Cognos Applications Overview

In this first column I will overview the main Cognos applications, to reinforce what many of you might already know about the general uses of the tools. In subsequent articles, we’ll explore approaches to meeting business reporting needs in more detail, focusing on the specific characteristics and uses of the application(s) that answer the needs most efficiently. I will begin by providing a brief overview of the main Cognos applications, together with a mention of some of the less widely used components. Introduction to the Cognos Business Intelligence Suite

The Cognos BI Suite provides a platform from which a wide range of applications can be chosen to meet the needs of the organization, whether the channels for information delivery are intranet, internet, or extranet based (or various combinations of these). Personally, I often think of the suite as offering a couple of general classes of functionality, 1) Applications and 2) Management and Integration Components. The lines between these two general classes becomes blurred, at times, as there are elements of development within both classes, among other shared considerations, but overall the two classes are a good way to look at the suite from a high level. Within the Applications and Management and Integration Components classes, I would define several categories that I detail in the respective sections that follow. These are my own definitions, although they parallel some of the Cognos marketing materials, as well as other sources, and are certainly not hard and fast; they simply represent a perspective from which to understand, and to mentally organize, the types of functionality you can obtain from the Cognos BI Suite.

The Applications

The Applications class of functionality might be seen as containing the following BI presentation and / or delivery categories:

  • Analysis
  • Managed Reporting
  • Ad Hoc Reporting
  • Enterprise Planning
  • Scorecarding

The Cognos BI Suite contains component applications and other elements that populate these categories. We will look at each category within the Applications class below, and discuss the applications that reside within each.