Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel(R) 8.2 is a new addition to Cognos 8 BI. It is designed for the business or financial analyst who works regularly 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.
Organizations have long been challenged to bring the required security and data integrity to the spreadsheet. According to the independent Forrester Research report, Ouch! Get Ready -- Spreadsheets Are Here To Stay For Business Intelligence (April 2007), "spreadsheets and errors populate like rabbits. The popularity and huge benefits of spreadsheets create many management and control issues and challenges 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."
Circuit City, Manpower and Bloorview Kids Rehab are representative customer organizations who beta tested Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel 8.2. Their business, financial analysts and line of business managers were able to interactively explore and analyze multidimensional performance information by region, product, customer or business unit within Microsoft Excel, while leveraging the Cognos 8 BI infrastructure for data consistency, freshness and security, all without additional IT resources.
"With Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel, we appreciated the ability to analyze multiple data sources together in one spreadsheet, while maintaining data consistency and security," said Bill McCorey, senior vice president and chief information officer of Circuit City Stores, Inc. "Our team saw tremendous value in conducting exploration and analysis of enterprise performance information while working within Excel. Our financial analysts quickly saw the benefit of being able to perform their own ad-hoc self-serve analysis in situations that previously required IT involvement. They were able to quickly and independently resolve issues by finding answers and presenting scenario results to answer typical business questions."
"Our analysts were able to use the sophisticated functionality and benefit from the power of Cognos 8 BI, while remaining within the familiar environment of Excel," said Hakim Lakhani, director, decision support and planning, Bloorview Kids Rehab. "They could enhance the Cognos data with specific Excel functions and formulas and add data from various applications while keeping both the data and their calculations dynamic."
"In our financial reporting, we need to be able to drill-down to the lowest level of granularity within specific categories," said Vivian Adashek, financial systems project specialist, Manpower. "Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel 8.2 gave us the ability to automatically validate report data as it came into our production environment and with exploration and formulae eliminate any disparate copy and pasting our financial analysts had done previously within Excel. By connecting Excel to a secure, controlled data source and maintaining data integrity, it proved itself to be a great benefit for our SOX testing efforts while providing our power Excel users with time savings and stronger, self-serve data access and management."
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, proven architecture. By providing business analysts with access to the Cognos 8 BI data layer they gain a connection which spans a variety of 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 also 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, ad-hoc manner," said Leah MacMillan, vice president of product marketing, Cognos, Inc. "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."
Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel 8.2 is available now direct from Cognos or its network of partners.
Cognos, the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions, provides world-class enterprise planning and BI software and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance.
Cognos brings together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers a complete performance system. The Cognos performance system is an open and adaptive solution that leverages an organization's ERP, packaged applications, and database investments. It gives customers the ability to answer the questions -- How are we doing? Why are we on or off track? What should we do about it? - and enables them to understand and monitor current performance while planning future business strategies.
Cognos serves more than 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries, and its top 100 enterprise customers consistently outperform market indexes. Cognos performance management solutions and services are also available from more than 3,000 worldwide partners and resellers. For more information, visit the Cognos Web site at http://www.cognos.com.
--Forrester Research, Inc., "Ouch! Get Ready - Spreadsheets are here to stay for Business Intelligence", by Boris Evelson, April 2, 2007.
Cognos and the Cognos logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cognos Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Microsoft and Excel are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp. All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Note to Editors: Copies of previous Cognos press releases and Corporate and product information are available on Cognos' Web site at www.cognos.com
Carrie Bendzsa, 613-738-1440
Lois Paul & Partners, LLC
Jolene Hajj, 781-782-5849
John Lawlor, 613-738-3503