The New England Cognos Users Group is an amazing opportunity to network and collaborate with other IBM Cognos Professionals in the Northeast Region. Each event is packed with informative talks and demonstrations from local organizations that highlight their own applied experiences with IBM Cognos software. Experts from the Ironside Group are always in attendance more than happy to answer your toughest questions or help you down the path to resolving your most bothersome issues. Attendance is always free and open to the public. Read more

How to build a dashboard in IBM Cognos 8.4.x?

As we engage with our hundreds of customers, one question that inevitably arises, is how do we build good dashboards?  The questions begs at least a cursory understanding of IBM Cognos 8’s capabilities and options. That being said, I am purposely not discussing capablities introduced in Cognos 10, like Business Insight, Business Insight Advanced, or Active Reports. Mainly due to the fact that many existing IBM Cognos customers have not upgraded their platform to IBM Cognos 10.1.  We will cover those tools in depth separately. That being said, with the exception of GoDashboard, all of the these techniques/descriptions also apply to IBM Cognos 10, extended of course by BI, BIA, and the Active Reports capability.

Cognos 8.4.x provides the following options for building dashboards: Read more

As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter we will be featuring articles regarding IBM Cognos 10 for the next several months in order to bring our subscribers up to speed on the newest IBM Cognos offering. In prior months we had discussed our initial reaction to IBM Cognos 10, Active Reports and this month we will be reviewing the all new Business Insight interface.

This new interface is geared towards the business user, providing them with a suite of powerful tools to access, analyze, and format BI content with minimal training. Let’s go ahead and get started with how best to make use of this new tool. Read more

Grasshopper Group

Grasshopper Group Selects IBM Cognos Express for
Affordability and Rapid ROI to Help Achieve their Goal of Servicing Over One Million Entrepreneurs

“Cognos Express was a solution that fit our budget, even as a small company, and we were able to get it implemented in a much faster time than I would have ever expected.”

Mike Morris, Vice President of Operations

Read more

Over the next few months we will be bringing you a number of articles on the new capabilities found in Cognos 10 (last month: IBM Cognos 10: Initial Thoughts and Reactions) with a goal towards providing our fellow developers, implementers and users with our impressions and the associated benefits and drawbacks of the new tool.

One of the most discussed features of IBM Cognos 10 is the availability of Active reports, which has been billed as an ideal solution for managed dashboards aimed at Business Managers, Executives and Front Line users. As with all tools, there are a number of pros and cons that should be considered before making any strategic decisions around the implementation of new functionality. Read more

In the past, we have introduced techniques around dynamic prompting by utilizing a number of Cognos Report Studio built-in features. Occasionally there are scenarios that will necessitate the need to set a report parameter without prompting the user to select a value. For instance, there may be a case where the report developer needs to pass both the selected year and the previous year to a stored procedure or pass in a calculated prompt value that would be based on previously selected prompt values. While there are a number of solutions for such scenarios, in this article we will focus on a Javascript based technique to provide the necessary functionality. Read more

The Ironside Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that we will be speaking with our customer, Grasshopper Group, a provider of a suite of products that entrepreneurs love to use and helps them get over some of the initial hurdles of running a business, as the keynote presentation at the December 8th Midsize Business Analytics Virtual Summit. Grasshopper will be offering insight into their experience with us and with Cognos Express. As an attendee, you will gain insight into Grasshopper’s self-service reporting implementation and strategy, which has significantly improved organizational efficiency. The Midsize Business Analytics Virtual summit is an amazing opportunity to see what’s new with Cognos Express without leaving your desk. IBM will be unveiling the newest capabilities of their Cognos Express Reporting, Analytics, and Planning software, purpose built for small to mid-size companies. Sign up and join us at the Keynote presentation featuring Grasshopper and Ironside on December 8th.

Business Intelligence tools have been one of the most prolific software investments for many organizations in the last decade; from Fortune 100 companies to small 100 person organizations. Providing historical, current, and predictive views of business operations, BI tools offer limitless possibilities within your organization. From analysts identifying and analyzing opportunities and trends to helping business decisions makers such as CEOs and CFOs to quickly review and understand business issues, a well designed BI application can provide significant ROI to your corporation. Read more

Cognos 10 was released on October 25th, with much fanfare (and fireworks – quite literally) at IBM’s Information on Demand conference in Las Vegas. I’ve been exploring the interface and feature set within my own test environment the past few days and here are a few early conclusions, including what I would consider to be the top three high-impact features of this release. Read more

Like any system or application you are using, performance is one of the most important factors in successful adoption by the user community. As for IBM Cognos users, optimal performance means that their reports run fast and without error;  for system administrators like you, it means that the Cognos environment is stable and that the users are happy. That being said, there is no question that performance tuning is always on a system administrator’s must-do list. By properly tuning the IBM Cognos configuration settings of dispatcher and services, you can optimize the speed and efficiency of the IBM Cognos server. Read more