Post: Hug a Cognos Admin Day™: 10 Ways to Say Thanks

There are several things that the majority of Cognos admins have in common. They are dedicated, hardworking, and don’t anticipate accolades. They are willing to do whatever it takes to keep Cognos environments up and running and their end users happy, but how often are they thanked?

On September 30, 2014, we will celebrate our first international Hug a Cognos Admin Day! This holiday came about to pay tribute to all of these devoted BI heroes around the globe. After “working in the trenches” all day, we encourage every employee to thank their Cognos Admin in the best way possible- a big hug!

We’ve also compiled a top 10 list of more ways to thank your Cognos admin, which can be seen below. Beyond bear hugs and suggestions from our top 10 list, we will also be giving the Cognos Admin Ninja Award™ to someone who has delivered exceptional performance in their role as a Cognos Administrator. Today, September 26th, is the last day to submit your nomination to explain why your Cognos admin deserves this prestigious award! Besides recognition as a Cognos Ninja™, the chosen one will receive a full conference pass to this year’s IBM Insight conference.

Top 10 Ways to Thank your Cognos Admin

10) Let them work with the lights off for a day.

9) Buy them a box of donuts, but don’t make a big deal out of it.

8) They don’t have a case of the Mondays. They have a case of the botched-ETL-required-emergency-DB-restore-late-Sundays.

7) Don’t play with the figurines on their desk. They’re collectibles, not toys. And don’t plug in the Portal turret so you can pretend you’ve been hit.

6) Pens. They can never have enough pens. And they don’t have to be expensive.

5) Discuss the art of robots and donuts, while sharing that box you gave them from #9.

4) Quit saying, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” when they talk about IBM Insight.

3) Compliment them on the elegance of their latest package level drill throughs.

2) Three words: Haribo Gold Bears.

1) Above all, what makes a Cognos Admin happy is a Cognos environment that’s doing its job: producing actionable, critical information when you need it. We tell them when things go wrong, how about we thank them for all the times things go right?!

No matter how you decide to celebrate your Cognos Admin, make sure to thank them for all their work behind the scenes today!

Scroll to Top
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.