IBM Redesigns Cognos Analytics to Resemble Watson Analytics

At IBM Insight 2015, Big Blue announced a redesign of its Cognos Analytics business intelligence platform.

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LAS VEGAS -- IBM announced a redesign user experience for its Cognos Analytics business intelligence software. The redesign is based on the same self-service design principles as Watson Analytics.

IBM Cognos Analytics enables users to access, analyze and share business performance information across workgroups. The Web-based service can scale to tens to thousands of users. It also can be deployed on premises.

With the redesign of Cognos Analytics, business users and IT professionals are now able to author and distribute reports, and access self-service dashboards about things that matter to their business, like monthly financial reports, weekly sales pipeline trends, daily production yields, hourly inventory levels – and do so on any device anywhere. “IBM helps enterprises across all industries extract new insights from the explosion of available data to drive competitive advantage,” said Beth Smith, general manager of the IBM Analytics Platform, in a statement. “With Cognos Analytics, we have re-imagined BI, delivering a modern user experience for business users, helping them gain the self-service independence they want without compromising the trusted scale an enterprise platform IT needs. Now our clients can gain the insights to effectively manage and improve the outcomes of their business.”

IBM Cognos Analytics features new intent-driven modeling capabilities that enable novice users to pull together the data they need without having to understand the technical details of the data sources. For example, by simply typing the words “revenue,” “product” and “department,” Cognos Analytics can interpret the user’s intent, search the data sources for those attributes and then propose the model to use.

The redesigned product also features smarter search that works in-context. Smarter search is designed to help users easily find relevant content and accelerate the completion of tasks. In authoring mode, for example, a user can type “chart” and smart search instantly points to the right menu to add it. The user can even be guided to the most appropriate visualization for that data. As a result, line-of-business users can quickly and easily create their own reports and dashboards without help from IT – while power users still have access to all the detailed capabilities they need.

Cognos Analytics also provides a single environment for all types of business reporting. The product delivers the full spectrum of enterprise and departmental reporting, from production managed reports to self-service authored reports and dashboards. This single environment provides the same experience in the office, on the road and on any device. It can also help to ensure everyone is working from the same data, and can easily communicate and collaborate across teams and share information and findings instantly.

Sharing design principles with Watson opens the door to agile and empowered user discovery, analysis predictions and compelling visualization, IBM said.

For instance, Mueller manufactures and distributes pre-engineered metal building and residential metal roofing products in the southwestern and central United States. Mueller is using Watson Analytics to help gain deeper business insight from their structured and unstructured data that is spread across the business. Business leaders at Mueller can get insight from their data by simply asking questions using natural language. Then Mueller will use IBM Cognos Analytics as its single, unified BI platform to help improve its business performance and operations.

“Watson Analytics is an individual data discovery tool that makes it easy to uncover insights from data,” said Mark Lack, manager of strategy analytics and business intelligence at Mueller, in a statement. “With Cognos Analytics, we’ll able to put that insight into practice by distributing reports and providing dashboards with this trusted information to get everyone on the same page.”