Powerful Data Sharing and Automation Tool
February 28, 2018
Powerful Data Sharing and Automation Tool
Score 9 out of 10
- Event Studio
- Report Studio
Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cognos
We use Cognos Report Studio to meet all of our reporting needs- create and distribute automated reports to internal data users across the entire organization, data integration files sent to other systems and external vendors as well as generate reports with data visualization such as charts and graphs that can also be exported in Excel. We also use event studio to push out a great deal of time sensitive information in a very user-friendly format such as reminder emails and data audit alerts to key stakeholders.
- The best part about Cognos Report Studio is that you do not need to have access or know how to use the tool in order to be the recipient of the information. Cognos allows you to schedule automated reports that can be sent to any internal or external email address you type in the recipient line. You can use Cognos Report Studio to create customized and automated reports by applying data filters, conditional formatting, formulas, and calculations in a way very similar to Excel. Anything that you could do in Excel you can pretty much build into the parameters of your report in Cognos and manipulate the data before it comes out in the report. This becomes very handy, especially when automating reports that are sent to users who may not be very Excel savvy or when you just want to pass nuggets of information.
- Cognos Event Studio is definitely my favorite. Amongst many things, I have found it to be a powerful data auditing tool. I use it to set up search engines that check our database for the incorrect combination of values across a set of data fields and thus minimize data entry errors in a time sensitive manner. For example, I can create a search engine that checks for any employees in "Part Time" status who have been assigned a schedule of 40hrs or more. The search engine would send an email to the HRIS team within an hour from the time the incorrect combination of values was entered into the system.
- Another way to use Cognos Event Studio in a way that your entire organization can benefit from and appreciate is by sending managers email reminders days in advance of their direct reports' birthdays or work anniversaries. In a similar fashion, I am also able to send email alerts to our IT department's ticketing system immediately following an employee termination, which automatically creates a ticket for them to shut off access to email and other systems.
- There is definitely a lot of room for improvement when it comes to Cognos. Sometimes it can take you a while to find a particular data field that you may want to pull into your report. Unfortunately, there is no option where you can search all tables in order to figure out where a particular data field is located or how pulling the same data field from one table vs another may impact your report results. This makes it a lot harder for new users to adopt the tool and quickly gain proficiency. Eventually, things starts make sense but it just takes a lot of practice.
- One major challenge for me is the inability to be able to run a report on all the scheduled reports set up in Cognos. If you want to clean up or streamline any of your report schedules or distribution lists, there is no good way to do so except for going into each individual report and checking/modifying the schedule and the recipient list. Granted that Cognos is such a great tool for automating data output, I wish there was a better way to manage all your report schedules and recipient lists.
Cognos allows you to manipulate data in a way very similar to Excel but it is important to keep in mind that all the data filtering and calculations take place on the back end before you receive the report output and if you want to manipulate the data, you have to do so before you run your report.
Great for report automation and data auditing but not very user-friendly, dashboarding friendly and not very sophisticated when it comes to the overall management of all the reporting in use.
Extremely to easy to customize and share reports, set a reporting schedule and push out data to any user with no need for them to interact with the tool at all.
You can use IBM Cognos report studio to set up reports that you can either manually run on demand or automate to be sent to users on a regular cadence who don't have access to Cognos. For example on the first of every month, I have a number of Headcount reports scheduled to go out to our Finance department for the monthly FPA reconciliation processes.