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AI Assistant Enhancements in 11.1.3

By Jason Tavoularis posted Tue July 09, 2019 12:31 PM


With every new release of IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.x, the AI Assistant continues to get smarter and more capable of performing different tasks. To keep up with the last developments, you can always say “Help” to the Assistant for a recap of new features and how to use them.

With version 11.1.3, the Assistant is now able to

  • Guide you with type-ahead suggestions
  • Specify aggregation types
  • Satisfy Top / Bottom N requests
  • Apply filters for locations and time
  • Generate dashboards

Let’s walk through each of these in more detail.


Type-ahead suggestions

As you start typing something to the Assistant, it will pop-up suggestions to guide you to formulate a request that will meet your needs. Suggestions may include fields from the active data source, as well as actions the Assistant is able to perform.

The Up arrow and Down arrow keys can be used to cycle through type-ahead suggestions, so the keyboard shortcut to retrieve the last utterance you submitted has changed from Up arrow to Shift + Up arrow.

Specify aggregation types

When asking a question, you can now indicate the type of aggregation to be used for the measures. Here’s some examples of questions you ask with different types of rollups.

  • What is the total profit of each store
  • avg profit of stores
  • Max amount spent by store

Focusing on the top or bottom

Zero-in on the key data points you’re after by including “top N” or “bottom N” in your questions. 

You can ask for either a top/bottom count or percentage, e.g., bottom 3 country for revenue for a count or bottom 25% countries for revenue for a percentage. If you don’t specify the N, then the Assistant will assume a count of 10 as would be the case for asking top country for revenue.


IBM Cognos Analytics version 11.1.3 introduces the first phase of the Assistant being able to apply filters in the visualizations it generates. In this release the Assistant will only use location and time values as the predicates for a filter. It will not yet apply any potential predicate value you direct it to (this is coming in an upcoming release).

Here’s some examples of the types of filters you can use

  • what's my average Revenue in 2017
  • max profit in Florida

When a filter is applied, you will notice a little filter icon in the top right of the visualization response of the Assistant, as seen in the following screenshot, which you can click on to see what filters have been applied.

Auto-generated dashboards

While having a conversation within the context of a data source, simply tell the Assistant “Create dashboard” and a fully-populated dashboard is generated for you. In Cognos Analytics 11.1.3 you’ll get a new dashboard with three tabs, each of which targets a key measure that the system thinks you’ll be interested in.  You can edit the dashboard as you see fit or save it as-is.