Twin Cities CUG Presentation - Cognos Power Play Tips And Tricks

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Cognos PowerPlay presentation for the Twin Cities Cognos User Group.

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Twin Cities CUG Presentation - Cognos Power Play Tips And Tricks

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

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