The visualization and scorecarding needs of an organization can often best be met through the use of the Cognos Visualizer and Cognos Metrics Manager / KPI applications, respectively. Visualizer provides a platform for the presentation of condensed, simplified summaries of your organization’s data to deliver intuitive, graphical analyses that allow you to grasp trends in performance – quickly, and in a manner that allows you to effectively act on the information. In addition, Visualizer can be configured to show multiple dimensions at the same time, to help you to comprehend the complexities and relationships within your organizational data. In short, the idea is to deliver what is often complicated data to management in a useable, easily-understandable format, from a readily accessed central location.
The KPI Business Pack is an option for extending an organization’s reporting environment from within. The application serves as a mechanism for delivering a summary view that can prompt you to perform additional actions, or to probe further and easily focus on more detailed data, to find the “roots behind the fruits” of the metrics that are presented. You can use any data that can be formatted into a .csv text file, from virtually any source, to create or update the Business Packs you create, including PowerPlay PowerCubes and other offspring of the Cognos BI Suite.
KPI information is delivered via a Web browser, and, while static HTML pages are adequate to display the data, Cognos Upfront can be leveraged as a more robust point of distribution.
On a more recent front, you can orchestrate the delivery of enterprise scorecarding through Cognos Metrics Manager. With Metrics Manager, you can model plans, objectives, and strategies as a set of interlaced and interconnected performance indicators. This can communicate goal-driven metrics to thousands of employees across your organization – metrics that can be easily understood and monitored by any appropriate consumer. The general idea is to put information into the hands of organizational workers in a way that matches organizational priorities to those of the individual workers, and thereby defines a basis of accountability for each team member, through a commonly communicated version of organizational strategy.
Much like the KPI Business Pack in concept, Metrics Manager contributes well to overall corporate performance management. Metrics Manager combines performance monitoring, metrics management, and performance edge considerations to allow the consolidation of multiple data sources into a centralized appliance. Its close integration with the Cognos BI Suite in Cognos Business Intelligence Series 7, as well as with what is now referred to as the Cognos Enterprise Planning Series (Cognos Finance, Adaytum, etc., as we discovered above), means that your organization can create and implement plans, monitor performance within those plans, and drill down / drill through on summary information, to examine the details underneath, and thereby investigate the events and transactions causing, the operating results that are identified.