Cognos has been a BI tool of choice for a large number of global businesses. IBM recently released the new version of Cognos – Cognos 11.1.x; however, with earlier versions of Cognos working so well and so elegantly, many corporations have been apprehensive about stirring the pot and upgrading to the newer version. And it didn’t help that earlier releases of Cognos 11.0.x had several issues.

However, as of March 2019, most of the issues are resolved and Cognos 11.1.x is now a very stable and reliable version. Yes, IBM does release fix-packs almost every month but none of them are show-stoppers and it has been almost a year since IBM has stopped providing support to older versions of Cognos. In short, the time to upgrade to Cognos 11.1.x and reap the benefits is now!

Cognos can be upgraded ‘on-the-top’. This means your Cognos Analytics can be upgraded to a newer version using the same configuration details, ports, themes, and extensions as your previous installation. Now, this assumes that your current version isn’t very old. If it is old (older than version 10.x/8.x), you may have to do the migration and upgrade in steps (i.e. hop to a version that can support an in-place upgrade to the most current version).

What’s new in Cognos 11.1.x?

Cognos 11 is the first version of Cognos Analytics. As per IBM, the new version of Cognos infuses advanced analytics and AI automation throughout the whole user experience. It has the ability to build data modules and visualizations on the fly.

This new interface of Cognos is relatively easy to use and is particularly useful for new end users who aren’t used to the configurations of older versions of Cognos. It’s more intuitive with options like Storytelling, which allows for quick, animated data presentation. Storytelling also allows for easy PowerPoint-style slideshow or Prezi-style pan and zoom presentations of multiple visualizations.

Whether it’s the search capability, the dashboarding technology that just added limited support for Framework Manager models, or the new and updated visualizations and built-in location intelligence, there are many improvements that make it worth the upgrade.

The dashboarding capability of the Cognos solution has been completely overhauled and provides the ability to just drag and drop data onto the screen to see the visualization change in order to suit the analysis. Dashboard creation on the fly gives your users faster access to information, thereby increasing productivity and improving your ROI on your BI solution.

Web-based modeling creates a Data Module which is similar in concept to a Framework Manager package but uses Watson Analytics technology to allow ‘intent-based modeling’, meaning a user can type their interest (e.g. ‘Revenue’) and the tool will search for that text and return relevant information. These models can then be shared.

Data discovery is an area that IBM has addressed in Cognos Analytics with data modules and dashboarding. It has been made possible due to technology developed for Watson Analytics. This helps the user select the visualization that best suits the data in play and makes finding associations in the data and report creation much easier. And of course, there are a bunch of new visualizations and reporting enhancements to make the upgrade to Cognos 11.1.x worthwhile.

We at Trinus have teamed up with IBM to carry out successful Cognos upgrades at multiple installations (including public sector). Please get in touch with us for free, no obligation consultation.