Recent improvements to the Exploration experience in Cognos Analytics make it easier for you to get an overall picture of your data and to get started exploring. Rather than dropping you immediately into a relationship diagram, we’ll help you get your bearings by offering ways for you to indicate the fields you are interested in.
We allow you to enter any field, but make suggestions based on what we think you’ll find interesting. You can always click the “easy” button – Skip- show me anything, which defaults to the first suggested field.
Once you get to the starting points page, suggested starting points are populated for you based on the focus field. You can make selections on the relationship diagram to update the starting points to reflect your interests. When you see one or two you’d like to explore, select them to add to your Exploration.
You can edit the relationship diagram by adding secondary relationships (those not linked to the focus field) or by changing scope. Scope determines which fields are evaluated to determine whether they are related to the focus field. We pick some likely candidates, but you can remove those you’re not interested in and easily add more.
Once you’ve done some exploring, you may find that you’d like to do a comparison. The compare card provides information across two side-by side visualizations. We’ve made it easier to create the compare card by offering suggestions for what you’d like to compare.
The first option allows you to create the comparison yourself, as you may have done in previous versions. Next we provide suggestions based on your current chart. You may want to invert a filter or compare a top x to the bottom x.
Because Exploration is meant to be an add hoc, agile workspace, previous versions have been extremely limited in terms of formatting and properties on visualizations. While we still don’t want you to spend time formatting your exploration visualizations, we have determined that some properties are valuable tools for analysis. We have therefore added a Properties panel adjacent to the Details and Data Slots. Depending on the visualization type you’re using, you may see none, or just a few properties. The properties available in Explore are a subset, based on analytical value, of those available in the dashboarding environment.
If you’ve been using Explore, you’ll notice a few other subtle improvements, such as identification of the table associated with a field, and enhanced capabilities within the compare card. Explore also supports the new visualization types that have been added in R4.
If you haven’t tried Explore yet, it’s even easier to give it a test drive!