Cognos Business Insight

Cognos Business Insight is a brand new feature set added into the Cognos 10 Series BI release. It combined functionality from a couple different old pieces of version 8.

It might be easy to confuse this tool with Cognos Insight or Consumer Insight, but these are all three separate programs. In addition, there is also an Advanced version of Business Insight, with slightly different features! Hopefully IBM will clean up the naming in version 11. Business Insight is web based and a combination of the old Go! Dashboards. The Advanced version replaces Express Authoring and is intended to be more reporting based. It also incorporates some elements of the old Query and Analysis studio. This alone is a big improvement over the multiple studio setup in previous versions, which required extra training.

The standard version can be thought of as more of a collaborative WYSIWYG workspace, geared around dashboards. Users can go to a visualization, use cross tab or other analysis tools, and add additional columns of metrics from right inside the tool on the fly. Its more of a self-service or DIY model than before, where creating dashboards was a more static exercise. However, its not designed to be a full-fledged report builder. Its more of a way to interact with existing reports or visualizations. Organizations with old Go! Dashboards will be on the upgrade path to this tool. Its also a potential replacement for basic Report Viewer and Cognos Connection users, who need a little more interactivity.

Advanced offers more of a stopgap to the full Report Studio. Cognos 8 Report Studio could be a little overwhelming to some users, even if they were well-versed in the Query and Analysis tools. This is a little better at offering more intuitive interaction. What’s also nice is that the reports can be saved between Business Insight and Report Studio.

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