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DATA & ANALYTICS BLOG

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3 Questions to Help You Choose the Right Cognos Partner for Your Organization

Posted by LPA Software Solutions on Jul 21, 2020 12:51:00 PM

Finding the right Cognos partner can be challenging, and it’s not a one-time engagement which means you want to find someone who is knowledge, lives the technology, and can keep you moving forward as the technology grows and advances over time.

You’re sure that you’ll benefit from the advantages of more robust analytics and AI and you can’t wait to see the results you’ll achieve in your business.

But at the same time, you want to make sure the engagement runs smoothly and seamlessly — with minimal system downtime, no operational interruptions, and as few disruptions to your team’s usual responsibilities as possible.

You also want a partner who meets your deadlines and works within your budget.

Finally, you need to make sure your team has the right knowledge and resources to carry on once the engagement is completed.

With so many decisions to make, how do you know you’re making the right ones? Here are four questions to guide you.

1. Can your Cognos partner help you define your business and analytic challenges?

Why are you looking to upgrade your BI solutions? You might have several concurrent challenges, as well as some you haven’t, uncovered yet. You need a partner that will give you clarity around your business goals and challenges and create your Roadmap for moving forward. Here's a quick four steps that we use here at LPA as an example:

Step 1. Provide Analytics & AI Education
You and your IT team may have existing Analytics and AI knowledge capabilities, or you may be just beginning the journey. Either way, we’ll start by establishing a common language around your industry data and analytics. We’ll make sure all stakeholders have a common understanding of Analytics and AI concepts, vocabulary, methodology, and application.

Step 2. Create Your Business Vision
Do you know which key areas in your business are most likely to benefit from the addition of Analytics and AI capabilities? Our seasoned consultants will work with your team to identify them, down to the specific business metrics and subject areas. We’ll assess your current state of readiness and work forward from there. LPA consultants collaborate skillfully with everyone from the C-suite to your technical analysts.

Step 3. Analyze Your Data Architecture
LPA will work closely with your IT staff to align your legacy systems, technologies, and data environments with your business vision and new analytics requirements.

Step 4. Recommendations and Results
After our interviews, discussions, and analyses are complete, we’ll review our results with your team in an interactive presentation. All stakeholders will have the opportunity to ask questions for clarity or confirmation. We’ll document our findings and recommendations for moving forward with your Analytics and AI strategy.

2. Do you know exactly what you need (software, support, consulting, training) to achieve your business goals?

Group of business people discussion at conference room-2LPA can help you choose the right level of engagement to suit your unique business challenges.

Do you need consulting? Do you need us to jump in and help your team implement it? How much training do your analysts and end-users need to take over once our engagement is complete?

You need a partner that can support you in at least three main ways:

  1. Consulting
    You need a partner that can help you refine your IBM Cognos Architecture and Roadmap as well as implement (or co-implement) your Cognos solutions. With LPA,
    • We’ll advise you on strategy, assess your current capabilities, and help you define an MVP (minimum viable product) that will move you closer to your Analytics and AI goals and help you plan for your future needs.
    • We’ll analyze the current health of your data analytics and recommend improvements.
    • We’ll assess your Information Supply Chain and recommend Data Governance processes and technologies.
    • We’ll identify areas where automation, virtual assistants and visual recognition can be used to make the most of your data.
  1. Implementation
    Integrating Cognos into your existing system can be challenging. Creating customized dashboards and visualizations requires expert assistance. Transferring gigabytes of data is difficult if you don’t have the right knowledge and equipment. Deadlines can also be challenges to a high-quality Cognos implementation when you are your team already have a full-time job This is where we see companies fall into a trap of beginning the analytics journey but never really getting off the ground.

    Look for a partner that is going to enable you to balance your company’s ongoing daily data needs and support you with project management and best practices to get your implementation started, finished, and primed for results.

    When LPA is your IBM Cognos implementation partner, we make sure your transition to your new system is seamless. We bring in specialists to help with implementation, because this is all we do. We do data, and we’ve been doing it for nearly two decades. You can trust our team to take full ownership of your project’s execution, including staying within budget and delivering on time.

  2. Cognos Analytics and AI Training
    Our training programs are designed for administrators (responsible for security and administration of the software); developers (accountable for development and deployment of the software); end-users (in charge of analyzing data and creating reports); and other relevant employees in your company…. and they are delivered by certified training and Cognos experts.

    Training programs can last from 2 hours to 2 days, and they’re tailored to your specific business challenges. We’ll follow your business schedule to minimize the disruption to your daily operations.

    You’ll always get our very latest training materials — the same ones our own consultants use. After completing the training, your team will be equipped to handle business-specific challenges and formulate sustainable solutions. They’ll have a solid foundation for long-term success. Because we believe in continuous education and thought leadership, we have regular virtual training courses  to help you get interactive experience, real-time training, and build a network of colleagues to lean on and learn from.

    Cognos Training and Events

3. Does your Cognos partner have a proven system that delivers results?

Business team analyzing market research dataTo understand Cognos Analytics, build a business around it, and survive for nearly two decades, you have to have a proven to build consistency and deliver results. Be sure to understand and review your partners and their process before making a decision of who to work with.

At LPA we operate on our Compass Methodology for Business Analytics that provides consistent success for every project, across multiple industries and companies. It’s a four-phase approach that ensures high-quality implementations every time and the ongoing support. The difference is that we don’t stop with a process, we don’t disengage after the project is implemented, we are here with you as your needs change and the technology advances. In fact, our most widely attended and followed events are the LPA webinars What’s New in Cognos that we have with every version release, modification, or key update.

Are You Ready to Embrace Cognos Analytics and AI in Your Organization?

LPA has nearly two decades of combined experience in Data, Analytics, and AI. We know specific industry needs and that different business goals require different approaches and strategies. Check out the LPA Knowledge Center: Analytics Central for offers, events, webinars, and training to help you build and achieve your analytics journey.

Cognos Virtual User Group

Topics: Support Services, Training, Cognos Analytics