E019 – Tech Spec – Cognos Analytics (11.0.6)

Join me as I chat with my colleague and Cognos guru John Frazier about the latest release of Cognos, leading up to the anticipated release of the next version, 11.0.7, near the end of Q3.

The latest version of Cognos (11.0.6) debuted on March 21, 2017. You can sign up for a perpetually free trial (like Tableau Online) here.

Version 11 was originally released in December 2015 and was mainly a UI redesign on top of Cognos 10 features. Analysis and Query Studios will eventually be deprecated.

New Features in 11 vs. 10

  • New UI – responsive web design on UI, but not on reports
  • Better self-service capabilities and collaboration for teams
  • Upload data files – upload delimited text or Excel files to be stored in a columnar format (Parquet) on the file system (not in memory or in the DB). These are immediately usable in dashboards and don’t require entry into FM.
  • Data modules (intent based modeling based on Watson) similar to FM packages
    • Note: Dashboards only use uploaded files and data modules
  • Available on cloud
  • Mobile and desktop from a single report
  • Active reports as prompts
  • Free cloud trial
  • Admin console is unchanged

New Features in 11.0.6

  • Mapping enhancements
    • Multiple admin boundaries, add’l postal code support
  • Dashboarding enhancements
    • Direct access to OLAP packages (Framework packages accessible since 11.0.5)
    • Widgets using data from the same source are connected by default
    • New grid widget
    • Color gradient by measure
    • Date filters can include blanks
  • Portal enhancements
    • Share/embed through overflow menu
    • Folder customizations can be done directly through the UI more easily (without uploading JSON configs)
    • Create shortcuts and report views
  • Storytelling enhancements
    • New guided journey templates
    • New animations (side fade, slide, scale, zoom, pivot)
    • Better pins (smart named, better search and filter)
    • Timelines – smart names
    • Change scene template while working on your story/dashboard
  • Reporting enhancements
    • Better lineage support for FM packages
    • Business glossary (w/IBM InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog integration)
    • Better freeze list column heading control
    • Better query support when editing data modules
    • Report templates – can save for your team or save as style reference reports
  • Support for Planning Analytics
    • Dashboard support for TM1 / Planning cubes
    • REST connectivity to planning analytics
    • Support for attribute hierarchies
    • Support for localized Planning Analytics cubes
  • Data server enhancements
    • Support for Google BigQuery and Google Cloud SQL via the BigQuery JDBC and MySQL JDBC drivers, respectively.
    • JDBC URL for Data Server Connections
    • Test connection feedback (this is not just in admin console now)

John’s Likes/Dislikes with v11:

  • For those who are “used” to ReportStudio there is a pretty “steep” learning curve to locate where particular tools or components have been moved.
  • To be fair, ReportStudio had some counter-intuitive placements for some of these same tools (e.g. Hierarchy of design elements, etc.) that caused major headaches for new report designers.
  • Overall the new interface is more “intuitive” and the novice report developers I’ve worked with have picked it up remarkably quickly.
  • There are some changes that are really “nice” – like being able to see which Lists/Graphs use a particular query right from the query tree without having to “search” for where it is used on the “right click” menu.


Deep Sky Blue by Graphiqs Groove


  1. https://www.ibm.com/analytics/us/en/technology/products/cognos-analytics/
  2. https://www.ibm.com/communities/analytics/cognos-analytics-blog/the-latest-release-of-cognos-analytics-is-here/
  3. http://newintelligence.ca/top-12-reasons-to-upgrade-to-cognos-analytics-a-k-a-cognos-11/
  4. https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSEP7J_11.0.0/com.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.ca_new.doc/c_ca_nf_deprecated.html
  5. https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSEP7J_11.0.0/com.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.ca_new.doc/c_ca_nf_11_0_x.html
  6. https://www.slideshare.net/senturus/cognos-analytics-version-11-questions-answered

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