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Data modules - favorite features in Cognos 11.1.x

One of the 'new' features of Cognos Analytics (Cognos 11) is data modules. Data modules allow users to build metadata models online and have a number of features that make them really interesting.

Here are a few of the things I love about data modules (in no particular order):

1) Online only - I don't have to remote into desktop tools and I don't have to publish to see my results.

2) Love the new navigation paths - this feature allows you to have cube-like drill up and down paths without having to invest in OLAP functionality (blog post on this to come).

3) Love the relative-time functionality - seriously the best part of this tool (deeper dive on this to come). Functionality we had in PowerPlay cubes in 2000 is finally available again. You can tie the data module to a calendar and have access to both time-sensitive filter and measures.

If you have ever had to build a report that compares time periods using a relational data source, you will love this feature.

4) Custom data groups - it's so easy to add case statement type groups to add to your analytic ability.

5) Column dependencies - Ok, I'm not going to lie and pretend I love column dependencies but having this functionality finally added makes data modules much closer to being ready for use in the "real" world. If you are a Framework Manager modeler, you know column dependencies as determinants. See this post on how to use column dependencies in data modules.

What are your favorite features? Are you switching over to data modules?

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