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DATA & ANALYTICS BLOG

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Taking Cognos to the Next level: 4 Ways to Optimize Your Data Platform

Posted by LPA Software Solutions on Apr 14, 2020 1:36:00 PM

Cognos optimizations help improve efficiency and extend the business value on your data analytics solutions. This is necessary given how rapidly business processes must evolve to meet changing industry, customer, competitive, and compliance dynamics. Optimizing your data platform guarantees peak performance and maximum value, no matter what. Here are a few tips to level up your Cognos investment.

Use cases for Cognos vary widely and can change from time to time making it important to identify the extensions and customizations you need to accelerate performance. The implementation team should have a flexible framework to work from as the solution architecture and extensions are configured. These functions that can help guarantee user-friendliness with the solution's interface and provide personalized analysis and reporting. 

Likewise, customizations can improve both data efficiency and integration with collaboration and visualization engines. This includes the ability to transfer data to and from the platform with email. 

You may even choose to connect Cognos with Google Analytics, Slack, or Office 365 to make better sense of your search data and user behavior flows. Broader integrations lead to greater speed, data centrality, and efficiency in visualization. 

1. Create Extended Applications that Pair with your Business Needs

Based on your KPIs and performance requirements, you can create extended applications on the IBM Cognos portal. If you’re looking to increase sales, for instance, create extended apps that tune visualization towards this goal. This process requires immense knowledge of both your business needs and the IBM Cognos Software Development Kit.

For even further integration, the IBM Cognos Mashup Service (CMS) develops and deploys business solutions drawn from outputs like reports and analyses from your data analytics environment. This can be applied to web service applications and the like.

The IBM Cognos Mashup service makes it possible to deliver analyses into all the critical components of your business processes allowing your team to use the intelligence in creative new ways. You can seamlessly integrate reports, metrics, and ad hoc queries into your CRM, HCM, and other enterprise tools. The result? Better decision making as information is disseminated to all key stakeholders which they can then apply to their everyday workflows.

2. Improve You Server Environment

Technician maintaining record of rack mounted server on clipboard in server room

Need to generate reports faster? Keep in mind that Cognos can only work at the pace at which your database server can supply the data required for analysis over the network. All Cognos optimization efforts should, therefore, pay acute attention to server and network performance. 

Slow reports can be frustrating and lead to declining user adoption. To prevent this BI solution from becoming yet another wasted investment, fine-tune your Cognos server environment in the platform's configuration tab. You may also want to regularly check the design of your Framework Manager Models to ensure they’re conforming to the latest best practices and align with your business needs as they evolve. Here are a few other ways to get faster reports:

  • Use lighter output formats like HTML
  • Avoid unnecessary outer joins
  • Stop zero suppression 
  • Avoid concurrent query mode

Server improvements are a common manufacturer best practice. You can lean on your implementation partner for long-term consulting in this area. IBM has developed a set of robust and rigorous standards for the Cognos solution that should be used to guide implementation and life cycle management. Companies should consult these best practices, culled from proven experience and real-world use cases, focusing on the ones that most closely reflect your business needs.

3. Upgrade to a Higher Release

Cognos analytics is updated now and then to keep pace with industry changes. To ensure you’re always experiencing the best visualization capabilities the tool has to offer, your organization must switch to newer versions of the solution and implement feature upgrades with the continuous release models. The benefits of upgrading and updating Cognos include:

  • A better user interface with enhanced features
  • Mature functionality and precise intelligence 
  • Better integration and data discovery techniques

startup business, software developer working on desktop  computer at modern office-14. Move Cognos to the Cloud 

IBM confirms that a cloud implementation of Cognos can deliver superior performance than its on-prem counterpart. For starters, you’ll automatically receive any new releases and updates that offer the benefits listed above. Likewise, procuring Cognos-as-a-service will significantly reduce your IT costs and infrastructural footprint.

Other advantages for migrating Cognos to the cloud include:

  • Easier management, support, maintenance, and troubleshooting
  • Data visualization on-the-go
  • Data security with robust governance rules

Plan Your Implementation or Optimization Today

The integrity of your Cognos reports will only ever be as good as the quality of your data and that requires a robust data governance framework. Don't underestimate the importance of staying connected to your implementation partner for help and guidance and maximizing your investment. Cognos optimization initiatives tune your BI solution to your business needs, making it a powerful tool in your executive arsenal. Learn more, download our guide:  From Software Selection to Cognos Implementation & Optimization: Building a Data-Driven Culture

From Software Selection to Cognos Implementation & Optimization: Building a Data-driven Culture

Topics: Support Services, Cognos Analytics