IBM Cognos Report Studio Version 10 Tips and Tricks – Webinar Q & A


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In this slide deck, Senturus experts answer more than 25 question raised by participants during a recorded webinar, Report Studio v.10 Advanced Techniques and Maps.
The webinar includes demonstrations on
• How to use external data to expand the scope of reports
• Leveraging out-of-the-box Maps to create customized regional displays
• Dynamically changing layouts based on report output formats (HTML vs. Excel.)

This slide deck is part of a recorded Senturus webinar, “Report Studio v.10 Advanced Techniques and Maps.” To view the free recording of the original presentation and download the slide deck, visit You will find this and many other webinars and resources about IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and related topics.

Senturus designs and builds Business Intelligence systems to enable executives to better run their businesses. Since 2001, Senturus has been an IBM Cognos Premier Business Partner and delivered over 1400 projects to 650+ clients in a breadth of industries and applications.

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IBM Cognos Report Studio Version 10 Tips and Tricks – Webinar Q & A

  1. 1. Q&A from Cognos 10 Report Studio Tips & Tricks Webinar 5/3/2012 Helping Companies Learn From the Past, Manage the1 Present and Shape the Future
  2. 2. This Q&A is from a Recorded Webinar The questions in this log were collected during Senturus’ webinar entitled IBM Cognos 10 Report Studio Version 10 Tips and Tricks. After the webinar, the Senturus team answered the questions and distributed the answers shown here. Original Webinar Recording: IBM Cognos 10 Report Studio Tips and Tricks + Maps Feature A brand new look at Cognos report authoring techniques. Demonstrations include • Using external data to expand the scope of your reports • Leveraging out-of-the-box Maps to create your own customized regional displays Dynamically changing layout based on report output formats (HTML vs. Excel). VIEW WEBINAR RECORDING AND DOWNLOAD SLIDE DECK
  3. 3. Cognos 10 Report Studio Question Log - 1 Q: Q: Licensing question, and Im familiar with your helpful matrix slide. Where does Framework Manager and SDK fit in? Does it require administration or does BI Professional include it as well. A: Actually the SDK requires a separate license from all of the roles. Framework Manager is included with the Administration user level. Q: Does this support Excel 2007 xlsx types? A: Yes. Q: Is there a way to read a mht file on Firefox? (active report / dashboard)? The Firefox Version is 11.0 A: You, you would need an MHT add-on for Firefox. Q: Can we combine data from two different cubes (mdc) files in a single report, like join a dimension from cube 1 to a same dimension in cube 2 and check the measure value in either of the cubes? A: It is POSSIBLE to do this in Report Studio using joins, but it is not a recommended technique. Q: Do you foresee, or have you heard, that Business Insight Advanced is (will) taking the place of Analysis Studio and Report Studio ? A: We havent heard anything on the record from IBM, but it seems like BIA may take the place of Analysis Studio and Query Studio eventually. BIA is actually the tool that they used to call Report Studio Express. We do not believe there will ever be a replacement for Report Studio. .3
  4. 4. Cognos 10 Report Studio Question Log - 2 Q: Can you define what you want in different tabs not based on row number but on a specific field? A: You can define page breaks based on specific grouped items in the list or crosstab, and I believe, this will define your tab breaks in Excel output. Q: Is the Query for that list run twice due to the duplicated list for every value in the conditional block? A: No, the Query is executed once per the output requested. Q: The demo is on relational model for external source, can we do the same for dimensional model? A: Yes, but for a dimensional model you need to first create a report on which you can create the relationship to the external file. Q: Do we have a "Manage External Data access" functionality in Framework Manager, to create a package using Excel Spread Sheets as data source(s)? A: What you would do in FM is to define ODBC data sources for each Excel source and import their metadata just like you would from an RDBMS. Q: One of the biggest points made in our most recent user group meeting was that this feature can be turned off for users. Most administrators let out a heavy sigh of relief. A: YES! The External Data capability can be disabled by the administrator at the user/group/role level if necessary.4
  5. 5. Cognos 10 Report Studio Question Log - 3 Q: Once a user creates a new package with external data, if the original underlying package is changed by the FM modeler, will this package pickup that change? A: If either the external file changes in any way (new columns OR new rows) or if the underlying package STRUCTURE changes, the owner of the External Data Package will need to republish this package. . Q: I have a dashboard report with a chart and a crosstab. I want to email only the chart in the dashboard. Is this option available in Cognos 10? A: Actually one thing that you can do in Cognos 10 is use Business Insight to take just the Chart from your dashboard report and place it into a workspace. As for email delivery, that is set at the REPORT level, so you would need to create a second report that only includes the Chart. Q: If I do not have permission to publish an external package to public folders, can I still use it in combination with the public package? A: Yes, you can publish your new external data package to your folders which will include a copy of the read- only public package5
  6. 6. Cognos 10 Report Studio Question Log - 4 Q: Is the optional slicer new with Cognos 10? A: No, this technique is valid though all versions of Cognos 8 and 10. Q: The U.S. map that was shown with the drill-through, can it be designed as more of a dashboard that gets real time updates? (Example, auto refresh option every 30 seconds) A: If you have a data source with such a refresh time (near real-time data warehouse or operating system), then yes. You can have this map report be re-run every 30 seconds. Q: How is this optional slicer different from optional prompt? A; I assume the question is related to how is this technique different from creating a Detail Filter with a simple Parameter that is defined as Optional. In that case, using a Slicer against a source such as a Cube is MUCH more efficient. It is not considered good practice to use Detail Filters against OLAP sources. Q: Is a Slicer available only against DMR model? Can it be defined against a Relational Model? A: A slicer is meant for Dimensional authoring: Cube, DMR. It is not meant for Relational authoring. Q: As the external data, you published as new package...can I open that new package in Framework manager and edit it? A; No.6
  7. 7. Cognos 10 Report Studio Question Log - 5 Q: The maps do not have the cities we need for using the maps. How can we add more cities to the maps? A: The out-of-the-box maps have major cities. You cannot add new features to the standard map files, however you could use a 3rd party tool to define your own custom maps such as MapInfo or Microsoft MapPoint. Q: Is there a way to make the slice a parameter then you can drill through on? A: Yes, this parameter can be used for drill-through just like any other parameter. Q: Whole idea about using "External Data" feature is to provide flexibility to the user to combine own external data with enterprise data. If a file is physically stored in the package, then how would that serve the flexibility to the user? A: That is a serious consideration of whether this technique is appropriate for your requirements. I would consider setting up a dynamic file as a data source within your metadata model. Q: Is there a way to rename sheets when a report is output to Excel. Specifically, when using page sets based on a column. Is there any way to have the Excel sheets the name of the column value? A: I do not believe it is possible to change the page name dynamically based on the column value used in the page sets. Unfortunately, it is static and can be changed only manually.7
  8. 8. Cognos 10 Report Studio Question Log - 6 Q: Is there a good place to find general Best Practices for Report Authoring? A: Thank you for the nice set up! Yes, one of the goals we have for these free training sessions is to encourage people to learn more best practices via Senturus Training classes and Senturus Consulting engagements. You can see our Cognos training schedule on our website under the Resources tab. Also, we have been running this free training series for quite a while and all the recordings and slide decks are available on also under the Resources tab. There is also that IBM site location Albert mentioned earlier. Also, check out Cognos Proven Practices on the IBM site. Q: Is working with external data available in Cognos 8? A: No. Q: Which according to you is the most exciting addition in Cognos 10? Is it Business Insight, Business Insight Advanced, Active Reports, or integration with external data? A: I would definitely put those four features in my top 5. What we are seeing a lot of organizations adopt that is changing their BI worlds for the better is Business Insight Advanced and Active Reports. Q: Unrelated to todays topic, but I have been searching for a guideline on best practices for transformer model development -- practical max number of dimensions, measures, data sources, etc. Any place you could point me? A: Check out the “Transformer In Production” document in the Cognos Proven Practices library.8
  9. 9. Cognos 10 Report Studio Question Log - 7 Q: What if you want to limit the total rows i.e. 125 all together? A; You can put an after-aggregate filter on the running-total of one of the data items. Running-total([data- item]) <= 125 From one of our attendees: Nice article regarding Google maps and Cognos: Q: After we register for a class and if we could not attend for some reason, can we re-attend at a later date? A: Yes indeed. Well let you move your Training course registration to another date. Just make sure you give us a few days advance notice. Please note our cancellation policy. Q: Do you provide any Material after attending the training? A: Yes, every student receives a student guide prior to the start of the course.9
  10. 10. Senturus has over 45 Free Webinars and OtherResources to View www.senturus.com10
  11. 11. Who is Senturus ? • Consulting firm specializing in Corporate Performance Management – Business Intelligence – Office of Finance • Enterprise planning & budgeting • Close, consolidate, report and file (CCRF) – San Francisco Business Times Hall of Fame -- Four consecutive years in Fast 100 list of fastest-growing private companies in the Bay Area • Experience – 12-year focus on performance management – More than 1,200 projects for 500+ clients • People – Business depth combined with technical expertise. Former CFOs, CIOs, Controllers, Directors... – DBAs with MBAs11
  12. 12. A few of our 550+ Clients12
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