Geoff Speare

About Geoff Speare

Geoff is another long-time Ironside veteran, Geoff is an information management mastermind who can analyze and right-size any system architecture you can think of. The powerful integrations and data management strategies he creates show our clients that when it’s efficiently organized, data isn’t a headache but an invaluable resource improving all aspects of a business. Geoff’s Specialties: Enterprise Data Architecture and Integration, Data Warehousing, Data Integration.
15 Feb 2017

Understanding Data Governance: Tools, Documents, Processes, and People

By | February 15th, 2017|Categories: Advisory, Business, Information Management|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Data governance is a common need across organizations, and can be a very challenging subject to tackle. Understanding data governance's components, what good governance looks like, and the drivers behind adopting it is essential to creating a successful governance effort. What Is Governance? Governance (more specifically, data governance) is a discipline for managing all aspects [...]

21 Jun 2016

Agile Data Warehousing with Spark

By | June 21st, 2016|Categories: Information Management, Infrastructure, Strategy & Innovation|Tags: , , , , , , |

Data discovery is a “new” technique that takes a less formal and more agile approach to analyzing data. Okay, well, it’s not really new -- people have been doing this with spreadsheets for decades -- but the products that support it have improved greatly and have forced a more formal consideration of these techniques. The [...]

23 Feb 2016

Bimodal Analytics Defined: Balancing Your Approach

By | February 23rd, 2016|Categories: Advisory, Business Intelligence, Strategy & Innovation|Tags: , , , , , |

Data discovery tools and techniques represent the largest change to traditional business intelligence in the last decade. Instead of being a replacement for enterprise reporting, however, data discovery is a new approach that augments the old methods. Understanding when to use each and how they work together are key elements in implementing a strategy for [...]

6 Oct 2015

Evolve or Die: Business Intelligence’s Future

By | October 6th, 2015|Categories: Advisory, Business Intelligence, Newsletter|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Business intelligence has been around for a long time. From decision support systems in the 1960s through Ralph Kimball's books on dimensional modeling in the 1980s, the core concepts of the discipline are decades old. As these concepts and the products built around them mature, more advanced techniques and technologies come to light that evolve [...]

1 Mar 2015

ETL vs. ELT – What’s the Big Difference?

By | March 1st, 2015|Categories: Advisory, Information Management, Infrastructure|Tags: , , , , |

ELT is a term heard increasingly in today’s analytic environments. Understanding what it means, and how you can make use of it, requires understanding the traditional nature of how data warehouses are loaded and how data movement tools work. That's why we've pulled this article together: to break down the ETL vs. ELT divide and [...]

29 Aug 2014

Data Warehousing Basics

By | August 29th, 2014|Categories: Advisory, Information Management, Proven Practices|Tags: , , , |

Cognos makes extensive use of data warehousing concepts. Most data warehouses are built using dimensional modeling techniques (also known as the “Kimball style”). Data is divided into fact and dimension tables, which are joined together in star schemas. Restructuring data in this fashion takes a great deal of effort, both in planning and implementation. These types of changes are only done because they are necessary for high-quality analytics. Understanding more about how they work and why they are important can help make Cognos a more efficient and effective reporting tool. […]

5 May 2014

Gantt Charts Using Cognos 10.2.1 RAVE Technology

By | May 5th, 2014|Categories: Business Intelligence, Data Visualization, Strategy & Innovation|Tags: , , , , , , |

The IBM Rapidly Adaptive Visualization Engine (RAVE) is a new tool introduced in Cognos 10.2.1. The engine can run on the server or the client, allowing for the dynamic creation of both static and active charts. Additionally, visualizations can be tweaked to allow for new charting options on the fly. IBM's AnalyticsZone website provides a [...]

7 May 2013

Ironside Tech Tip: Using CSS Classes to Manage Report Formatting

By | May 7th, 2013|Categories: Business Intelligence, Report Studio Cookbook, Tech Tip|Tags: , , , , , , |

Difficulty: Medium Required Ingredients: Two or more crosstabs, Report Studio, report formatting Scenario: You have two or more crosstabs on a Report Studio report. All of the crosstabs should have the same report formatting, which differs from the Cognos default. […]

9 Oct 2012

Building Effective IBM Cognos Active Reports: Part 3

By | October 9th, 2012|Categories: Newsletter, Proven Practices, Reporting|Tags: , , , , |

Part 1 of Building Effective IBM Cognos Active Reports, described Active Report variables, connections, and how they work together to make dynamic content possible in Cognos 10 Active Reports. Part 2 began a discussion of static controls and how to make larger changes to an Active Report display. This article, Part 3, continues that discussion with navigating back from detail pages, animation, and more on combining static and data controls. (If you haven’t read Part 2 yet, please do – the example drill through report started in that article is used in this one as well.) […]

10 Jul 2012

Building Effective IBM Cognos Active Reports: Part 2

By | July 10th, 2012|Categories: Newsletter, Proven Practices, Reporting|Tags: , , , |

Part 1 of Building Effective IBM Cognos Active Reports, described Active Report Variables, Connections, and how they work together to make dynamic content possible in IBM Cognos 10 Active Reports. When the user interacts with a report item, one or more Active Report variable values can be changed. These changes can trigger effects in the report (selecting data, filtering controls, etc.). This article discusses how to use static controls to make larger scale changes to what the report displays. […]

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