Create content - IBM Cognos

Now, Lynn Cope, an Advanced Business User of the GO Americas subsidiary, needs to create two reports that answer the following questions:

  • Are we selling the right products?
  • How does this year’s performance compare with the prior year’s performance?

Lynn inserts these reports in the Great Outdoors company workspace.

Create a crosstab

To answer the first question, Lynn decides to create a list that shows the bottom ten product sales by region. To create this report, Lynn uses IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced and follows these steps:

  • In IBM Cognos Connection, launch Business Insight Advanced . The Select a package window opens.
  • Navigate to Cognos Public Folders Samples Models.
  • Click GO Data Warehouse (analysis) to create a report that is based on this package.
  • Opening IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced from IBM Cognos Connection
    Opening IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced from IBM Cognos Connection

  • Click Create new to create a report.
  • Welcome window of IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced
    Welcome window of IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced

  • Click the Crosstab report type.
  • Default report types on IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced
    Default report types on IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced

    Flexibility: Even if a you initially selected a List, Crosstab, Chart, or Financial report type, you can include other charts, crosstabs, and lists on the report. IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced provides a flexible approach to develop reports.

  • First, rename the text header to Bottom 10 product sales by region. To insert the text, double-click Double-click to edit text.
  • Inserting a report name
    Inserting a report name

  • On the Insertable Objects pane, click View Metadata Tree to see the data model structure instead of live data).

Switch to View Metadata Tree

  • On the Insertable Objects pane, navigate to Go Data Warehouse (analysis) Sales and Marketing (analysis) Sales Sales fact
  • Drag theQuantity metric under Sales Fact to the Columns area.
  • In the Insertable Objects pane, navigate to Go Data Warehouse(analysis) Sales and Marketing (analysis) Sales Products.
  • Drag the Product level to the Rows area.

After performing these steps, Lynn has a list of all products with their Quantities.

Crosstab after adding columns and rows
Crosstab after adding columns and rows

  • Click any product in the rows.
  • Click the Explore icon of the toolbar
  • Click Top or Bottom, and then click Bottom 10 based on Quantity
  • Using Bottom 10 feature
    Using Bottom 10 feature

    After performing these steps, Lynn is able to see the bottom 10 performing products

    Report after Bottom 10 function has been applied
    Report after Bottom 10 function has been applied

Including accessibility features

Now, Lynn wants to insert a summary text item to be used by screen readers for the crosstab. Using the acessibility features of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Advanced, she can add the text for objects using the Summary text property.

To include accessibility features:

  1. Click anywhere in the crosstab (columns, rows, or metrics) area.
  2. Click the Ancestor icon.
  3. Click Crosstab.
  4. Click the ellipsis (...).
  5. In the Default text field, insert the summarization text. If you want to insert summarization text for multiple languages, click Add, select the language, and then insert the summary text for the chosen Language:
    • Default text: Bottom 10 product sales by region
    • Spanish text: Los 10 productos menos vendidos por region
    • Adding localized text for internationalization
      Adding localized text for internationalization

Now, Lynn can save this report to use it in the Great Outdoors company workspace in IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced.

Create a chart

Lynn needs too answer the second question asked earlier:

How does the performance of this year compare with the prior year?

She decides to create a chart that shows a line chart, which compares historic information from the current year (2007) and the prior year (2006).

To create this report, Lynn uses IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced to access a relational data source of Great Outdoors data and follows these steps:

  1. In IBM Cognos Connection, launch Business Insight Advanced. The Select a package window opens.
  2. Navigate to Cognos Public Folders Samples Models.
  3. Click GO Data Warehouse (query) to create a report that is based on this package.
  4. Click Create New to create a report.
  5. Click the List report type.
  6. Drag the following items to the list:
    a. Go Data Warehouse (query) Sales and Marketing (query) Sales Time Month
    b. Go Data Warehouse (query) Sales and Marketing (query) Sales Sales fact Revenue
  7. Click in one column of the list.
  8. On the top toolbar, click Insert Chart
  9. Creating a chart that is based on a list
    Creating a chart that is based on a list

  10. In the Insert Chart window, in the left pane, click Line.
  11. In the right pane, click Clustered Line with Circle Markers
  12. Click OK.
  13. Selecting a chart type
    Selecting a chart type

  14. Click in the list, and in the Properties pane, click Ancestor.
  15. On the top menu bar, navigate to Edit, and click Delete
  16. Deleting option
  17. Drag the Revenue metric from Default measure (y-axis) to Series (primary axis),
  18. Move Revenue metric from Default measure (y-axis) to Series (primary axis)
    Move Revenue metric from Default measure (y-axis) to Series (primary axis)

    After performing these steps, Lynn has a line chart showing the total Revenue of all Great Outdoors subsidiaries by month

    Line chart displaying Revenue by MonthLine-chart-displaying-Revenue-by-Month

To separate the data by years, Lynn follows these steps:

  1. In the Insertable Objects pane, navigate to Go Data Warehouse (query) Sales and Marketing (query) Sales (query) Time
  2. Drag Year to the Series (primary access) area, as a child of Revenue, as

Placing a data item: You can choose where to place a data item if there is a data item already in the same area. When you place a data item inside one of these areas, the following behaviors are expected:

  • The entire area flashes. Dropping the item replaces the existing item.
  • A flashing black bar displays on the right or left side of the data item. If you place the data item in this situation, the item is included as a new stack of data, for example Years followed by Revenue.
  • A flashing black bar displays on the top or bottom side of the data item. If you place the data item in this situation, the item is included as a nested data item.
  • Adding a child member of Revenue in the Series area
    Adding a child member of Revenue in the Series area

    After the report refreshes, it displays the Revenue by Year. With this view, Lynn can easily compare the Revenue trends between the years.

    Revenue by Year
    Revenue by Year

To simplify the presentation and because Lynn wants to analyze the differences between the current year and the prior year only, she filters the report as follows:

  1. Click the chart.
  2. On the top toolbar, click the Filters icon, and then click Edit Filters.
  3. Click the Add icon. A small window opens to allow users to select if they want to create a complex filter (with AND and OR clauses) or a simple filter that is based on one data item.
  4. Ensure that Custom based on data item is selected.
  5. In the drop-down list box under the radio button, click Year, and then click OK.
  6. In the Filter Condition - Year window, change the operator to filter by values that are greater than or equal to () 2006,
  7. Setting-Year-filter

    Setting Year filter

  8. Click OK, and then click OK again.

After performing these steps, the report shows the comparison between 2007 (current year) and 2006 (last year), which was the requirement. Lynn also provides flexibility to other users who want to use this report by allowing them to select other years for analysis.

Report showing the Revenue comparison between current and prior years
Report showing the Revenue comparison between current and prior years

Set conditional formatting

Lynn needs to create a report to deliver to all Great Outdoors subsidiaries that gives highlights about which product lines match their sales targets for the month and which product lines do not. She decides to create a crosstab that compares Revenue with Sales target, is grouped by Product line and Product type, and is filtered by the current year. To create this report, Lynn uses IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced to access a Dimensional data source for the Great Outdoors data by following these steps:

  1. In IBM Cognos Connection, launch IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced. The Select a package window opens.
  2. Navigate to Cognos Public Folders Samples Models.
  3. Click GO Data Warehouse (analysis) to create a report that is based on this package.
  4. Click Create New to create a new report.
  5. Click the Crosstab report type.
  6. In the Insertable Objects pane, click the View Member Tree icon.
  7. In the Insertable Objects pane, navigate to Go Data Warehouse (analysis) Sales and Marketing (analysis) Sales Products
  8. Click Camping Equipment under Products.
  9. With the Shift key pressed, click Golf Equipment under Products (last item).
  10. Drag the data items to the Columns area
  11. Adding multiple dimension members to a crosstabAdding multiple dimension members to a crosstab

  12. In the Insertable Objects pane, navigate to Go Data Warehouse (analysis) Sales and Marketing (analysis) Sales Time
  13. Drag the 2007 member under Time to the Columns area
  14. Adding a member with its children
    Adding a member with its children

  15. On the Insertable Objects pane, navigate to Go Data Warehouse (analysis) Sales and Marketing (analysis) Sales Sales fact
  16. Drag Revenue under Sales Fact and place it as a child of Year members in the Columns area (under the Year column),
  17. Adding a child member in the column
    Adding a child member in the column

  18. In the Insertable Objects pane, navigate to Go Data Warehouse(analysis) Sales and Marketing (analysis) Sales target Sales target fact
  19. Drag Sales target, which is under Sales target fact, to the right of Revenue.
  20. Adding a nested member in a column
    Adding a nested member in a column

  21. Lynn notices that the Revenue and Sales target values do not appear under the 2007 column (total). To correct this situation, she drags the same metrics under the quarters total column.
  22. Total line after inserted Revenue and Sales target metrics.
    Total line after inserted Revenue and Sales target metrics.

  23. Now, Lynn notices that there are columns without data in any rows, so she decides to suppress the null values. She can suppress the null values easily by following these steps:

a. On the top toolbar, click the Suppress icon.
b. Click Suppress Columns Only

Suppress null data
Suppress null data

After performing these steps, Lynn has a crosstab report, which displays Revenue and Sales target by Product lines and 2007 quarters but to meet her requirements, she needs to include the metrics’ values for Product type.

To include this new level on the report, Lynn can opt for one of three approaches: Expand members Next Level Down or nest the new column by dragging it to the right of Product line

Using Expand members feature
Using Expand members feature

Using Next Level Down feature
Using Next Level Down feature

Nesting a column
Nesting a column

For this report, Lynn decides to use the Next Level Down approach. To implement this approach, she performs the following steps:

  1. Click one of the members in the Rows area.
  2. On the top toolbar, click the Explore icon.
  3. Click Create Next Level Down

Inserting a Next Level Down
Inserting a Next Level Down

Expand Member: To use the Expand Member approach, select one member in the Rows or Columns area, click the Explore button on the top toolbar, and click Expand Member. This approach expands only one row per click. If you want to expand all five Product lines, click each Product line and follow these steps.

After Lynn performs these steps, the report shows Product line and Product type in the Rows area,

To make the analysis for the executives easier, Lynn decides to add a calculated column that shows the percentage between current Revenue totals and Sales targets. She can easily include this column by using the calculation features that are included in IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced and by following these steps:

  1. In the Columns area, click Revenue.
  2. Press Shift, and click Sales target.
  3. On the top toolbar, click the Insert Calculation icon.
  4. Click % (Revenue, Sales target).

Notice that the formulas that are shown use your data and reflect the formula that IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced creates

Inserting a calculated column using pre-built calculations
Inserting a calculated column using pre-built calculations

Lynn also performs the same steps for the 2007 column. After Lynn performs these steps, the report is displayed with Revenue, Sales target, and the percentage calculation between these two columns by Product line and Product type

Report after adding calculations
Report after adding calculations

Executives need to make decisions and give answers quickly. To improve the readability of this report, Lynn decides to configure conditional formatting for the percent column, which helps executives to differentiate good and bad performance quickly.

To implement this conditional formatting, Lynn follows these steps:

  • Click one of the values in the % (Revenue, Sales target) column, and then on the top menu, click Style Conditional Styles
  • In the Conditional Styles window, click the Add icon.
  • Click New Conditional Style.
  • In the New Conditional Style window, click % (Revenue, Sales target), as
  • Setting a new conditional style for % (Revenue, Sales target) metric
    Setting a new conditional style for % (Revenue, Sales target) metric

  • In the Conditional Style - Numeric Range window, in the Name field, type % target.
  • Click Add in the lower-left corner of that window.
  • Type 100%, and click OK.
  • Click Add.
  • Type 90%, and click OK.
  • Click Add.
  • Type 120%, and click OK.
  • Change the values to the drop-down list box options that are displayed in the Style column,

Condition style options: Users can use the pre-built styles or create their own styles for a condition. To change the style, click the pencil icon on the right side of the style drop-down list box.

Add intervals to a Conditional Style
Add intervals to a Conditional Style

  • Click OK twice to exit the Conditional Styles windows.. After Lynn performs these steps, the report displays,

Example of one Product line’s values after applying a conditional style

To improve the readability of the report, Lynn wants to change the label of the new percentage columns. She follows these steps for the percent columns under the quarters and the total columns:

  1. Right-click the column and click Edit Data Item Label
  2. In the Data item name field, type % of target. Repeat these steps for the calculation under the 2007 column.

Changing the label of a column
Changing the label of a column

Now, Lynn needs to deliver this report to the six Great Outdoors subsidiaries with a clear separation between the performance of each region. To separate the information for each subsidiary, she drags the Organization member to the Page layers area,

Adding a member on the Page layers area
Adding a member on the Page layers area

Finally, she renames the report to Sales Revenue x Target.

After all these steps, Lynn can deliver reports comparing the current revenue and sales targets for 2007 for each subsidiary

Report to be delivered to GO Accessories subsidiaries
Report to be delivered to GO Accessories subsidiaries

Report to be delivered to GO Americas subsidiaries
Report to be delivered to GO Americas subsidiaries

Analyze the execution query path

The Lineage feature of IBM Cognos makes it easy for report authors and business analysts to examine the origin of the data that is used in the reports and their query paths.

Lynn Cope, an Advanced Business User, wants to understand how the Planned Revenue metric is calculated. She uses the Lineage feature to help her identify what calculation was applied to create the metric and if there is a filter applied for it. To analyze the execution query path:

Lineage feature: You can use the Lineage feature when executing a report on IBM Cognos Viewer.

  1. In IBM Cognos Connection, launch Business Insight Advanced. The Select a package window opens.
  2. Navigate to Cognos Public Folders Samples Models.
  3. Click GO Data Warehouse (analysis) to create a new report that is based on this dimensional package.
  4. Click Create New to create a new report, and then click in List.
  5. In the Insertable Objects pane, navigate to Go Data Warehouse (analysis) Sales and Marketing (analysis) Sales Sales fact, andthen right-click Planned Revenue.
  6. Click Lineage
  7. Selecting the Lineage feature
    Selecting the Lineage feature

    The Business View window opens. In this view, you can see an overview of the data’s definition

      Lineage: Business View window

    Lineage: Business View window

  8. Click the Technical View tab. The Technical View tab shows detailed metadata of the data item. With this view, advanced business users and professional report authors can analyze the filters and calculations that are applied to the data.

Lineage: Technical View
Lineage: Technical View

On the Technical View, users can click each item in the diagram to see its metadata and definition. Clicking the Planned revenue metric, Lynn notices that it is calculated based on the formula Unit price * Quantity.

Lineage: Planned revenue formula
Lineage: Planned revenue formula

Render output in various formats and print content

IBM Cognos supports various types of output formats, such as HTML, PDF, Microsoft Excel 2007, Microsoft Excel 2002, delimited text (CSV), and XML. All of these formats are available in IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced.

Ben Hall, an Analyst for the Great Outdoors company, wants to export Microsoft Excel and PDF formats for the Sales Revenue x Target report that Lynn Cope created.

Render in Microsoft Excel format

To render the report in Microsoft Excel format, on the top menu, click Run RunReport Excel 2007

Selecting Run option
Selecting Run option

IBM Cognos generates a new Excel file, with the same name as the report and splits the content of the pages into tabs in Microsoft Excel

Report rendered in Microsoft Excel: First page
Report rendered in Microsoft Excel: First page


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