Introduction to IBM Cognos BI, Business Intelligence suite of IBM



IBM Cognos 8 BI suite is one of the most widely used business intelligence. Software is a fairly comprehensive, yet manageable, and one of the BI market leaders.

The main applications are used from a web portal that controls the Business Intelligence Server, which is the heart of the tool.

This portal is called Cognos Connection and from the same, provided by web, you can access environmental management options and services to the different applications that provides Cognos, the folder structure that organizes the reports, to dashboards, and other accessories that can be integrated in the portal.

Each application is designed to cover a type of needs that often occur in such environments. Most handles 100% from the web browser, both to develop and design reports, events and metrics to consult or analysis tasks.

These are the main tools provided in the suite:


IBM Cognos Query Studio


It is the most simple, and could be considered rather as a complement. Its purpose is to allow the user to perform simple queries to quickly resolve specific issues that may arise.

Allows access to the same data structure used by other tools, whether it is a relational model as if the structure is dimensional.

With Query Studio can create a report in seconds by dragging fields from the Data Explorer to the report design area. It also allows to apply filters, sorting, grouping of data operations and even create graphs. It also has options for formatting, but quite limited.

Where precisely is more limited in formatting the report, and the creation of complex calculated fields, using benchmarks and many other advanced options that have been to use Report Studio.



Creación de informes con Query Studio, de IBM Cognos BI

IBM Cognos Report Studio


Is the main application for creating reports. Query Studio is like, but it is much more complete.

On the left shows an object browser from which you can access the data structure, and other objects inserted into the reports. To the right is the report design area where you can drag these objects and go to compose the structure.

These objects can be of different types: data source, specifics of the report and design tools. Each object that is embedded in the report has configurable properties, and through these you can reach a very high level of customization, both in the data shown in the design of the format.

You can work with both relational data structures as dimensional structures, you just have to keep in mind that depending on the type of origin there are differences in the properties applicable to the data, and even in behavior in the design area . Although not required to do so, to show dimensional structure data, it is more appropriate to use crosstab type reports. You can choose from several types of basic structure for reporting.

There are different types of graphs, and even maps that can be included in the reports, display or store individually to form part of a scorecard that would be displayed on the site.

The options for the use of parameters and prompts are also fairly complete, although how they are defined is not very intuitive and is somewhat cumbersome.

As in all these types of tools, you can define filters, sorting, grouping, and working with aggregates, create subtotals, calculated fields, conditional formatting. You can also enable the drill up and drill down, and using drill through.

The consultation done with the operational origins SQL and MDX dimensional models used. The resulting query can be viewed and even edited and changed directly.



Diseño de un Informe con Report Studio de IBM Cognos 


IBM Cognos Analysis Studio


Analysis Studio is a function similar to Query Studio, but for multidimensional sources. This tool allows navigation structures such as multidimensional OLAP cubes, which may not necessarily be of Cognos. It can also attack relational data sources, provided they are dimensionally modeled from Framework Manager.

The main purpose of this software is to enable the business analyst can 'navigate' through the data loaded into the dimensional structures without relying on IT support area. As announced by the manufacturer, using Analysis Studio a business user you can perform complex analysis and comparative data to discover trends, risks and opportunities.

The work area is similar to Query Studio and Report Studio and options for creating standard reports are very similar to Query Studio, applying filters, sorting, grouping operations data, creating charts, etc. .

It also offers more functionality dimensional oriented sources, such as navigation with drill up / drill down or filter the creation of context.



Diseño y ejecución de informes con Analysis Studio de IBM Cognos BI

IBM Cognos Event Studio


This is the tool of notifications and alerts in the suite.

With Event Studio are created agents are checking the data or KPI's defined, and detect major events for the business when certain values are reached or certain conditions are met.

At that time, the tool proceeds to execute actions or tasks that are associated with events. You can run and distribute reports, generating emails, communicate with other software tools, or other agents to run jobs, call stored procedures database, or even call a Web Service.

Once constructed agents Event Studio, with the same environment Scheduler used to schedule automated execution of reports, program and controls the periodic execution of them.



Creación de Eventos con Event Studio de IBM Cognos BI

IBM Cognos Metric Studio


It is the tool used for the construction of metrics and scorecards.

Studio With Metric defines the KPIs or Key Performance Indicators of the business, are organized and relate to each other, are associated with different profiles, and monitor, allowing at all times to compare against performance objectives, and define automated actions such as notifications in case of deviations.

With these metrics are built dashboards that enable operational level to monitor performance against objectives, and strategic level "map" of corporate strategy and facilitate its transmission to all levels of the organization.

The metric can be constructed from different data sources, such as OLAP cubes, relational databases, spreadsheets, text files, and even values reported manually, and the tool features wizards to facilitate the construction of metrics and dashboards.



Control de KPI's con Metric Studio de IBM Cognos BI


IBM Cognos Powerplay Transformer


The above tools provide access to OLAP cubes as a data source. IBM Cognos PowerplayTransformer is the tool to build OLAP cubes, called IBM Cognos PowerCube. Although Cognos reporting tools can work in and attack ROLAP relational databases, to perform analytical tasks is often most efficient to use an OLAP cube as a data source, ie work in MOLAP. With a data volume controlled response times in the use of the reports can be much better.

With Powerplay defined data sources is modeled multidimensional structure which will shape the cube, validates, and proceeds to its construction.

This tool is installed in client mode, not accessible by web. It is used independently to generate the cubes, which is attacking the other web tools.



Creación de cubos OLAP con PowerPlay Transformer de IBM Cognos BI


IBM Cognos Framework Manager

This is the tool used to build the necessary metadata for all other work. Not often mentioned as a product because it is the area that uses the technique to create metadata packages that query reporting tools to show the business user an intelligible structure, and allow navigation to create a tree just by viewing the system daots origin.


Creación de Metadatos con Framework Manager de IBM Cognos BI


Optionally, the suite also offers other tools such as IBM Cognos 8 Planning and IBM Cognos TM1,two tools designed to budgeting and financial planning, but each one best suited to a type of environment.
TM1 highlight analysis technology used in memory, so you can get impressive response times.

Finally, I make mention of the Express version of the Suite, IBM Cognos Express, IBM has developed the focus to small and medium enterprisesa as a more affordable and easy to implement.

I hope this little review of the product suite of IBM Cognos BI will be useful, any new contribution, opinions or comments are welcome in the section of IBM Cognos BI Dataprix Forum