(Special “The Colour and The Shape” edition)
In Part 1 of this series we introduced the Esri Maps for Cognos (EM4C) product, which enables us to tie together BI-type reporting with the rich capabilities of Esri’s mapping software. In Part 2 we demonstrated how easy it is to use this software to connect point-type
data in a Cognos report to a map. In essence, we can take points of data identified by lat/long values and connect them to a map, and then colour-code the points to represent different categories or types of data. In our example, we looked at crime data for San Francisco. The result enabled the user to make inferences from the geographic distribution and type of crime reports that would be difficult to make if the data were simply listed by address, or even grouped into neighbourhood categories.
In this installment, we will look at a slightly different way of displaying data within the context of geography – instead of displaying discrete points (which require lat/long values) we will categorize larger geographic areas, defined by shapes on the map.
Note that in this example we don’t have any “lat/long” type data here – instead, we have Retailer Province-State, which contains values representing the name of each state:
This time, instead of adding a Cognos X/Y Layer to our Esri map in the report, we will add a Cognos Shape Layer:
A Cognos Shape Layer acts similar to a XY layer, except that it binds data based on common descriptions between the report data to a map containing a “shape”, instead of lat/long points. In this case we set up the map associated with the “shape” layer to one containing shapes of States in the US. In the wizard provided we can match the shape names in the map we have selected (STATE_NAME) to the appropriate column (Retailer Province-State) in our query:
We select the measures we are interested in…
… and then configure the “shape join”, assigning colour-values to relative levels of each measure (in this case, Revenue):
We now have a map that lets us see, by quantile, how revenue compares by state:
For example, here is the map showing Gross Profit:
Note that the legend shows the quantile breakdowns for each colour. As well, hovering over each state brings up information on the state:
Users are not limited to a single shape layer – multiple layers can be combined on a single map, and then the layers activated/deactivated by the user to how different data by different “shape”.
Shapes are not limited to conventional maps, of course. Floor plans provide an ideal source of shapes. Retailers can use shapes to identify revenue by area of a store, or property managers can look at building usage, perhaps over time. All that is needed is a Esri map with shapes that correspond to the physical areas the user is interested in, and have an attribute that can be joined to a column in the report that contains values that match the values of the attribute.