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What is the best way to learn IBM Cognos Analytics for beginners?
The IBM Cognos Analytics business intelligence suite of reporting tools used by major companies like MGM Resorts International and ADP.
Business intelligence analysts and data scientists who’ve had Cognos Analytics training are compensated well. The average salary according to ZipRecruiter for jobs requiring IBM Cognos Analytics is $113,251 per year.
Data scientists need to have hands-on experience to attract the attention of employers. But it’s difficult to get that experience with a product that’s used mostly in enterprise environments.
An IBM Cognos Analytics certification provided by ExitCertified will get you both experience and accreditation. Training courses will teach you fundamental knowledge about the IBM Cognos dashboard and advanced skills like query building. Let’s dive into what Cognos Analytics is and what training courses are available to you.
What does IBM Cognos Analytics do?
There are five basic components to the IBM Cognos Analytics suite. Each component plays a vital role in a data scientist's day-to-day activities; thus, those new to the data science field must understand what these components do and how they work.
IBM Cognos Connection
To make the IBM Cognos Analytics suite easier to use, IBM created Cognos Connection, a web portal that acts as the central hub for the rest of the suite’s functionality. Making this component a web portal allows users to access it using any of the major internet browsers, although IBM recommends using Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer.
From the web portal, users can view and manage reports, create and schedule tasks, and edit user permissions. The portal also provides users with access to the other suite components, known as “Studios.”
IBM Cognos Query Studio
To understand the Query Studio, you need to understand what a “query” is. A query is simply a question you have for a database. In plain English, you would ask something like, "How many managers in the finance department have worked here for more than five years?" For the database to understand this question — or "query" — you need to ask it in a language the database understands. In most cases, that language will be SQL, which stands for Standard Query Language.
The problem is that SQL is difficult to learn. What the Query Studio allows you to do is query your business's data without needing to know SQL. This is accomplished through a graphical user interface (GUI), which allows drag-and-drop query building. You can, however, still write your own SQL.
Once you have received your data, the Query Studio allows you to create, design and manipulate reports.
IBM Analysis Studio
Unlike the Query Studio, the Analysis Studio is used for the complex analysis of large datasets. Even though the Studio is designed for complex activities like multidimensional analysis, it can still be used by end-users with limited technical knowledge.
The two key benefits of the Analysis Studio are it performs well with large datasets and easily performs “data exploration,” a term which refers to how quickly users can navigate through the data.
IBM Event Studio
The Event Studio handles what IBM calls “events.” To IBM, an event is “a situation that can affect the success of your business.” In the Event Studio, users can create a set of instructions for the software to complete when events occur. An event has three components: the event condition, the agent, and the task.
An event condition could be something like “when a sales representative reaches $10,000 in sales.”
To find out when the event occurs, the user would create an “agent.” An agent is a term that describes a specific routine. In this case, our agent will be monitoring changes in the data to determine when a sales representative reaches $10,000 in sales.
Once the agent detects the event condition, it completes a set of tasks. In our example, the task could be for the agent to send an email to that sales representative’s manager.
IBM Cognos Workspace
Now that we know that IBM Cognos Analytics allows us to create reports and search data, and that all comes together in a “workspace,” often referred to as a “dashboard.” Workspaces are where related reports are aggregated and displayed for teams to review. The goal of workspaces is to facilitate collaborative decision-making for end-users by presenting them with all relevant data in one place.
While each business industry (BI) tools have their own advantages, Cognos Analytics is one of the strongest in predictive analytics—which is the software’s ability to use AI to predict future data—and in big data services, which is the software’s ability to manage very large datasets.
Most Comprehensive IBM Cognos Analytics Training
ExitCertified provides IBM Cognos Analytics training to help you get that important hands-on experience and accreditation. Our training courses cover fundamentals and will teach you skills like how to create basic dashboards, how to create a story, and how to create data exploration. Once complete the fundamentals, or if you come to us with knowledge of Cognos Analytics, we can teach you advanced skills.
While this article was made to show beginners where to start with Cognos Analytics, ExitCertified offers courses in both beginner and advanced topics, such as the creation of author reports and data modules, enterprise administration, architecture and logging.
All of the courses mentioned in this article are available online and in various learning formats. Some are instructor-led and many can be delivered as group training.
IBM Cognos Analytics Dashboard Certifications
This self-paced essentials course will teach you everything you need to know about the fundamental parts of a Cognos Analytics Dashboard. The purpose of this course is to teach you how to create dashboards for end-users. The skills learned will teach you how to get insight into your data and present it to stakeholders.
One of the most important skills you will learn is how to create effective narratives by using “stories.” Stories are used to present data from a certain perspective to inform dashboard users. It is one thing to just present some data, but if you can create compelling narratives in your data, you can help businesses make smart decisions.
At the end of the course, you will know how to conduct the following activities:
- Navigate a Cognos Analytics dashboard
- Create new dashboards and manipulate existing dashboards
- Create a story
- Create a data exploration from a dashboard or story
- Explore relationships in your data
Building upon the fundamentals learned in the Dashboard Essentials course, this course will teach you new skills while continuing to reinforce key concepts. While the course begins with a refresher, the Dashboard Essentials (V11.1.7) is a prerequisite.
Learning how to augment your dashboards to enhance the user experience will make your end-users much more efficient by accelerating their decision-making process.
This course will give you the following knowledge:
- Methods to create effective and intuitive dashboards
- Methods to apply filters to data
- Methods to create and use calculations
- Methods to add “drill throughs” to your dashboards
- Methods to use “pins” to create custom summaries
IBM Cognos Analytics Author Reports Certifications
If you have completed the previous Dashboard Essentials course or already have knowledge of Cognos Analytics, you can jump right into the Author Reports Fundamentals course. In this course, you will be taught the fundamentals of being a Cognos Analytics Author.
Data scientists need to know how to create compelling and easy-to-understand reports as they not only to analyze data but interpret it and present it in a way that non-data scientists will understand.
After introducing you to creating reports in Cognos Analytics, you will learn how to enhance and customize them to fit specific business goals.
In this course, you will learn the following skills:
- Dimensionally model relational data
- Examine list reports
- Aggregate fact data
- Create crosstab reports
- Focus reports using filters
Once you have mastered the fundamentals of Author Reports, the Author Reports Advanced Course will expand your skillset even further. This two-day course will teach you how to enhance and customize reports to make them more interactive and engaging to users.
Working with queries is an invaluable and transferable skill. According to Data Quest, SQL appears in 45% of data-related job postings in 2022.
You will learn how to do the following tasks:
- Create query models
- Create reports based on query relationships
- Use query calculations and set definitions
- Enhance user interactions by leveraging HTML
- Design effective user prompts
Other Popular IBM Cognos Analytics Certifications
This self-paced course will teach data modelers how to use data modules in Cognos Analytics. You should have previous experience with building reports in IBM Cognos Analytics (V11.1.x).
Before you can begin using Cognos Analytics, you must first install it. This course covers the fundamental concepts of how to install and configure it. You will also learn how to implement security and manage server components.
This course was designed for authors and developers and focuses on introductory and intermediate reporting techniques. You will learn how to design queries and prompts and create drill-through reports.
Designed for administrators, this course will teach students how to identify components and sub-components of the IBM Cognos Analytics architecture. You will also learn how those components interact with Java and how to troubleshoot issues.
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