Archive for the ‘Business Intelligence’ Category

Magic Quadrant for BI

February 7, 2011

Here is the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI as of Jan-11:


Cognos 10

October 23, 2010

Ready for Cognos 10?

Parameterized URLs

July 23, 2010

Cognos Connection is a well designed UI for navigating through all your reports, but there will always be a need for calling Cognos reports from outside of Cognos Connection. You will always have a requirement for integrating Cognos 8 into third-party applications or linking a report.

You can directly use the report URL in other applications/URLs; a sample report URL is shown below:


You can check the URL of a report from Set Properties>View the search path, ID and URL:

But reports are generally not that simple; and you will need to play with the parameters of the URL.

Most commonly used parameter will be p_<parameter-name> which will enable you to send parameter values to report prompts. Check the URL below:   


As you may have noticed we used the parameter p_ProdID to feed the report parameter ProdID with the value “234”. Please note that we also used the parameter run.prompt with value “false” in order to get rid of the prompt page.    

There is a very detailed document on IBM website about how to use parameterized URLs. “Performing Tasks using Parameterized URLs in Cognos 8”

IBM Cognos 8 Report Studio Cookbook

July 17, 2010

I have recently finished reading a new book : IBM Cognos 8 Report Studio Cookbook”

It is written by a Cognos consultant: Abhishek Sanghani.

(You can also check his blog: )

You may need & use other studios in Cognos according to your business requirements but in most cases you will be using Report Studio for your BI development; and the book is entirely focused on Report Studio.

Unlike official structured Cognos books or training guides, Report Studio Cookbook is designed to have individual recipes; some of them simple ones for beginners and some of them advanced ones for more experienced report developers.

Each recipe is written with the same formula:

  • Introduction: Real-life business requirement for the recipe and/or the goal of the scenario
  • Get Ready: Initial steps for the solution
  • How to do it: Solution with lots of screenshots which you will enjoy to follow since the actual report writing work is a very visual-interactive process.
  • How it works: Some brief discussion about how the solution –the implementation in the previous step- works.
  • There’s more: And finally some further references or suggestions.

 If you are a beginner, this book is for you; you can start with first two chapters which include basic recipes to explore Report Studio features.

 If you are an experienced developer, the book is again for you; you can just open any recipe and learn new tips & tricks about advance topics like JavaScript, XML Editing or Macros.  

 You can check the book from the publisher’s website:

Data Virtualization – Composite

July 3, 2010

I have recently attended a webcast “It’s Time to Think Outside the Box – Extend BI with Data Virtualization” by Composite Software. (Composite is basically a Data Virtualization – Data Federation software. It also has close partnership with Cognos. For detail information: )

The webcast was focused on “Composite Data Virtualization Usage Patterns” listed below:

  •   Data Federation

  •   Data Warehouse Extension

  •   Enterprise Data Sharing

  •   Real-time Enterprise Data Infrastructure

  •   Cloud Data Integration 

 All these are discussed in more detail at the Composite white paper attached:

is missing?

June 17, 2010

Simple arithmetic may not work sometimes when you are after just a simple variation. Please see the attached report screen-shot: 

A simple subtraction will not work for you to calculate the variance between Actual data and Prior year data when one of them missing.

 If we update the simple formula [Actual]-[Prior] with a nested if statement we can check the missing numbers:


See the correct results both in rows and also in total:

Roadshow Presentations

July 26, 2009


Some of the presentations of IBM Cognos 8 v4 Roadshow are now available:

IBM Cognos 8 v4 Roadshow

July 9, 2009


I was in IBM Cognos 8 v4 Roadshow last Tuesday (09 Jun 2009) in London:

I could not stay for the optional afternoon sessions, but morning session for “BI and IT professionals” (Session1) was great. Hands-on presentations from configuration to report & dashboard creation and the whole business scenario followed in the demonstrations were satisfactory.

If you are in UK and missed the roadshow you still can catch it in Manchester or Bedfont next week.

Business Intelligence Mind-Map

April 8, 2009


I want to share a PowerPoint slide from a presentation in Gartner – Business Intelligence Roadshow 2007 by Andreas Bitterer (‘The Key to Business Intelligence: Think BIG’); it is a very useful Mind-Map in order to see all relations in Business Intelligence:



In the same presentation some problems about Business Intelligence are listed as:

·         BI is still often seen as a project.

·         Companies have too much BI software.

·         Technology cannot solve political issues.

·         Dirty data is not the exception.

·         Who is the owner of your data?

·         Managing information with spreadsheets.

·         What is the single version of the question?

I think all of them are still valid issues.

Gartner Magic Quadrant

April 7, 2009


If you still did not see the last ‘Gartner Magic Quadrant’ for Business Intelligence (As of January 2009), here it is:


Apart from name changes (Cognos -> IBM, BO -> SAP and Hyperion -> Oracle) due to acquisitions there is not much radical changes compared to previous one. I have seen or worked with all the big products in the leader quadrant but I am really curious about the other small ones like Board International or Qlik Tech.

The most imported ‘Strengths’ points of Cognos are listed as the overall functionality, architecture and metadata management.  And the most crucial ‘Cautions’ points of Cognos is listed as ‘poor performance’ J  

Lastly, I believe that Oracle is way beyond in the quadrant where it really should be with its confusion, integration issues and overlaps in product offering.  At the end of the day you cannot tell the truth about the ‘Oracle’, can you?