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Expert tips for #Planning Analytics Workspace Cognitive Help

By CHARLIE LE posted Mon September 18, 2017 08:35 AM


Smart, social, expert vetted guidance

When you're on a deadline and you need answers quickly, sifting through hundreds (possibly thousands) of pages of documentation is probably not what you want to do. Traditional documentation can sometimes feel impersonal and cold. That's why when given the choice, a lot of us would rather ask a team member or a subject matter expert, as their responses tend to be more succinct.

Planning Analytics Workspace Cognitive Help is bridging that gap between traditional documentation and asking a real person. When you start using Cognitive Help, it begins building a profile about you, just like how a friend might remember your favorite movie genre or what you like to eat. With this profile, Cognitive Help can start to guide you towards content that's suited to your needs.

Imagine that you're a new user and you want to know more about modelling data in IBM Planning Analytics Workspace. If you search for "data modelling", a traditional system might return you everything that matches your query, even topics that are irrelevant to you as a new user such as modeling administration or modeling security. But since Cognitive Help is constantly learning and getting to know you, it'll return results which are more relevant to you; what is modeling, creating cubes, using rules, editing dimensions, etc.

As you continue to use Cognitive Help, it'll continue to expand its profile of you. As you grow and progress through the product, Cognitive Help will also evolve and remain relevant to you. But Cognitive Help isn't able to do it alone. It needs your help!


Each topic has a rating. You can see how other people have rated this topic and rate the topic yourself. By rating a topic, you're feeding Cognitive Help important information on the type and level of content that you want to see. The more you rate, the more Cognitive Help can build your profile and offer you a more tailored experience.

How to rate

  1. Open a topic.

  2. Click on the stars.

  3. Click "Click here to rate this topic".

  4. Click the number of stars you want to rate the topic.


Suppose you went on Amazon to buy a new pair of headphones. You'd probably read the reviews before making any purchases. Reviews tell you what people liked and disliked about the headphones; maybe they're more suited for bassy music, or maybe they're good for listening to vocals. Reading and writing comments in Cognitive Help is similar to reading and writing product reviews. By reading the comments, you may find that other beginner users were also having a difficult time understanding a topic, or that advanced users didn't find a particular topic detailed enough. You may even find that another user replied to the advanced user with a like to a more detailed topic.

By adding your own comments to a topic, you're contributing to the community in Cognitive Help. And by participating in this community, you'll quickly find that the topics feel more personal and friendly.

How to comment

  1. Open a topic.

  2. Click the comments icon.

  3. Enter your comment in the comments pane.

  4. Click submit.

Recommendation engine

With the profile that Cognitive Help has of you, it can begin to recommend content. The content that it recommends depends on the content that you've viewed in the past and how you've rated different topics. The recommendation engine can also detect the type of media that you enjoy consuming. So if you prefer watching video tutorials over reading instructions in text, the engine will begin to recommend relevant videos.


When you search in Cognitive Help, documented topic content gets returned. The search results are enhanced by showing which topics have ratings, comments or videos associated with them. You can play a video inline with the search results to preview whether it has the content you were searching for. You can also further refine your search by searching just titles or just text or use the drop down to follow other search suggestions.

Even search queries that don't return any results are useful. Cognitive Help takes note of these queries. It does this so that it can identify any undocumented pain points in your user experience.

Local vs Cloud

Cognitive Help is offered both on cloud and locally. The local offering however is more limited in features.

Help the system help you!

Next time you use Cognitive Help, why not try some of these cognitive features, which you might not have known about before. And remember to rate and comment. It'll assist Cognitive Help in creating a better experience for you!

1 comment



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