Dashboards created with IBM Cognos Business Insight allow business users an integrated business intelligence experience together with collaborative decision making. Users can complete a wide variety of tasks quickly and easily. For example, you can view and interact with reports, sort data or perform additional calculations, or share information with the other members of the team. Users have different needs for reports and data, so they can make use of the free-form layout and can rearrange reports or add new reports.
When launching IBM Cognos Business Insight, you can choose whether to open an existing dashboard or create a dashboard. Regardless of your selection, in the workspace that opens (either an empty dashboard or a dashboard that contains widgets), you can add and rearrange new widgets. All dashboards are editable. Thus, if business users have permission to access a particular dashboard, they can also change it.
Advanced business users or report authors can create reports and basic dashboards for a group of business users to include all information that is necessary for that group of users to work. Then, business users can personalize the dashboards to fit specific needs. These needs might include rearranging the layout, changing a pie chart to a bar chart, sortingdata easily to see how measures are ranked from highest to lowest values, and searching for an additional report and adding it to a workspace.
We demonstrate the unified business experience that IBM Cognos Business Insight provides to using the fictional Great Outdoors (GO) company scenario that we introduced in, “Business scenario and personas used in this.
Our goal is to create a dashboard for Great Outdoors company executives and business users that combines all the relevant information that is needed to gain better insight into business performance of the company. The dashboard must include data about sales performance as well as product returns, sales forecasting, marketing data, and external data.
In this scenario, Lynn Cope is an Advanced Business User in the Great Outdoors company. Her role is to enable senior management to have access to all relevant information in a dashboard. She uses the IBM Cognos Business Insight interface to create and change dashboards, including data that is relevant for the users, but is missing in the current version of a dashboard. Later, she interacts with the reports, creates additional calculations, and adds filters to allow users to narrow the scope of data. She begins by opening the current version of the GO Sales Dashboard, making some changes on the layout, and removing reports that are redundant.
To begin this scenario:
On this page, you can create a new existing dashboard. Open an existing dashboard to change it by clicking Open Existing and navigating to the folder where you imported the deployment archive that is provided in the additional material that is supplied with this book. Open the Business Insight folder, and click GO Sales Initial Dashboard.
Getting Started Page: Open an existing dashboard
xGO Sales Initial Dashboard opens in Business Insight
To show titles:
a. On the Application bar, click Layout and Style, and then click Edit Dashboard Style.
b. In the Edit Dashboard Style window, click Show Titles
Turning on the titles
Moving a widget
Deleting a widget
Changing the display type
Add new content to broaden the scope
You can add new widgets to a dashboard by dragging them from the Content or Toolbox tabs. Using the same method, you can add reports, report parts, metric lists or individual metrics, TM1 objects, or in fact, any object described in, “Widgets”
You can use the IBM Cognos Business Insight enhanced search feature to find and add relevant content to the dashboard. This feature is a full-text search similar to popular search engines.
When using the search capability, keep in mind the following rules:
Result of the search in IBM Cognos Business Insight
Result:Shows only report parts or hides report parts Type:The type of IBM Cognos object, such as dashboards, reports, or queries Part:The type of report part, such as crosstab, list, or pie chart Date:The year of creation Owner:The owner of the object
Metadata:The metadata or packages that were used for to create this object
Refine search option
Now, back to our scenario. Lynn Cope made changes to a dashboard, and it now looks as She wants to add a report that contains marketing data for the Great Outdoors company promotions, including gross profit information.
To add this report:
Search for objects containing “promotion revenue”
Closing a search
Changing the color palette of the widget
The dashboard now looks as shown in Figure.
Sort and filter data and perform calculations
Apart from changes in the visual display of data in reports, you can interact with report widgets and apply custom sorting. In addition, you can add basic calculations using data in the report, and you can filter data.
Sorting organizes data in either ascending or descending order, based on an alphabetical or numeric value. Sorting is useful when you want to see, for example, the ranking. You can sort on a column that lists revenue in descending order to view revenue data from the highest to the lowest.
In IBM Cognos Business Insight, you can sort lists, crosstabs, and charts.
When sorting data, consider the following rules:
In this scenario, Lynn Cope wants to use the possibility to sort the data in the report on a dashboard. For the Revenue and sales target by region report, she sorts the Revenue column to display the regions with the highest revenue at the top of the report. This sorting makes it easier for senior management to identify the best performing regions.
To sort this data:
Information bar with current sorting status
Sorting column in a report
The report now looks
Report with sorted column
Adding simple calculations
In IBM Cognos Business Insight, you can perform basic calculations for list and crosstab reports using data from one or more report items (for example, to divide the values from two columns). IBM Cognos Business Insight includes the following calculations:
Lynn Cope wants to modify the Promotion Data (Revenue vs Gross Profit) report to convert the report to a list report, to add one additional column (Gross Profit Margin=Gross Profit/Promotional Revenue), and to filter the report to obtain only the campaigns that are the most profitable.
To modify the report:
a. Click Calculate Gross Profit/Promotion Revenue, to insert an additional column with a default name of Grossprofit/Promotion revenue.
Perform simple calculation
b. To move the newly created column to the last position in a list report, right-click the column, and click Move Right on the menu. The report now looks.
Report with added calculated column
c. To rename a column, right-click it, and click Rename. Enter Gross Profit Margin as the name..
Promotion Data report after filtering
Note that the changes that you made are saved with the dashboard when you save it, but the original reports are not changed. When you save a dashboard for the first time, a copy of each report widget is created for the saved dashboard. After you open and change the report (for example, you apply a sort or add a calculation), the changes are saved in this copy. If you want to revert to the original report, use the Reset option on the widget Actions Menu button.
Filtering is a way to narrow the scope of data in reports by removing unwanted data. As shown in the previous example, only the data that meets the criteria of the filter displays.
You can find the information about all the filters that are applied to the report on the information bar. In the case of our previous example, the applied filters looks
Information bar displaying applied filters
Note that if you apply a filter or sort to data in a table report that is changed to a chart, the information bar displays the filter and sort information in the chart. However, you cannot filter on chart data in the report widget by using the filter actions from the report widget toolbar or context menu. User can filter the data on reports using one of the following options:
You receive prompts to select the parameter values before the report runs. Based on the parameter values that you select, the report is filtered.
You can filter the individual report widget using filter actions on numeric and non-numeric values. When filtering on values that are non-numeric in a list or in crosstab reports, for example the name of the campaign as you can use the Include or Exclude conditions. You can select multiple non-numeric values (in list reports within the same column and in crosstabs in column or row headings) on which to filter. All values are included in the condition.
Filtering non-numeric data
For numeric data you can use conditions (for example >, >=, <, >=) if only one value is selected, or you can use Between and Not Between if two values are selected.
Filtering numeric data
In case of compound reports that consist of more report parts, if all parts share the same query, a filter applied to one report part is also applied to the other. If the query is not shared, the filter is applied only to the selected report part within the report widget.
If you want to remove a filter from a report widget on the information bar, click the delete icon next to the filter that you want to remove.
Note that you can delete only filters that are created using one of the following
You cannot remove filters applied in IBM Cognos Analysis Studio, IBM Cognos Query Studio, or IBM Cognos Report Studio in this manner.
Use advanced filtering
Filtering data in the report widget using a slider widget or a select value filter widget filters data in all reports that communicate with that particular filter. Thus, if you have a select value filter for regions , it filters all reports that have regions as a data item. Also, it filters data only on those reports that communicate with that filter. When you select a value on a filter widget, the report widget refreshes to display the filtered data items that you selected.
Communication between widgets in IBM Cognos Business Insight has an important role in understanding how filter widgets work. By default, widgets communicate with each other. For example, report widgets can interact with each other and with filter widgets. Based on the type of interaction, the following types of widgets are available:
The results of actions in the source widgets are shown in the associated target widgets. Filter widgets broadcast the information (sending the data based on your input or selection). Report widgets can be both source and target widgets. Image and RSS feed widgets are also source widgets. For example, an image widget can broadcast a specified URL in a web page widget when the image is clicked.
By default, two report widgets listen to each other. If they are based on the same dimensionally-modelled data source and if the report contains items from the same hierarchy, drilling in one report widget affects a drill in the other report widget.
If you do not want a target widget to receive information from any or all source widgets, you must disable the communication in the target widget.You can also choose to disable some widget events while leaving other widget events enabled.For example, you might want a widget to listen to filter events and to not listen to drill events from another widget.
Using filter widgets
Filter widgets are especially useful if you have several reports on a dashboard that share the same data items.
In our business scenario, Lynn Cope wants to add a select value filter for regions to make filtering easier for the users of the dashboard. This filtering allows business users to narrow the scope of data and to focus on analyzing data for a specific region or to have a global overview on all regions.
After adding a select value filter, Lynn notices that the filter is impacting one report that she does not want to filter. She needs to modify the communication between these widgets to change this behavior.
The Great Outdoor company Sales Dashboard currently looks as shown.
Dashboard before adding filter widget
To modify the dashboard to change the communication between widgets:
Select Value Filter properties window
widget opens on the dashboard
Select a value filter widget by region
Dashboard with filter applied for the region
Listen for Widget Events window
Filtering report after changes in Listening for Widget Events properties
Removing filter from a report widget
Add non-BI content to a dashboard
In addition to IBM Cognos BI content, you can add non-BI content, such as images, text, web pages, or RSS feeds, to a dashboard. In our business scenario, Lynn Cope wants to include stock exchange reports and news from various websites.
To add non-BI content:
Add RSS Feed to a dashboard
The widget is added to a dashboard
RSS Feed widget
Work with report versions and watch rules
Usually, reports are run directly against the underlying data source so that they reflect the latest data. However, at time, reports can use older data for comparisons. For example, you might want to see older data to compare monthly revenue for a region before and after features are added. Alternatively, if reports are running against a datawarehouse that is refreshed once daily, you do not need reports that are executed multiple times during working hours on the same data set. In this types of scenarios, you can use the report output versions in report widgets. Report outputs are saved when the report runs in the background.
You can choose to view the saved report output versions (by default, it is the latest saved output version) or to view the live version of the report, as illustrated
Report version options
For the output versions of the reports, you can define the watch rules to monitor events of interest. Watch rules are based on event conditions that are evaluated when the report is saved. The watch rule sends an alert when a specific condition in a saved report is satisfied.
Watch rules can generate one of the following types of alerts:
The next example shows how to use the watch rules in the business use case of the Great Outdoors company. Lynn Cope created a list report with the campaigns by product lines and the gross profit. She noticed the negative Gross Profit in case of the Extreme Campaign for Outdoor Protection product lines. To enable other users to monitor that result and to take measures if necessary, she wants to add a watch rule to that value.
To add a watch rule:
Add new watch rule
Watch rule specification
Alert type specification
The watch rule is added, and you can view it if you click Watch New Versions on the report widget toolbar.
Watch new versions menu
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Ibm Cognos Tutorial
Introduction To Ibm Cognos Business Intelligence
Overview Of The Ibm Cognos Business Intelligence Architecture
Business Scenario And Personas Used In This
Create Reporting Packages With Ibm Cognos Framework Manager
Business Intelligence Simplified: An Overview
Individual And Collaborative User Experience
Self Service Interface For Business Users
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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