Latest Blogs

Power BI Update Q3 2018: Service and Mobile

Posted on Saturday 25th August 2018 11:07

Microsoft Adds New Features and Functionality

Microsoft Power BI has seen important changes with the Power BI update July and August 2018. On the basis of user feedback, Power BI has been improved with new features for better functionality.

So what’s new in Power BI?

The features of the latest Power BI update include improvements in visuals, filters, data gateway, and multi-geo capabilities.

 

Power BI Features Update

As one of the leading BI consultancies in London, we at Influential Software are excited to promote the new features in Power BI. Recent months have brought extra functionality and user-friendly improvements to please mobile and service users.

The features of the Power BI update July and August 2018 include improvements in visuals, filters, data gateway, and multi-geo capabilities. Read on to browse the full details of the Power BI update July and August 2018.

Preview: Multi-Geo Support for Power BI Premium

July saw Microsoft announcing a public preview of Multi-Geo for Power BI Premium.

Multi-Geo enables Power BI administrators to deploy a Premium capacity to one of nine geo locations globally. In the current preview, your Power BI datasets and cached queries are stored in the region you choose for your capacity. Dataset credentials and Excel workbooks, along with other additional metadata, are stored in the geo associated with your Power BI tenant.

Power BI plans to migrate this functionality into the Multi-Geo capacities within the coming months.

APIs and PowerShell Cmdlets

IT administrators can now effectively govern their Power BI deployment with a new set of Admin APIs, along with a .NET SDK and a PowerShell module. These functions give administrators visibility into every aspect of their BI environments.

Persistent Filters on Custom Visuals

After the introduction of persistent filters in March, Microsoft has now introduced this for reports with custom visuals as well.

Visuals now supported with persistent filters are:

  • Chiclet slicer
  • Hierarchy slicer
  • Timeline slicer
  • Attribute slicer

Preview: New Workspaces Experience

The app workgroup preview shows that it will be easier to manage access to workspaces through security groups, distribution lists, and O365 groups.

These changes will empower large enterprises to easily manage their BI content at scale.

Updates to Power BI features - workspace

Custom Visuals API v1.1 and Older Deprecation

Microsoft announced that custom visual API version 1.1 and older will be deprecated from September 1, with support remaining for API 1.2 and later.

Power BI Report URL Filter Improvements

Users can now define more complex query string parameters with enhanced URL filtering capabilities on reports. This enables the creation of shortcuts to pre-filtered reports and also providing hyperlinks to consumers.

On-Premises Data Gateway July and August Update

The custom data connectors in the Enterprise gateway, announced in the July release, have continued to improve in the latest release of the on-premises data gateway.

Preview: Power BI Premium Capacity Monitoring

The Premium Capacity Monitoring app enables capacity administrators to monitor the health of premium capacities and spot any factors that might affect end users.

The app displays all dataset refreshes, dataset evictions, and queries in the capacity for the preceding seven days, alongside system metrics.

Power BI update improves Premium Capacity Monitoring app

Single Sign-On in Power BI Mobile Windows App

With single sign-on (SSO), you can access all applications and resources through a single user account. You can now use your primary organisational account to sign in to your domain-joined devices and Power BI Service.

Phone Report Layout Editing in Power BI Service

You can now create phone report layout directly from Power BI Service. It’s as simple as switching to edit mode and clicking the Mobile Layout option in the top bar.

Phone Drill-Through for Table and Matrix Visuals

Mobile users can access the drill actions with Table and Matrix support for tooltips.

Any Questions about Power BI Features?

For further details of the Power BI update, visit the Microsoft Power BI blog. Want to know more? Our dedicated Power BI team is on hand to answer any inquiries about features of the Power BI update July and August 2018, licensing, and business benefits.

 

How Can I Unleash the Full Potential of IBM Cognos Analytics?

Posted on Thursday 31st May 2018 5:25

IBM Cognos Analytics is a really great piece of kit for helping to drive future business decisions. But with so many features, including an intuitive user dashboard and extensive reporting functionalities, are you sure you’re getting the most out of your investment? We offer a few simple tips to help businesses unleash the full potential of IBM Cognos Analytics.

Get the full potential of IBM Cognos Analytics

There is no doubt that IBM Cognos Analytics is a piece of business intelligence software that many rely on for valuable insights into their operations. As with any tool of this nature, insider knowledge is the key to unlocking its potential. Of course, the sheer scope of capabilities is sometimes a little overwhelming at first. If you need a few tips on using IBM Cognos Analytics to its full potential, keep reading.

Team Training

Cognos features, such as the intuitive user dashboard and fantastic reporting functionality, are designed to drive innovative and sustainable decisions. While it is simple enough for you or your staff to dive straight into the data, it is worthwhile to source some tailored training. This will enable you to get expert advice on the features your business will most benefit from in Cognos, as well as helping you use them effectively.

There really isn’t a better way of ensuring ROI than properly training your team.

Coming Soon: Influential Software’s Cognos Analytics Training courses! 

Harness the Power of Cognos

As a business intelligence tool, Cognos Analytics offers many functions to assist with decision making within your company. Once you have got to grips with all of these, make sure to use them! For example, harness the power of IBM Cognos Analytics to generate reports that draw together data from various sources, allow different users to work on a collaborative report in a safe manner.

Keep Your Cognos Analytics Updated

As with all software packages, IBM Cognos Analytics regularly releases new versions. It is worth keeping up with these, as new versions have updated functions that can really help your business, as well as security patches. By sticking with an older version, you are in effect limiting what the software can do for you.

Is your business using the most up-to-date Cognos Analytics release?

Use Reports to Drive Yourself Forward

The only way you can use IBM Cognos Analytics to its full potential is by taking the data and reports it generates, and using them to create insight into your business. This is at the heart of what business analytics and intelligence are all about. Once you have the necessary reports, make sure to share and discuss them to inform future plans or engage in problem-solving.

Get the Full Potential of IBM Cognos Analytics

Need some help unleashing the full potential of IBM Cognos Analytics? Get in touch with us today and let us show you how this tool can create invaluable change for your business.

Photo: Cloud Solutions - Creative Commons by NEC Corporation of America licensed under Creative commons 4

What If IBM Cognos Analytics Could Answer Your Business Intelligence Questions?

Posted on Thursday 24th May 2018 12:30

Business Intelligence software is now essential for enterprises and growing businesses alike, but what if you are not getting the results you need? Before you despair, ask this: what if IBM Cognos Analytics could provide the inspiration needed to drive your business? It has centralised, easy-to-use Business Intelligence dashboards that cut through data quickly. This gives your business the ability to reflect and forecast, providing a basis for well-informed and confident decisions. So it seems we have an answer: IBM Cognos Analytics.

'What if' IBM Cognos Analytics

Business Intelligence software is now mandatory for organisations wanting to enjoy strategic and profitable growth. BI is the only way to support and sustain lean and agile operating systems.

However, company growth doesn’t just come from better efficiency. Successful organisations have a vision. They also have the confidence to innovate and take well-planned risks. Does that mean business inspiration relies on the best data analytics tools as well?

BI and ‘Out Of The Box’ Thinking

IBM Cognos Analytics is a great launch pad for business discussions and thinking that includes a “What if…?” Businesses that thrive on innovation are constantly looking for new product or service ideas, as well as new markets to pursue. In that case, the last thing you need is an ocean of information to navigate – or a complicated piece of software with whistles and bells.

When inspiration is one of your driving business needs, having a centralised, easy-to-use business dashboard helps cut through data quickly. For example, you can use IBM Cognos to design and create your own intuitive BI dashboard. Configure it to provide the sort of autonomous and simple-to-access analytics that are your specific “food for thought”.

Be warned though: not all BI offerings have this “self-service” flexibility and versatility.

Team Inspiration and Collaboration

Inspired and inspirational companies know the importance of unlocking the creativity and motivation of their team. Some of your potentially profitable “What if…?” leads may come from anywhere in your organisation. Your teams need a tool that is readily available to explore and share ideas. That’s another reason why choosing the right BI system is crucial.

For example, IBM Cognos Analytics provides quick access to information via its drag and drop dashboard, that any user can navigate on any device. They can hop on for either enterprise-wide reporting or “dip in” to specific areas of interest or concern.

As it’s web- or cloud-based, users can then report, share, and collaborate on their ideas instantly. So “What if” IBM Cognos Analytics could deliver this and more? You need never miss a good idea again!

For Data You Didn’t Know You Needed

You can hit a brick wall in your innovation. Creativity can dry up. This is another time when data analytics can become your “new best friend”. For example, IBM Cognos Analytics is particularly adept at drilling down into data and uncovering information your organisation may have previously missed. In fact, you could end up with insights you didn’t even realise you needed!

Having access to these hidden depths and angles can make a big difference in well-informed and confident decisions. And for answering the question, “What if….?”

‘What If’ IBM Cognos Analytics Has the Answers You Need?

What if you contacted Influential Software to find out more about IBM Cognos Analytics? There’s one way to find out.

Influential Software is an IBM UK Partner. We offer complete IBM Cognos Solutions: IBM Cognos Licence Sales, IBM Consultancy, and even Cognos Analytics support packages to suit.

Photo: Black this time, a nice change by StartAgain licensed under Creative commons 6

What Makes IBM Cognos Analytics Award-Winning Software?

Posted on Monday 14th May 2018 9:00

Award-winning IBM Cognos Analytics proved itself again by being named Business Analytics winner in Computer Reseller News (CRN) magazine’s Annual Report Card. CRN has allowed solution providers across North America to grade their vendors for 32 years as part of their Annual Report Card. Solution providers can score vendors in 22 technology categories, and those scores come in three categories: product innovation, support, and partnership quality with the vendor.

Award Winning IBM Cognos Analytics

IBM Cognos Analytics ranked highest in the following categories:

  • Richness of functionality and product features
  • Quality and reliability
  • Technical innovation
  • Product potential and revenue
  • Ease of integration and compatibility

Why Did IBM Cognos Analytics Do So Well?

The majority of enterprises are well-versed in collecting the huge amounts of data on offer, but they need assistance in turning this data into insights and leads to be acted upon and distributed across the organisation for superior business value. This is where IBM Cognos Analytics enters the field.

The software’s self-service solution gives people great tools to work with complex data and make discoveries about what is actually happening within their businesses. This can lead to the development of more strategic decision-making, driven by data. This has enabled thousands of enterprises worldwide to swiftly transform data into relevant insights. Within minutes, you have all you need to produce compelling reports that can be distributed securely and measurably, in accordance with corporate policies.

IBM Cognos Analytics Trophy Cabinet

This isn’t the first time Cognos Analytics has won a major award. Earlier in 2017, the software ranked highly in a BARC Score Business Intelligence report. This report analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the most prominent enterprise BI platforms, and is a leading think tank in the industry.

The bottom line is that IBM Cognos Analytics is recommended by some of the most trusted and highly regarded authorities in the business world.

Award-Winning IBM Cognos Analytics

At Influential Software, we have spent over 25 years implementing data solutions for enterprises in the UK, and we are proud to be an IBM Partner.

Buy Cognos Analytics licences in flavours to suit your business needs, from Cognos Express for SME’s to Cognos Enterprise.

Photo: IBM Business Center by Daniel Voyager licensed under Creative commons 4

The Predictive Powers of IBM® Planning Analytics

Posted on Monday 7th May 2018 9:00

IBM® Planning Analytics, the 2018 release of Cognos TM1, automates your planning, budgeting, forecasting and analysis processes into a single platform. Harness the predictive powers of IBM Planning Analytics and aligns your business cloud/on-premise/hybrid hosting strategies.

Harness the Predictive Powers of IBM Planning Analytics - team reviewing reports with dashboard and notes

IBM® Planning Analytics can bring predictive powers to your organisation. Planning Analytics offers a comprehensive solution to formulating planning models and generating analytics from the results, constructed on a powerful analytical processing engine that is both in-memory and online.

The IBM Cognos TM1 enterprise planning platform is the foundation, and the planning tool is being used by a growing number of organisations around the world. Through its multidimensional technology, businesses can create complex models easily, and perform analyses of profitability to identify the customers, products and sales channels that are generating the most profit.

 

Spreadsheet Power

Since a large number of finance professionals work primarily with leading spreadsheet software, IBM® Planning Analytics is designed to have advanced spreadsheet functionality wherever it is necessary. You can take full advantage of the power of spreadsheet formatting and layouts with superb Wide Area Network performance. The latest Planning Analytics release can be deployed on-premise, and boasts the following advanced features:

  • Hierarchy capabilities that facilitate the modelling of specific attributes of hierarchies, enabling advanced granular analysis and simple administration and maintenance of any planning models you devise.
  • Improvements to the interactive analytics workspace, wherein you can design compelling visualisations and custom dashboards.

 

Predictive Power

IBM Planning Analytics enables you to take advantage of the data analysis and predictive powers and functionality of IBM Watson Analytics. With these powerful tools implemented in your planning process, you can generate automatic predictive insights from the software’s analysis of internal and external information.

The first tools for planning and analysis did little more than automate processes that would otherwise be undertaken manually, but IBM Planning Analytics takes the process a few steps further than that. Through complex agile planning and exploratory analytics processes, you can actively drive your business forward in the way you want things to be done.

 

IBM Planning Analytics Flavours

And you have several options to choose from with IBM Planning Analytics:

Get the Predictive Powers of IBM Planning Analytics

Influential Software has been working for over 25 years with businesses of all sizes to create tailored software solutions that help to grow and increase profitability. Our passion is for technology, and our commitment is to quality, so we only deal with the best software solutions available on the market.
If you would like to know more about how IBM Planning Analytics could be implemented in your business, please feel free to contact us and we can arrange a consultation to discuss your needs and the power of the software we offer.

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