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IBM Cognos Report Studio Review


IBM Cognos 8.4.1 - A user review

FInancial institution uses Cognos Report Studio to provide audit and standard reports for human resources related data for managers and payroll and also vendor data file exports. Report formatting and automatic report scheduling are excellent. Access to the software is provided via SaaS by HR vendor, so no direct access to IBM support.

Overall Satisfaction

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend IBM Cognos Report Studio if asked by a colleague?  What advice would you have for that colleague?

This review8
IBM Cognos Report Studio Average8.6
Business Intelligence/Analytics Average8.5
I have worked with several reporting software products, and Cognos has a lot of flexibility and is very usable. It will perform most any task that you would need.  I think it is a great product. 

Please provide some examples of things that IBM Cognos Report Studio does particularly well.

  • There are a variety of formats available for producing data (HTML, PDF, Excel (several versions), .csv, XML.
  • They have a very good method of report scheduling and email delivery. You can set a report up on a schedule to be delivered, then forget about it. It takes care of itself.
  • You can access SQL views and queries within Cognos Report Studio to report on fields that may or may not be available in the provided packages.

Please provide some examples of areas where IBM Cognos Report Studio has room for improvement.

  • There are some ineffeciencies when creating reports, such data grouping. You have to click and group each data column separately.
  • The security features tend to slow processing times down significantly. However these features may only be an issue due to our SAS provider controlling them. May not be an issue if you own the Cognos software.

What positive or negative impact (i.e. Return on Investment or ROI) has IBM Cognos Report Studio had on your overall business objectives?

  • Cognos can be used for very complicated reports, which reduces the need for some programmers, therefore reducing salary expenses.
  • Once reports are created and scheduled for delivery, there is no need for human intervention. This makes for more effecient use of time.

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to renew your use of IBM Cognos Report Studio?  Why do you give it this rating?

This software is a part of the package that comes with our Human Resources software, therefore we will continue use of Cognos.  However I am not disappointed in the product.  I would not hesitate to use it even if we had to own it outright.
This review9
IBM Cognos Report Studio Average8.8
Business Intelligence/Analytics Average8.7

Product Usage

How many people in your company use IBM Cognos Report Studio?

How many people do you have in-house to support IBM Cognos Report Studio on an on-going basis.

What are the 3-5 most important use cases for this product in your organization?

  • Used to provide audit and standard reports for Human Resources related data for managers and payroll.
  • We also use the product to produce vendor data file exports.

What are some unexpected or innovative ways that your organization has been able to use IBM Cognos Report Studio?

What are some additional ways that your organization might be able to use IBM Cognos Report Studio in the future?

Evaluation and Selection

Did IBM Cognos Report Studio replace another product in your organization?  What products did you replace and why did you want to replace them?

Cognos Impromptu. - No longer supported by our software as a service provider. 

Which other products were on your short list as alternatives to IBM Cognos Report Studio?

Which factors were most important in your decision to purchase IBM Cognos Report Studio?

If you had it to do over, how might you change the evaluation and selection process that you went through?


On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied were you with the implementation?  Do you have any key insights regarding implementation of IBM Cognos Report Studio?

Make sure that any custom tables that you have, are built into your metadata packages.  You can still access them via SQL queries in Cognos, but it is much easier to have them as a part of the available metadata packages.
This review7
IBM Cognos Report Studio Average8
Business Intelligence/Analytics Average8.5

How did your organization implement IBM Cognos Report Studio?  If you used a professional services company, what company performed the implementation?

Vendor implemented
Our SAS provider did the implementation.

Was the implementation broken up into phases?

Was organizational change management a big part of the implementation?

What were the most significant issues encountered during implementation?


What kind of training did your organization get on IBM Cognos Report Studio?


On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the in-person training?

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the online training?

Was the product easy to learn without training? Would you recommend this approach to others?

If you have used any reporting software before (such as PeopleSoft or Crystal) it is not too difficult to figure your way around in Cognos.  However if you are totally new to BI software, you should go for formal training. One-on-one is ideal, but classroom training is also very good.
I purchased IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence: The Official Guide: 1st Edition, which I used to get a lot of my information.  We also utilize the internet when we are not quite sure about how to do something.  YouTube has some good training videos, and also there are a couple of blog sites that are very helpful ( and


On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the overall support for IBM Cognos Report Studio?  Why do you give it this rating?

I really cannot honestly rate the technical support of IBM, since we are getting our support through our SAS provider.

Please rate customer support for IBM Cognos Report Studio for each of these factors .


If available, do you pay for premium support?  Why or why not?

No - Our support is exclusively through our SAS provider.  It would probably be better if we did have direct access to IBM support, but that is not an option for us. 

Have you ever reported a bug with IBM Cognos Report Studio?

Can you describe a time when IBM provided you with exceptional support for this product?

This review covers the 8.4.1 edition of IBM Cognos Report Studio.

About the Reviewer

About IBM Cognos Report Studio

This review covers the 8.4.1 edition of IBM Cognos Report Studio.