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How to import new RAVE visualisations from Analytics Zone

TM1 blogs - Tue, 2013-11-05 00:18

For those who don’t know, The new visualization engine (RAVE) underpinning most of the IBM business analytics products is capable of some stunning visualisations. There is a gallery of sample visualisations on Analytics Zone (.com). These include (but is not limited to):

For instructions on downloading and installing these into either Cognos Express or Cognos BI check out the article on TM1Tutorials.com. How to import the new visualisation charts into IBM Cognos BI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TM1 Analyze and Share Data

TM1 blogs - Mon, 2013-11-04 16:57

IBM Cognos TM1 is an enterprise planning software platform that can transform your entire planning cycle, from target setting and budgeting to reporting, scorecarding, analysis and forecasting.

The following example is a workshop from the IBM Cognos TM1: Analyze and Share Data (v10.2) three-day instructor-led course available in a classroom or online environment. This course is designed to teach analysts how to use TM1 to analyze data to discover trends and exceptions, create and customize reports and templates, and contribute to plans. If you would like to know more about this training course or other training courses, please visit the IBM Training Course Catalog.

Tasks covered

  • Connecting to the Sales Plan Cube.
  • Creating an exploration and arrange the view for data entry.
  • Creating two sandboxes and view them as Flex views.
  • Entering data and commit to both Sandboxes.
  • Calculating variance between the sandbox values.
  • Merging the Optimistic sandbox with the base.

Download

Financial Systems Manager - Dynamics AX- Distance:0 miles

TM1 Jobs Pipe - Mon, 2013-11-04 00:00
Position: AX Finance Systems Manager Reference: 34982 Salary: c£45-50,000 + Benefits Location: West London Contact: Chris Pearson - JAM Recruitment Keywords: MS Dynamics, AX, Axapta, Cognos TM1 Do you have administrative or management experience of Dynamics AX? Do you come from a ...

TM1 CFG File - ViewConsolidationOptimizationMethod

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-11-03 23:55
I see a lot of client's cfg file and its amazing how many of them are out of date or contain the wrong settings for the version of TM1 they are on.
One of the parameters that I always suggest adding in is ViewConsolidationOptimizationMethod=TREE
The reason why is because of the documentation you can find here: http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/ctm1/v10r1m0/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.tm1_inst.10.1.0.doc%2Fc_viewconsolidation_optimizationmethod_1.html&path%3D0_1_21_2_93

Specifically its says "This setting provides the best performance in normal operations"

TM1 CFG File - ViewConsolidationOptimizationMethod

James Wakefield blog - Sun, 2013-11-03 23:55
I see a lot of client's cfg file and its amazing how many of them are out of date or contain the wrong settings for the version of TM1 they are on.
One of the parameters that I always suggest adding in is ViewConsolidationOptimizationMethod=TREE
The reason why is because of the documentation you can find here: http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/ctm1/v10r1m0/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.tm1_inst.10.1.0.doc%2Fc_viewconsolidation_optimizationmethod_1.html&path%3D0_1_21_2_93

Specifically its says "This setting provides the best performance in normal operations"

Cognos Report Studio RAVE - Visualization Customizer

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-11-03 23:42
There is now a utility available on AnalyticsZone where you can now edit the visualizations available within Cognos Report Studio:

https://www.analyticszone.com/homepage/web/displayMarketplacePage.action#search/-/:Utility

Cognos Report Studio RAVE - Visualization Customizer

James Wakefield blog - Sun, 2013-11-03 23:42
There is now a utility available on AnalyticsZone where you can now edit the visualizations available within Cognos Report Studio:

https://www.analyticszone.com/homepage/web/displayMarketplacePage.action#search/-/:Utility

Missing TM1 Subset Editor

TM1 blogs - Sat, 2013-11-02 09:42
If using dual screens you may occasionally move your machine to a projector or another monitor and then find you can't see your subset editor when it opens.

Somehow its thinking its still on the 2nd screen but you don't want to have to go back to your desk and plug everything back in to then move the subset editor back to the original single screen.

One quick way to get round it is to edit your tm1p.ini file but a quicker way that doesn't involve shutting down Excel is to press:

  1. ALT with Space Bar
  2. Then press M (which is the shortcut for Move)
  3. Then use your cursor keys to bring the subset editor back to your screen

Missing TM1 Subset Editor

James Wakefield blog - Sat, 2013-11-02 09:42
If using dual screens you may occasionally move your machine to a projector or another monitor and then find you can't see your subset editor when it opens.

Somehow its thinking its still on the 2nd screen but you don't want to have to go back to your desk and plug everything back in to then move the subset editor back to the original single screen.

One quick way to get round it is to edit your tm1p.ini file but a quicker way that doesn't involve shutting down Excel is to press:

  1. ALT with Space Bar
  2. Then press M (which is the shortcut for Move)
  3. Then use your cursor keys to bring the subset editor back to your screen

TM1 10.1.1 FP2

TM1 blogs - Sat, 2013-11-02 09:36
TM1 10.1.1 FP2 has been released to IBM Fix Pack Central  for download:

www.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/

TM1 10.1.1 FP2

James Wakefield blog - Sat, 2013-11-02 09:36
TM1 10.1.1 FP2 has been released to IBM Fix Pack Central  for download:

www.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/

Cognos Controller Expert - SC Cleared - London- Distance:0 miles

TM1 Jobs Pipe - Sat, 2013-11-02 00:00
Cognos Controller Expert SC Cleared London £600 per day 5 Months We are currently looking for a Cognos Controller Expert with TM1, BI and EPM experience to work with our major client in London. CANDIDATES MUST HAVE ...

TM1 Tutorials remodelled with added analytics

TM1 blogs - Fri, 2013-11-01 23:08

I’m pleased to announce that TM1 Tutorials.com has had a complete rebuild and today we have launched the new site, just in time for IBM Information On Demand (IOD). Please head on over to the new and improved TM1 Tutorials.com and see for yourself what all the fuss is about! You can also track our progress at IOD by following @TM1Tutorials on twitter.

The new TM1 Tutorials website is now focuses on the IBM Business Analytics solution stack consisting of:

  • IBM Cognos TM1
  • IBM Cognos BI
  • IBM Cognos Disclosure Management
  • IBM SPSS.

We have our data-scientist Vangelis working hard on some really impressive SPSS Predictive Analytics tutorials, the first of which has been added to the archives.

How to use SPSS Modeler and Time Series algorithms to forecast revenues – Vangelis K

I hope the changes will help to better support you in your analytical adventures! As always, if you have any feedback please contact us.

IBM Cognos Express 10.2.1 What’s new

TM1 blogs - Tue, 2013-10-22 23:01

IBM Cognos Express 10.2.1 is out. Here is a list of what is new:

1. The first notable change is that Cognos Express is on the same version with Cognos Enterprise. This means that integrated under the hood you will find:

  • Cognos BI version 10.2.1.1,
  • TM1 version 10.2 and
  • Cognos insight 10.2.1.

This also means all the bug fixes and improvements and new features introduced in the enterprise platforms are present here.

New features like:

  • Cognos TM1 Scorecarding,
  • RAVE charting engine
  • Cognos TM1 mobile contributor app for the Apple iPad
  • TM1RunTI, a command line tool that can run TM1 TI processes
  • New TM1 Web
  • New Performance Modeler
  • … and more!

2. IBM Cognos mobile is fully supported.

Users can interact with Cognos Express via their mobile devices, smartphones or tablets. They can view reports, dashboards and active reports from everywhere.

3. Cognos Express now supports Microsoft Analysis Services (MSAS) data sources. More specifically it supports MSAS 2008 and MSAS 2012.

4. New installation wizard consistent with the other versions of Cognos.

5. IBM Cognos Dynamic Query Analyzer (DQA) is now available for Cognos Express.

6. IBM Cognos Analytic Server (ICAS) Operations Console. Or else TM1 Top Utility on steroids. The ICAS Operations Console is installed as part of the standard installation and is run from a web browser.

7. Cognos for MS Office add-in capable of retrieving content from Cognos reports, is now available

8. Support of new operating systems, Windows 8 32 and 64 bit and Windows 2012.

9. In Cognos Express 10.2.1 Advisor and Data Advisor are deprecated. This means that they are available in the current release, but will not be available in future releases.

 

Below is table that sheds some light on the three different versions of IBM Cognos.

Table 1. Comparison of the key capabilities of Cognos Insight, Cognos Express, and Cognos Enterprise Key capabilities Cognos Insight Cognos Express Cognos Enterprise Dashboards Yes Yes Yes Analysis Yes Yes Yes What-if scenario modeling Yes Yes Yes Planning and budgeting Yes Yes Yes Production reports Yes Yes Microsoft Office integration Yes Yes Support for Apple iPad Yes Yes Support for other mobile devices Yes Yes Enterprise-wide collaboration 100 User Limit Yes Scorecarding Yes Yes Yes Software Development Kit Yes Yes

 

 

 

Cognos and OpenStreetMap

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-10-20 05:35

Got a chance to play with maps in Cognos reports for a recent PoC and learned quite a lot in the process. Most notably, I integrated OpenStreetMap in Cognos report, so I’ll demonstrate how to do it. Looks like this:

Cognos and maps overview

So you’re up to doing some maps in Cognos reports? I was always convinced (and still mostly) am maps are rarely a good graphic medium apart from “wow”-effect, but it’s quite magical to look at the same data on a map, get’s even to me -)

And my general feeling is that if location data is really important to your organisation, you would definitely have a serious GIS system in-house and wouldn’t be looking for “just a map report” in Cognos -).

I’ve met some strikingly well used location analytics, for example one of my retail customers was using a dataset with car purchase history and using owners addresses & car price to colour suburbs for selecting retail outlet positions, that was very impressive feat. You should contact guys from ESRI if you want to hear a proper location analytics pitch, but I’m still thinking that it’s just a quick way to score some points with users, but then again, if it’s a quick way and an easy one, why avoid it?

There are quite a few options you can go with if you want to embed maps in your reports:

  • Serious solutions
    • Built-in MapInfo maps
    • ESRI
  • Javascript maps in reports, most notably:
    • Google Maps
    • Bing Maps
    • OpenStreetMap (OSM)

And since it takes time for these things to sink in: “Google Maps and Bing Maps are not free to use”. OSM maps are

Serious solutions

Let’s start with heavy-weights. Go this way only if you really have the itching mapping need (if so you probably have one of them in-house already) and a bit of a budget, both come with a price tag. And that’s the reason I don’t have any experience with them apart for demos -)

MapInfo

Cognos has a built-in mapping capability based on MapInfo maps ever since Visualizer days. It ships with a few default maps (world map, US states) and you can use MapInfo Professional to create gst files for additional maps or you can buy them from MapInfo directly.

ESRI

ESRI has a full-blown over-the-top Cognos Integration (you get ESRI maps in Report Studio Toolbox and in most other studios) with no code-writing required. Good client and easy to use once you’ve set it up, if you plan to do a lot with location-based reports, ask for a demo and a quote.
Heaps more on their site

Javascript maps

More affordable (to a certain degree) solution is to use one of the web mapping service providers and integrate Cognos report data with a map on-flight using Javascript.
There are heaps of examples for both Google Maps and Bing (see links below), but I must repeat that both of them are not-free-to-use. You can check the legal clauses yourself (Bing and Google Maps), but the only way to qualify for free usage is to have Free and Public access under a specified quota of map calls. You need to contact Google or Microsoft for correct pricing, but judging by internet rumours it start with 10k$ per year.

Google Maps

Google maps have an interesting story, they were free for about 6 years and became the de-facto standard for maps in web applications, but then started charging developers from January 2012, causing massive upheaval, even after price was significantly cut-down (80% drop is sure sign of original error in my book). This lead to the rise of OpenStreetMap, massive projects like Foursquare made the switch to OSM instead of Google.

While Google maps were free, a lot of Google Maps and Cognos examples got published, here are some of them:
With coordinates set in latitude and longitude:
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/library/techarticle/dm-1005googlemapscognos/
With client-side GeoCoding:
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21367426
http://www.ironsidegroup.com/2011/10/17/embed-google-maps-in-ibm-cognos-reports/
With polygons
http://sebastianmai.blogspot.com.au/2010/01/google-maps-polygon-overlay-with-ibm.html
With embedded report inside by using CMS:
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21430941

OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap is a crowd-sourced map of the whole world, meaning that it’s updated by users all the time (I just saw a bypass in remote town show up on OSM before Google Maps were updated), which is free to use and licensed so that it will be free to use in the future as well.  There’s nothing fully free in this world, so there are some caveats I’ll highlight along the way, but, in general, you can use OSM without paying a dime and you can even host your map server inside your network (making it available in case your users don’t have internet access / you want to limit web traffic / or are security paranoid).

Sadly, there’s no Cognos + OSM recipes out there yet, so I’ll try to correct this.

Before we proceed, we’ll need a bit of common map related-lingo.

Terminology Geocoding

In the world of maps you operate with geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) of a point, but in your data it’s usually street address or a postcode. Converting  addresses to geographic coordinates is called geocoding. It’s absolutely vital to geocode all locations you want to show before you do any report development. You can do online geocoding, but it’ll be terribly ineffective (geocoding will be called by every client running the report), slow (image the time it takes to convert you 1000 stores to points) and wouldn’t work at all (most online geocoders limit the load, Google geocoder wouldn’t allow more than ~10 requests per second so geocoding 1000 points would be just impossible).

It’s best to do your geocoding during ETL and store results in the dimension so you can easily use them in map reports you require.
And another licensing warning, you can legally display google geocoder results only on google maps, so it’s best to use one Nominatim (unsurprisingly, based on OSM data) if you want to use the coordinates anywhere else later.

Tiles

When you see a map in a webpage, it’s actually composed of multiple small square images called tiles. Map servers know what set of tiles to show user based on level of detail and map position. Here’s a fantastic explanation from Bing team.

You can imagine the amount of traffic tile serving requires, so there are only a few “free” tile servers (most notably, MapQuest I’m using in this example). You can register for free at CloudMade and try out their tiles, some people like them better.

If you have really high usage (or are absolutely paranoid), you can build your own tile server from OSM absolutely for free. If you do this, outside connection for maps will no longer be required, your maps will render from this server. Then you set up weekly updates to get map changes and you’re absolutely set to go.

You can even make your own tiles using free Tilemill and draw your own region / country borders or anything you would like. Game developers use this to draw “zombie” haunted city, overlaying it with real addresses and streets.
And while we’re at it GADM looks like a fantastic collection of official region definitions, there’s definitely the most detailed (60 Mb of shape files) “official” map of Vietnam that I could find for free.

Markers

Markers are the points that you put on the map and it’s quite easy to use non-standard icons, making the map a lot more appealing. You can conditionally change marker icons / colours.
Here’s a good collection of free markers.

OSM example

And, finally, the main dish.

I’ll base this example on “sales and marketing” cube from standard cognos samples and what we’ll do will resemble Ironside recipe, but without geocoding, we’ll use predefined coordinates.

We’ll build a list of countries and draw a marker for each of the countries capital. I’m using Leaflet.js for mapping, a really nice mapping library. OpenLayers would be another option, but leaflet looked easier )

How to do the report (or just grab the report definition xml).

  • start with 2 column table
  • create a list to the right and dragging  Retailer country level to it
  • define latitude and longitude with following expressions # /* Calculated latitute of country capitals */ # case (caption([Retailer country])) when ('Australia') then (133) when ('Austria') then (13.3333) when ('Belgium') then (4) when ('Brazil') then (-55) when ('Canada') then (-95) when ('China') then (105) when ('Denmark') then (10) when ('Finland') then (26) when ('France') then (2) when ('Germany') then (9) when ('Italy') then (12.8333) when ('Japan') then (138) when ('Mexico') then (-102) when ('Netherlands') then (5.75) when ('Singapore') then (103.8) when ('Spain') then (-4) when ('Sweden') then (15) when ('Switzerland') then (8) when ('United Kingdom') then (-2) when ('United States') then (-97) else (0) end # /* Calculated latitude of country capitals */ # case (caption([Retailer country])) when ('Australia') then (-27) when ('Austria') then (47.3333) when ('Belgium') then (50.8333) when ('Brazil') then (-10) when ('Canada') then (60) when ('China') then (35) when ('Denmark') then (56) when ('Finland') then (64) when ('France') then (46) when ('Germany') then (51) when ('Italy') then (42.8333) when ('Japan') then (36) when ('Mexico') then (23) when ('Netherlands') then (52.5) when ('Singapore') then (1.3667) when ('Spain') then (40) when ('Sweden') then (62) when ('Switzerland') then (47) when ('United Kingdom') then (54) when ('United States') then (38) else (0) end
  • drag an html item to the list with the following html code. This html will register your countries capitals on the maps (by calling the function) and will centre map on the country you select when clicking “Show on the map“ '<a href="#" onClick="displayInfoLatLng( ''' + number2string ([q_RegionData].[Latitude]) + ''', ''' + number2string ([q_RegionData].[Longitude]) + ''', ''' + [q_RegionData].[Retailer country] +''')"> Show on Map</a> <script> displayLocationLatLng(''' + number2string ([q_RegionData].[Latitude]) + ''', ''' + number2string ([q_RegionData].[Longitude]) + ''', ''' + [q_RegionData].[Retailer country] + ''' ); </script>'
  • Drag an html item to the right column with following code. This is you map and you can play with tile servers too (change the lines in the middle): <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://cdn.leafletjs.com/leaflet-0.7/leaflet.css" /> <!--[if lte IE 8]> <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://cdn.leafletjs.com/leaflet-0.7/leaflet.ie.css" /> <![endif]--> <script src="http://cdn.leafletjs.com/leaflet-0.7/leaflet.js"></script> <div id="map" style="height: 400px; width: 550px;"></div> <script> //Center map somewhere, Australia is a good starting point var map = L.map('map').setView([-24.766785, 134.824219], 2); // Choose a map provider below // CLOUDMADE /** L.tileLayer('http://{s}.tile.cloudmade.com/your_application_key/997/256/{z}/{x}/{y}.png', { attribution: 'Map data &copy; <a href="http://openstreetmap.org">OpenStreetMap</a> contributors, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC-BY-SA</a>, Imagery © <a href="http://cloudmade.com">CloudMade</a>', maxZoom: 18 }).addTo(map); /**/ //MAPQUEST // try replacing map with osm or sat in url below, it'll change the tiles var mapquestUrl = 'http://{s}.mqcdn.com/tiles/1.0.0/osm/{z}/{x}/{y}.png',subDomains = ['otile1','otile2','otile3','otile4'],mapquestAttrib = 'Data, imagery and map information provided by <a href="http://open.mapquest.co.uk" target="_blank">MapQuest</a>,<a href="http://www.openstreetmap.org/" target="_blank">OpenStreetMap</a> and contributors.'; var mapquest = new L.TileLayer(mapquestUrl, {maxZoom: 18, attribution: mapquestAttrib, subdomains: subDomains}); mapquest.addTo(map); /**/ function displayInfoLatLng(lat, lng, countryName) { displayMapLatLng(lat, lng, countryName, 1); } function displayLocationLatLng( lat, lng, countryName) { displayMapLatLng(lat, lng, countryName, 0); } function displayMapLatLng(lat, lng, countryName, displayInfo) { var latlng = new L.LatLng(lat, lng); var contentString = '<div id="content">'+ '<b>' + countryName + ' </b> <br>' // Link to report with parameter // +'<a href="http://cognosserver:80/ibmcognos/cgi-bin/cognosisapi.dll?b_action=cognosViewer&ui.action=run&ui.object=%2fcontent%2fpackage%5b%40name%3d%27sales_and_marketing%27%5d%2freport%5b%40name%3d%27drillDown_Report%27%5d&ui.name=drillDown_Report&run.outputFormat=&p_p_Country=' + countryName + '" target="_blank">Show report</a>' ; var marker = new L.Marker( latlng); marker.bindPopup(contentString); marker.addTo(map); if (displayInfo == 1) { marker.openPopup(); } } setTimeout('map.invalidateSize(false);',1000); </script>

If everything is correct, you’ll see result like this:

Here’s the report specification (10.2.1, but you can change version in first line of XML, 11.0 to 10.0 or anything and import it in earlier versions).

Take a look at Leaflet examples to see what else is easily achievable with it. I enabled mobile device location finder in the PoC with 1 line of code, but truth be said, that impressed only myself -)

Anything doable with Google maps can be converted to OSM, so if you’re interested to see how one of the existing recipes translates to OSM write me a comment and I’ll write about it. Potentially:

  • Conditional markers
  • Opening a report from a marker click in a new page (that’s already in the code above)
  • Opening a report from a marker click in an iframe
  • Drawing regionsOverall, that was an interesting dive in a new area!

Interim Fix For TM1 10.2

TM1 blogs - Tue, 2013-10-08 04:44

IBM has just released an interim fix for TM1 10.2 and provides important corrections. According to IBM this fix should be applied to all installations.

It includes the following fixes:

Number Description PM97736 PM does not respond after opening a view that was migrated in from a Cognos Planning application PM97742 Default sandbox data does not appear on a node when two nodes are open and edits made in another node PM65978 ISB: problem with date-format

What’s the difference between Fix packs and Interim fixes:

Fix packs and interim fixes provide important changes and enhancements that might affect your product usage.

Fix packs

A fix pack is a cumulative collection of fixes. Fix packs are made available periodically. Fix packs are typically available for all platforms.

Interim fixes

An interim fix is a cumulative collection of fixes that arise between fix packs. Interim fixes are typically supplied in response to specific customer reported problems and they are available for a subset of platforms.

 

TM1 Consultant - 60-70k - London- Distance:0 miles

TM1 Jobs Pipe - Sat, 2013-10-05 00:00
TM1 Consultant - 60-70k - London TM1 Consultant - This TM1 Consultant will have five years minimum experience with using IBM Cognos. Full end to end project lifecycle is a must. The TM1 Consultant will have come from a financial background preferably although technical is always viewed too. My client needs an e ...

Data Warehouse Analyst - Insurance- Distance:0 miles

TM1 Jobs Pipe - Thu, 2013-10-03 00:00
My client is a new organisation, with a clear vision: to be the best at everything they do. They are the number one motor and home insurer, making them the largest insurer in the country for personal customers . They're home to some of the nation's best-loved brands and they're growing internationally too. This ...

Cognos consultant - London - 40-45k- Distance:0 miles

TM1 Jobs Pipe - Thu, 2013-10-03 00:00
Cognos Consultant - London - 40-45k A Cognos TM1 consultant is urgently required for my top tiered Cognos partner in London. You will become part of a small team of TM1 professionals providing exceptional services to their clients. You must be willing to train up and travel to client sites. The TM1 candidate wi ...

Informatica ETL & Oracle Developer - London- Distance:0 miles

TM1 Jobs Pipe - Thu, 2013-10-03 00:00
Informatica ETL & Oracle Data Warehouse Developer - Informatica ETL and Oracle Developer / Consultant / Designer - Central London A global company seek a Data Warehouse Informatica/Oracle engineer to join their team as they face an explosion of data and growth. This is a significant role to be instrumenta ...
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