Cognos updates BI suite

Cognos 8.1.2 adds a report searching tool that could save users time

Cognos Inc. today announced an update to its Cognos 8 business intelligence (BI) tool set, adding a new search capability and access to enterprise applications.

Cognos 8.1.2 is the first major release since the BI suite was launched in September. It includes Cognos Go Search Service, which offers a browser-based search bar designed to help users find BI information housed in reports, scorecards, dashboards and analysis, said Paul Hulford, senior product marketing manager at Cognos.

“Companies that have BI spent a lot of time creating reports,” he said. “It is really important that end users be able to find reports quickly and easily. Search is really key, because you are trying to get the value of key insight to users.”

Because reports are indexed within the tool, the search engine can find data without actually having to run a report, which ensures a quick response time, he added.

In addition, the new version includes report packs for mySAP (R/3) and Siebel CRM that allow users to combine historical data from a data warehouse with current data from those applications in a single report or dashboard. The report packs include predefined content for more than 60 commonly used reports for mySAP and Siebel CRM data.

For SAP NetWeaver users, Cognos 8.1.2 provides access to data in SAP’s data warehouse, runs on the SAP Web application server and can present information through the SAP NetWeaver portal. It also allows users to view, interact with and refresh Cognos 8 BI reports, analysis and metrics within Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel.

Chris Framel, applications group manager for Albuquerque, N.M., said the city began testing the new version of the BI software last week. He said the new search capability will make it easier to make data from various reports –- such as those that detail political campaign contributions and crime statistics -- accessible outside the firewall.

“Citizens will be able to type something in like with a Google search and get information on anything they want to by querying the Cognos reports,” Framel said.

Now, external users have to navigate through a series of prompts to find the information they are seeking, he said. Framel aims to have the new software available for external users by June 30.

For internal users, the city now analyzes aggregate data for the city’s 26 agencies. Those users now have to navigate through various pieces of aggregate data to access the cost information for their individual department or budget line item, he said. “[The search tool] can alleviate upwards of five minutes for good users or 30 minutes for a user who doesn’t know a cube that well,” according to Framel.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon