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Post: Change the Package for Multiple Cognos Reports

With MotioPI Pro’s Property Distributor you have the ability to modify the properties on any Cognos object in bulk. In today’s example, we’ll use this feature to update the package associated with multiple Cognos reports in one fell swoop.

Like several of the panels in MotioPI, the property distributor allows you to select a single Cognos object as a “template”, and then replicate selected properties from that template onto many other Cognos objects.

To begin today’s example, open Cognos Analytics and click on the properties for ONE of the reports you wish to change (we will use this as our “template” object). In the example below, we’ll be using the “Customer Satisfaction and Returns” report. First, manually change the associated package of the Report and save the changes.

Now, open MotioPI Pro’s Property Distributor.

Click the Select Template Object button. This will present you with the Cognos Object Selector window. Use the tree to navigate and select the Report you just modified (“Customer Satisfaction and Returns” in our example), and click Select.

You will now see the path of the Report in the text field at the top of the screen. Under the Template Properties you will see various Property sections. Expanding the General section you will see the line “Package = …”. This property should be pointing at the package you just set the Report to in Cognos.

Select the package property, move it to the Selected Properties section using the move arrow.

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You have now selected the package property to be distributed to the target Reports. You will now need to select the target Reports, by using the options under the Select Target Object(s) section. In this section, you can:

– determine the Search In parameters (Team Content, My Content, or both)
– select the types of Cognos objects you wish to update
– manually narrow the search field
– apply Filters to the search

For this example, we will just use the Narrow capability. Click on the Narrow button to open the Cognos Object Selector window again.
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From the Cognos Object Selector window, select the reports you wish to apply the changes to. Then use the Move arrow to move the reports to the selected Items section (note – you can also select entire folders in this step). Now click Apply.

 

Then click Submit and the list of selected reports will be returned at the bottom of the screen. Check box the ones you wish to apply the change to (this is useful if you’re searching by folder, but want to exclude a few reports). Now, click Preview.

 

The Property Distributor Preview screen will open. Here you will see the list of Reports with pending changes. You can preview each pending change by clicking on each of the reports.  Doing so will allow you to see a “Before” and “After” of its properties. Any changes that are being made will be colored in blue.

By clicking Run the changes will be applied to all of the Reports in the preview panel.  When the changes have been completed, you will see a Distribution Complete message box. This message box will inform you that Backups have been made of all the Reports you have just modified.

You have now successfully used MotioPI Pro’s Property Distibutor to quickly modify the Package Property for multiple Reports.

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As the BI space evolves, organizations must take into account the bottom line of amassing analytics assets.
The more assets you have, the greater the cost to your business. There are the hard costs of keeping redundant assets, i.e., cloud or server capacity. Accumulating multiple versions of the same visualization not only takes up space, but BI vendors are moving to capacity pricing. Companies now pay more if you have more dashboards, apps, and reports. Earlier, we spoke about dependencies. Keeping redundant assets increases the number of dependencies and therefore the complexity. This comes with a price tag.
The implications of asset failures differ, and the business’s repercussions can be minimal or drastic.
Different industries have distinct regulatory requirements to meet. The impact may be minimal if a report for an end-of-year close has a mislabeled column that the sales or marketing department uses, On the other hand, if a healthcare or financial report does not meet the needs of a HIPPA or SOX compliance report, the company and its C-level suite may face severe penalties and reputational damage. Another example is a report that is shared externally. During an update of the report specs, the low-level security was incorrectly applied, which caused people to have access to personal information.
The complexity of assets influences their likelihood of encountering issues.
The last thing a business wants is for a report or app to fail at a crucial moment. If you know the report is complex and has a lot of dependencies, then the probability of failure caused by IT changes is high. That means a change request should be taken into account. Dependency graphs become important. If it is a straightforward sales report that tells notes by salesperson by account, any changes made do not have the same impact on the report, even if it fails. BI operations should treat these reports differently during change.
Not all reports and dashboards fail the same; some reports may lag, definitions might change, or data accuracy and relevance could wane. Understanding these variations aids in better risk anticipation.

Marketing uses several reports for its campaigns – standard analytic assets often delivered through marketing tools. Finance has very complex reports converted from Excel to BI tools while incorporating different consolidation rules. The marketing reports have a different failure mode than the financial reports. They, therefore, need to be managed differently.

It’s time for the company’s monthly business review. The marketing department proceeds to report on leads acquired per salesperson. Unfortunately, half the team has left the organization, and the data fails to load accurately. While this is an inconvenience for the marketing group, it isn’t detrimental to the business. However, a failure in financial reporting for a human resource consulting firm with 1000s contractors that contains critical and complex calculations about sickness, fees, hours, etc, has major implications and needs to be managed differently.

Acknowledging that assets transition through distinct phases allows for effective management decisions at each stage. As new visualizations are released, the information leads to broad use and adoption.
Think back to the start of the pandemic. COVID dashboards were quickly put together and released to the business, showing pertinent information: how the virus spreads, demographics affected the business and risks, etc. At the time, it was relevant and served its purpose. As we moved past the pandemic, COVID-specific information became obsolete, and reporting is integrated into regular HR reporting.
Reports and dashboards are crafted to deliver valuable insights for stakeholders. Over time, though, the worth of assets changes.
When a company opens its first store in a certain area, there are many elements it needs to understand – other stores in the area, traffic patterns, pricing of products, what products to sell, etc. Once the store is operational for some time, specifics are not as important, and it can adopt the standard reporting. The tailor-made analytic assets become irrelevant and no longer add value to the store manager.