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Reporting on COGNOS

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Hello, Within our FNMS we have configured multiple top Publishers, and our stakeholders are looking forward to receive various reports on purchased licenses, consumption, type of license, etc. We restrict access to FNMS for this moment just to SAM and Security folks, so we would rather at the moment provide static Excel reports. However, I know FNMS has possibility to report Dashboards based on COGNOS. I was wondering if anyone on this community tried COGNOS, and I would have several questions: 1. Do you have success stories of SAM Stakeholders accessing COGNOS Dashboards/Reports for their reporting needs? 2. Is there any practice/user guide available to start building reports on COGNOS ? 3. Do you need to know Database structure / hierarchies to be able to build simple reports on COGNOS ? Regards, Mantautas. Software Asset Management Lead Consultant.
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Frequent contributor

Re: Reporting on COGNOS

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Hi Mantautas,

I use Flexera Analytics (Cognos) daily and find it to be incredibly valuable, but I do acknowledge that it is not trivial and can be confronting to use - but I definitely think it's worth the effort.   The System Reference guide (downloadable from the online help) has some content on Analytics, but it is very theoretical.  You could look at the Learning center which has some introductory videos and lessons (https://learn.flexera.com/?q=analytics).

There are several data models published with FNMS - if using FNMS cloud there are 2 data models and if using FNMS on prem there is an additional 'operational' data model not available in the cloud (as of 2019 R1 anyway).   Each data model has its purpose (dashboard development, versus low level reporting etc), so it would be important for you to become familiar with the different models and when to use each.    My advice would be to use the "Flexera Data Models" for dashboard development and then if desirable develop drill through to detailed reports using the other data models.

If you're interested, I've attached a set of examples of dashboards/reports I’ve built using Cognos over the past few years.  These might give you an idea of what kind of things are possible.  I should clarify that whilst some of these use the OOTB data models in some cases it was necessary to use direct SQL queries to generate data for views I was aiming for (which can only be done for on-prem implementations of FNMS).

- Murray

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Shining star

Re: Reporting on COGNOS

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Hi,

My experience is limited to local testing VMs and sample data. From playing around to see what I can customize beyond the standard Cognos dashboards, I found Cognos not just to be very slow (or resource hungry) but also my impression is that I am kind of limited by the existing data cube. Sure, I  can add my own data, but it stays independent and is not integrated with the existing data structure.

I think the Cognos Cube Designer would be the solution to that, but it is not included. Please correct me someone, if I am wrong here.

I am not aware of any Cognos user guide from Flexera. You should definitely know your data and data structures - because you don't want to make the wrong business decission based on a sloppily created report.

If there are existing reporting solutions in place, possibly with experienced people as well and already integrated in company processes, you might consider using them instead.

Best regards,

Markward

Softline Group is Europe's leading independent expert in Software Asset Management.
Frequent contributor

Re: Reporting on COGNOS

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Hi Mantautas,

I use Flexera Analytics (Cognos) daily and find it to be incredibly valuable, but I do acknowledge that it is not trivial and can be confronting to use - but I definitely think it's worth the effort.   The System Reference guide (downloadable from the online help) has some content on Analytics, but it is very theoretical.  You could look at the Learning center which has some introductory videos and lessons (https://learn.flexera.com/?q=analytics).

There are several data models published with FNMS - if using FNMS cloud there are 2 data models and if using FNMS on prem there is an additional 'operational' data model not available in the cloud (as of 2019 R1 anyway).   Each data model has its purpose (dashboard development, versus low level reporting etc), so it would be important for you to become familiar with the different models and when to use each.    My advice would be to use the "Flexera Data Models" for dashboard development and then if desirable develop drill through to detailed reports using the other data models.

If you're interested, I've attached a set of examples of dashboards/reports I’ve built using Cognos over the past few years.  These might give you an idea of what kind of things are possible.  I should clarify that whilst some of these use the OOTB data models in some cases it was necessary to use direct SQL queries to generate data for views I was aiming for (which can only be done for on-prem implementations of FNMS).

- Murray

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Occasional contributor

Re: Reporting on COGNOS

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I've seen it used at some customers and agree it is resource demanding and somewhat complex, however it is extremely powerful when the reports are properly built. I think especially the new capabilities to drill through to the operational data, and also the ability to report from the operational data is a game changer compared to other BI tools.
Active participant

Re: Reporting on COGNOS

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We are on 2018 R2 - how did you generate the views from SQL? very keen on learning how to do that as you cannot connect the core SQL backend to cognos.

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