IBM Cognos Business Insight and IBM Cognos Report Studio allow users to integrate external data, such as spreadsheets, into their reports.
When users import external data using this feature, a package with a new data model merging the data source of the report and the external data is created. Only a link for the local data source is created; the users cannot store the data on the server.
To be successful when creating reports using external data, users need to follow the workflow
Workflow: How to work with external data
Prepare your external data file for import
Advanced business users, professional report authors, and analysts must know their external data (the enterprise data to which they are trying to connect to make their analysis) and the objective of their analysis.
Import your external data
This step depends on the data source. If the user wants to merge external data with a relational data source, the user can link the external data directly with the enterprise data source or to a list report.
If the user wants to merge external data with a dimensional data source, the user must create a list report and link the external data source to the content of the list report .
Maximums: The maximum file size that a user can import is 2.5 MB, with a maximum of 20,000 rows. A user can import a maximum of one external data source file per package. The IBM Cognos modeler can override these governors in IBM Cognos Framework Manager.
Create reports with your external data file
After IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced creates the package, users can create their reports with the new data source in the same manner as with regular packages. Users can create reports with their data and perform many operations, such as creating crosstabs, lists, and charts, summarizing data, applying sorting, and grouping and adding calculations.
Determine whether to share the reports
After you create a report using external data, you usually save the report in you My Folders folder. If a you want to share the report, the people who are to see the report need to obtain the file that is used by the external data source for their computers and have it located in the same location so that IBM Cognos BI can find the source file. Another option is to place the source file on a shared drive that IBM Cognos BI can access and create the external data source based on that location. With this second method, it is easier to share reports, because you do not have to distribute your file to each person withwhom you want to share a report.
If you want to share a report, you must maintain the report to keep it current.
External Data feature example
Lynn Cope, an Advanced Business User of the Great Outdoors company, needs to create a catalog report with product sizes and quantity available in English and French units, grouped by Product line and Product type.
Lynn has received a spreadsheet with the translation of the units to English and French. She wants to use this information to build her report, because she knows it is not available in the data warehouse. She can easily create this report in IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced using the External Data feature.
Create the External Data package
Because Lynn wants to merge external data with a dimensional data source, she needs to create a list report with the data that she wants to be available in the external data package.
To create the External Data package:
Simple list report with Product data and Quantity values
Here, users can specify which data they want to include on their reports.
The users need to specify a namespace to use. The namespace provides a unique name to associate with the data items that the users import. The namespace appears in the data tree of the Source tab in the Insertable Objects window and is used to organize the data items. By default, the namespace is the imported file name without the extension.
If you change the default name for the namespace, you are prompted to select the external data file each time that you run the report. To avoid this step, select the “Allow the server to automatically load the file” check box.
Selecting an external data source
Mapping the external data against an IBM Cognos data source
Linking columns: Before you create the data mapping, make sure that the columns that will be linked match (for example, product size code).
Relational data source: When using the External Data feature with a relational data source, users do not need to create a report to link the data. They can link the external data to the relational IBM Cognos package.
Setting mapping options
Manage External Data window
A message displays with information about the new package that will be created
External data source information message
After the package is created, the package that is used for the current report is changed, and the new package appears in the Insertable Objects pane
The other subject accesses the dimensional data that is extracted from the Product information report.
External Data package
Including Product information from the query subject created with the dimensional data
Including Product size information from the query subject created with the external data
Including Quantity measures from the query subject created with the dimensional data
Grouping list columns
Edit Layout Sorting option
Setting Grouping & Sorting configuration
After performing these steps, the report shows the information from both external data and enterprise data sources, ordered by Product line, Product type, and Product.
Report showing external and enterprise data ordered by Product line, Product type, and Product
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Ibm Cognos Tutorial
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Overview Of The Ibm Cognos Business Intelligence Architecture
Business Scenario And Personas Used In This
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Business Intelligence Simplified: An Overview
Individual And Collaborative User Experience
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Actionable Analytics Everywhere
Enterprise Ready Performance And Scalability
Ibm Cognos System Administration
Integrating Ibm Cognos Bi With Ibm Cognos Business Analytics Solutions
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