Cognos IBM Analytics  – Release 11.2.1

Our partners at IBM have enhanced their BI solution and changed its name with their new Cognos Analytics with Watson 11.2.1 release. Now a part of the Watson family with enhanced AI capabilities, the update –with improved visualisation reporting and performance improvements – has been well-received by our Cognos customers. So, let’s take a look at what makes IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson 11.2.1. stand out from other BI solutions on the market.

New Functionalities

The most striking and obvious innovation is the new design and interface upgrade, which is more clearly oriented to IBM’s Carbon X design that was showcased in Version 11.1.7. In addition, the portal has been thoroughly revised, and IBM has also refocused on the core virtues of Cognos 8/10. We spun up some VMs so that our customers could have a look at the new software and see if they wanted to upgrade.


This is how Cognos Analytics used to look.


How Cognos Analytics with Watson looks now.

Improved Visualisation Reporting

AI-assisted dashboard and visualisation creation makes data exploration easier than ever, users at any expertise level can get the answers they need. Customers can also take more control of their environment by personalising the colour of visual elements.


With this release, the following new properties are also available:

  • Tab reporting. The new “Optimized TABS” setting speeds up the previously slow rendering process.
  • Element ID of SVG schematics. If you are creating SVG schematics, you can view the SVG key string.
  • Pagination control of SVG schematics. This property is available on uploaded SVG custom schematics.

Full properties list here

AI Data Exploration and Search Enhancements

The new AI assistance is baked into dashboards in 11.2. You can now ask Watson questions in real-time, gain additional insights, or even have Watson build a dashboard for you!
In addition to the existing filter options, you can now filter on Report Views, Jobs, and Shortcuts when you search for content.
You can also specify how many search results appear on each page by selecting the 50, 100, or 500 option, or by entering a different number.


Each new Cognos release includes new dashboards. With 11.2 there was the new ‘Box plot’ and ‘Radar visualisations.’ For 11.2.1, there is the new 3D Hexbin maps allowing users to create a 3D hexbin grouping option in maps and Donut visualisations from Pie charts. If you need custom dashboards built for your business contact our team today.

Why is Cognos Analytics part of Watson?

IBM Watson is AI for business. Watson helps organisations predict future outcomes, automate complex processes, and optimize employees’ time. IBM products that are a part of the Watson portfolio have a strong focus on their AI capabilities. When it comes to data and BI, Augmented Intelligence gives us the ability to look at many differing scenarios at once and make informed decisions based on probability and proven predictive algorithms.

With Cognos Analytics now part of the Watson family, it really highlights the focus from IBM for future AI development with Cognos. There is already some great existing AI functionality within the tool: from the help system; natural language interpretation in Dashboarding; and explorations and general user interface use. You simply don’t notice half of it currently in the software because they are working in the background. The best thing about this technology is that you don’t have to be a full-blown Data Scientist to achieve this; the tool will do all this for you.

Our Takeaway

This is an exciting release for IBM, it continues to build on what is a world class BI solution but also brings in all of the AI capabilities available in Watson into one solution as well. Those customers who have tested this release have been extremely complimentary. Here is what one of our customers had to say about why they chose to upgrade.

“Tahola helped us to upgrade to IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson 11.2.1. We chose to upgrade because of the new features in this version such as run single page that will help us trouble shoot big, bulky reports. Upgrading has been really simple and the new user interface is more attractive and modern and we think interaction with our dashboards will be even faster.”

– Richard Coyle, MIS Analyst, Revolution Bars Group

We are excited by the future direction of IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson and especially look forward to the advances in the next 24 months as we continue to support our Cognos Analytics with Watson customers.

Learn more about Cognos Analytics

Cognos brings value to organisations of all sizes with ease-of-use, automation, and AI-infused capabilities. It’s easy to hit the ground running, and in no time, you’ll be getting all the answers you need in one place.

If you are interested in IBM, or AI powered BI, contact Tahola today.