Monday, May 24, 2010

What is the difference between Analysis Studio and PowerPlay Studio?

Analysis Studio is the component of Cognos 8 that you can use for multidimensional analysis.
PowerPlay Studio lets you create and view reports that are based on multidimensional data sources.

PowerPlay Studio is a series 7 multi -dimensional tool that was re-instated in IBM Cognos8.4. PowerPlay studio is not available with Cognos 8 through Cognos8.3

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What is the difference between DMR and PowerCubes?

DMR stands for Dimensionally Modeled Relational Data

DMR’ s are hierarchical metadata trees. They represent relational tables and columns as dimensions and hierarchies.

Reports that run against DMR packages execute against the relational tables at run time.

Powercubes also model relational data as dimensions and hierarchies. Powercubes are pre-built with summarized data.
So reports executed against Powercubes fetch data from Cube and not the database.

Reports generated against Powercubes are only as live as they were last generated.

DMR’ s and Powercubes both allow drill up and drill down functionality.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

IBM Business View Point - One version of truth

Why has Cognos not thought of a central metadata management that allows dimensions and models to be re-used across Framework Manager, PowerPlay Transformer, Planning Analyst, Cognos NOW and others?

Why can’t we create all the required dimensions with hierarchies and levels with the required attributes in one central location and deploy as need be? Well Just as I was working on this paper, Cognos 8.4 has already delivered a solution to some of my questions.

The answer is IBM Cognos 8 Business View Point.

IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint Client provides you with the ability to nominate, subscribe to, and update master dimensions between IBM Cognos Planning - Analyst, IBM Cognos Planning - Contributor Administration Console, IBM Cognos TM1, IBM Cognos Transformer, and IBM Cognos Controller into Business Viewpoint Studio.

The above description provided by Cognos has 2 catches.


It is a Client tool, guess something like Framework Manager, so much for zero foot printing :-(. What this means is, we will need Admin privileges, Client installations and maintenance, Training and documentation, certified individuals, multiple requests to IT for providing multiple views. :-)


Business Viewpoint doesn’t talk about integrating Framework Manager. This takes me back to my question, why can’t we have a single, centralized metadata management that includes not just Dimensions but also tables, models, namespaces, query subjects and all.

Good news

- We can re use dimensions across multiple Cognos applications

- We can create “Views” of dimensions. This will help any business with dynamic, frequently changing dimension hierarchies. For example, HR hierarchies that constantly change, marketing managers who have to simultaneously work with multiple set of hierarchies across multiple locations

- Rework your hierarchies in MS Excel (can we live without this? ever?) and export them back to Viewpoint.

- It has in built change management, audit and version control with roll back features

If you want to watch a Business viewpoint promotional slick, click on this link.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How to filter for a range of dates?

Typically, users create two date prompts: A Start date prompt and an End Date prompt to get data for a period.

IBM Cognos Report Studio lets you accomplish this using one Date prompt and using “in_range “ operator.
1. Drag and Drop a Date prompt
2. Enable the Create a Parameterized filter
3. Select a date field ( such as ship date, Order date etc)
4. Select the Operator as “in-range” as shown below:

5. Click Finish and run your report

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What does Select and Search prompt do?

IBM Cognos Report Studio provides a ‘Select & Search’ prompt. This prompt searches for a keyword and returns all matching values.

For example if you were searching for employees with the name ‘Jack’. The prompt searches and returns the values ‘Jack’, ‘Jackie’ or Jackzie’. Users can then choose the required employees and run the report.

Use a Select & Search prompt in 2 scenarios:

1. When you have too many values (too many to fit into a Value prompt)

2. When your values are case sensitive (For example, ‘Test’, ‘test’)

For example, in the image below we are searching for all employees with the name Jack

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to filter reports at different levels of data?

How do you retrieve data for last quarter in previous year and all of the current year?

Tree Prompts allow you take advantage of hierarchically structured data such as Time periods( Years, Quarters and months) and other hierarchies.
Tree Prompts displays all members in a hierarchy and allow users to select the level of detail they want to filter on.

For example, in the image below, we have a tree prompt with values selected for 1999 December and 2000 Q1.

Monday, January 4, 2010

How to standardize the numbers of rows per page on a report?

IBM Cognos Report Studio allow report authors to set the number of rows per page, the orientation of the report and default output for reports.

1. Create a List or Crosstab report
2. Go to “Run” menu and select “Run Options”
3. Select the required report format, orientation, output and the numbers of rows per page.