The user interface

You enter the IBM® Cognos® Analytics - Reporting user interface by creating a new report or by opening an existing report in the Cognos Analytics portal.

Many Cognos Analytics user interfaces use standard HTML, including the Cognos Analytics portal, Cognos Analytics - Reporting, and HTML viewers and reports. As reports have moved from quirks to standard HTML, there might be small differences in item sizes. These differences do not have an impact on the majority of reports that were created in previous Cognos versions. However, minor changes might be required in a small number of existing reports, such as reports that are printed on forms. For more information, see the technote Cognos Analytics conversion to Standards Mode (

The following table describes where you can find features and functions in the Cognos Analytics - Reporting user interface.

Table 1. Cognos Analytics - Reporting function mapping
Cognos Analytics - Reporting interface Function
Save icon

Save as

Convert to Template

Convert to Active Report

Edit icon Toggles between editing the report (edit mode) and viewing the report (view mode)
Welcome icon Switch between the IBM Cognos Analytics portal and new or opened reports
Page views icon Page design view

Page preview view

Page structure view

Show properties icon

Properties for the selected object. The properties that are available are different for each type of object.

More icon in the application bar Locked


Layout components

Conditional styles

Clear all parameters

Filter icon in the application bar Show Filters pane

Appears only in view mode and opens the Filters pane.

run icon

Run the report using the current run options. The data is refreshed (database requeried) only if you change the output format from the last time you ran the report. To change the output format, see run options. Appears only in edit mode.

run options icon

Specify run options for the report and run the report. Run options include output format, orientation of the report, how much data to return, language, rows per page, accessibility features, bidirectional support, and performance details. Appears only in view mode.

refresh icon
Refresh the report using the same prompt values. Appears only in view mode.
Note: To ensure that the data is refreshed, disable the Use local cache property in the properties for the query.
Data icon Add report data by opening a package or data module.

Source tab

Data items tab

Tip: You can create a report with no data.
Toolbox icon Toolbox items
Pages icon Report pages

Prompt pages

Report overview


Queries icon Queries

Condition explorer

Active Report controls

Active Report variables

Pages icon, Report overview icon Report right-click menu Find report objects

Validate report

Auto correct validation errors

Show specification

Open report from clipboard

Copy report to clipboard

Show generated SQL or MDX

Queries icon, right-click a query View tabular data

Slide-out panes contain objects that you can add to a report. You add objects to a report by dragging them to the work area.

Data pane

Use the Data pane Data icon to add report data to a report and to view queries that are created.

  • The Source tab Source tab contains items from the package selected for the report, such as data items and calculations.
  • The Data Items tab Data items tab describes the queries created in the report. You can add existing query items to a report from this tab.

Toolbox pane

The Toolbox pane Toolbox icon contains various objects that you can add to a report, such as text and graphics. Toolbox items are organized into different groups.

Add items that you use often to the PINNED group. Items in the PINNED group appear in the Add circular menu Add circular menu icon. To add a toolbox item to the PINNED group, right-click the item and click Add to Pinned Toolbox Items. To remove an item from the PINNED group, right-click the item and click Remove from Pinned Toolbox Items.

Pages pane

Applies to version 11.0.5 and subsequent versions unless specifically overridden Use the Pages pane Pages icon to view or create new report pages and prompt pages, and to create and modify classes.

Queries pane

Applies to version 11.0.5 and subsequent versions unless specifically overridden Use the Queries pane Queries icon to create or modify queries in relational reporting or dimensional reporting and to perform complex tasks, such as defining union joins and writing SQL statements. The Queries pane also contains the following items:

  • The Condition Explorer Condition explorer icon is used to work with variables to define conditions in a report.
  • If you are authoring an active report, the Active Report controls icon Active Report controls icon shows the controls and active report variables inserted in a report and their relationships to one another. You can click a control in this tab to quickly locate the control in the report and set default values for variables.
  • If you are authoring an active report, the Active Report variables icon Active Report variables icon shows the active report variables defined in a report. Use this tab to create new variables and set default values.

Properties pane

The Properties pane Show properties icon lists the properties that you can set for an object in a report or for the entire report.

When you specify a value for a property, press Enter, click another property, or save the report to ensure that the value is saved.

Tip: You can view a description of the currently selected property in the information pane.

Filters pane

Applies to version 11.0.7 and subsequent versions unless specifically overridden In view mode, use the Filters pane Filter icon in the application bar to view all filters that are created by the report consumer on the report output. When you click a filter in this pane, all data containers that use the selected filter are automatically highlighted in the report. When a data container is selected, the filter pane is updated instantly to display only filters that are applied to the selected data container. You can edit or delete the filter directly in the pane.

You can resize the filter pane, and pin or unpin the pane depending on the screen resolution. Report authors also have the option to make an authored filter visible to report consumers so that they can interact with it in this pane.

The pane cannot be used to create or view low-level filter expressions that are manually created in the expression editor. All filters that were created in earlier versions of Cognos Analytics have the interactive filtering feature disabled by default.

This feature is not available for active reports.

Report object toolbar

In addition to the Properties pane, you can modify an object in a report by clicking icons in the toolbar that appears when the object is selected. The icons that are available depend on the object type.

Tip: The appearance of report object toolbars is controlled by the option Show on-demand UI on right click (More icon More icon in the application bar, Options, View tab).

Page Layers area

When you are working with dimensional data, use the Page layers area to create sections, or page breaks, in a report to show values for each member on a separate page. For example, you can drag Northern Europe sales territory from the Source tab Source tab to the Page layers area. The report is broken into a separate page for each territory within northern Europe. Each page's context appears in the report header.

For more information, see Create page layers.

Context Filter area

When you work with dimensional data, use the Context filter area to filter your report to show values, or context, for only a specific data item. This technique is also known as a slicer filter. For example, you can drag Sales Territory from the Source tab Source tab to the Context filter area. When you click a specific territory from the list, the values in the crosstab change to represent data for that territory.

For more information, see Create a context filter.

Visual Aids icon

The visual aids icon Visual aids icon provides the following options to help you when you are designing reports in the layout. The visual aids icon is found in the toolbar that appears when you select the page body in the report.



Show Boundary Lines

Shows all boundary lines around objects.

Force Boundary Lines

Overrides boundary lines around objects.

Show Repeating

Repeats objects when you insert them. For example, when you insert a data item in a crosstab, the data item appears in each row or in each column of the crosstab.

Show Page Header & Footer

Shows the page header and page footer.

Show Drag & Drop Padding

Shows drag-and-drop zone when the Padding property for an object is set to 0. If the Padding property is set to a value that is greater than the minimum padding that IBM Cognos Analytics - Reporting uses to show drag-and-drop zones, only the minimum padding is shown.

Show Hidden Objects

Shows objects for which the Box Type property was set to None or for which the Visible property was set to No.

Show Sorting

Shows the sorting icon for data items for which a sort order was specified. For more information about sorting data, see Sorting Relational Data or Sorting Dimensional Data.

Show Grouping

Shows the grouping icon for grouped data items.

Show Source Type

Shows the icon for the source type of objects, such as layout calculation.

Show Data Item Type

Shows the icon for the type of data item, such as query item, member, or measure.

Show Drill-through Definitions

Shows data items for which the drill-through definition was defined as a hyperlink.

Show Table of Contents Entries

Shows table of contents entries inserted in the report.

Show Bookmarks

Shows bookmarks inserted in the report.

Show Master Detail Relationships

Shows master detail relationships defined in the report.

Tip: Pausing the pointer over the master detail relationship icon shows the relationship.

Show No Data Contents Tab Control

Shows tabs if the data container's No Data Contents property is set to Yes.

Show Repeater and Singleton Containers

Shows repeater and singleton containers inserted in the report.

Show Interactive Object Controls

Shows controls for active report application objects. For more information about active reports, see Active Reports.

Show Container Selectors

Shows a small selector (three orange dots) for the following container objects, which you can click to select all the objects within them: list, crosstab, repeater table, table of contents, table, and active report application objects.

Show Empty Text

Shows empty text item objects that were inserted in the report.

Show Insertion Icons

Shows the Add circular menu Add circular menu icon.