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When asked “What’s your data strategy?” do you reply “We’re getting Hadoop…” or “We just hired a data scientist…” or “If we only had a data lake, all our problems would be solved…”? Plotting a good data strategy requires more than buying a tool, hiring a resource, or adding a component to your architecture. You need something to describe:

  • the goals you are trying to achieve,
  • the stakeholders you are trying to serve, and
  • the internal capabilities required to satisfy those stakeholders and achieve those goals

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In the first installment of our series on bimodal analytics, we talked about the origins of Mode 2 analytics. We looked at some of the challenges around implementing true bimodal analytics within IBM Cognos Analytics 11 and touched on some of the vendors who were born as Mode 2 platforms. This second installment will focus specifically on how to enable Mode 2 analytics within the organization using Cognos. Read more

Earlier today the AWS team unveiled two new capabilities for QuickSight, Amazon’s signature Business Intelligence tool. Speaking live from the AWS re:Invent conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas, the four hosts announced the ability for users to easily embed QuickSight dashboards in applications and previewed new native Machine Learning capabilities. Read more

Outcomes are important for any Finance organization. There are many means to the end in working within the Office of Finance. Working with the right people to implement the plan and monitor the plan is one method. Building up processes to keep the focus on the right activities is another. The tools utilized to support people and the processes is another important factor. All three create the means to the end for the team. Read more

You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “Self-Service Analytics” thrown around, but what does self-service analytics actually look like in practice? What does a self-service user look like? And what prep work is needed to enable these people to serve themselves?

I spoke with Crystal Meyers, our resident Tableau guru and self-service analytics advocate to learn more. The following is a conversation with Crystal, where she explained some of the nuances of self-service analytics. Read more

Last week at Analytics University, IBM formally announced the release of the next major version of Cognos Analytics, v11.1.

IBM has hinted at the inclusion of “smarts” for “augmented analytics” and improvements in the usability of this new version over the past year. Our expectation was that these improvements would continue to “modernize” Cognos and help address some of the competitive pressures that organizations with legacy investments have been encountering in recent years. Read more

Well in advance of the IBM acquisition of Cognos, the Cognos name was synonymous with powerful, trusted enterprise business intelligence and managed reporting. Between its ability to scale to meet the needs of the largest enterprises, its robust, governed metadata layer that made it possible to report against a vast array of different data sources, powerful reporting capabilities churning out highly complex managed BI reporting solutions, and ad-hoc reporting and analysis against those governed data sources, IBM Cognos was the answer for almost all enterprise reporting needs. Until it wasn’t. Read more

The last several years have represented an interesting journey for organizations and teams leveraging Cognos for analytics. During that time, visual data discovery tools have made a significant impact. However, as of late, we have seen the pendulum swing back to concepts introduced by enterprise BI tools long ago.¹ What’s old is new again.

When these new tools arrived, they challenged both the status quo and what many of us saw as an ideal solution to the localized, ungoverned, manually-intensive, and often error-prone data manipulation (i.e. “shadow analytics”) processes of the past. If we think back to the dawn of the modern business intelligence age in the mid 1990’s, we realize that these challenges are what tools like Cognos were developed to solve. Read more

Many Finance professionals are faced with the daily task of solving problems. Whether they come from IT Services, the Business Intelligence team, or even the next cube over, we can never seem to fix enough.

The first, and most important step in solving problems is to identify them, otherwise known as Root Cause Analysis. The “5 Whys” methodology is far and away one of the most efficient methods for honing in on and conceptualizing the root cause of any dilemma you might come across. Read more

One size does not fit all. Try as they might, there is not a single BI platform that can offer every capability that users require. With organizational complexity increasing, and the growing demand for self-service analytics, it has become commonplace, even recommended, for organizations to maintain multiple BI platforms to meet the needs of people in diverse roles with differing needs across the organization. Read more

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