Cognos Joins Five Tools, Adds Support for OLAP

Business intelligence product works with relational, multidimensional data sources

Cognos Inc. this week will unveil business intelligence software that integrates five products and is designed to work against any data source and simplify deployment.

The new Cognos 8 includes query and reporting tools, dashboards, and analysis and event management capabilities that can be accessed via a single Web-based interface, according to company officials.

The tool also adds the ability to report against multidimensional online analytical processing (OLAP) data, said Leah MacMillan, vice president of product marketing.

The tool integrates Cognos' ReportNet, Metrics Manager, PowerPlay, DecisionStream and NoticeCast products.

Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. in San Antonio plans to have Cognos 8—which the company tested earlier this year—in production by the first quarter of 2006, said Louis Barton, director of data warehousing.

OLAP Advantage

Cullen/Frost now runs earlier versions of the Cognos reporting, scorecarding and OLAP tools for various types of financial reporting. The Web-based footprint in the new version will let 500 of the company's users run the software, compared with 300 using the older tools.

Barton said the support for multidimensional data "is really big for us because we have a lot of our senior management looking at the business through the OLAP viewpoint. The next natural thing to do is to create a report from what you are looking at," which will help the decision-making process.

Regent Medical Americas LLC, a medical supply company in Norcross, Ga., plans to upgrade to Cognos 8 after an upcoming company merger, said BI manager Susan Dean. Regent's parent, investment firm Apax Partners Inc., has acquired Goteborg, Sweden-based Molnlycke Health Care AB, which will be merged with Regent, Dean said.

She also said the support for reporting against OLAP data is the biggest advantage of Cognos 8. More than 200 Regent users have been using the Cognos ReportNet tool since December for sales and financial reporting.

Because Cognos 8 blends OLAP and relational data sources, it can help companies move BI to more employees, said Eric Rogge, an analyst at Ventana Research Inc. in San Mateo, Calif.

"The primary engine of growth for BI is operational BI—deploying BI information to front-line workers in applications," he said.


Cognos 8

Features include querying, reporting, dashboards, analysis and event management capabilities.

Dashboards are an extension to reporting; users don’t need a separate tool to create dashboards.

The Web services foundation allows third-party vendors to easily add functions.

An event management feature allows users to be alerted to the status of an event and can trigger a process based on an event, like acquiring additional parts when inventory dips.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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