Cognos Analytics 11.1 Release 5 is now available, so I’m excited to talk about the awesome new stuff we’ve added to our Dashboards. One area that we get asked about frequently is need to drill from a dashboard to a dashboard. That’s now available to Dashboard authors in R5, you would simply define your drill through definition as always but dashboards and stories are now available to pick as the targets for the definition. Then when you drill to your target, Cognos will pass the selection you’ve made as a filter within that target dashboard.
We’ve also made some enhancements to the tab formatting, so authors can now really customize the look and feel of their tabs to match the overall formatting of their dashboards. This includes some out of the box icons to help provide direction as to the content presented in each tab.
As Dashboard authors may have seen over the last few releases, we’ve been really committed to enhancing our crosstab visualization, which we feel is a fundamental view for presenting data. As such we’ve added two new crosstab features: For starters, you can now show and hide individual rows and columns and have summary totals won’t be impacted. So you aren’t filtering out the values, they’re still present in the crosstab, but for a variety of reasons you might want to remove them from view. There are still visual indicator bars to highlight that something has been hidden, and when double-clicked that hidden value will be restored. If you have hidden a number of values, you can select the “show all” from the on-demand toolbar to restore all hidden content. In addition, users can now apply formatting to null or missing values or intersections within the crosstab. For instance, if you have nulls in your data, those will be presented as (Null) or (No Value) where applicable but users can now replace those defaults with any characters of their choosing, like dashes or custom text.
Another area that we’ve enhanced for the authoring experience focuses on the metadata pane. In Release 5, authors can now expand the fields in their model view and get a preview of the values present in that field. This is very powerful because authors can simply drag and drop the individual values that they want to include in a given visualization, rather than having to filter the entire field. Settings are available in the data module to control how many values are shown, a preference for “search” or “show more” when not all values are shown, or whether these values should be shown at all. This is available for all data sources.
And finally, we’ve added some assistance to troubleshooting dashboard performance bottlenecks by providing a serviceability panel, invoked with the keypress “CTRL + . (dot)”. The serviceability panel is meant to assist users with monitoring and debugging of dashboard performance. Within the panel, you’ll find IDs, Visualization types, model names, and Paths, data mappings, as well as total render time compared to query time.
These features are integral for the dashboarding experience for Cognos users and we’ve got plenty more on the way! Be sure to check out a video of these great features in action: What's New in 11.1.5 Dashboards