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.
No doubt this is a great enhancement of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence solution. There is a lot to like:
- A full relational OLAP engine that load data directly from relational data warehouses.
- It is optimized to effectively scale up to terabytes of data, using aggregate-awareness and extensive in-memory caching to accelerate performance.
- Gives maximum flexibility in how memory is leveraged to enable high-performance interactive analysis over large data warehouses.
- Helps to leverage the power and scale of an enterprise data warehouse while makes the deploying and tuning easier and faster.
- Built into the IBM Cognos BI query stack, which means there is no separate install or license in order to use Dynamic Cubes.
- Tightly integrated with IBM Cognos platform which provides ease of use to existing users who are already familiar with interfaces such as Report Studio, Business Workspace, and Business Workspace Advanced.
- Cognos Cube Designer is used to model dynamic cubes, by connecting directly to the data warehouse and leveraging existing relationships between fact tables and its dimension tables to accelerate the creation of cubes.
- With Dynamic Cubes, you also get the Aggregate Advisor, which can recommend ways (database aggregate tables and in-memory aggregates) to tune the cube and make reports and analysis run even faster.
- Once a dynamic cube is created and published as a package, it becomes available in the Cognos environment and acts as the data source to the interface layer for dynamic cube applications.
To summarize, Cognos Dynamic Cubes gives you an additional tool in the query stack to handle very large data warehouses. Note, however, that a star or snowflake schema is required in the underlying database in order to maximize performance. In addition, because Cognos Dynamic Cubes relies on in-memory technology to improve performance, consider using a powerful server with a significant amount of memory to realize the full potential of Cognos Dynamic Cubes.
Keep in mind: if you are looking to extend the scalability of the IBM Cognos platform to enable speed-of-thought analytics over terabytes of enterprise data, without having to invest in a new data warehouse, IBM Cognos Dynamic Cubes might be tremendously helpful and valuable.
Does this inspire you? Find out more about this topic by reading the IBM Cognos Dynamic Cubes ebook, an IBM Redbooks® publication which addresses the IBM Cognos Dynamic Cubes capabilities.