In the latest version of Cognos Analytics (CA 11.1) IBM have been working to incorporate features previously found in Watson Analytics (which is no longer available). The main part of CA 11.1 to benefit from these features is the Exploration area which is itself new in CA 11.1. It provides the user with access to the new features without clouding the focus of the Dashboard or Story perspectives while still integrating with them in a way that allows users to easily navigate back and forth.
Having just watched the latest webinar showcasing the Exploration features (replay available here) there were some highlights that really caught my eye:
• The navigation throughout your exploration is done using a simple panel on the left that maintains a list of all your visualisations and lets you easily try out new ones just to see if they tell you anything. Creating them is straightforward so you can keep your focus on following the interesting data without having to struggle with the presentation
• I love the fact that the new decision tree visualisation can be re-jigged to show as a decisions sunburst or a rules list meaning that you can find the form of data that works best for you – whether you’re numerically, visually or textually oriented
• When you get to a point where you want to explore in two different directions you can create both visualisations and then put them together as a comparison!
• The default view of a new exploration is a relationship diagram based on statistical analysis of your data (i.e. you don’t have to do anything!) which shows the impact of each measure and attribute on each other. That’s a major starting point that moves you immediately beyond simply reporting the figures to understanding the data itself! Even better – by selecting the attributes you want you can generate an automatic exploration on them
The next webinar in the series is “Prepare Yourself for Smarter Data Preparation and Modeling in IBM Cognos Analytics” and it’s being streamed on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 4pm. You can register for it here