilities for dashboards and reports. RAVE2 delivers improved visualization that includes such features as heat maps and pan-and-zoom capabilities. It also supports the latest innovations in mapping capabilities with resolution down to the ZIP code level.

Use these new map visualizations and interactivity features to visualize data in compelling maps. Maps are supported in dashboarding and reporting. You can either drag in the new map widget or take your geographic information such as countries and states/provinces and drag it into the canvas; that’s all it takes to create a new map. From there, you can pan and zoom to show all the details.

Stories are similar to dashboards in that they use visualizations to share insights, but they also provide a narrative over time and are useful for conveying a conclusion or recommendation.

Tell stories with your data

Stories are a powerful mechanism to communicate with people. Visual storytelling weaves the data and visualizations into a narrative tailored to a specific audience. In turn, this narrative conveys credibility in the analytical approach and also delivers actionable insights to the audience. Cognos Analytics can help you quickly build a compelling story by combining widgets with enhanced graphic overlays, voice-overs and other dynamic elements.

Another way that stories differ from dashboards is that you can create the effect of animation by having visualizations and other objects appear and disappear during a scene.

As you work with your data in Cognos Analytics, use pinning to set aside insights from dashboards and stories. You can also set aside other items, such as images. You can reuse visualizations that you’ve pinned in other stories or dashboards. Or, you can create visualizations from scratch. You can quickly add these visualizations and other items to dashboards and stories that you create to share your findings with others.

Tell the narrative from within the analytics tool so that your data is current and interactive.

Get it done faster – grow from existing and new content

Get it done faster – grow from existing and new content

Tell stories with your data

Key pointAs a Cognos BI user, you’re familiar with the benefits of a professional reporting environment, and you’ve invested over the years in the software, infrastructure and training to build analytics into your business processes. You want to bring forward all that key content (data models, reports and dashboards) for your organization to gain maximum value. These capabilities have also been enhanced to make it easier and faster to prepare data and create interactive reports.

Better-looking reports with higher performance

Report Studio has been upgraded with new capabilities accessible through the web portal’s New Report menu or by editing a report. You can continue to use, maintain and enhance reports built in previous releases. Authoring includes all of the combined capabilities of Report Studio and Cognos Workspace Advanced. Some of the changes to reporting include:

  • Reports can run in Limited Interactivity (Cognos Business Intelligence viewer) or Full Interactivity (Cognos Analytics interactive viewer) mode. Existing Cognos Business Intelligence reports run in Limited Interactivity by default to help ensure consistent functionality between versions. If desired, you can set them to run with Full Interactivity.
  • The new map used in reporting is a cloud-based tile map and polygon service. It allows you to perform geographic analysis of data using locations such as states, regions and postal codes. It also allows you to have separate locations for regions and points. For example, you may wish to create a map with states colored by population with cities as points sized by average random capital and colored by average age.
  • Multi-package reporting: when you are authoring a report, you can add data items from multiple packages that use the dynamic query mode.
  • New interactive filter panel: by clicking various icons in the report object toolbar that appears when an object is selected, report consumers can sort, drill through to another report, drill up and down, filter, create calculations and select and interact with elements of a chart. These tools give report consumers additional flexibility to understand the context of a report without relying on the report authors. – The interactive report viewer can render reports with JavaScript embedded; these can be shared and reused among many reports. For example, if you have a custom prompt control, you can code it once and reference it anywhere in any report by using a new object called Custom Control.

Use data modules and iterate faster

Existing reports and metadata models created in Cognos Business Intelligence are supported in the new Cognos Analytics environment. Business users can shape data into reusable components called a data module.

A data module allows a business user to shape, merge, join and customize data into an efficient module that can then be used to create visualizations in dashboards, reports and stories. You can save data modules into shared folders so that you and other users can access them.

You can use a Framework Manager package as a source to a data module. This enables line of business users to extend IT-managed metadata models with their own sources of data. You can combine a package with tables from other data modules, data servers, uploaded files and data sets. You can fuse together many sources of data such as Framework Manager packages, relational databases, Hadoop-based technologies and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

Cognos Analytics features built-in intelligence that can help you create a data module. Simply enter terms that express your intent, such as what is the subject matter? what types of questions will this data module be used to answer? Intent driven modeling proposes tables to include in the data module, based on matches between the terms you supply and information in the underlying data sources.

An interactive diagram of the table relationships within a data module helps users understand how their data are connected. The diagram is more than just a visual aid in that you can perform actions on the tables and joins directly from diagram.

The initial data module that is created may need to be modified so it contains all of the data that meets your dashboarding or reporting requirements. A module can be customized so that it presents information in a manner easily understood by certain business groups. For example, you could create an HR Benefits module that uses the terms, data groupings, metadata and formatting that are relevant to HR users.

Saved data modules that have been previously created can be used as data sources for other data modules. In other words, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel — no need to redefine the same KPI calculations over and over again. The new data modules can be linked to the original one, so they can automatically benefit from any updates and enhancements. Data modules allow you to reuse and recycle effort.

For a data module, all of the text in the underlying metadata is indexed and searchable — allowing metadata such as the labels of tables or columns to be searched. You can narrow your search to specific object types and date ranges. Search automatically remembers your last-used criteria while you are in the same session. You can save your searches for future use.

Data modules are small, high-performance models that can be easily augmented, tested and validated.

Support for other IBM Analytics products

IBM Watson Analytics

Users can leverage data from Framework Manager packages or list reports for deeper exploration.

Visit IBM Watson Analytics

IBM Planning Analytics

Planning Analytics and TM1 cubes are a key data source within Cognos Analytics. As of version 11.0.6, you can build Cognos Analytics dashboards and stories using packages from TM1 or Planning Analytics cubes.

Visit IBM Planning Analytics

Use analytics where, when and how you want

Use analytics where, when and how you want


  • Customize your analytics experience for an individual, team, division or enterprise. Interfaces can be changed to match your branding, your department’s workflow, or both. Design the interface that best suits your organization by changing the look and feel of the user interface and adding additional functionality.
  • You can share a report, dashboard or story via its URL. You can embed a report, dashboard, or story into an iFrame. You can also easily customize a user role to open a specific home page, use a certain theme, and restrict specific features. Customization involves both embeddability and themes and extensibility.
  • With embeddability, you can embed Cognos Analytics content objects (except for data modules) in customized web pages. An embedded content object does not display the application or navigation bars.


When you are traveling you need access to the latest information whether you are online or offline. With Cognos Analytics, the experience is browser-based, so it is consistent across most devices. You can even build a dashboard on an iPad.

Easier administration

Despite the easy-to-use front end, Cognos Analytics is truly built for the enterprise, with all the data and analytics governance, security, performance and scalability features you expect from a Cognos product.

In addition, the upgrade from Cognos Business Intelligence to Cognos Analytics improves how several key administrative tasks are handled:

  • Install over-top. Once you upgrade to Cognos Analytics (version 11+) all new releases can be installed on top of the existing software with no need to create a separate environment.
  • Quarterly release cadence. Get new features and functionality faster with a new release every quarter. This cadence also means faster bug fixes.
  • Stay aware of your license usage. New tools make it easy to see how many licenses are in use. Capacity licensing is also available for Cognos Analytics on Cloud, so you can expand the functionality throughout your organization without worrying about the number of users at all.
  • Finally, because of all the effort that’s gone into making Cognos Analytics easier to use, there’s less need for training and educational efforts led by IT. Bottom line: there’s no need for weeks of training your users on the new environment.

Analytics at the speed of your business — Hybrid Cloud

Analytics at the speed of your business — Hybrid Cloud

Key pointWith Cognos Analytics, you can choose how you want to deploy business intelligence capabilities based on time, costs and resources. Both the Cognos Analytics software and the data it uses can be located on-premises or in the cloud. Design the best mix of on-premises data sources, cloud-based data sources or both. Cognos Analytics can work with data from virtually any source, so there’s no need to move or duplicate your data.

Cognos Analytics can be a fully managed business intelligence solution, delivered as a service on a per user/per month subscription, that offers multiple options for price and scale. It provides:

  • BI capabilities from self-service analysis to advanced report authoring
  • IBM professionals to manage infrastructure, patching and upgrades of capabilities
  • No need to move your data or security to the cloud
  • Tiered subscription as a service
  • Support for a mixture of cloud-based and on-premises data sources
  • Disaster recovery and content backup

Cognos Analytics on Cloud offers a unique combination of competencies that affect the full experience. From the cloud environment to the application to the support and expertise required to make your organization successful, each part of your cloud deployment depends on the operation of all the other parts. And IBM is the only vendor that truly owns and manages all these parts.

Choose how you want to deploy business intelligence capabilities based on time, costs and resources. Design the best mix of on-premises data sources, cloud-based data sources or both.

In addition, IBM offers a Bridge to Cloud option for Cognos Business Intelligence customers that currently have on premises entitlement. It enables customers to take advantage of the agility and flexibility of cloud while preserving their existing data security solution. “Bridge” your on-premises license to a Cognos Analytics on Cloud subscription and preserve your data wherever it is: on the cloud, on-premises or both.

Bridge to Cloud allows customers to move to the cloud in a staged approach. It offers a specified period of time during which customers pay a single price but are fully enabled to use on-premises data along with a fully functional cloud system. With this setup, customers can immediately launch new projects while they prepare existing projects for the cloud.

Resources to get you started

Resources to get you started

Upgrading from Cognos Business Intelligence to Cognos Analytics is more than an improvement in your business analytics; it’s a transformation. By putting sophisticated analytics in the hands of users throughout the organization, you empower line-of-business personnel to understand the data that’s most relevant to them. By maintaining IT oversight and control, you help ensure data quality and avoid the trap of multiple incompatible self-service tools operating under one roof. The result is an environment where data-driven decisions can flourish.

Upgrading is easy if you follow a plan

The following information outlines the key best practices for ensuring that your upgrade is successful and your users are ready to start taking advantage of the new self-service capabilities in Cognos Analytics. Find more information and resources to assist you in your upgrade at Upgrade Central.

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