Cognos Offers New Link To Excel


Software will help channel partners target business and financial analysts


Business intelligence software vendors can sell all they want, but the most ubiquitous "BI tool" on the desktop will likely remain Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet. Recognizing that reality, Cognos Tuesday unveiled Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel, which allows Excel users to access and analyze data generated by the Cognos 8 BI platform.

While Cognos offers its own desktop reporting, analysis and dashboard software, many financial analysts, line-of-business managers and other business users prefer -- or are required -- to work in Excel as part of their jobs. The new software provides formula-based access capabilities to allow workers to use Excel to explore and analyze centrally controlled data in Cognos 8 without help from IT developers.

The product also lets workers reuse query results within other worksheets or Cognos reports that can be distributed using the vendor's Report Studio software.

The new product will help Cognos VARs and solution provider partners better address the needs of business and financial analysts, says Paul Hulford, Cognos senior product marketing manager.

Cognos already provides a link between its business intelligence system and Excel with its Cognos 8 Go! Office software. But that tool can only access and display predefined data in the Cognos 8 system, while the new product provides interactive analysis capabilities.

Cognos 8 BI Analysis for Microsoft Excel will be generally available in the second half of 2007. Pricing and packaging for the product has not been set.