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Twin Cities CUG Presentation - Cognos Power Play Tips And Tricks

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Cognos PowerPlay presentation for the Twin Cities Cognos User Group.

Cognos PowerPlay presentation for the Twin Cities Cognos User Group.


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Transcript

  • 1. PowerPlay Tips and Tricks
    • Daniel Smith
    • Insight formation, Inc.
    • Minneapolis, MN
    • bidelivery @yahoo.com
  • 2. We are a nine-year-old business intelligence consulting firm based in Minneapolis, MN. We specialize in leveraging decision support technologies to automate business processes and improve decision-making. Insight formation, inc.
  • 3. Core Competencies
    • Query & OLAP Tools (Cognos Impromptu/PowerPlay)
      • Slice, dice, drill down using industry-leading tools
      • Implementation, customization, training, etc
    • Intranet and Web Applications for delivering information
      • Customized Analytical Applications
      • Cognos Solutions
      • Web-Based Document Management Solutions
  • 4. Core Competencies
    • Data Marts
      • Build a solid foundation of data for analysis
      • Extract, Transform, Load data
    • Custom Solutions using MS Office and VBA “bolt-ons”
      • Enhancements to packaged applications (ERP, etc.)
      • Business Process Automation
      • Clear graphical presentations
  • 5. Background
    • Daniel Smith
    • 2+ years OLAP using Cognos Impromptu and PowerPlay
    • 5+ years building Custom Analytical Applications
    • 2 years teaching Microsoft Visual Basic at local community colleges (Brown, NEI, KRS)
  • 6. PowerPlay Tips and Tricks
    • The “Art” of Displaying Graphics
    • PowerPlay – Client
    • PowerPlay – Transformer
    • PowerPlay – Web
  • 7. The “Art” of Displaying Graphics
    • Excellence in statistical graphics consists of
    • complex ideas communicated with clarity,
    • precision, and efficiency.
    • What is the goal of a graph?
  • 8. The “Art” of Displaying Graphics
    • Graphical Displays should:
    • Show the data
    • Induce the viewer to think about substance rather than about methodology, graphic design, the technology of graphic production, or something else
    • Avoid distorting what the data have to say
    • Present many numbers in a small place
    • Make large data sets coherent
    • Encourage the eye to compare different pieces of data
  • 9. Graphical Displays Should: (Con’t)
    • Reveal the data at several levels of detail, from a broad overview to the fine structure
    • Serve a reasonable clear purpose: description, exploration, tabulation, or decoration
    • Be closely integrated with the statistical and verbal description of a data set
    •  
    • Edward R. Tufte - The Visual Display of Quantitative Information 1
  • 10. PowerPlay Tips and Tricks
    • Tip #1
    • Read “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” by Edward R. Tufte
  • 11. PowerPlay Tips and Tricks
    • The “Art” of Displaying Graphics
    • PowerPlay – Client
    • PowerPlay – Transformer
    • PowerPlay – Web
  • 12. PowerPlay - Client
    • PowerPlay Reports – Make ‘em “Tufte”
    • Default "Description" as of "current file date"
    • Documentation – for the cube consumer
  • 13. PowerPlay - Client
    • PowerPlay Reports – Make ‘em “Tufte”
    • Determine the purpose of the report (description, exploration, tabulation, or decoration) and then build the report focusing on the concept of encouraging the eye to compare different pieces of data
  • 14. PowerPlay - Client
    • PowerPlay Reports – Make ‘em “Tufte”
    • Create a minimum of 1 report for each Production cube in each of the following categories:
    • Description, Exploration, Tabulation
    • Reasons: It helps with training and works to
    • induce the PowerPlay cube consumer to want to
    • know the “why” behind the numbers
  • 15. PowerPlay - Client
    • Tip #2
    • Set up PowerPlay so that "Description" as of "current file date" displays as a default on all opened PowerPlay .MDC files
  • 16. PowerPlay - Client
    • Default "Description" as of "current file date"
  • 17. PowerPlay - Client
    • Default "Description" as of "current file date"
  • 18. PowerPlay - Client
    • In PowerPlay go
    • to File,
    • Preferences.
    • Then go to the
    • Page Defaults tab.
    Default "Description" as of "current file date"
  • 19. PowerPlay - Client
    • Click on Content
    • Command Button
    • for the Title frame.
    • You should get the
    • Title dialog box:
    Default "Description" as of "current file date"
  • 20. PowerPlay - Client
    • Type in or select
    • from the Insert
    • variables into the
    • Title dialog box,
    • click OK
    Default "Description" as of "current file date"
  • 21. PowerPlay - Client
    • Default "Description" as of "current file date"
  • 22. PowerPlay - Client
    • Tip #3
    • Create Documentation
    • High-Level - Cube “Short-list”
    • Detailed-Level - Dimension and Measure Map
  • 23. PowerPlay - Client
    • High-Level - Cube “Short-list” – 3 or 4 sentence
    • description of the cube file including, but not limited to,
    • the following:
    • Name of Cube
    • Date Range
    • Short Description: Verbal description of dimensions
    • List of stats: List of measures
    • List of Standard PowerPlay reports
    • Location on LAN if distributed copy
    • Location of URL if Web Cube
  • 24. PowerPlay - Client
    • High-Level - Cube “Short-list” – example:
  • 25. PowerPlay - Client
    • Detailed-Level documentation – Dimension
    • and Measure Map
    • Dimensions
    • Relative time
    • Measures
  • 26. PowerPlay - Client
    • Detailed-Level – Dimension section
  • 27. PowerPlay - Client
    • Detailed-Level – Relative time section
  • 28. PowerPlay - Client
    • Detailed-Level – Measure section
  • 29. PowerPlay Tips and Tricks
    • The “Art” of Displaying Graphics
    • PowerPlay – Client
    • PowerPlay – Transformer
    • PowerPlay – Web
  • 30. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • PowerPlay Transformer Best Practices
    • Unleash your Command-line
    • Documentation – for the cube creator(s)
  • 31. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • PowerPlay Transformer Best Practices
    • If possible, group structural data (dimensions) into one query (.IQD file) and bring into the model
    • If possible, group statistical data (measures) into one query (.IQD file) and bring into the model
    • Create summary and archive tables or views for large statistical data sets (measures)
  • 32. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • PowerPlay Transformer Best Practices (Con’t)
    • For “Production” cubes: Minimize structural modifications to the model (dimensions and measures)
    • Design impromptu queries efficiently – typically there is no need to group or sort
  • 33. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • Unleash your Command-line
    • Use command-lines to script out cube builds
    • Combine command-lines into batch files to build related cubes and also copy cubes to LAN production locations
    • Use Scheduler to start and schedule batch jobs
  • 34. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • Unleash your Command-line
    • Use command-lines to script out cube builds
    • Example:
    • C:Progra~1CognosPowerP~1.0 rnsfrmr.exe -n c: estmodel1.pyg
  • 35. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • Unleash your Command-line
    • Combine command-lines into batch files to build related
    • cubes. Add “C: start /w” switch so that the second cube
    • waits to start until the first cube is done building. 2
  • 36. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • Unleash your Command-line
    • Use Scheduler to start and schedule the batch job
  • 37. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • Tip #4
    • Create Documentation -
    • Model Map
  • 38. PowerPlay - Transformer
    • Create
    • A Model
    • Map
    • File Name
    • LAN Location
    • Description
    • Web (Y/N)
    • Schedule
    • Dependencies
    • Batch job
    • Email group
  • 39. PowerPlay Tips and Tricks
    • The “Art” of Displaying Graphics
    • PowerPlay – Client
    • PowerPlay – Transformer
    • PowerPlay – Web
  • 40. PowerPlay - Web
    • PowerPlay Web - complexity
    • Where’s your cgi-bin and ppwb?
    • PowerPlay Web Check List
  • 41. PowerPlay - Web
    • Tip #5
    • Allocate additional time for “unknown opportunities” when implementing Cognos Web products.
  • 42. PowerPlay - Web
    • PowerPlay Web – more complex
    • Ensure you allocate plenty of time for configuration of PowerPlay Web security and the NT security environment on the web server because this can be a time consuming operation (quite easily consuming 70 - 80% of the project time)
  • 43. PowerPlay - Web
    • Two of the most important folders for PowerPlay
    • Web are cgi-bin and ppwb
    • cgi-bin: location of the PowerPlay Web executable file: ppdscgi.exe
    • ppwb: the gateway ppwb directory specifies the location of the help and graphics files
  • 44. PowerPlay - Web
    • Check List –
    • Design appropriate Security Model
    • Authenticator: Must create an Administrator user
    • Configure Authenticator on the web server using the -d option: Command line: “D:PowerPlay Server 6.5atcfg50.exe” -d
    • Appropriate security permissions on cgi-bin and ppwb folders on the web server
    • Appropriate security permissions on folder location of the cube files on the web server
  • 45. PowerPlay Tips and Tricks
    • Questions?
  • 46. References
    • 1 – Tufte, Edward R. (1999, April) The Visual Display of Quantitative Information , 17 th Edition
    • 2 – Cognos Knowledgebase. (2000, May). Title: Batch File for Multiple Transformer Processes . [World Wide Web]. Available: http://support.cognos.com/eval/knowledgebase_eval/KB72953.html
  • 47. Contact Information
    • Daniel Smith
    • bidelivery @yahoo.com

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