Thursday 04 May 2017

What's New in IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0.6

Wow, is that 6 already??...enhancements coming thick and fast and this release really delivers a vast number of them, in all areas.

In this blog, we focus on dashboard and report enhancements with screenshots and explanations.

So let’s take a look...


Dashboard: Mapping enhancements

This release delivers huge advances in the presentation of geographical data.

Pitney Bowes Inc. is an American provider of global eCommerce solutions and their polygons have been integrated.

There are now two map objects, Legacy Map 1 and the new Map 2

You can now display up to 3000 data points incorporating various levels of geographical data in one visualization. Before you begin, you must invest some time understanding what data can be mapped. This invaluable document explains the boundaries, names, aliases allowed and reveals for example, that Bedfordshire may not be recognised, but Central Bedfordshire is.

Resolving ambiguity

Place names can be ambiguous, for instance a city with the name Nottingham, appears in New Hampshire, USA as well as in the UK.

To help resolve ambiguity, a Refine Regions area is introduced.

See example:

  • Regions: Post Code contains Cambridgeshire and PE19
  • Refine Regions: Country


Refine Regions should help resolve the ambiguity.

For post codes, choose Country as the Refine Region

blog 1

A yellow warning icon lists any locations which maybe unrecognised or ambiguous and then can be subsequently investigated.

blog 2


Within the latest Map visualization, you can select from a range of colours and new styles.

blog 3

 blog 4

Dashboard: View Widget Connections

In this example, there are two chart visualizations and a filter widget, allowing selection on Customer. By default, these are connected because Customer is common throughout, however, there is an option to remove the link if you would prefer a widget to remain unfiltered.

To achieve this, click on a widget and select the required option

  • Create a New Connection
  • Break All Links
  • Add to an existing connection


1 is connected to 1, however 2 could be connected to another widget.

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When adding to an existing connection, you are presented with a choice, in this example 1 or 2.

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Dashboard: OLAP data source package support

In 11.0.5, you were able to construct a dashboard over a Framework Manager package.

In 11.0.6, you can now point to a package based on an OLAP data source, the list includes but is not restricted to the following:

  • TM1
  • Essbase
  • DMR
  • Dynamic Cubes
  • Power Cubes
  • MSAS


Create the package, then in the portal, right click and select Create dashboard


Under Source, expand the structure to reveal OLAP structural items.

  • Hierarchy             (available)
  • Levels                   (available)
  • Measures            (available)
  • Attributes           (available)
  • Members            (see future releases)


Dashboard: Navigation options

In this release, you have a wider selection of navigation options.

When you interact with a dashboard, you can drill down on a level to view more detail.


However, with a hierarchy containing 6 levels or so, you may not have the requirement to trawl through the entire hierarchy so you can now navigate to any level, skipping certain levels.

Dashboard: Colour gradients added to Visualization

There is now a placeholder for colour allowing a visualization chart to have a gradient of colour based on a data item.

In this instance...

  • Value is based on Revenue


Colour is based on COST OF SALES, represented in the Legend


Dashboard: Filter a Visualization


Drag a Hierarchy item into the Local filters section to be presented with a Tree Prompt allowing you to select multiple items from anywhere in the hierarchy.

Dashboard: Visualization properties

Simplified properties screen

Reporting: Metadata traceability


IBM Cognos 10 had a useful feature called Lineage that allowed users to trace a data item back from whence it came.

In 11.0.6, this feature returns, simply right click on a data item in the Data pane and select Lineage.


Reporting: Data Pane


The Data pane now has menus with a larger font, making it clearer for the end user.

Reporting: Scrollable area height

In Cognos 10 there was an option to freeze column headings when scrolling down the records of a List or Crosstab.

Cognos Analytics 11.0.6, introduces a Scrollable area height property which allows for an improved version of this feature.

This example shows a Scrollable area height set of 350 px, and a scroll bar appears allowing you to navigate the data whilst the header is still displayed.

The Rows per page property is still observed, so to view all the data within a List with a scrollbar, set the property to a very high number to ensure all data is retrieved in the window to disable the need for Page Up and Page Down.


Administration: New data source connection option

As TM1 evolves into IBM Planning Analytics there is now an additional data source option which can be configured:

  • IBM Planning Analytics


Portal: New options

New options are added to the portal environment.

Right click on an entry to see these:

  • Create a shortcut
  • Create report view

Previously, you would have been asked to run the report first before seeing the Create report view option.


Reporting: Templates and Themes

Since the first release of IBM Cognos Analytics, sample themes and templates have been an option available to users. Once installed, Templates will appear under Team Content. At this point New > Report will present the user with the following option:

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog on the exciting new enhancements available in IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0.6.

Look out for follow up blogs on our findings regarding the latest mapping features.