Category Archives: Cognos

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Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics


Right from the name change of Gartner’s usual Magic Quadrant for BI to include analytics system, this year’s report has a lot to cheer about. There is more clear definitions on what makes up Business Intelligence and Analytics systems. Its broken down into 3 categories: Integration, Infomartion Delivery and Analysis.

The image is self descriptive and more info on each vendor is available as apart of this 35 page report.

The 2009 Value Index for Business Intelligence

Ventana Research today introduces its 2009 Value Index for Business Intelligence, the second of a new category of quantified, research-based Indexes. This new Value Index provides research-based metrics that will enable organizations to ascertain the value to them of existing and future business intelligence technologies, systems and tools for business and IT in a simple and easy-to-use manner. Using the Value Index, businesses will be able to meet the challenge of evaluating vendors and their products and making choices based on an understanding of how well the offerings meet their needs.

The Value Index is the result of more than a decade of analysis of technology suppliers’ products. The methodology used to produce the Value Index for Business Intelligence evaluates in detail aspects of product functionality and suitability-to-task as well as the effectiveness of vendor support for the buying process and customer assurance. The Index represents the value offered by a vendor and its products, using both a clear and accessible graphic representation in thermometer form and a precise numerical index. Those technology vendors earning the highest Hot Vendor classification are those that Ventana Research certifies best represent buyer value based on a thorough evaluation and audit – that is, based on research and verifiable facts. The Value Index is not just a selection of “cool” products, and rather than merely representing a vendor on a four-quadrant chart, the Index provides a specific thermometer reading with a series of component metrics for a technology buyer to consider. Organizations can use the Value Index by determining their priorities and then consulting the Index to determine which vendors best meet those needs.

The 2009 Value Index for Business Intelligence indicates that the company delivering the highest value on an overall weighted evaluation basis is Information Builders, which earned the “Hot Vendor” rating, followed by IBM Cognos Software, Infor, Softscape and arcplan, all of which earned the “Warm” rating. Drilling down, the Value Index evaluation of product functionality using the Ventana Research Business Intelligence methodology identified (in order) Information Builders, Infor, IBM Cognos Software, Actuate, Symphony-Metreo, Microsoft and arcplan as Hot Vendors in this category.

From Ventana Research’s Press Release.

NextGen BI ‘Humanizes’ Technology, Information Delivery

From Aptech Press Release -

There’s a fine line between having the right information you need to make hotel budgets and solid business decisions, and being confronted by so much data that it paralyzes thinking. For numbers-driven hotel companies, information should be king. But today it is too often the opposite, arriving as a stack of spreadsheets that managers must carefully review and analyze to see how their organization is performing–or was a week or more ago.

Business Intelligence (BI) applications solved this problem and are now widely used throughout the hospitality industry. A true BI system consolidates information from financial and non-financial sources such as multiple property management systems and financial planning software, Smith Travel Research (STR), guest satisfaction scoring, payroll and other systems and delivers an analysis that enables users to identify the reasons behind the numbers that affect how their hotel management business is performing. Today, over 20 hotel management companies and ownership groups with over 2,500 total properties use Aptech’s BI solutions to automate, analyze and deliver forecasting and performance information.

To make business intelligence data more accessible and the systems easer to use, hospitality BI leader Aptech Computer Systems, which utilizes the Cognos database engine, is rolling out a new version of its Execuvue Business Intelligence System based on the latest Cognos 8.3 technology that provides a much wider scope of data delivery options and formats. The new Execuvue BI platform ‘humanizes hotel software’ by making the system easier to use and enables a hotel company to customize its BI information output so each manager sees the data they need in the delivery format they can use best for faster and more profitable decisions.

BI market consolidation: What does it mean for you?

A must read article for BI entusiasts on the recent consolidation of the BI industry. Well researched and informative article by Stuart Lauchlan,

Still, it’s encouraging that the BI market is still showing signs of life after a period of considerable turmoil and consolidation over the past two years with IBM, Oracle and SAP swallowing up Business Objects, Cognos and Hyperion Solutions. Since March 2007, the three enterprise giants have dished out $15 billion to bolster their BI credentials. Oracle offered $S3.3 billion for Hyperion, SAP pitched $6.8 billion for Business Objects while picking up Cognos cost IBM $5 billion.


Another development is the blurring of boundaries as BI starts to encroach on other technology areas. For example, Forrester Research cites the merging of BI and search technologies to provide business people with better context and information to make daily decisions. “As search and BI get ever closer, the lines could eventually blur to the point of simply going away,” said Forrester in its ‘Search + BI = Unified Information Access’ report. “This will help bridge the artificial system boundaries between structured data and unstructured content. It will not only affect the interfaces we use to search for, discover, analyse, and report on what we need to know, but help us learn more about what we don’t know.”

This is one of the immediate advantages of convergence between BI and search – the ability to discover things you didn’t know you didn’t know. Forrester noted: “As search gets more powerful and begins to understand the meaning behind unstructured text, entity extraction and other linguistic analysis methods will be able to be used to reveal unforeseen and highly illuminating connections among documents or between documents and data.”

Cognos to consolidate Indian operations

From Fin Express

The $1.1-billion company, that was acquired by IBM in January 2008, has currently about $4 million revenue from Indian operations. The company plans to take it to $40 million by next year and $45 million by 2012.

Joyer Mascarenhas, AVP, APAC professional services, Cognos, said, “India is an important geography for us and we are looking at more than 150% growth by next year. Most of our revenues come from enterprise and SMEs.”

Breakthroughs in Analytics – Part 3

Here’s a follow-up to the previously posted series, Breakthroughs in Analytics, from Tech News World.

In the latest update, Ned Madden talks about the various tools and vendors in the Analytics domain. Read more.

Today’s software packages are much more focused on the actual application of analytical approaches to specific types of decision problems and specific types of industries, according to Anthony Milano, GMI’s VP of professional services.

“In the old days, tools were typically very general purpose in nature,” Milano told TechNewsWorld. “Now, oftentimes, tools are much more focused on helping users solve specific types of problems in business verticals and industries.”

Vendors are even adapting their core analytical engines to specific needs by creating a packaged solution that includes a version of the engine, analytic models, processes, methodologies, add-ons and extensions that allow the product to solve a very specific need, Milano said.

“Importantly, this type of solution minimizes the amount of time required to solve the problem and makes it easier for the client to get the job done without requiring a deep topic expert,” he added. “In effect, these packaged solutions embed the expertise in the solution.”

Milano stressed the importance of analytics solutions that are provided under the rental model from an application service provider (ASP) as Software as a Service (SaaS).

“These software delivery models have proved to be very cost-effective and efficient for customers, particularly when all the costs of owning and installing your own software are understood,” he said.

Thoughts on Cognos 8.3

I had a chance to watch a Cognos 8.3 demo for evaluvation purposes. The Cognos Team had created a prototype cube for the demo. Having worked with Cognos for nearly 4 years at my previous assignment, this version of Cognos was completely new to me.

The version that I worked before Cognos EP Series 7. The latest version is Cognos 8.3 and there has been fundamanetal changes made to the UI as well as the architecture.

Here are some of the key improvements that I think are striking

- Metadata management has improved significantly. Instead of metadata being stored as a file, like the previous version(catalogs), they are now stored in the database, just like how Informatica stores them.

I wish Business Objects would also make metadata management as seamless as Cognos. File based metadata management will hit the file size limitations and then they cannot grow anymore.

- The client application’s UI has become simple and helps in faster authoring of reports.

- Their web interface is very intutive. With drill down/up capabilities, enterprises can now have business analysts do adhoc queries on the fly.

- Good integration of all the different tools into one big tool. Cognos used to have Impromptu, Powerplay and host of other tools. Now they all work as one Cognos tool. This could potentially make their prices high but it could help the enterprises with one BI tool solution and could also reduce licensing costs from various tools.

- Though I didn’t dig too much into their scorecarding tools, scorecard portlets is a cool concept.

Looks like Cognos 8.4 is at Beta and is expected to hit the markets soon.

IBM to offer BI via BlackBerry

Business Intelligence goes mobile with IBM planning to offer Cognos over Blackberry devices.

The Cognos program, which sells at a list price of $300 per user, allows customers to view real-time analytics on the state of their business on their BlackBerrys.

The computing giant has also introduced programs that allow BlackBerry users to quickly locate and communicate with colleagues with expertise in specific business areas.

More from Reuters.

Baseball Association Analyzes Statistics with Cognos

Its interesting that more and more sports associations are starting to use Business Intelligence software to analyze statistics. As Ian Ayres points out in his latest book, Super Crunchers, the competition between the traditional experts and number crunching softwares has ended. And number crunching softwares are being increasingly used by tranditional “intutional” experts to analyze the data better.

These are clearly the days of Data Mining Softwares. This one is about IBM Cognos. Read more -

“Our analysis of player performance is as complex and dynamic as the work of high-powered business analysts in Fortune 500 companies, and we need to use the same robust, flexible interface to achieve reliable results,” said Doyle Pryor, Assistant General Counsel of the MLBPA. “Conducting complex analysis in real-time allows us to improve our planning processes and IBM Cognos TM1 Executive Viewer enables the agents themselves to view reports and perform almost limitless ‘what-if’ scenarios for further analysis of the data.”

“The interface for analysis will provide sophisticated users with the tools they’re familiar with and the ability to quickly modify views and reports with as little effort as possible,” said Doug Barton, vice president, product marketing, Cognos, an IBM Company. “Users of IBM Cognos TM1 Executive Viewer continue to gravitate to its features that provide interactivity, immediacy, and flexibility, which, in turn, enable them to accelerate the management of their business’s performance.”

MicroStrategy Rated #1 in Customer Loyalty

From Fox Business

Comparing a peer group of BI products reviewed in The BI Survey 7, the customer loyalty scores were as follows:

Overall Customer Loyalty Score
MicroStrategy .846
Cognos Reporting .725
Cognos Analysis .653
BusinessObjects .641
SAP BW .641
Oracle Hyperion Essbase .565

“It is a remarkable achievement that MicroStrategy was rated number one in customer loyalty for the fourth year in a row,” said Nigel Pendse, author of The BI Survey 7. “As in the past, the Survey found that well-known vendors with growth strategies based on acquisitions covering the entire BI spectrum have low, and in some cases declining, customer loyalty. MicroStrategy, with its single product architecture and organic growth, was at the top once again. The fact that no other product has achieved such high levels of consistency suggests that MicroStrategy’s customers are extremely loyal and see no alternative to the product.”