Charts to go

March 25th, 2010 by Rob Hale Leave a reply »

Last month I started playing with an iPhone application called RoamBI which I’d posted about in June last year.  Although the visualisations haven’t changed since the original release, there are now more interface options, including one that hooks straight into Cognos 8.4 and allows you to publish reports straight to the iPhone.  That caught my eye.

There is another offering, a secure hosted option where you can upload and manipulate data and push out to anyone in your organisation with a licence.  The licences are USD$99 but I’ve been quoted a 50% discount for working in a university.  At current exchange rates that is a pretty good deal I reckon.  Minimum of 5 licences but still within the reach of all of our institutions I’m sure.


So what can you do with it?  Well as you can see, I pulled some DEEWR enrolment stats down and pushed them out using the app.  The whole thing must have taken about 10 minutes.  It is incredibly easy.  I also did an impressive POC which took our Unit Monitoring data and pushed out 19 measures per unit, rolled up to discipline, school and faculty.  That’s a huge amount of data that can be viewed on demand with a few swipes of the finger.  Whether we decide to take this further remains to be seen, but it certainly offers a really good alternative to web or paper-based reporting to my mind.  You can’t really appreciate the UI from a static screen shot but imagine the above view being one of many you can swipe through, scroll up and down and tap-drill into – its very intuitive to use.

The Cognos interface may be of interest to some of you.  Its not cheap but it is a separate locally-hosted server application that uses existing Cognos security profiles and allows any Query Studio or Report Studio report to become data sources for the RoamBI views and then dynamically query the supporting database tables or OLAP data sources.  That’s pretty cool.

You can find out more at the RoamBI website or drop me an email if you want their Cognos interface documentation – its just a bit big to post on here.


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