As organisations continue to turn to Artificial Intelligence to improve business performance and achieve a competitive advantage, IBM have given us a pleasant, pre-Halloween surprise in the form of IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.

After several much smaller releases of Cognos Analytics, IBM had a sizeable task on their hands if they wanted to bring Cognos back into the running. In the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence report, it was clear to see that Cognos Analytics had lost some traction when compared to its rival quadrant counterparts. In the future, if IBM wanted to see Cognos Analytics climb the BI ranks and be positioned in the prestigious top right corner of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence, some radical changes would have to be made.

The 2019 Garter Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence is yet to be released, but it’s clear to see that IBM want to shift their rankings and shake up the BI landscape. Even when entering the new Cognos Analytics landing page on the IBM website, you get a sense of excitement and anticipation from the new eye-popping graphics and teaser video showcasing the many new features woven into the latest release. Rest assured, IBM Cognos Analytics is no longer “your Grandma’s BI”.

When reviewing the IBM documentation on the latest Cognos release, you can’t help but get the distinct impression that if you peeled back the Cognos exterior, inside you would find Artificial Intelligence and advanced analytics infused into the core.  It’s no surprise that IBM have integrated AI into the new release of IBM Cognos Analytics, given that 82% of enterprises are considering AI deployments. AI coupled with advanced analytics enables IBM’s latest release of Cognos to help organisations “get to the why” in a much faster and more direct fashion.

Amongst the many other new features in Cognos Analytics 11.1, IBM have introduced intuitive new features, like natural language dialogue, machine learning, and advanced analytics with automatic pattern detection. In the background, this set of innovative, yet complex components all work in harmony to interrogate large amounts of data.

On the outside, what IBM have managed to pull off is quite remarkable. Whether you’re a data scientist, business analyst or indeed a non-specialist, the seamless interface delivers a user experience that is simple, easy to use, and provides more power to the end user to perform relevant analysis to reach an informed conclusion quickly and more efficiently.

Here are some of the standout features in IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1:


Data Preparation

In Cognos 11.1, users can take advantage of the built-in intelligence to cleanse and shape their data and leverage advanced system recommendations to consolidate data from different sources, all within the tool.

Smart Data Discovery

Users of IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1 can now uncover relationships in their data that they never knew existed. With smart data discovery, Cognos Analytics reveals hidden patterns in the data and helps to identify the hard-to-find answers that you’ve been longing to find.

Automated Data Visualisation

Create your own visualisations or sit back and let Cognos do it for you. The automated data visualisation feature recommends the most suitable visualisations and presents additional data insights back to the end user in natural language.

Question your Data

With a built in AI Assistant, users can question their data and receive responses in easy-to-understand natural language.


The above list of features barely touches the surface. I’m sure you’ll agree, we haven’t seen a release of this scale in quite some time, but it has certainly been worth the wait. What IBM have delivered after a considerable amount of work is a redefined BI tool built and designed to push boundaries, yet at the same time help its users to realise the potential in what is now arguably the lifeblood and backbone to most businesses – data.

IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1, a tool now infused with AI, is a platform for everyone, on any budget, that will undoubtedly bring data to life in an array of different ways. Not only can users now verify and combine data sources with automated modelling, but they can also combine charts into a compelling story with overlays, voiceovers and interactive elements to really strike an emotional connection with their audience.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing more detail on IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1, including an infographic detailing the complete list of new features. However, if you’re already starting to consider an upgrade to the latest version, be sure to check out our Cognos Upgrade Ready Set Go to ensure you achieve Cognos upgrade success.

Posted in Cognos

October 10, 2018