QueBIT Blog: IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1 - Be boundless data explorers!

Posted by Erik Herman

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Dec 6, 2018 10:30:00 AM

IBM wants you (at least 60% of you anyway) to be boundless data explorers. They want you to fearlessly, confidently, and proactively plan, describe, diagnose, predict, and prescribe (actions) based on your organizations' information. They want you to seamlessly move from data prep, to modeling, to reporting and dashboarding, to dare I say, predictive analytics.

With the release of Cognos Analytics 11.1, IBM continues to build upon its efforts to streamline, standardize, and modernize the user experience across their analytics offerings, while also taking major steps at embedding artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics across the entire Cognos Analytics experience.

Below is a high-level recap of what's new in CA 11.1 by area:


Dashboards continue to get a lot of the attention and improvements. As analytics are getting more democratized, they are also getting more visual. Changes in this release include: 

  • Reuse - reuse content from existing reports and dashboards
  • Layout - more flexible templates and system assisted layouts
  • Formatting - more control over layouts and styling in visualizations
  • Geospatial - create your own map polygons and interact with data
  • Visualization - new visualizations including driver analysis


Exploration is a new tool in CA11.1, it allows for data exploration and discovery capabilities powered by artificial intelligence (AI): 

  • Helps eliminate analysis blind spots and guesswork by automatically identifying data relationships based on your recent interactions
  • Uncovers the underlying drivers of results and the strength of the relationships among the data fields
  • Provides recommended visualizations and presents additional AI-generated insights in natural language
  • Offers intelligent, contextual responses to your questions via the AI Assistant


Reporting is still the foundation of most Cognos Analytics environments and the tools and functionality available still represent a staggering array of features and functionality. Changes in this release include:

  • Layout and resize - easily layout and resize report objects using absolute positioning to support different screen resolutions
  • Quick assembly - users can quickly assemble a report using existing assets without having to start from scratch
  • Visualizations - meaningful visualizations are auto generated with little authoring experience
  • Measures - measures are automatically summarized with meaningful titles
  • Reusability - styles can be reused across reports

Data modeling/prep

Data modeling/prep continue to move from the domain of the admin to the explorer. And while IBM assures that Framework Manager is not going away and there are no plans for it to go away, much of what can be done in FM can now be accomplished with data modules, and in the future it's not hard to envision all modeling capacities will be available in Cognos Analytics. Changes in this release include: 

  • Flat file - multi tab support and append
  • Comparative dates - month to date, quarter to date, prior quarter to date
  • Data preparation - split column, trim, case
  • Recommendation on relationships - join, blend
  • Aggregation across grains - multi grain analysis
  • Ease of use - expression editor, SQL based tables, format, filter
  • Set operations - Union, intersect, except
  • Security filters

At times, it feels a bit like too much too fast to comprehend what's available and what's possible to Cognos Analytics users. To help customers get up to speed on Cognos Analytics and the new release, keep an eye out for helpful resources such as, a free trial of CA 11.1, new videos highlighting new features in CA 11.1 and additional blog posts exploring the new release further.

Join us for our upcoming Webinar: Cognos Analytics 11.1 - Be Boundless Data Explorers
With the release of Cognos Analytics 11.1, IBM has made major investments in Cognos in the areas of AI/machine learning, ease of use, data exploration, and governance.

Register Now

It is impressive and wholly apparent how useful, relevant, and, powerful these tools are for not only today's Cognos Analytics users, but also the next 100 years of business at large. While some of the advanced analytics capabilities available in Cognos Analytics 11.1 may still feel a bit out of reach  for most of today's analytics users (and perhaps rightly should be out of reach), by embedding these into the overall Cognos Analytics user experience, those of you intrepid enough to be boundless data explorers will continue to develop and evolve into more confident, savvy, and smarter analytics professionals.

Topics: Cognos Analytics


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