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New! IBM Cognos Cube Designer Course Offered by DataClarity

The long-awaited IBM Cognos Cube Designer is here! 

This is a two-day, instructor-led course that is designed to provide participants with the knowledge to model metadata using the IBM Cognos Cube Designer and its related tools. The course takes students on the journey from planning and project creation, to publishing dynamic cubes, all the way to authoring reports and analyzing data. This comprehensive course allows the students to assume several different roles across the two days. The student will perform task of a Database Administrator, Data Modeler, Business Analyst, and Cognos Administrator.

The course has been added to our Q2 2016 course schedule and more information can be found here: https://www.dataclaritycorp.com/course-ibm-cognos-bi-dynamic-cube-design.html

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How do You get IBM Cognos certified?

You might have wondered…. How do I get IBM Cognos certified?

The tests are administered by Pearson VUE and they have locations all over the US. From the IBM webpage you will see that you can take many paths to achieve certification. It really depends on your role in your organization. 

Select one of the certification entries, for example IBM Certified Designer - Cognos 10 BI Reports. The next screen will give you information regarding that certification. There is a Job Role Description describing the role of a report author, recommended prerequisites, requirements, and a link at the bottom of the screen for the test information. 

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How to build Report Studio reports using multidimensional cubes as a source

Are you building Report Studio reports using multidimensional cubes as a source? Are you wondering how to use multidimensional functions such as ancestor, periodsToDate, or cousin? Would you like to know how to create a report that shows the top 10 customers that are purchasing your products? Would you like to learn how to make your cube sourced reports more efficient? Then the IBM Cognos BI Report Studio v10.2 Cube Sourced Reporting course is for you!

Here is an example of just one of the many reports we create in this class:

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Managing Sales Compensation against Sales Profitability

Over the last 5 years we have seen dramatic changes in the economic world. This includes a number of Regulatory changes that included TARP, Guidance on Sound Incentive Compensation Policies, and Dodd-Frank. While there is a focus on the financial industry in these regulatory acts, is there not potential for other industries to learn lessons and adjust. As part of the Guidance on Sound Incentive Compensation Policies issued in June 2010 by the Federal Reserve, OCC, OTS, and FDIC, it was noted that mechanisms to evaluate compensation to risk were not adequate. If this is the case in the financial industry, what does this mean for all other industries?  

Tying compensation to a compensable event and evaluating future risk to the event is not something highly analyzed in many industries. Clawbacks or the recoupment of compensation paid is a standard across many industries but the rules regarding these are not always clear. While incentive compensation tied to sales activity is the life of many organizations, it can be one of the biggest risks as well.

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Making Sense of Sales Performance Management


There is a lot of buzz around Business Performance Management and the need for tools for organizations to analyze and set expectations. There is a lot of interest in the Sales Performance Management tools as well. While in the current world they are treated as separate initiatives, the truth is that they actually are related and together can add value to a business.

These two are part of the same puzzle that businesses have been putting together for years. An organization is driven by sales, and the sales may be of services or products. Sales are the beast that supports the organization and drives the need to analyze, plan, and set expectations for the business, e.g. the need for Performance Management. So can you really separate the two, and treat them as completely different initiatives? While the tools used may differ, the end goal is the same:  to have the complete puzzle put together and be able to see the picture. As a jigsaw is not complete without all the pieces, Performance Management is not complete without Financial Management and Sales Management working together.

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What You Need to Know about Cognos Dynamic Cubes

The highly anticipated 10.2 version of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence was released in September 2012. Along with the new version there is also a new IBM Cognos OLAP capability known as Dynamic Cubes. Cognos Dynamic Cubes consists of a modeling tool (IBM Cognos Cube Designer), a dynamic cube object in the administration environment, which becomes the data source, and a wizard (Aggregate Advisor), launched from Dynamic Query Analyzer.

The biggest benefit is that Cognos Dynamic Cubes adds an in-memory relational OLAP component to the existing Dynamic Query layer that leverages a multidimensional view of a relational data warehouse and enables high-speed interactive reporting and ad-hoc analysis on multi-terabyte data volumes.

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BI, Predictive Analytics, and Big Data: No. 1 in Nucleus Top Ten Predictions for 2013

Nucleus Research announced its Top 10 Predictions for 2013, revealing several interesting trends emerging for the coming year.

Nucleus estimates BI adoption will double worldwide in 2013 as greater usability for non-expert analytics users, lower-cost options including cloud and SaaS, and further efforts by vendors to make BI accessible to every user. Also, predictive analytics and big data are a couple of the technologies driving Nucleus's 2013 predictions.

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The Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013

Analysts have examined top industry trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo and identified the top 10 technologies that will be strategic for most organizations in 2013.

According to Gartner, “a strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years.”

As highlighted by analysts, these technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs, and initiatives and IT leaders should factor them into their strategic planning process over the next two years.  

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Boosting Competitiveness with Mobile BI

Organizations in today’s business environment are faced with increased uncertainty and competition – and are expecting more ahead. At the same time, the increasing use of smart phones and tablets as business tools is bringing about entirely new opportunities. All of these make it difficult for organizations to gain measurable benefits and outperform their peers unless mobile business intelligence (BI) is applied broadly. Aberdeen’s January 2012 study “2012 Strategies: Putting the Intelligence in Mobile BI to Work” supports this in revealing that 46% of surveyed organizations believed that adopting mobile BI would provide competitive advantage.

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Mobile BI – The Global Shift in How Organizations Do Business

It’s no secret: one of the biggest and unstoppable revolutions in business world today is coming through the increased use of smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Organizations are using them in healthcare, insurance, financial services, manufacturing, and retail industry, to name a few – to enhance employees’ productivity and drive tangible business value.

Market researchers estimate that by 2013, a billion smart phones will be deployed in the global workforce. At least, that is what VDC Research is predicting. And that’s not the end of the story. According to CFO Research, 89% of finance and IT executives said that mobility and the use of mobile devices would be among the most important technologies for their companies’ success in the next three years.

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Benefits of an Analytical Enterprise

A new Nucleus research note titled “The Stages of an Analytic Enterprise” reveals that the more organizations spend on business intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics, the higher the returns on those investments will be.   

The research note is the product of in-depth analyses on 60 analytics deployments, including interviews with end-users. As highlighted in the research note, Nucleus identified a special type of organization, the Analytic Enterprise. According to Nucleus Research, “an Analytic Enterprise is an organization that improves its competitiveness and operating results by continuously broadening and improving its use of analytics.” As organizations become more analytic, they go through a significant evolution with four stages:

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How to Enhance Operational Planning

With a range of responsibilities including quota management, capacity planning, inspections and biosecurity regulations, British Columbia Egg Marketing Board (BC Egg) found IBM Cognos TM1 to be the perfect financial planning and analytics solution to address product quality and public safety issues effectively and enhance productivity.

The case study “BC Egg boosts food safety and enhances operational planning” reveals how IBM Cognos TM1 helped BC Egg to make smarter use of operational data and provide a better service to its stakeholders by:

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Real-Time Analytics for Customer-Focused Pricing

In a volatile travel and tourism marketplace, where customers demand better service and competition intensifies, the success is set by being agile and tailoring the offerings to market needs.

For TUI Deutschland GmbH to achieve optimal performance, huge volumes of data, thousands of employees and partners, and millions of customers and products have to be coordinated and integrated into a whole that respond flexibly to market requirements.

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Analytics is the No. 1 Technology Priority for CIOs in 2012

A new Gartner Executive Programs report, titled "Amplifying the Enterprise: The 2012 CIO Agenda", shows that analytics/business intelligence is the top-ranked technology for 2012 as CIOs seek to increase enterprise growth and operational efficiency. The second most important technology for CIOs this year is mobile, said Gartner.

The report is the product of a global survey of 2,335 CIO’s, representing more than $321 billion in CIO IT budgets and covering 37 industries in 45 countries. According to Gartner Inc.'s annual survey of IT executives, organizations must deliver on multiple priorities without increasing their IT budget in 2012. In North America, IT budgets are anticipated to decrease with 0.6% compared with 2011.

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Accelerating Competitive Advantage through Analytics

In today’s complex and fast-changing environment, organizations stand at a crossroads. Business leaders can no longer base their decisions on experience and instincts. Rather, as a recent report from IBM reveals, success will depend on their ability to act fast and embrace analytics to create competitive advantage, especially in three areas that are critical to performance: customers, risk, and regulation. In essence, they must first understand what analytics can do and then improve their analytics effectiveness. 

As highlighted in the IBM report “Analytics in the boardroom”, in order to improve profitability and reduce risk, organizations need to follow three principles:

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Maximizing Returns on Analytics Investments with IBM Partners

Wouldn’t be nice to have all core elements to improve your analytics deployment? While it's not that simple, it is within your reach.  

With the current economy facing unprecedented change and increased consumerisation of business intelligence, organizations are compelled to improve the scope and effectiveness of their deployments. As highlighted by Nucleus Research, to achieve their success, companies need to overcome barriers to analytics adoption, such as misconceptions about risks and costs, and lack of analytics skills.

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Fewer Than 30% of Business Intelligence Initiatives Will Align Analytics Completely With Corporate Strategy by 2014

In an environment of accelerating complexity, using analytics to improve the speed and quality of business decisions, predict business outcomes, and spot trends before they happen is becoming more and more an everyday reality. While businesses are adopting analytics to outperform their competitors, it is equally critical that they consider organizational challenges.

As revealed by a recent Garner report titled “Predicts 2012: Business Intelligence Still Subject to Nontechnical Challenges,” by 2014, fewer than 30 percent of business intelligence initiatives will align analytics completely with enterprise business drivers.

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Analytics Helps Companies To Be More Competitive

In order to compete more effectively against much larger competitors, Symmons Industries, a mid-sized manufacturer of commercial and residential plumbing products needed a powerful business analytics solution to provide the company with better visibility into the production process.

The white paper “Symmons Industries turns up the pressure on larger competitors” shows how IBM Cognos Business Intelligence 10 enables the US-based manufacturer to increase its efficiency and take lean manufacturing to the next level by:

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Reduce Risks and Costs with Automated Annual Reporting

When it comes to the annual reporting, all organizations aim to reduce risks and costs. On the surface, these goals are not new. They have been core concerns since the first economy was formed. But if these goals remained the same, nearly everything has changed. The reports are more and more complex and hard to create, and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is speeding up the time to file 10-Ks and 10-Qs.

Organizations must now achieve them within a challenging economic environment which demands for faster annual report creation process and increased security and transparency.

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7 Ways Analytics Provides Business Value

There has been much talk about analytics in the context of ongoing search to better manage performance, refine corporate strategy, and make sound decisions. Another angle to these advanced solutions is that business demands are changing. Managers and business executives need to quickly identify what is happening now in their businesses so they can interpret information in connection with their strategic insights, take appropriate action, and achieve better outcomes. They want to speed up their work and need actionable information to rapidly detect the root cause of problems or seize new opportunities.

Enterprises are learning today that intuition is no longer the most relied upon decision-making tactic and are focusing on analytics to enable them monitor, analyze, and manage business performance more efficiently. But, the advantages of implementing analytics will extend far beyond improved decision-making. They can bring real value to any organization and benefit to everyone. As you consider analytics, keep its benefits in mind.

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