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SAS/Cognos Integration

See-Change specialises in implementations which span both IBM Cognos and SAS solutions. The integration of the two can have significant business benefits, and based on our expertise in both solutions, we have developed several integration techniques.

Many organizations use both SAS and Cognos for a variety of reporting requirements. Both solutions are ‘best of breed’ in their own areas – SAS in the area of Analytics and ‘Analytical Data Preparation’, Cognos in the area of flexible reporting and distribution of information/reports for end user consumption. Consequently, it makes sense to find ways to integrate these technologies to provide an Integrated Information Framework which leverages the strengths of both solutions.

This approach facilitates a short term, low cost solution for emerging reporting requirements, without the immediate need for costly and time-consuming enhancements to the Data Warehouse. While the preferred longer term solution may be to build the required data logic into the Data Warehouse so that Cognos can provide the required reports, this staged approach delivers business value almost immediately, and helps build a business case for funding future Data Warehouse enhancements.


Leveraging SAS capabilities in this way provides a way to ‘rapid prototype’ business reporting requirements, without the costs and delays typically seen when attempting to model emerging business requirements in the Data Warehouse via traditional ETL methods.

In addition, this approach suggests a way to protect the investment in analytical reporting as developed by your SAS team, by providing a platform to publish those reports for easy consumption, plus easy re-formatting and ‘slice & dice’ of these reports in the Cognos environment, if so required. Furthermore, by addressing the immediate business reporting requirements in Cognos in a timely manner, business value can be demonstrated, ultimately driving increased user adoption.

Benefits of such an approach include:

  • Almost any SAS report now can be used to create an ad-hoc, data exploration environment within Cognos, to quickly satisfy users’ emerging information requirements.
  • New BI requirements, ad-hoc ministerial requests or changing legislative reporting requirements can now be prototyped quickly and effectively, via a SAS/Cognos BI methodology, delivering business value in a short space of time.
  • Users can be involved in the information design process, collaborating with the BI team to visually model requirements and explore the outputs produced, modifying on the fly as required. This ‘rapid prototyping’ approach, applied to a sequence of rolling 2-3 month BI deliverables, can help to deliver considerable business value in a compressed timeframe.




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