IBM Cognos Insight Introduced

Updates to performance management solution helps users easily access any data source, explore data, and build visualizations without help from IT.

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IBM has released a brand new addition to its IBM Cognos family of business analytics solutions: IBM Cognos Insight. This new solution is designed to empower individual business users in a few simple clicks to easily access any data source, independently explore data, build scenario models, create visualizations and share insights without enterprise IT assistance. In as little as 60 seconds, IBM Cognos Insight can go from raw data to analysis and a published dashboard.

IBM has also released a new version of its performance management solution, IBM Cognos TM1 10, with new capabilities including a flexible, visual design, tight integration with IBM Cognos Insight, and architectural advances that deliver strong performance at high user and data scale. IBM Cognos TM1 10 now spans personal, departmental, and enterprisewide planning and analysis to drive dynamic resource allocation decision making throughout the organization.

A New Level of Analytic Freedom

Business users have become increasingly frustrated at their inability to quickly access and analyze the information they need to make decisions, which typically includes a combination of personal and corporate data locked away in spreadsheets and enterprise systems.

IBM Cognos Insight helps improve personal productivity by empowering individual users to become an active participant in the analytics experience and take insight to action. Although pretty dashboards can provide insight, organizations receive the most value by taking action on these insights. It’s not just what you know; it’s what you do with it.

For example, a marketing operations analyst might need to analyze product sales across different market segments and compare the results to the competition and industry growth overall. The analyst simply drags and drops information from a combination of corporate, third-party, and personal data into IBM Cognos Insight and the data is automatically modeled and imported into the in-memory analytic engine.

The solution will then suggest the best way to merge the different types of data. The analyst can begin to immediately slice and dice through the data using dimensions such as product categories, customer industry, revenue, and month. Identifying a rapidly growing product category, the analyst can build a “what-if” model to test how changes in marketing spend could have a significant increase in market share and revenue. The report can then be sent onto others across the organization for input or to take immediate action.

Key functionality in IBM Cognos Insight includes:

  • In-memory analytic engine with write-back: Easily import, combine, and enrich data from multiple sources without complex scripting. In minutes, users can connect to local files, databases, existing business intelligence reports, and even predictive data. Utilizing an in-memory analytic engine that supports write-back, new data can be added or revised, and changes are automatically applied across large data sets with data spreading functions.

  • “What-if” scenario modeling: Allows users to analyze and optimize plans based on different assumptions that take into account ever-changing market conditions. With a full set of advanced rules and the flexibility to create custom rules, users can automatically perform comparisons or calculations.

  • Custom dashboards and visualizations: With complete control over the look and feel, users can easily add compelling charts, supporting text and images, and even content from the Web. The ability to perform exception highlighting, or traffic lights, simplifies the task of comparing data on the fly, making it easy to demonstrate exceptions in the data. For example, users can compare North American and European revenue targets and the exception highlighting will identify regions that are on track (green) or will not be met (red).

  • Collaboration and publish capabilities: Users can seamlessly share reports and analysis with others in the workgroup or across the organization. IBM Cognos Insight can easily be extended to other IBM Business Analytics capabilities, including the IBM Cognos Mobile app for the iPad, predictive analytics, managed reporting and IBM Cognos Insight can also be employed as the contribution client to the new version of IBM Cognos TM1 10.

More information about IBM Cognos Insight can be found here.

Transforming Performance Management with IBM Cognos TM1

Many finance departments shortchange their strategy support, enterprise performance management, and risk management activities because they’re too busy reining in and validating data and compensating for systems that are slow to adjust to operational realities, disconnected, and labor-intensive to manage.

New functionality in IBM Cognos TM1 10 includes:

  • Enhanced user experience: With IBM Cognos Insight included as a component, individual users, especially the non-spreadsheet users, can access IBM Cognos TM1 10. Users can pull data of their choice onto the desktop -- from managed or personal sources and without the assistance of IT -- and build plan prototypes with personalized dimensions and hierarchies, and run what-if scenarios on the plan data. They can also move a “mini” plan to the established corporate plan in IBM Cognos TM1.

  • Modeling Workbench: The IBM Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler, with its modeling environment, provides the seasoned planner with a full array model building tools that support rapid prototyping or deep linking of models to meet the broad range of enterprise planning and profitability analysis. A finance or business analyst can now easily design a planning and analysis solution, such as an expense, revenue, headcount, or capital plans.

  • Planning and Analytic Server: Lets an organization choose centralized or distributed deployment methods for its planning activities. These options permit organizations to easily accommodate a wide variety of organizational circumstances with predictable scale and performance. The high-performance OLAP engine at the core of Cognos Analytic Server enables on-demand, in-memory analytics for large or complex data sets with real-time query and calculation. Users can analyze frequently changing data for millions of items, such as SKUs or transactions.

More information about IBM Cognos TM1 can be found here.