Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cognos Statistics

One of the lesser known features of Cognos is the Cognos Statistics feature which was introduced in C10. This feature comes as a separate package but reports which utilize this package are accessible by all BI Consumers. This feature allows users to use common statistical functions and charts in reports.

This is not as extensive as having a full fledged SPSS installation but comes handy for general statistical analysis. Limited prior statistical knowledge is necessary to use Cognos Statistics. All Cognos data sources are supported.

The combination of BI and Statistics is a very powerful one. For example, your reports can now have statistical charts like control charts, histograms, boxplots, descriptive tables. You can now perform regression and correlation analysis on your data.

The verticals that this can be useful can include but would not be limited to manufacturing, health care, human resource management and financial services. For example, you can use a box plot to better understand distribution of employee age, salary, designation, etc. You could use correlation to understand the relationship between weather and incidences of virus related outbreaks. Statistical Process Control is another area where this feature will come handy - mostly useful in organizations with a Six Sigma focus.

Usage of Cognos Statistics is available in most tools that are used to create reports and dashboards in C10. But for a detailed list of tools that do and do not support Statistics, please contact your sales/support representative.

Also, Cognos Statistics is a new service that plugs into the Cognos SOA architecture. It has it's overheads, but also provides the flexibility to place it on any dispatcher. It is advised that architecture and sizing decisions be taken in consultation with support and lab services.

Here are two quick videos which explain Cognos Statistics in brief:

In case, you need a deeper understanding, please contact your sales/lab representative for arranging a training session.

The Statistics Installation and Configuration Guide can be found HERE.
Detailed information for using statistical analysis in Report Studio can be found HERE.

Using RSS feeds as a data source !

We recently had a customer requirement in which they wanted to present RSS feeds on a dashboard. This seems pretty easy to do with the Business Insight RSS Feed widget. But that widget is pretty limited in it's functionality since it was meant to be used by business users rather than technical folks.

To overcome that limitation, it was suggested to them to convert the RSS feed into an XML and then use the XML as a data source. Once the XML is available as a data source, it opens up many avenues for usage of that data.

This Proven Practice article is a good starting point.

And some more posts from Rajib ..

A new Proven Practice on Cognos security has been published, the details of which can be found HERE.

A nice post on Cognos 10 and Collaborative BI can be found HERE.

Ever thought of supplementing enterprise data with your own or personal data file? This will allow you to create a report using an external file that contains data which is not a part of the enterprise data that your Business Intelligence tool regularly accesses. With IBM Cognos 10 BI you can link this type of scenario data with enterprise data and create a professional report easily. Know how this can be done HERE.

A series of posts on IBM Cognos Mobile can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.