Endless possibilities: Infusing AI BI with Cognos Analytics

Traditional business intelligence (BI) solutions have little hope of making sense of the volume, variety and speed of data being created. Connecting this downpour of business data requires a new approach to BI, one that is enabled by the features embedded in IBM Cognos Analytics. Powered by an ever-growing set of augmented intelligence (AI) features, Cognos Analytics has been restructured for the needs of today’s organizations and users. Cognos Analytics primes organization to grasp opportunities and respond quickly to emergent threats. In a business climate where previous borders, boundaries and status quo no longer apply, AI-powered BI helps businesses thrive as they redefine what’s possible. Whether you have a question to answer, an assumption to test or you are not quite sure what you want, we’ve got you covered with IBM Cognos Analytics and Business Intelligence solutions.  Business intelligence (BI) and advanced analytics provide the edge in extracting insights from data – to identify risk and capitalize on opportunities. Gain a deep understanding of your business with reports, dashboards, visualizations and analysis of information. IBM’s enterprise platform approach, available on cloud or on premises, aligns your organization around trusted data and self-service capabilities enable agility to accelerate growth.

Cognos Reports

Static Reports - Ideal for fixed format reports where users cannot alter the data or the format, presentation guides user understanding, usually professional authored pixel perfect reports, burst out to an unlimited number of consumers via email or saved output – captures a point in time view, can be embedded in URL or other apps or as reporting on demand, both online and offline consumption

Interactive Reports - Provides users with a starting point from which to explore, Similar capabilities to static reports, but built for full interactivity, all widgets can be totally responsive to all others so each acts as a global filter for the entire dashboard (option to edit this at the widget level), global filters to slice and dice information

Personalized Reports - Save your view – Apply filters to slice and dice information to suit your needs – include/exclude data, group, pick up the pencil and make edits such as adding calculations, subscribe to static, interactive or personalized reports at the frequency you want and in the format you want

Ad hoc Reports

Data Explorers can edit and author ad hoc reports based on their skill level, and then hand off to a more experienced user to polish and operationalize this can expedite the queue for professionally authored content by skipping the requirements stage. Ad hoc reports can be built from the + or CREATE menu as a “report” or “dashboard” depending on user skill level Graphical UI and on demand menus for report authoring appear only when you need them User can prototype what they want and hand off to a power user to polish and  operationalize report


Storytelling is a new capability that lets a user present their insights directly within Cognos Analytics in a very dynamic and engaging way.  It saves the effort of exporting to PowerPoint.  Various story arcs are available and visualizations from dashboards can be pinned for use. Easy presentation of findings in a focused and interactive manner, created without leaving interface,  and simpler than a tabbed dashboard. Choose from a selection of guided journey templates and  drag and drop data for instant visualizations or select pinned ones from other dashboards. Useful features  include instant infographics and text animations, smart naming in pins and timeline, animation options.


Dashboards are the next level of self service where the user starts to create from a blank canvas.  There is an embedded video that shows various examples of dashboards. Dashboards are a great place to start your demo to illustrate how, with a few clicks, you can bring data to life and start to explore. Business dashboards have become important tools for monitoring and improving performance. IBM Cognos business intelligence includes interactive business dashboard software that can take the confusion and guesswork out of navigating your business information and key performance indicators. You can personalize these dashboards and choose how you receive them to keep your finger on the pulse of your business, identify issues before they become problems and analyze information to plan for the future. Dashboards are fully interactive and feature simple drag and drop interface, world class maps and polygons in box, and prototype and validate information for sharing.

Self Service Modeling - Build Your Own

A key enhancement in Cognos Analytics is the introduction of Data Modules which is a business user oriented data modeling environment.  With interactive drag and drop features, users can easily build data modules that suit their needs.  These can be a combination of data from pre-built packages, spreadsheets and other data sources.  The big benefits include reusability and sharing of models, and the ability to leverage governed models. Build on models from others and benefit from their updates or take your own path. Ease of use features: cleansing, create calculations, relink to a new source, formatting options, enhanced diagram interactions, enhanced Expression Editor. With Build Your Own Self Service Modeling the business user can easily join/select data with data modules feature.  Models proposed from keywords, drag & drop interaction of visual model, build from any combination of governed data sources directly, governed pre-modeled data sources, uploaded files and other ungoverned sources.

Self Service Modeling - Uploaded Files

It is very simple to upload a spreadsheet into Cognos Analytics and begin using it for dashboards or stories.   With certain data, there is no need to bring it into a central data warehouse - it might be transient - like monthly survey data etc.  and the upload file option is a good way to explore it and even combine it with other data sources. Designed for the business user, accessible from main menu, uses smart search to help find files, data presented in a grid format, some data cleansing available, ready for immediate use in dashboards, stories, reports

Data Models and Professional Reports

Your power users / data analysts will be called on to create standardized production reports and pre-built data models for the rest of the organization to use as their official sanctioned sources.   For these users, there is a very robust modeling tool called Framework Manager that provides full flexibility, including row level security.  A "Report" from the create / + menu provides all the production, pixal perfect reporting capabilities including bursting and scheduling. Certain data must be tightly governed. Framework Manager lets IT or power users pre-model data into packages with row level security. Full range of bursting and scheduling options, alerting and notifications, formats options. Generally power users or IT are the authors of official corporate reports that consumers use on a regular basis for decision making or that are provided to regulators or stakeholders

Off Line Reports

Sometimes there is a need for individuals to access reports in a disconnected mode or there is a need to  get reports out to users who do not hold licenses.   This can be done with Cognos Analytics. Off Line Reports are usually professionally authored, predefined interactivity, reports are distributed via email or pulled from a network location. for use cases where the users will not have access to a browser to consume, and can be shared with unlicensed users.

Scheduled Reports

Scheduled Reports provides production reports with a visual of how you can set up a scheduled report including the various options. Full flexibility to burst reports to small groups or scale to thousands of users, scheduling options include, date and time, recurring frequency, format, delivery options, prompts, language,enables automation of insights to run the business

Additional Cognos Resources

Cognos 11.1 is a game changer! Let us show you why!

IBM recently released Cognos Analytics 11.1 and the buzz is in the air. Many in the industry feel this release is MAJOR in both added functionality and value. With over 20 years of experience in the analytics space, the Capitalize team agrees! In this webinar we give viewers a straightforward, in-depth look and demonstration of […]

Powerful BI & Analytics with IBM Cognos 11

Take your district’s business intelligence to the next level with the latest from IBM Cognos Analytics (also known as Cognos 11)! In this webinar for PowerSchool Finance/HR/ERP customers, you’ll learn why adding IBM Cognos Analytics and Business Intelligence solutions – or simply upgrading to Cognos Analytics 11 – is right for your district. Join Liz […]

Five Cognos Tips Every Banner Client Needs to Know

If your institution has Banner and you want to take full advantage of Cognos, then this is the webinar for you! Capitalize Analytics is an IBM premier business partner focused on helping higher education get real meaning from their data. We understand today’s institutions are pulled in multiple directions and challenged to meet higher expectations […]

What’s New in Cognos 11! Attention eSchoolPLUS and eFinancePLUS Users!

See what’s new in Cognos 11 and why you should upgrade sooner rather than later. There are many exciting differences. To name a few… Redesigned and modern user interface Updated interactive viewer that allows users to sort, filter, group and total without the     need for authoring capability Ability to create incredibly interactive dashboards and […]

Use IBM Cognos Event Studio to notify you about ANYTHING!

With data coming in from every direction, sometimes the biggest challenge is knowing WHAT to pay attention to! You may have hundreds of reports, dashboards, etc. available but which one should you look at today? With IBM Cognos Event Studio, you can easily set up alerts to notify you that something has happened. This works […]

Expand Beyond Core for 360-View of Customers – Overcome Core Limitations with Cognos Analytics

Across the banking industry analyst struggle to leverage existing reporting environments to examine customer behavior.  The right data analytic environment can provide vital insights into customer demographics and spending patterns by aggregating transactions and providing self-service capabilities to your front-line staff. This interactive webinar with Capitalize Analytics and IBM, learn how data analysts in the […]

Cognos for eSchoolPLUS and eFinancePLUS

This webinar highlights how using eFinancePLUS and eSchoolPLUS with Cognos empowers district employees to more easily access and share relevant financial and HR data. The combined power of eFinancePLUS and eSchoolPLUS also helps district leaders make strategic decisions quickly.

Building Powerful Dashboards with IBM Cognos (Recorded)

No doubt that business dashboards are pretty, colorful and exciting. However, dashboards are more than just a pretty face! Discover how to build powerful dashboards using IBM Cognos. With the right kind of dashboard, every business can take better advantage of their unique data. We will show you how to successfully create interactive dashboards to […]

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