Disconnected report interaction - IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos BI offers a report function called IBM Cognos Active Report.IBM Cognos Active Report is a disconnected and interactive report that is developed for employees in the field and growing ranks of telecommuters and business partners who are not connected to an intranet and need information and analytics to make quick decisions and actions.

IBM Cognos Active Report overview

IBM Cognos Active Report includes reports that are built for business users,allowing them to explore data and derive additional insight. IBM Cognos Active Report extends the reach of business intelligence and analytics to employees in the field and business partners.IBM Cognos Active Report can be consumed by users who are offline, making this an ideal solution for remote users such as the sales force.

You use IBM Cognos Report Studio to create active reports. IBM Cognos Active Report is a report output type that provides a highly interactive and easy-to-use managed report. Report authors build reports that are targeted at users’ needs, keeping the user experience simple and engaging.

IBM Cognos Active Report features

IBM Cognos Active Report produces reports that are an extension of existing IBM Cognos Report Studio values and the IBM Cognos Platform. Users continue to benefit from the enterprise value of one version of the truth, and new interactive control types in IBM Cognos Report Studio serve as building blocks for creating active reports.

You use active report controls to create the layout of an active report and to filter and sort data in the report.

Layout

Users need data organized in a way that is easy to consume and understand. Some users prefer viewing the numbers, and other users prefer viewing a visualization, such as a chart.

To help report authors deliver content in the most consumable way possible, IBM Cognos Report Studio provides the following layout controls:

  • Tab controls for grouping similar report items,
  • Tab controls

    Tab controls

  • Decks of cards for layering report items.
    You can use decks and data decks to show different objects and different data respectively based on a selection in another control. For example, clicking a radio button in a radio button group control shows a list object and clicking a different radio button shows a chart object.
  • Control data for hiding or showing list columns
    Users can control the data that displays using check boxes. You can show or hide a column in a list or a column or row in a crosstab when the report is viewed.

Filtering and sorting

Users need to focus on the data in which they are most interested. By allowing report authors to add easy to-use controls to a report, users can interact with the data and filter it to obtain additional insight.

To help report authors deliver the content in the most consumable way possible, IBM Cognos Report Studio provides several filtering controls:

  • List and drop-down list control
    Use list boxes and data list boxes to provide a list of items that users can choose from. In data list boxes, the lists are driven by a data item that you insert in the control. In reports, users can select one or more items in a list box.
  • Drop-down list

    Drop-down list

  • Interactions with charts
    Use list boxes and data list boxes to provide a list of items from which users can choose. In data list boxes, the lists are driven by a data item that you insert in the control. In reports, users can select one or more items in a list box.
  • List box

    List box

  • Radio buttons
    Use radio button groups and data radio button groups to group a set of buttons that have a common purpose. In data radio button groups, the radio buttons are driven by a data item that you insert in the control. In reports, users can click only one radio button at a time.
  • Radio buttons

    Radio buttons

  • Check boxes
    Use check box groups and data check box groups to group a set of check boxes. In data check box groups, the check boxes are driven by a data item that you insert in the control. In reports, users can select one or more check boxes simultaneously.
  • Check boxes

    Check boxes

  • Toggle buttons
    Use toggle button bars and data toggle button bars to add a group of buttons that change appearance when pressed. In data toggle button bars, the buttons are driven by a data item that you insert in the control. In reports, users can click one or more buttons simultaneously.
  • Toggle buttons

    Toggle buttons

  • Push button controls
    Use button bars and data button bars to add a group of push buttons. In data button bars, the buttons are driven by a data item that you insert in the control. In reports, users can click only one button at a time.

Buttons

Buttons

Upgrade considerations

IBM Cognos Active Report is an extension of traditional IBM Cognos reports. Authors can upgrade existing reports to be interactive by adding the controls that we mentioned previously, providing users with an easy to consume interface. Similar to existing IBM Cognos reports, you can run active reports from IBM Cognos Connection, and you can schedule and burst these reports to users.

IBM Cognos Active Report use case

In, “Business scenario and personas used in this” we introduce the Great Outdoors company business scenario. We can use IBM Cognos Active Report to answer the following business questions for Great Outdoors company:

  • Are we selling the correct products?
  • Do we need to discontinue products?

Company executives want to send a summarized report of sales performance to a business partner by email. The business partner is not connected to the Great Outdoors company intranet or the IBM Cognos BI infrastructure. The generated report needs to be interactive and must show data without requiring a connection to the IBM Cognos Platform.

Create IBM Cognos Active Report

Lynn Cope, who is in the role of the Professional Report Author in this example, creates a sales summary report that shows the lowest sold products in 2007 3Q. The report is divided by Product Line. To allow users to use the Active Report feature:

  1. Create a list report.
    Launch IBM Cognos Report Studio and create a list with

    Product line,Product type, Product, and Quantity of [GO Data Warehouse(analysis)]-[Sales and Marketing(analysis)]-[Sales]

    Add a Context filter with Q3 2007, and set the order to Ascending to Quantity and the grouping to Product line.
  2. Convert the report to an active report by clicking File Convert to Active Report
  3. Add an Active Report Object. Insert a Data Tab Control object from the Insertable Objects pane to the left side of the list table and insert the Product line to Drop Item here
  4. Insert Data Tab control

    Insert Data Tab control

  5. Create a connection by clicking the Interactive Behavior icon. Then, select Create New Variable and enter Product line Variable 1,
  6. Create a connection

    Create a connection

  7. Save and run the report. Figure shows the result. If your result data rows are more than 5,000, change the limit setting within Active Report Properties.

Active report

Active report

Download IBM Cognos Active Report

Lynn Cope is also an Advanced Business User. She wants to download the Active Report as a local file and send it to a business partner.

To download a report:

  1. Click the developed Active Report in IBM Cognos Connection and then select download to local storage. The file has a .mht extension.
  2. Downloaded Active Report file

    Downloaded Active Report file

  3. Send the .mht file to the business partner by email.

Using the active report

When the business partner receives an email from Lynn Cope, he can use the report that is attached to the email to analyze the data to determine the lowest sold product at each product line in 3Q 2007. To analyze the report:

  1. Open the active report. To open the active report file, right-click the file, and select appropriate browser (for example, use Internet Explorer (V7 or higher) or Mozilla Firefox (with UnMHT) to open an active report. If you use Mozilla Firefox, delete the URL filter by selecting Tools IE Tab option Delete
  2. Click each Product Line button to find the lowest sales quantity of each product line as

Disconnected active report

Disconnected active report

IBM Cognos Active Report can provide a robust and interactive experience for disconnected analysis of business information.


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