Seeking to meet enterprises need for more flexibility when analyzing internal and third-party data, Cognos is updating its PowerPlay OLAP server to deliver what officials say is more detailed yet easier-to-manage analysis.
PowerPlay 7.3, which will be announced this week, supports more detailed analysis of business data by allowing users to create subsets of categories by rule and by pick list. It also lets them focus their analysis there rather than on the entire dimension of data.
Similarly, this version of Cognos Inc.s online analytical processing product allows application designers to create dimensional models in PowerPlay Transformer that combine data from multiple data sources.
Users can then govern drill-through targets by dimension level, so that drill-through is limited to lower levels of the cube. In this way, analysis becomes more targeted, the volume of information sent is reduced and network performance is optimized, according to Cognos officials in Ottawa.
PowerPlay, an underlying technology for Cognos financial planning applications, supports scenario-based planning capabilities, allowing users to calculate several sets of figures, or scenarios, rather than just one, Cognos officials said.
Cognos enhanced performance in Version 7.3 with a high-performance data cache, enabling faster analysis. Finally, PowerPlay 7.3 supports enhanced integration with Microsoft Corp.s Office applications, including formatted Excel report output and native Excel charting, formatting and multisheet support.
Chris Framel, application development manager for the city of Albuquerque, N.M., said the navigation capabilities in PowerPlay 7.3 are much improved.
“It was difficult to navigate before, especially when we have as many dimensions as we have,” said Framel, whose users have to analyze data from several thousand different cost centers. Now, “its a lot easier to find something thats seven levels down.”