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Cognos Analytics Dashboards or Reports?

We compare Cognos dashboards and reports, breakdown the differences in their functionality and show where each is best applied. View this on-demand webinar loaded with demos:

Senturus offers a full spectrum of services in business intelligence and training on Tableau, Power BI and Cognos. Our resource library has hundreds of free live and recorded webinars, blog posts, demos and unbiased product reviews available on our website at:

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Cognos Analytics Dashboards or Reports?

  1. 1. Cognos Analytics Dashboards or Reports? 1
  2. 2. 2 Hundreds of resources Visit the Resource Library on the Senturus website to download this presentation and explore other assets: 2
  3. 3. Introductions •Patrick Powers 3 •Data Scientist, Consultant and Trainer Senturus, Inc. •Michael Weinhauer •BI Consultant Senturus, Inc.
  4. 4. Agenda • Introductions • Dashboarding use case overview • Reporting use case overview • Demos • Senturus overview • Additional resources • Q&A 4
  5. 5. Enjoy the full webinar presentation This slide deck is from the webinar Cognos Analytics Dashboards or Reports? To view the FREE video recording and download this deck, go to dashboards-or-reports/ 5
  6. 6. Dashboard use case overview Dashboards are meant to answer questions in a visual format. 6
  7. 7. Dashboard use case overview • It’s about making data accessible and easy for a user of any skill level • Dashboards can be as simple or complex as needed to answer your business question • Dashboards can be static or interactive as appropriate for the information presented 7
  8. 8. Dashboard use case overview • Almost any data source can be used for a dashboard: • Framework Manager packages • Data modules • Uploaded XLSX or CSV files • Data sets • Multiple data sources can be used for a single dashboard 8
  9. 9. Dashboard use case overview • Dashboards can be for a single person looking to answer an immediate question or be made to distribute to a larger group • The amount of formatting done to a dashboard will depend on how the dashboard will be used • In the current version of Cognos Analytics, dashboards have reached near technical par with reporting, but there are still limitations 9
  10. 10. Dashboard use case overview • Dashboards do not allow for as much granular control over objects as reports • Unable to work at the query level • Can’t use joins, unions or intersections directly • No prompting controls for advanced prompt functions • Macros for security or OLAP development are not available • Formatting options are more restricted 10
  11. 11. Reporting use case overview •Reporting is usually more targeted than a dashboard •Reports can be a single page or dozens of pages 11
  12. 12. Reporting use case overview •A report may not always be a visualization •Reports can have visualizations, lists, data tables, crosstabs, singletons and more for the data containers 12
  13. 13. Reporting use case overview •A typical report author is building a report to be distributed •Reporting allows for more complex data sources such as raw SQL •Advanced authors can leverage capabilities such as joins, unions or intersections 13
  14. 14. See dashboard and reporting demos To view the video recording and download the slide deck go to dashboards-or-reports/ Visit our website to access our library of free BI knowledge resources including events, blogs, demos, whitepapers, other on-demand webinars and our dashboard gallery resources/ 14
  15. 15. Dashboards or reports If there are so many similarities, why use reports over dashboards? • More granular control with reports • Advanced scheduling options not available for dashboards • Prompting more in-depth • Reports can be made to emulate dashboards as shown in the demo, but the report gives more flexibility and control • Drill-through functionality expanded with more features in reporting 15
  16. 16. Dashboards or reports Reporting provides more technical capabilities • Complex calculated fields with macros and functions • Ability to manipulate data at the query level • Advanced filtering options for both detail and summary level filters • Parameters can be added and customized • More data container options available • Allows for creation of briefing books with table of contents, hyperlinks and bookmarks • Can add in HTML JavaScript, API function calls • Use raw SQL to work with any source environment 16
  17. 17. Answers to participant questions 17
  18. 18. Cognos dashboarding or reports? 18 Q: How do I change the color to red on the -233M? Does Cognos Analytics have Format Painter tool like in MS Office or dropper like in Report Studio? A: Unfortunately, you can't, changing colors is limited to reporting. There is no dropper for format painter available in dashboarding. Q: We attended the Senturus Cognos Framework Manager vs. Data Modules webinar and would like to view the recording, is that available? A: Yes, it’s on our website at: framework-manager-vs-data-modules/. Q: Can Cognos dashboard tables be exported into Excel? A: Dashboarding only allows export to PDF as of 11.1.6.
  19. 19. Cognos dashboarding or reports? 19 Q: Is there a concept of filter in Cognos using radio buttons rather than check boxes? A: Yes, you can filter; however, it is a multi-select checkbox option only. Q: Can we set defaults for formatting in dashboarding and reports in Cognos? A: You can set defaults only in reports, not dashboarding. Q: How can we share the dynamic dashboards with non-Cognos users? A: You can share a static screenshot of it as a PDF file. Q: Is there a way to lock Cognos dashboard filters so that users can't modify them? A: No, the filters area will be available to all users.
  20. 20. Cognos dashboarding or reports? 20 Q: If I take a Senturus Cognos self-paced training class, is the software provided? A: You will need to provide your own software (Cognos access and/or Tableau/Power BI desktop) for our self-paced courses. However, for our instructor-led online classes we do provide a Cognos instance, but only for the duration of the class. Q: Are there any slicer/filter visualizations in Cognos that can be added to the dashboard? A: Yes, you can add a data item directly to the canvas and it will act as a slicer.
  21. 21. Cognos dashboarding or reports? 21 Q: What is an intersection in Cognos? I've only used unions and joins? A: It's kind of the opposite of a union - another join type basically. Q: Can we drag and drop reports into dashboards in Cognos? A: No, just data items, visualizations or any of the built-in widgets such as web pages, video, etc. Q: Are there some visualizations that render in HTML fine, but do not render in PDF when used in a Cognos report? We are using Cognos Analytics 11.1.6. A: Yes, when you look at a visualization in reports it will state what its render outputs are.
  22. 22. Cognos dashboarding or reports? 22 Q: Is there a way to set a parameter value without having to select a prompt value in Cognos? A: Not in dashboarding, but you can in reporting. Q: Is drill through from the new graphs available in a Cognos report? We have Cognos 11.1.2 and was wondering if it is available in later versions? A: Drill through from dashboards is available in 11.1.3 and later. Q: Why do you not use interactive reporting for sorting instead of filters in Cognos during the demo? A: You would. The demo was to show the conditional logic that is only available in reporting.
  23. 23. Cognos dashboarding or reports? 23 Q: Can we embed a report in a dashboard in Cognos? A: No. Q: How can I shared a dashboard with others in Cognos? A: Dashboards can be shared as a PDF or through Slack as well as embedded in a webpage. Q: Can we post dashboards to a website? A: You can. Q: Where can I find a recording of this webinar? A: On our website at: dashboards-or-reports/.
  24. 24. Cognos dashboarding or reports? 24 Q: Do we always need to use visualizations? A: No. While dashboards offer crosstabs and lists, reports offers even more for non-viz presented data. Q: Does Senturus offer self-paced Cognos or Tableau self-paced admin courses? A: We have a full offering of self-paced training for both Cognos and Tableau (and Power BI) - check it out at Click on a platform then you can choose to view our self-paced offerings or view our instructor-led online schedule.
  25. 25. Like what you see? To view the video recording and download the slide deck go to or-reports/ Visit our website to access our library of free BI knowledge resources including events, blogs, demos, whitepapers, other on-demand webinars and our dashboard gallery 25
  26. 26. Need help with Cognos? Business intelligence experts on demand Access to an entire team of BI experts to fill in as needed Upgrades Quick starts and full implementation Training Professional Report Authoring Dashboards, Explorations & Stories 26
  27. 27. The authority in Business Intelligence 27 Exclusively focused on BI, Senturus is unrivaled in its expertise across the BI stack.
  28. 28. Decisions & actionsBusiness needs Bridging the data and decisioning gap 28 Analysis-ready data
  29. 29. Full spectrum BI services •Dashboards, reporting and visualizations •Data preparation and modern data warehousing •Hybrid BI environments (migrations, security, etc.) •Software to enable bimodal BI and platform migrations •BI support retainer (expertise on demand) •Training and mentoring 29
  30. 30. A long, strong history of success •19+ years •1300+ clients •2500+ projects 30
  31. 31. Expand your knowledge 31 Find more resources on the Senturus website:
  32. 32. Upcoming event •Accelerate report migrations from Cognos to Power BI & Tableau •Maximize functionality while saving time and money. What’s not to love? •Thursday, Aug 6, 2020, 11am PT/2pm ET •Register: 32
  33. 33. Complete BI training 33 Instructor-led online courses Self-paced learning MentoringTailored group sessions
  34. 34. Additional resources 34 Insider viewpointsTechnical tipsUnbiased product reviews Product demos Upcoming eventsMore on this subject
  35. 35. © 2020 by Senturus, Inc. This presentation may not be reused or distributed without the written consent of Senturus, Inc. 888 601 6010 Thank You