Cognos Briefing Jeff Whitten, Lee Gordon and Mike Szczepanski Cognos Demonstration Rhonda Kerr May 7, 2008
Briefing Agenda • Opening Remarks • Cognos License Descriptions • Why Cognos? • Status of Legacy Tools • OnePurdue Student Implementation of Cognos • Demonstration • License Distribution • Next Steps • Questions and Answers
Cognos: License Distribution • VPIT asked Jeff Whitten to explore aggressive pricing for additional Cognos licenses as an alternative to building the shadow database. • Cognos made an aggressive offer of 87% off list price to effectively triple Purdue’s Cognos report authoring capacity. • It also expanded report consumption and data modeling capacity.
Why Cognos: Problem Statement • There is widespread dissatisfaction with SAP’s BEx reporting tool: • by report writers • by users of AIMS (which was written using BEx) • BEx cannot report against non-SAP data for longitudinal studies. • Created a need for a shadow database (aka ReportSpace or “the gray can”) that would serve as a staging area to consolidate SAP and non-SAP data needed for longitudinal analysis and reporting. • Significant costs to implement this shadow database were identified early during a ReportSpace implementation project. • ITaP is currently supporting* three distinct reporting tools: • Brio (for legacy DSS) • BEx (for SAP) • Cognos (for Banner) * ITaP maintains centralized license management, cost, training, and end user support.
Why Cognos: Solution • Cognos is a more robust tool (Based on experience with the initial use of Cognos 7). • Cognos can consolidate data from multiple data sources (not just SAP BW). • Cognos reduces and eliminates the need for ReportSpace (gray can). • Cognos can be used with departmental data sources. • Cognos is more user-friendly. • Cognos is a common tool currently used with the Banner Student system. Common Tool Benefits: • Streamlined support • More cost effective to have one infrastructure • Effective use of training resources • Sharing of user knowledge and tips across areas • It is common practice to use a third-party BI tool against SAP.
Why Cognos: Expectations • In the near term, we do not expect end users to use Cognos with the current SAP BW. • The data is incomplete. • We need to complete an assessment of our current BW structure (environment). • We need to rebuild or build out the BW based on assessment findings. • We look for some super users (very technical staff), however, to become familiar with the Cognos tool and its capabilities. • Possible use with: • DSS • Departmental data sources • An SAP BW info provider • SAP BW info provider would need to be made accessible to Cognos. • Based on the current BW architecture, this could be throw-away.
Why Cognos: Expectations (cont.) • Become familiar with the tool and its capabilities. • Understand the purpose, functionality and limitations of each license. • Learn how to connect to multiple data sources.
Status of Legacy Tools Transition from BEx and Brio to Cognos: • Over time … Over time … • We will move to Cognos over time as a common end user tool for reporting against enterprise databases. • There are limited staff in central offices or ITaP that may still use other SAP reporting tools with R3 (e.g., Report Writer, SAP Query or ABAP).
Status of Legacy Tools • Brio • Have a license that allows us to use for extended time as long as it doesn’t break. • Continue to use with existing queries. • Don’t have new data elements being added to DSS, so don’t anticipate new queries being developed using Brio. • As staff become familiar with Cognos, they may use it against DSS data (and want to migrate to use one tool).
Status of Legacy Tools • BEx • Over time, we will eventually replace BEx with Cognos. • We’ll use Cognos instead of BEx when new SAP BW info providers (data models) are implemented. • A transition plan will need to be developed.
OnePurdue Student • Cognos version 8.2 is the reporting tool used for accessing data from the new OnePurdue student systems. • Cognos accesses data from SunGard Banner's ODS (Operational Data Store). • SunGard Banner Financial Aid system went live in February. • SunGard Banner Financial Aid OLTP (Online Transactional Processing) refreshes the ODS nightly. • Cognos reports were developed for the Division of Financial Aid, and reports run daily. • SunGard Banner Student system will go live in July. • IPFW and PUC have already implemented Cognos to support production SunGard Banner systems.
OnePurdue Student (cont.) • Sarah Bauer, Director of Enrollment Management Analysis and Reporting, leads the OnePurdue Enrollment and Student Affairs (ESA) reporting team • Currently, two types of Cognos tool training are being conducted for those needing access to student data: • 4-day BI Professional Author training • 1-day BI Business Author training
OnePurdue Student (cont.) • The 4-day class is designed for those who do student reporting as a main part of their position. They need to have a reporting tool background and an understanding of relational databases. They will write reports for others in their area to use. • The 1-day class is for staff who need to create basic reports and run more complex reports. There are prompts so they can “customize” reports (e.g., limit to only certain majors).
OnePurdue Student (cont.) • Data training is in development and will be done in group sessions. • To date, more than 100 staff members from the West Lafayette and North Central campuses have been trained in Report Studio. • Cognos Consumer training (showcases) will be scheduled later this summer. Ongoing training is being scheduled beyond July. A 2-day Cognos Intermediate course also is being developed.
OnePurdue Student (cont.) • Using Cognos, data will be available to a wide variety of staff members with varying levels of reporting skills. • In addition to formal training, a Cognos users group will be formed to share tips and other information. Shared queries, written and validated by experienced report authors, also will be created for use by all Cognos users. Others will be trained later to use more “point-and-click” reporting functionality. • Cognos is the preferred technology for reporting against SunGard Banner.
Cognos Demonstration Rhonda Kerr
Cognos: Next Steps • Over time, Purdue will move to Cognos as a common tool for reporting against enterprise databases. • One infrastructure to maintain • One set of training courses to maintain and deliver • One set of support services to be offered • Because Cognos works against any relational data source, the tool can be extended to departmental databases as well. • The ReportSpace project has been cancelled. Cognos can consolidate data from multiple data sources. • We will still pursue funding of a secure physical space for frozen files and temporary work sets. • Potential exists for an enterprise end user group to share tips and best practices.
Cognos Next Steps (cont.) • Jeff Whitten has been charged by VPIT with allocating and managing licenses. • Task force formed (functional and technical). • Finalize guiding principles. • Communications being planned. • Allocation tool being developed. • Cognos license coordinators are being identified in each enterprise data area to assign the “named licenses.” • Implementing a structure and process for maintaining and administering the West Lafayette Cognos servers.
Guiding Principals • The Cognos licenses purchased by ITaP will be allocated only to users reporting against enterprise data: Student, Finance, Human Resources and Advancement. • Priority will be given to non-self-supporting units at all campuses (with emphasis on units that need to report against enterprise data) and to the colleges and schools. • Cognos licenses will be allocated only to those individuals that meet a predefined skill set related to the requested license type. • A Cognos license coordinator for each enterprise data set will be responsible for allocating licenses to named individuals. • For purposes of administering Purdue’s licenses within the Cognos agreement, ITaP will be the custodian of a database of named users who have been assigned Cognos licenses.
Guiding Principals (cont.) • Purdue owns 300 of a new license type called BI Business Author. BI Business Author licenses may be swapped with BI Professional Author licenses for users who were previously assigned the latter license type and who do not have primary responsibility for publishing reports. • Requests for licenses from the Cognos license coordinators after the initial allocation will be submitted to ITEA. • Organizational units within Purdue may purchase licenses of any Cognos product to add to the ITaP server. In this case, those licenses belong to the organizational unit and may not be reallocated to any other unit. • If an area requests a license(s) for non-enterprise data, a few exceptions allow for minimal licenses to be seeded to the area so they become familiar with the tools.
Future Projects • Rewrite AIMS in Cognos to improve the user interface. • Build out the SAP Business Warehouse to provide more AIMS-accessible data. • Build out the Banner ODS. • Implement the Banner EDW. • Determine the future of Advancement. • Implement Work Area. The above projects have not yet been prioritized by their appropriate governance committees.
Take-Away Messages • It will take time to transition from BEx and Brio to Cognos..…Please be patient. • Priorities will be developed by the governance committee. • We need to do it right, not do it over. • BEx will not be decommissioned until after existing BEx applications (e.g., AIMS) and queries can be converted. • Brio will not be decommissioned anytime soon. • The user community will need time to convert desired Brio queries to Cognos. • But the version we own is terminal. • We are asking the reporting community to share this information with appropriate staff in their areas.