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IBM Cognos Analytics and the Evolving Role of IT

There’s been much discussion about IBM Cognos Analytics as a transformative tool that’s empowering business users to delve deep into company data and operate on the same analytics playing field as IT. This leads to the question of what does IBM Cognos Analytics mean for IT? What will IT focus on and how will its role change when the myriad of data analytics requests that have clogged the IT pipeline can now be handled directly by business users? Let there be no doubt, IBM Cognos Analytics holds great promise for IT. In fact, the impact stands to be just as game-changing for IT as it is for line of business users—opening new doors and new possibilities. Freed from the day-to-day data analytics and business intelligence requests, IT will now be able to step back and take a holistic view of the environment. I envision IT evolving into more of a center of excellence that’s focused on ensuring performance, auditability and scalability. Within the framework of IBM Cognos Analytics, IT will serve the critical role of maintaining constant vigilance over the underlying data sources, authenticating data as trustworthy once it has undergone the appropriate governance processes. As data modules are created, IT will also take the lead in monitoring access and ensuring they are functioning as intended. Additionally, IT will be able to provide perspective and oversight into the business intelligence inventory—monitoring how reports are being created, which reports are being run and how frequently, as well as which reports should be deleted from the system to avoid confusion or duplication. Business leaders will continue to count on IT for support, while working hand in hand on some of the overarching data analytics processes, but ultimately, the release of IBM Cognos Analytics is enabling IT to return to its roots, setting the stage for a heightened strategic emphasis and a renewed focus on the big picture. Learn more about the recently released IBM Cognos Analytics: No report left behind: Upgrading to Cognos Analytics IBM Cognos Analytics on Cloud: Complete Choice, Confidence and Control Business Partner Perspective:  IBM Cognos Analytics Simplifies Exploration of Company Data Democratizing Data Discovery Single interface, multiple layers of insight Check out the IBM Cognos Analytics site for a free trial and additional information on harnessing your company’s data. Connect via any of the following hashtags: #experiencecognos; #businessintelligence; #cognosanalytics Twitter handles: @ibmbigdatahub @ibmanalytics @ibmcognos

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EVENT: IBM World of Watson 2016 Call for Speakers is here! *Now Closed*

The call for speakers is now closed. IBM Insight, the conference you know is the must attend event for anyone in Analytics is now the cornerstone for IBM World of Watson! In this cognitive era, data and analytics is at the epicenter of the digital business. You can help demonstrate the value of IBM Watson Analytics by submitting a proposal for a presentation. Do you have a unique use case you can present with great how to instructions or something unique to present? Then please take a few minutes to submit a speaker nomination and help tell the story. The Call for Papers has officially opened (as of 5/31) and we are accepting nominations for the next 4 weeks. Submit a session today!

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Single interface, multiple layers of insight

Among the greatest advantages of IBM Cognos Analytics is the streamlined user experience which enables line of business users to easily investigate and interrogate data. IBM Cognos Analytics provides line of business users with unprecedented access to business intelligence, along with the ability to author their own content and gain deeper insights into data to support better decisions. Users can also build on top of the reports and dashboards that colleagues have created, creating a framework that supports the ability to continuously explore new ideas in whatever direction is most meaningful to them. From a single Cognos Analytics interface, business users are able to connect to a number of different data sources, ranging from pure relational to big data, and then proceed to gain a deeper understanding of the relationships among various data sets through the use of metadata layers and models. Trusted data that can be consistently relied upon is at the core of the fast and astute decision-making capabilities that are required to maintain a competitive edge in the constantly changing, digitally driven business climate. With IBM Cognos Analytics, line of business users are fully empowered in their ability to connect to and build out from a wide range of data sources, with complete trust that the data is valid. This full depth and breadth of data inquiry can be accomplished without any reliance on IT or another user. As such, IBM Cognos Analytics is serving to bridge the gap between line of business users and IT—allowing the line of business user to become much more self-sufficient from much of the data analytics projects for which they have traditionally relied on IT. At the same time, IBM Cognos Analytics is freeing IT to focus on bigger-picture IT infrastructure management issues that include permissions pertaining to various levels of access to the system, as well as the ongoing oversight into underlying data to ensure that it is valid trustworthy. Learn more about the recently released IBM Cognos Analytics: No report left behind: Upgrading to Cognos Analytics IBM Cognos Analytics on Cloud: Complete Choice, Confidence and Control Business Partner Perspective:  IBM Cognos Analytics Simplifies Exploration of Company Data Democratizing Data Discovery Check out the IBM Cognos Analytics site for a free trial and additional information on harnessing your company’s data. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and connect via any of the following hashtags: #experiencecognos; #businessintelligence; #cognosanalytics Twitter handles: @ibmbigdatahub @ibmanalytics @ibmcognos  

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Learn Six Cs and See Why Bimodal is the Place to Be!!

By Matthew Mikell, Product Marketing, Cognos Analytics (On-premises/ On-Cloud) I’ll let you in on a secret.  Around the world, there is the friction between analytics users and their IT departments when it comes to data access and reporting.  It is widely known that users, in their demands for data are purchasing ‘silo’ desktop tools.  On the other side is IT, trying to build walls that created trusted and centralized systems of insight. The two opposing groups see their tools and needs as paramount to the organization.  Users, proposing a ‘bottom-up’ approach, demand regular and individualized data extracts to stay ahead of business demands.  IT leaders, proposing a ‘top-down’ approach, expect to maintain governance over trusted data and deliver reports throughout the organization.   The idea of bimodal is that organizations should acquire business intelligence platforms that serve the needs of each group without sacrifice to the other. Sounds complicated but there is a solution. Listen to acclaimed thought-leader Wayne Eckerson present his latest research, 'Governed Data Discovery: Balancing Flexibility and Standards'. Learn of the many ways to eliminate the friction between line-of-business and IT and get the best tool to meet enterprise requirements. This unique event will explain the benefits and pitfalls between standards-driven and user-driven business needs and may finally bring a truce to one of the battles between users and IT.    You can register for the on-demand event here. Link to the webinar: https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=1176576&sessionid=1&key=01D796FC584395FD461F312D51C80303&partnerref=Msellers&sourcepage=register  

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Blog: Democratizing Data Discovery

In our current data-driven business climate, IT departments are becoming increasingly challenged with the flood of requests for business intelligence and analytics. They can’t possibly respond to them all. At the same time, the business is looking for the tools to explore company data independently and to continue looking deeper and deeper in search of business and market insights. The enhanced IBM Cognos Analytics fills a distinct need for both IT and business. Designed for self-service and the accommodation of ad hoc explorations, IBM Cognos Analytics creates a new framework for collaboration, while enabling both IT and line of business to move forward in a direction that expands their insight and influence. IBM Cognos is a very powerful system. In the process of recreating it and rethinking the user experience, we went back to the design drawing board. What we came up with is a really gorgeous, very simple user experience and interface. What’s cool about it is that regardless of the individual’s role in the organization, the user experience is the same. It actually doesn’t matter whether you are in a line of business role, or IT, or you are the person handling the administration. Line of business is now able to tap into the intuitive interface, take a self-service approach to data exploration, share interesting insights via an easy-to-create dashboard, and add to the company’s base of business intelligence. At the same time, IT retains control over governance and the security, determining what is trusted data and what can be distributed to a wider audience. The creation of one unified user experience that is accessible and relevant to all users, has served to streamline the learning process while allowing users to glide between different roles. This is important because in many companies people don’t function in a single role. They might play multiple roles and the lines between roles can get blurred. IBM Cognos Analytics ensures a consistent user experience, and one that can adapt with users as their roles change. Check out the IBM Cognos Analytics site for a free trial and additional information on harnessing your company’s data. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and connect via any of the following Twitter handles: @ibmbigdatahub; @ibmanalytics; @ibmcognos. Hashtags: #experiencecognos; #businessintelligence; #cognosanalytics

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Blog: Business Partner Perspective: IBM Cognos Analytics Simplifies Exploration of Company Data

As a global provider of management solution expertise, PMsquare is a Premier IBM Business Partner and a long-time advocate of IBM Cognos. In November of 2013, PMsquare achieved the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Accreditation. Two years later, two of the company’s top execs were among the first to test drive the enhanced IBM Cognos Analytics. Dustin Adkison, PMsquare’s Managing Partner called the new Cognos Analytics a “significant step forward” for both his company and their clients, noting that the overarching benefit is the game-changing degree of simplicity. This new version is equally accessible to the entire spectrum that includes what Adkison refers to as “the ad-hoc user and the advanced developer.” What this means is that line of business users will no longer need to wait on IT to conduct analytics and deliver reports within the rapid-fire timeframe called for by the current business climate. Now that IT stands to no longer find itself mired in requests from the business for urgent and unpredictable analytics and reports, there’s a whole other set of reasons for the business to welcome the arrival of IBM Cognos Analytics. Describing PMsquare as a company that’s “very passionate about data and passionate about helping clients to become passionate about their data,” Jason Rankin, Solution Director at PMsquare describes IBM Cognos Analytics as an effective self-managed platform that’s accessible to a much wider group than Cognos Business Intelligence. As such, it is going to raise user skills. The ROI is going to be significant, he notes, and “CFOs are going to be very happy about the fact that analysts can now get their hands dirty with regards to the data and get insights for the questions they are asking. IBM Cognos Analytics has eliminated the lag time between the lines of business and IT. In pulling together all of a company’s data, Rankin envisions IBM Cognos Analytics breaking down silos—enabling everyone to stay connected to a “central source of truth.” Check out the IBM Cognos Analytics site for a free trial and additional information on harnessing your company’s data. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and connect via any of the following Twitter handles: @ibmbigdatahub; @ibmanalytics; @ibmcognos. Hashtags: #experiencecognos; #businessintelligence; #cognosanalytics

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Blog: Complete Choice, Confidence and Control

It’s important to realize that when you deploy IBM Cognos Analytics on cloud, IBM delivers the solution in its entirety. With close to 1,500 patents in cloud computing and more than 40 data centers around the world, IBM’s expertise is unsurpassed. It’s important to realize that when you deploy IBM Cognos Analytics on cloud, IBM delivers the solution in its entirety. This tends not to be the case with other vendors who typically do not get involved in the heavy lifting of managing cloud operations. Whether you are new to IBM Cognos Analytics or a current IBM Cognos Business Intelligence user who is soon to upgrade, there are three critical reasons to consider IBM Cognos Analytics in the cloud: • First, agility. Cloud enables a quick and easy ramp up because IBM draws upon its best practices to put the application online quickly and easily. • Secondly, cloud does not require a major capital outlay for hardware. Tapping into operational budgets instead of capital budgets allows for greater flexibility, with costs based on actual usage. • Finally, IT resource constraints are not an issue when deploying IBM Cognos Analytics on cloud. IBM can get you set up online and maintain the system, without burdening IT in the process. If you are a current IBM Cognos user and your data is on-premises, you have the option of upgrading to IBM Cognos Analytics and maintaining both environments simultaneously. You can use the existing data sources that you've built and curated over the years and we can establish a runway for you to eventually migrate from your on-premises environment to the cloud. The timing is up to you with the assurance of complete choice, confidence and control.   Check out the IBM Cognos Analytics site for a free trial and additional information on harnessing your company’s data. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and connect via any of the following Twitter handles: @ibmbigdatahub; @ibmanalytics; @ibmcognos. Hashtags: #experiencecognos; #businessintelligence; #cognosanalytics

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Blog: Take a Guided Tour of Your Data with IBM Cognos Analytics

IBM Cognos Analytics is an extremely smart tool. For the business user who is not particularly knowledgeable about the complexities of their company’s data or not adept with analytics, this means a lot. IBM Cognos Analytics fills in the gaps. Ultimately, the key advantage stems from the fact that IBM Cognos Analytics is an extremely smart tool. For the business user who is not particularly knowledgeable about the complexities of their company’s data or not adept with analytics, this means a lot. IBM Cognos Analytics fills in the gaps. On day one, opening the application for the first time, a business user can generate reports, get the answers he or she needs, and be as well positioned as the head of IT to uncover amazing insights. Users simply indicate in plain language the intent of what they are trying to achieve and the system locates all of the data that is pertinent to their inquiry. IBM Cognos Analytics guides users into a discovery path that can go as deep and as wide as necessary, depending on what they are looking to learn or determine. This can all occur without any training. In simply engaging with the tool, users become increasingly knowledgeable about carrying out more and more sophisticated tasks. With the design of this upgrade, we felt that it was particularly important to bring the most frequently accessed inquiries to the forefront, allowing the user to progressively advance to richer features that reveal depth and complexity as needed. What we now have is an interface that’s amazingly intuitive, and guides the user all the way from basic analysis to more advanced analytics. In other words, the user experience reflects whatever the user needs. Learn more about the recently released IBM Cognos Analytics. Check out the IBM Cognos Analytics site for a free trial and additional information on harnessing your company’s data.

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Video: How to navigate the Cognos Analytics portal

This video demonstrates how to navigate Cognos Analytics web portal (basic)

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Blog: No report left behind: Upgrading to Cognos Analytics

Both new and existing users can count on an interface that’s not only intuitive, it’s intelligent. We’ve taken great strides, working with many customers, including people who have never used IBM Cognos Analytics before, to understand the kinds of interactions needed to streamline repeated access to content without having to retrace steps or remember where things are stored. While the reports themselves don’t change, they are now augmented with a wide range of new capabilities for the end user. More interactivity is available, and with the addition of the Live Preview mode, an author can hit the pencil button and use the built-in tools to manipulate their data on the fly without having to export or rebuild it. All the required functionality is now contained within a unified IBM Cognos Analytics interface. Both new and existing users can count on an interface that’s not only intuitive, it’s intelligent. We’ve taken great strides, working with many customers, including people who have never used IBM Cognos before, to understand the kinds of interactions needed to streamline repeated access to content without having to retrace steps or remember where things are stored. The user can now personalize their experience in Cognos Analytics by accessing their content via the new “recently used” section, subscribing to their favorite reports or making an insightful dashboard on their home page. The idea is to minimize the number of clicks to access their frequently used content. We developed a new search engine from the ground up, specifically designed to return instant, relevant information to the users. The smarter search function not only plays a critical role in the interface to help the user find a dataset, report or dashboard, it is also key to intent-based authoring and modeling, which use keywords to automate the process of generating a dashboard or a data module. This enhanced ability to explore data in a more visual and ad hoc fashion without having to remember how and where to search is central to the simplification of the UI. The creation of content is now much more dynamic and interactive by using drag and drop, natural language or on-demand toolbars. We’ve removed complexity and made sure that from a learning perspective, the interface is intuitive and easy. Since cloud has become increasingly relevant, and more and more clients are opting for cloud-based capabilities, IBM Cognos Analytics is also available on cloud. Users that select the cloud option will be able to focus entirely on leveraging their data, with IBM managing every aspect of the infrastructure and upgrades. For clients that opt to maintain their current, internal infrastructure, IBM Cognos Analytics is still available on premise. A third, hybrid option enables clients to store data locally while application servers are in the cloud. This is just a quick overview of the simplicity, flexibility and functionality of IBM Cognos Analytics. I encourage you read my previous blog posts and to check out the IBM Cognos Analytics site for a free trial and additional information on harnessing your company’s data. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and connect via any of the following Twitter handles: @ibmbigdatahub; @ibmanalytics; @ibmcognos. Hashtags: #experiencecognos; #businessintelligence; #cognosanalytics

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