IBM's Cognos Upgrades Business Intelligence Software Suite

The latest version offers further integration with IBM technologies and a focus on employee self-service.
With the release of IBM Cognos 8 v4, Cognos and its parent company, IBM, show a further integration of their technologies and continued efforts to make business intelligence accessible to more types of business users.

One theme of the release is ensuring the consistency and quality of data that resides throughout a company and is used for BI. The upgraded suite includes integration with IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary, which contains standard business terms defined by a company; another feature lets data modelers trace back the lineage of data using InfoSphere master-data management technology. They could see where data warehouse information used in a Cognos report came from, for example, and where that warehouse got the data from.

IBM Cognos 8 v4 also has an employee self-service bent. Its new IBM Cognos 8 Go! Dashboard lets business users create customized Flash-based dashboards on their desktops that they'd otherwise have to tap IT to create. Using drag-and-drop functions, they can pull in RSS feeds or relevant pieces of pre-built reports to create a personalized dashboard, for example. Updated IBM Cognos 8 Go! Mobile provides users of BlackBerry handsets, and Windows- and Symbian-based devices, with more ways to interact with BI reports, plus support for location-based BI on GPS-enabled devices.

Another new product, IBM Cognos 8 Business Viewpoint, is business modeling software that lets analysts and managers view hierarchies and dimensions of information that are relevant to their jobs. For example, operations managers might use it to view sales hierarchies that reflect the latest company reorganization, Cognos said. The company thinks this product will appeal to managers dealing with organizational restructurings, consolidations, and global expansions.

There's also an application, IBM Cognos Financial Performance Analytics, for analyzing financial performance using data in JD Edwards and Oracle Business Suite ERP systems.