Cognos Tools and Help Links


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Cognos Analytics users can obtain access to build reports, dashboards, data modules and data sets.  Details on each of these is found below. If you do not have access to the tools now, please visit Obtaining Access to Data Management and Analytics Reports and follow the instructions.

Tool Name Tool Description and Links
Report Report is a web-based authoring tool used to build sophisticated, multi-page, multi-query reports against multiple databases. With Cognos Analytics - Reporting, you can create any reports that your organization requires, such as invoices, statements, and weekly sales and inventory reports.

Helpful link: Getting Started with Reports

You can also create/upgrade a report from an existing Query Studio query. From this report, you can add lots of additional features/items to your reports and save them as a separate object from the original query. Follow the steps listed below to take advantage of this feature.

​Helpful link: Steps for converting existing Query Studio Report

Note: Please keep in mind that Cognos 11.2.4 will be the last version that supports Query Studio

Dashboard A dashboard helps you to monitor events or activities at a glance by providing key insights and analysis about your data on one or more pages or screens. You can explore the data that is shown in a ​visualization by using the interactive title, drilling up or down columns, and viewing the details of a data point.

Helpful link: How to create your first dashboard

Exploration Explore is a flexible workspace where you can discover and analyze data. You can also explore an existing visualization from a dashboard or story. Uncover hidden relationships and identify patterns that turn your data into insights. Correlated insights are represented by a green icon with a number on the x-axis, y-axis, or the title of a chart.

Helpful link: How to create an exploration

Story A story is a type of view that contains a set of scenes that are displayed in sequence over ​ time. Types of stories include sli​de show and guided journey. Stories are similar to dashboards because they also use visualizations to share your insights. Stories differ from dashboards because they provide an over-time narrative and can convey a conclusion or recommendation. 

Helpful link: How to create a story

Data Module Use the data modeling component in IBM® Cognos® Analytics to create a data module that can then be used in dashboards, stories, explorations, reports, and other content. Data modules are containers that describe data and the rules for combining and shaping data to make it ready for analysis and visualization.

Helpful link: Understanding Data Modules and Data Sets in Cognos Analytics (11.1)

Helpful link: How to create a data module from uploaded tables (11.2)

Data Set Data sets are customized collections of data items that you use frequently. As you make updates to the data set, the dashboards, stories, or explorations that use that data set are also updated the next time you run them.

You can create data sets from packages or data modules and use as sources to create dashboards, stories, explorations, and data modules. You can't create a report directly from a data set. However, to use the data from the data set in a report, create a data module from the data set, and then use the data module as a source for your report.

Helpful link: Understanding Data Modules and Data Sets in Cognos Analytics (11.1)

Helpful link: What are Cognos Data Sets | Cognos Analytics Data Set Training (11.2)

Upload Files If you want to do some quick analysis and visualizations with data files, you can upload the files to IBM® Cognos® Analytics by yourself. Your data files must meet size and structure requirements. 

Helpful link: How to upload your own data




Article ID: 2037
Thu 12/1/22 12:37 PM
Thu 11/9/23 1:49 PM

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The Business Intelligence (BI) System (also known as Cognos), provides Northwestern with accessible and comprehensive reporting and analytics solutions for University schools and business units.