Explore the IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced interface - IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced is a web-based tool that is used by advanced business users and professional report authors and analysts to create and analyze reports.

IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced allows users to create reports using relational or dimensional styles. However, it is important that you choose a reporting style that helps users make the most of their data and avoid mixing dimensional and relational concepts;otherwise, reports can display unpredictable results.

This tool allows users to work with both relational and dimensional data sources, as well as external data, and allows them to show their data in lists, crosstabs, and charts. This tool also allows users to take advantage of the interactive exploration and analysis features while they build reports. The interactive and analysis features allow them to assemble and personalize the views to follow a train of thought and generate unique perspectives easily. Its interface is intuitive to allow the minimum investment in training.

Objective of this chapter: The objective of this chapter is give an overview of the major features of IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced. This chapter does not include all the features. For more information, refer to the IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced User Guide.

The interface consists of the following key areas :

  • Page layers
  • Context filters
  • Insertable Objects pane
  • Page navigation
  • Work area
  • Properties pane

IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced user interface

IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced user interface

Using IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced:

IBM Cognos Business

Insight Advanced is not a replacement for IBM Cognos Query Studio or IBM Cognos Analysis Studio. If you have reports that were created in these studios, you must recreate a new version of the reports in IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced if you want to use this studio for those reports.

Page layers

The Page layers area is used to create sections or page breaks in reports. When you add a dimension level or dimension members in this area, notice that one block with the current selection of the hierarchy is created in your report. For example, to analyze the Gross Profit metric by region for separate pages for each year, you must add the Time dimension on the Page layers area, To change the section, click the arrows in the page navigation.

Adding Page layers

Adding Page layers

Page layers: The Page layers configuration is applied to the entire report.

Context filters

The Context filters area is used to filter reports for separate contexts of information. When you add a hierarchy or members of a hierarchy in this area, you will notice that one block with the context selection is created in your report. For example, to analyze the Gross Profit metric by region but only for web sales, you can add the order method web to the Context filter.

Adding Context filters

Adding Context filters

Context filters: The Context filters configuration applies only to the selected object. If you need to apply the same Context filters for two or more objects, you must select each object and then add the desired dimension member.

Adding a dimension member: You cannot add the same dimension level or members of a dimension both in the Page layers and Context filter areas, because one configuration suppresses the other configuration. Therefore, when you add a dimension member from a hierarchy that is used in the other configuration, IBM Cognos Business Insight Advanced removes the prior configuration automatically.

For example, if you have Year in the Page layers section and you add Quarter to Context filters, the Page layers configuration is reset and the Quarter is placed in the Context filter section.

Insertable Objects pane

The Insertable Objects pane contains the objects that you can add to the reports. These objects are grouped in the following tabs:

  • Source
  • Toolbox

The Source tab shows the data model. Exploring this data model, you can find dimensional members and metrics or query subjects and their query items. What you see in this tab depends on the selection that you made in the Insertable Objects Source toolbar.

The toolbar contains shortcuts to set properties that impact the behavior of the report when you insert data from a dimensional model and allow users to add external data, such as spreadsheets or comma-separated value (CSV) files.

Insertable Objects Source toolbar

Insertable Objects Source toolbar

The Toolbox tab contains all the objects that you can add to your report to improve the readability, separate contents, and create labels.

View Members Tree

For dimensional models or Dimensionally Modeled Relational (DMR) models, this view displays measures folders, measures, and dimensions. Inside each dimension, the user can see live data and use this data to create reports easily by dragging the items into one of the areas, such as the Work, Page layers, or Context filter areas.

View Member Tree options: The View Member Tree options are not displayed when users select a package that contains only a relational data model.

View Member Tree displaying members

View Member Tree displaying members

View Metadata Tree

The content of this view depends on the data model that is displayed.

If you expand a dimensional data model this view displays these items:

  • Folders
  • Namespaces
  • Measure folders
  • Measures
  • Dimensions
  • Hierarchies
  • Levels

Dimensional data source displayed on View Metadata Tree

Dimensional data source displayed on View Metadata Tree

If you expand a Relational model this view displays folders, namespaces, query subjects, and query items.

Dimensional data source displayed on View Metadata Tree

Dimensional data source displayed on View Metadata Tree

Toolbox tab

This tab shows objects that allow users to display data, such as lists, crosstabs, and charts, create new columns with calculations, and improve the layout, such as the text items, labels, blocks, images, and hyperlinks.

Toolbox objects

Toolbox objects

Page navigation

The icons in this page navigation area become enabled if the report retrieves more than one page. These icons allow users to scroll down, scroll up, and go to the top and to the bottom of the report pages without having to run the report

Page navigation on first page of report

Page navigation on first page of report

Large reports

Large reports: Do not include large reports in dashboards (IBM Cognos Business Insight workspace).

Page navigation on first page of report

Page navigation on first page of report

Work area

This area contains all the objects that are dropped on the report, such as lists, crosstabs, charts, and layout components. If the Page Preview in the View menu is enabled, this area shows live data and the user can interact with it. If Page Design is enabled, this area does not show live data.

What to do if you see an asterisk (*) character: The following behavior can happen when you use IBM Cognos Transformer cubes or SAP Business Warehouse (BW) data sources. If you see an asterisk character (*) in a list, crosstab, or chart, one of the following conditions was detected:

  • An unknown currency
  • A value with an unknown or questionable unit of measure, such as separate currencies in the calculation or roll-up

Properties pane

This pane displays the formatting options that are available for a selected object in a report.

Ancestor button

The Properties pane has a icon called Ancestor, which allows users to select any part of a selected object. You typically use this icon for layout purposes, for example, to change the background of the rows inside a crosstab.

When you select one object and then select the Ancestor icon, all levels above the selected object displays. Figure shows the display in the Ancestor properties if the user selects a crosstab cell.

Ancestor properties

Ancestor properties

Also, this feature is useful when you need to find an object inside another object, for example, a crosstab inside a table.

Toolbar and menu

The Business Insight Advanced interface shows a toolbar with shortcuts for commonly used features. This interface also displays a menu at the top of the window that allows users to configure more advanced features, such as the interface behavior.

Top toolbar menu

Top toolbar menu

The following list describes several of the options for each of the menu items:

  • Blue bullet (upper-left corner): Create, open, and save reports, PDF configuration, and report properties
  • Edit:Cut, copy, paste, and delete commands
  • View:Switch between Page Design and Page Preview, enable and disable toolbars and visual aids, and configure the number of rows that is displayed on the Work area when Page Preview is set
  • Structure:Set group configuration, swap rows and columns, add headers and footers to reports, and convert lists to pivots.
  • Data: Set configurations to filter, suppress data, sort, change summarization criteria, create calculations, and show dimensional analysis features, such as Insert Children, Explore, and Drill options
  • Style:Set styles and conditional formatting to objects
  • Run: Allow users to run the report in various output types: HTML, PDF, Microsoft Excel, CVS, and XML
  • Tools: Allow Cognos to check the report’s specification, show and copy the specification, manage external data, and configure advanced options of the interface behavior

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