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Six tips for better report authoring on mobile devices By Jennifer Schmitz
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  cognos bi mobile
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According to what I’ve been hearing in the marketplace, the fact that IBM has had a mobile solution for BI has been almost an industry secret. Many people are unaware that we have been making it possible for companies to use BI on their mobile devices for over five years.
Well, with our latest release of IBM Cognos Mobile, we are taking this secret and shouting it to the rooftops. We want everyone to know that not only is it is possible to look at and interact with the analysis, reports and metrics on their BlackBerry devices (including the Playbook), Apple iPad, Apple iPhone, Android smart phones, Windows Mobile and Symbian handhelds, but it is also possible to author reports for these devices without using a different authoring environment. You can rely on just one report model for all report styles, the same single query engine, the same metadata model and the same security.
Here are five useful tips for keeping your mobile report authoring experience fast and simple.
1. Use dashboards, roll-ups, consolidated data, traffic lights, colored indicators and single pages when you can. Compare sample A to sample B, for example.
You can easily create custom graphics such as gas gauges, traffic lights and more by passing report data as a parameter to an image URL. For native clients, you can quickly adjust column width and placement by going to “Page Structure” mode, then selecting List > Column > Positioning > Size and Overflow.
2. Keep the number of prompts to a minimum. Given the choice of one version with many optional prompts or several different versions report, choose the latter.
3. Name your prompts wisely because users will see prompts as a simple list on their devices. Cognos Mobile features location-aware capabilities for some GPS-enabled mobile devices. When using this new feature, be sure you name your prompt fields so that the end-user knows the field will be auto-filled (for example, auto_city, auto_x, auto_y).
4. Remember that a drill-target is automatically refreshed if the drill source is newer.
5. With Cognos Mobile, “Burst Recipients” are directory entries (CAMIDs) and not email addresses. It’s usually easiest to obtain a list of CAMIDs by exporting it from your security provider.
6. When sending out reports on mobile devices, remember that you can also schedule reports to be sent to other mobile users.
Users can also use the Print options on their mobile devices to request reports.
We hope these simple tips will help you provide the experience users are looking for on their mobile devices. If you have a useful tip that you’d like to share, or if you have any more questions about Cognos Mobile, send me an email at jenn