Skill saver: Cognos merges Microsoft Excel exploration and analysis with secure BI foundation

A new capability enables Microsoft Excel users to analyze centrally controlled Cognos 8 Business Intelligence performance information for improved decision-making.<br/>


A new enterprise business intelligence (BI) capability enables Microsoft Excel users to interactively explore and analyze centrally controlled and secured Cognos 8 Business Intelligence performance information for improved decision-making.

Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel 8.2 serves the business or financial analyst who works in Excel under tight time pressures to create ad-hoc analysis and reports that access multiple data sources. These workers want to leverage their existing Excel skills to create new secure and refreshable performance information inside their spreadsheets. Through the interactive exploration and formulae based capabilities of Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel, they benefit from a live data connection that allows them to independently solve business problems using trusted Cognos 8 BI, and other data sources, in Excel.

The popularity and benefits of spreadsheets create many management and control issues for both enterprise users and IT professionals. Spreadsheets traditionally lack integrity, traceability, consistency, redundancy, security, and compliance, which ultimately erode business confidence in spreadsheet data, information, and results. When spreadsheets are incorporated and tightly integrated with business processes, there’s a much higher risk that lack of controls will introduce operational and/or financial risk into the process.”

Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel 8.2 meets the combined demands of IT and key business stakeholders as part of a solution that offers a complete range of BI capabilities on a single architecture. By providing business analysts with access to the Cognos 8 BI data layer they gain a connection that spans various data sources, including Cognos 8 Planning and Cognos 8 Controller. They also get a managed view of data through a single interface to explore, select, filter, and define the layout of the desired information.

Flexible query capabilities let business users refresh and modify their original analysis, alter the layout, access information through formulas, and manage query parameters directly. As data or queries are updated, linked Excel calculations and charts are updated automatically.

“Business and financial analysts want to access and analyze centrally controlled and trusted performance information and still have the flexibility to combine their findings with other data sources in an independent manner,” says Leah MacMillan, VP of product marketing, Cognos. “This new product is part of our ongoing commitment to bring performance management decision-making to the widest array of end users in the environment they prefer to work in. This includes Microsoft Office, a search interface, PDF, or a mobile device.”

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