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TechTalk Recap: Discover user-created hierarchies and dimensions with IBM Cognos Business Viewpoint
Delaney Turner 270002T14M firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  cognos business_viewpoint ibmsoftware
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More than 140 people tuned in to last month's TechTalk Webcast entitled Discover user-created hierarchies and dimensions with IBM Cognos Business Viewpoint. Through the course of an informative 60 minutes, IBMers Jennifer Schmitz and Martin Phillips walked through the challenges in managing dimensions and hierarchies and the innovative ways you can solve them using IBM Cognos Business Viewpoint. Questions (and answers) at the end came fast and furious and while we weren't able to answer all of them, we have provided a recap of the most popular ones below. You can see the archived presentation here or check out next month's Webcast.
You can also go here if you're new to IBM Business Viewpoint.
If we have several transformer models with common dimensions, is Business Viewpoint a good way to share these?
Absolutely - This is a very useful ability of Business Viewpoint with Transformer. We have had customers and participants in our beta process actually express how they would like to use Business Viewpoint to standardize dimensions that are found in multiple models. When changes are made, they can be published out to each model to alleviate some of the manual error.
Is Business Viewpoint only useful for cubes made on IBM Cognos Transformer or can I use it with cubes from other providers?
Business Viewpoint has a robust adapter which allows it to easily leverage and synchronize dimensions for Transformer. However, it could be used for cubes from other providers in a less direct fashion by using Business Viewpoints high participation collaboration and workflow to define the updated structure, create a new version and publish the updated dimension. This could then be loaded into other cubes or any other external systems.
How does this work if users want a hierarchy that doesn't exist in the database? For example, adding a "region" into hierarchy that is currently stored as zone->branch in the database. This is currently done as a special category in Transformer but has to be manually updated any time it changes.
If the data is not stored anywhere else, it can be entered and maintained within Business Viewpoint. If it is, then it can be imported and used in Business Viewpoint. This would allow you to update the region hierarchy once within Business Viewpoint, and use it in multiple Transformer models, other Cognos products, or external systems / DW.
How is security maintained in Business Viewpoint?
Security is maintained in a few different ways. First you can resue the security built into Cognos and bring that along into Business Viewpoint, you can also set up security for different users at different levels. For instance a category manager may only have permission to see a dimension, specific hierarchy or even a specific attribute to update based on the security the organization wants to provide. There is also a workflow built in so the right stakeholders are making changs and then approving them.
Can you add comments to a change, approval, rejection?
With Busness Viewpoint there are many governance capabilities built in such as the workflow, an audit trail as well as the ability to add comments on why a change occurred. All of these features are added to help track the change, who made it, why and when.
Can users report off of any version (select the version they want to use)??
Yes, Business Viewpoint allows a user to create versions - as many versions of a hierarchy they desire until they settle on the right version for publishing across the organization as the master version. Not only can multiple versions be crated but multiple versions can be published to different if they want to do some forecasting from one version and current day reporting from another.
How is this different from Framework Manager?
Where Framework Manager focuses on metadata relating to dimensions and facts, Business Viewpoint allows enrichment of dimensions by extending dimensional content through adding attributes and allowing users to define alternate hierarchies. Also Framework Manager is very much an IT solution where Business Viewpoint is built to enable the business users while ensuring IT still maintains control.
Does this work flow support type 2 dimensions?
Yes Business Viewpoint does support updating type 2 dimensions.
Is a sound and solid data model and database required to create hierachies and dimensions?
Multiple sources may be consolidated and manipulated in Business Viewpoint, but Business Viewpoint has it's own flexible structure, and can be used to model hierarchies and dimensions even without an existing data model or database.
Does Viewpoint work with Cognos Planning 8.1?
Yes Business Viewpoint has pre-built adapters for Cognos 8 Planning, Cognos 8 BI, Cognos 8 Controller, Cognos TM1, Cognos 8 Transformer, Cognos 8 Framework Manager as well as a Relational Adapter for SQL Server, Oracle, DB2 and ODBC. There is also an adapter for IBM MDM Server Adapter as well as an open API and web services for 3rd parties. Many versions of the Cognos products are compatible.
Does Business Viewpoint make physical changes to the data base structure/layer when changes are made to a dimension? In other words, are the changes made at a logi
Business Viewpoint makes real-time changes to it's own database repository - any other downstream changes occur based on updating a subscription or exporting a hierarchy.