Cognos Analytics

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Make Your Data Work for You with IBM’s Cognos Analytics

By FRASER ANDERSON posted Wed February 21, 2018 01:48 PM

Data science; business intelligence; cognitive analytics. These are the new buzzwords for companies/enterprises as they seek to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. And all of them relate to gathering huge amounts of data and utilizing algorithms, designed by data scientists, to sort, configure, and synthesize all of that data into chunks, based upon keyword inquiries, and then generate reports that will be meaningful, as they look to make business decisions.

In the past, companies were able to manually gather historical data and make business decisions accordingly. What big data and business intelligence now do is far more. Because big data allows the gathering of huge amounts of information from everywhere, and because that data provides far more insights, companies can now see trends and make predictions that were not possible before.

Suppose a bank has decided to analyze its various loan products, for example. In the past, they could access their internal data over the history of their loan products, determine which were the most valuable, which needed to be modified, and which should probably be terminated. Now, however, through data science and BI (tools and techniques for acquiring raw data and churning it into meaningful information), banks can gather a much larger pool of data, as well as consumer behaviors and preferences. They can then sort that data based upon specific inquiries, predict trends and value, and create popular loan products – all based upon factual data, not “gut feelings” or incomplete information.

Data Scientists are Expensive 

Employing data scientists, if they can be found, can be an expensive proposition for a business. And contracting with data science firms involves time, collaboration, and cost.

As a result, many businesses have begun to look for resources and tools that are less costly, even free, in order to gather and analyze data and prepare reports that will help executives make smarter decisions. These work to a degree, but a comprehensive solution – one that utilizes the best in BI and that is easy to learn and use – is the ultimate answer.

Such a tool is IBM’s Cognos Analytics. Here is the comprehensive solution that businesses need. It provides an integrated solution for gathering, sorting and reporting data and the ability for users to access data, organize it as they want, by creating dashboards and reports. Additional features include consistency on all devices, a proven platform, and scalability.

The Three Basic of Cognos Analytics

If businesses are to utilize data analytics in this new big data environment, there are three things they will want to do – three things that Cognos Analytics provides for in a single, comprehensive solution.

  1. Gather and Report Data
    Nothing happens until there is a pool of data that has been gathered through a search. With Cognos Analytics, smart searches are completed quickly, allowing the user to then present (author) the content for the organization’s use.
    Users can create dashboards from this data with simple drag and drop methods.
    Reports and great visuals can be created almost instantly. In fact, the software will actually recommend the type of graphic that will best present the data and then create it.
    Consider the example of the bank attempting to improve its loan products and get a competitive edge on its competition. A user can conduct a smart search for types of loan products, the numbers and of borrowers of each, and even the seasons of the year during which specific loans are the most popular, etc. All of this can then be quickly turned into pie charts, for example, and shared with the appropriate decision-makers.

  2. Churning the Data for Your Purposes
    That bank has now accumulated a huge amount of external data on loans to which it also adds its internal loan data. Now it is time to make that data work.
    Based upon keywords and queries, specific data can be extracted from this huge bank. Suppose the first analysis will deal with mortgage loans. Data will be automatically extracted, sorted and configured by specific searches and direct reports generated by any variables that the user wishes to insert. For example, what is the demographic data of borrowers who typically take 15-year fixed mortgages between 150K and 250K.
    As you can see, there are potentially hundreds of variables that could be used, each of which can generate reports that the mortgage loan department can use as it analyzes/modifies its own products and considers new ones.
    Based upon keywords and queries, only the data that a user wants at a given time will be loaded, and data models are automatically generated.

  3. Analytics that Can Be Trusted
    All gathered and sorted data, as well as reports, are protected by several layers of permissions and authentication.
    Controls are in place that will protect data while reports are being created
    Alerts can be programmed, so that changes to prior findings can be automatically presented and analyzed.
    The beauty of Cognos Analytics is that anyone can find and explore data, create dashboards and great visual content, and then distribute these to all stakeholders/decision-makers. It is easy to learn, wholly user-friendly, and provides the comprehensive solution that other BI tools and techniques cannot match.
    Cognos Analytics users will also find great support, and improvements are continually made to ease and streamline the user experience. There are several pricing layers, dependent upon an organization’s size and specific needs. And no organization need jump in head first. There is both a demo that provides details of all of the functions and a free trial option.
    The time has come for organization to get fat access to the huge amount of data out there, to manipulate that data smartly, and to generate reports that are easily understood by non-techies who must make serious business decisions. Having complete well-organized information is vital. Cognos Analytics allows this to happen.

Marie Fincher is a content writer at with a background in marketing, technology and business intelligence. She frequently writes about data science, BI, new marketing trends and branding strategies. Marie gradually changed her focus from working in marketing to writing about it.

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