At this upcoming IOD, you can go through the Cognos upgrade process yourself by signing up to either one of these workshops:
BBI-3323A: Cognos BI Upgrade Workshop (Tuesday November 5th, 10AM to 1PM)
BBI-3323B: Cognos BI Upgrade Workshop (Thursday November 7th, 10AM to 1PM)
The workshop is divided into three parts. In the first part, you will use Cognos Business Intelligence tools and take an inventory of your current Cognos 8 content and identify reports that have never been executed or seldom executed. You will also run a consistency check and clean up the content store. In the second part, you will upgrade the Content Store database and upgrade reports specifications separately. Finally, you will upgrade a subset of users and content, including My Folders content, using a new deployment feature available in Cognos BI 10.2.1.
This workshop will cover best practices and tools that you can use before and during an upgrade.
If this interests you, sign up as seating is limited: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/2013-conference/