CoBank provides loans, leases, export financing, and other financing services across rural America. They serve agribusiness, rural power, water, and communications providers in all 50 United States. As a member of the Farm Credit System, CoBank is part of a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations focused on supporting the needs of agriculture, rural infrastructure, and rural communities.
CoBank and Cognos
The team at CoBank relies on Cognos for its operational reporting and main financial reporting system. Keeping Cognos upgraded allows them to maintain integration with their other BI tools and systems. The team consists of 600 business users with a handful developing their own reports in the “My Content” space.
CoBank has five Cognos environments to ensure they can manage projects on the business end. This enables the team to confidently work on many items simultaneously. The data environment and the ETL environment can be truly separate. This results in a lot of testing and reliance to get the team from Development to Test 1, Test 2, UAT, and into Production.
Sandeep Anand, Director of Data Platform, values MotioCI’s version control capabilities. As a financial institution, CoBank is frequently audited and having quick access to reports is essential. With MotioCI, the team can quickly and easily run a report that shows the entire history of any Cognos object. CoBank relies on the MotioCI repository as their single version of truth for audits for/regarding Cognos content.
Sandeep explained, “Having version control over anything that gets put into various environments is extremely helpful. It gives clear visibility of not just the core promotion, but who did it, what they did, and makes the audit possibility easier.”
Faster Cognos Upgrades
When it was time to upgrade to the latest version of Cognos, CoBank leveraged its existing MotioCI investment. CoBank used MotioCI for its 2019 upgrade and is planning on using it for its upcoming 2021 upgrade.
Lindy McDonald, administrator in the internal IT Data Platform group, shared, “This is a game-changer. We set up sandbox environments when we do the upgrade. We have a sandbox 1 and 2, following Motio’s guidance. One is on the old version of Cognos, another is on the new version. And being able to just set up the test cases, clone them over, run, and find out which of our 700 reports have issues right off the bat is just very useful. If we had to do that manually it would just be a nightmare.”
MotioCI is a trusted product for the team at CoBank, helping them to work more quickly and efficiently, and resulting in a task-driven process for future upgrades.