Cognos, an IBM company that delivers business intelligence and performance management solutions, has unveiled IBM Cognos 8 v4 which extends IBM’s Information on Demand strategy to help customers improve their ability to engage the business user through a more dynamic and interactive experience, inform their decision making with greater context and relevance and align their strategy and operations through complete visibility to targets, plans, forecasts and metrics across finance and operations.
IBM Cognos 8 v4 lets organisations easily and securely extend access to trusted information to fully engage a diverse group of employees, customers and partners across financial and operational divisions and processes.
Richer BI and performance management user capabilities such as enterprise planning, dashboards, analytics and reporting combine with an enhanced enterprise-class platform, flexible business modeling, and consumer-oriented interfaces to help business users gain access and interact with the right information needed for decision making to optimise business performance.
Casual business users, business managers, and executives in all sizes of organisations are grappling with information overload and the rapid pace of change in today’s globally connected economy. These types of business users represent 80% of workers in average organisations, according to Wayne Eckerson, director of TDWI Research at the Data Warehousing Institute.* They need quick access to relevant information, whether they are in the office or on the road, to make informed decisions that improve financial and operational visibility and drive overall performance.
New self-serve flash-based dashboard, mobile and search capabilities in IBM Cognos 8 v4 help business users quickly drive decisions through flexible, consumer-oriented interfaces that let them access and interact with relevant performance information using familiar applications or devices. These include BlackBerry, Symbian or Windows Mobile devices, enterprise search engines or desktop productivity applications.
The debut of IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint introduces new cross-functional business modelling capabilities to help business users and IT collaborate.
Business users define a shared representation of how their business information should be structured and viewed to drive decisions in a workflow environment without disruption to the downstream systems which are governed by IT. These capabilities let financial analysts, line and brand managers, or data stewards maintain, govern and share hierarchies and business views according to their own organisational preferences while the IT department retains control over how approved changes are published and used.
Customers can further align business operations, advanced analytics and strategic plans across the organisation by using IBM Cognos Now! and IBM Cognos TM1 as trusted data sources for IBM Cognos 8 BI and Planning. Key metrics from the continuous business monitoring of operational metrics can easily be added to a personalised business dashboard along with key parts of business reports that are pertinent to a particular line of business. Newly updated enterprise planning capabilities blend both planning and analysis features to help increase the productivity and accuracy of planners within the planning process. Planners can also build persistent views of the organisation to provide increased context for forecast data entry.
These enhanced user capabilities are supported by new solutions and updated professional services, education, and support offerings to further accelerate customer success. Today, Cognos has also introduced IBM Cognos 8 Financial Performance Analytics which is the latest addition to the Cognos’
family of Analytic Applications. It is designed to provide organisations with fast, actionable insights into financial performance using fully-configurable reports for general ledger, receivables and payables analysis.
New enhancements to the Cognos 8 enterprise-class platform help business users gain valuable context from the information they receive, and provides the IT department with streamlined development and management capabilities:
Access to the capabilities of Business Glossary, part of the IBM InfoSphere portfolio, which provides business users with access from every report to an enterprise dictionary for consistent interpretation of defined terms such as “gross margin” or “customer” and stewardship information that is used to help govern the data they are looking at.
Support for annotations lets users add thoughts, decisions and comments to reports and charts to provide additional insight into the information for reviewers.
Report authors or data modelers can now view business lineage of where the data was sourced for reports, or view the entire data supply chain by linking to 3rd party metadata providers or via pre-built integration with InfoSphere Information Server for end-to-end data lineage. This helps these users understand where the data came from, and provides report authors and data modelers with streamlined report design and troubleshooting.
A new system management methodology provides technical whitepapers, sample reports, models and tools to help system administrators continuously improve how deployments are managed by accelerating the implementation of proven practices.
Enhanced support of IBM InfoSphere Warehouse through addition of InfoSphere cubing services as a data source expands the strength of the IBM Cognos OLAP portfolio by giving customers a complete. spectrum of OLAP technology to address their breadth of needs
New metadata integration with Rational Data Architect enables those customers who model their data in this manner to easily integrate that work without duplication of effort.
“Employees and executive management within all sizes of organisations are challenged to improve business efficiency through the strategic use of information, but they don’t have time or resources to sift through mountains of information to pinpoint what is relevant,” says David McWilliam, MD at Cognos South Africa, an IBM company. “Cognos 8 v4 empowers the business by connecting agile, optimised financial and operational business processes and aligning, engaging and informing employees with mission-critical information that drives effective decision-making for pervasive performance management across the organisation.”
The user capabilities, enterprise platform and associated proven practice solutions surrounding IBM Cognos 8 v4 will be available in Q4, 2008 direct from Cognos, an IBM Company or its network of resellers.
IBM Cognos 8 v4 is a key component of IBM’s Information Agenda, a new approach consisting of industry-specific software and consulting services geared to helping customers use information on demand as a strategic asset across their businesses.