IBM Cognos Workspace Advanced

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(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

Who should use Cognos Workspace Advanced?

With Cognos Workspace Advanced, business users have one tool for creating advanced analyses and reports. The tool, like Query Studio and Analysis Studio, is designed for ease of use and is built on the same platform as the other report development tools in Cognos. Business Insight Advanced/Cognos Workspace Advanced is actually so powerful that it is being positioned more as a light Cognos Report Studio than as a powerful Cognos Query Studio and Cognos Analysis Studio.

Comparing to Cognos Query Studio and Cognos Analysis Studio

With so many options for business users, how do we know which tool to use? The best approach for making this decision is to consider the similarities and differences between the options available. In order to help us do so, we can use the following table:

Feature

Query Studio

Analysis Studio

Cognos Workspace Advanced

Ad hoc reporting

X

 

X

Ad hoc analysis

 

X

X

Basic charting

X

X

X

Advanced charting

 

 

X

Basic filtering

X

X

X

Advanced filtering

 

 

X

Basic calculations

X

X

X

Advanced calculations

 

 

X

Properties pane

 

 

X

External data

 

 

X

Freeform design

 

 

X

As you can see from the table, all three products have basic charting, basic filtering, and basic calculation features. Also, we can see that Cognos Query Studio and Cognos Workspace Advanced both have ad hoc reporting capabilities, while Cognos Analysis Studio and Cognos Workspace Advanced both have ad hoc analysis capabilities. In addition to those shared capabilities, Cognos Workspace Advanced also has advanced charting, filtering, and calculation features.

Cognos Workspace Advanced also has a limited properties pane (similar to what you would see in Cognos Report Studio). Furthermore, Cognos Workspace Advanced allows end users to bring in external data from a flat file and merge it with the data from Cognos Connection. Finally, Cognos Workspace Advanced has free-form design capabilities. In other words, you are not limited in where you can add charts or crosstabs in the way that Cognos Query Studio and Cognos Analysis Studio limit you to the standard templates.

The simple conclusion after performing this comparison is that you should always use Cognos Workspace Advanced. While that will be true for some users, it is not true for all. With the additional capabilities come additional complexities. For your most basic business users, you may want to keep them using Cognos Query Studio or Cognos Analysis Studio for their ad hoc reporting and ad hoc analysis simply because they are easier tools to understand and use. However, for those business users with basic technical acumen, Cognos Workspace Advanced is clearly the superior option.

Accessing Cognos Workspace Advanced

I would assume now that, after reviewing the capabilities Cognos Workspace Advanced brings to the table, you are anxious to start using it. We will start off by looking at how to access the product.

The first way to access Cognos Workspace Advanced is through the welcome page. On the welcome page, you can get to Cognos Workspace Advanced by clicking on the option Author business reports:

This will bring you to a screen where you can select your package. In Cognos Query Studio or Cognos Analysis Studio, you will only be able to select non-dimensional and dimensional packages based on the tool you are using. With Cognos Workspace Advanced, because the tool can use both dimensional and non-dimensional packages, you will be prompted with packages for both.

The next way to access Cognos Workspace Advanced is through the Launch menu in Cognos Connection. Within the menu, you can simply choose Cognos Workspace Advanced to be taken to the same options for choosing a package.

Note, however, that if you have already navigated into a package, it will automatically launch Cognos Workspace Advanced using the very same package.

The third way to access Cognos Workspace Advanced is by far the most functional way. You can actually access Cognos Workspace Advanced from within Cognos Workspace by clicking on the Do More… option on a component of the dashboard:

When you select this option, the object will expand out and open for editing inside Cognos Workspace Advanced.

Then, once you are done editing, you can simply choose the Done button in the upper right-hand corner to return to Cognos Workspace with your newly updated object.

For the sake of showing as many features as possible in this chapter, we will launch Cognos Workspace Advanced from the welcome page or from the Launch menu and select a package that has an OLAP data source. For the purpose of following along, we will be using the Cognos BI sample package great_outdoors_8 (or Great Outdoors).

When we first access it, we are prompted to choose a package. For these examples, we will choose great_outdoors_8:

We are then brought to a splash screen where we can choose Create new or Open existing. We will choose Create new.

We are then prompted to pick the type of chart we want to create. As we will see from the following screenshot, our options are:

  • Blank: It starts us off with a completely blank slate

  • List: It starts us off with a list report

  • Crosstab: It starts us off with a crosstab

  • Chart: It starts us off with a chart and loads the chart wizard

  • Financial: It starts us off with a crosstab formatted like a financial report

  • Existing…: It allows us to open an existing report

We will choose Blank because we can still add as many of the other objects as we want to later on.

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