IBM Cognos Analytics vs. Tableau Desktop

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
IBM Cognos Analytics
Score 8.2 out of 10
N/A
IBM Cognos is a full-featured business intelligence suite by IBM, designed for larger deployments. It comprises Query Studio, Reporting Studio, Analysis Studio and Event Studio, and Cognos Administration along with tools for Microsoft Office integration, full-text search, and dashboards.
$10
per month per user
Tableau Desktop
Score 8.3 out of 10
N/A
Tableau Desktop is a data visualization product from Tableau. It connects to a variety of data sources for combining disparate data sources without coding. It provides tools for discovering patterns and insights, data calculations, forecasts, and statistical summaries and visual storytelling.
$70
per month
Pricing
IBM Cognos AnalyticsTableau Desktop
Editions & Modules
On Demand - Standard
$10.00
per month per user
On Demand - Premium
$40.00
per month per user
Tableau Creator
$70.00
Per User / Per Month
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
IBM Cognos AnalyticsTableau Desktop
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesYes
Entry-level Setup FeeOptionalNo setup fee
Additional DetailsAll pricing plans are billed annually.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
IBM Cognos AnalyticsTableau Desktop
Considered Both Products
IBM Cognos Analytics
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
Although Tableau has certain advantages, mostly in its best in class visualization capabilities, Cognos is catching up. Most of the other advantages of Tableau Desktop have been addressed in more recent versions of Cognos, for instance the ability to ingest personal data …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
We selected IBM Cognos because it has all of the features our organization needs for reporting. There are multiple report and dashboard options. Security and scheduling options are good. Tableau does not have good tools for advanced reporting besides dashboards. Power BI does …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson is an enterprise ready tool and could provide end to end functionality expected from a BI tool. Provides integration with custom applications as well as provides not just high end visualizations that Tableau or PowerBI provides but also the very …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
We have alot of resources already invested in Cognos and it would be a humongous effort to migrate. CA is more inline with Power BI and Tableau now that there are dashboarding capabilities.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics is a relatively late entrant in the BI space - dominated by Tableau and Qlik. it works well for 80% of our use cases and is easy for a non technical user to start using. Also due to enterprise licensing, its easier to distribute internally.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
Cognos provides very advanced analytics functionalities, maybe even more advanced than the competition, and works great when used in collaboration with Watson. However, Tableau and other newer products are much better regarding overall usability.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics is our legacy BI solution. It hadn't stacked up well against its modern contemporaries. We are thinking of replacing it with Microsoft BI.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
We looked at Qlik Sense, SAP Analytics Cloud, and IBM Cognos Analytics for our financial brand's needs. Qlik Sense is super user-friendly, great for quick data digging. SAP Analytics is perfect when we're working with other SAP stuff; it just clicks. But for our big project, …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos has a lot more deep, robust, AI-driven Business Intelligence features that remove some of the manual work. Automation is a lot more seamless and ease of making data available and digestible by several non-technical business partners.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
Cognos Analytics provides wide range for reporting, data visualization, and self service analytics. Cognos has strong security and governance features. Sigma Computing is purely cloud native approach and has spreadsheet like interface and doesn't provide many customization …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
While all of them have their own advantages. IBM Cognos Analytics is highly scalable and have unmatched data analytics capabilities which makes the data from IBM Cognos Analytics of very high quality and data governance also makes sure your data is safe and protected.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics supports better enterprise connectivity than the competition. It supports on-premises and cloud deployments, regardless of cloud platform, and also provides its own SaaS cloud platform. Other tools are locked in to specific cloud platforms and are not as …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
We could deliver a corporate wide solution with Cognos, it is an end-to-end platform. No other option provided the same breadth of scope. I can't think of a feature that the others provide that Cognos lacks, but the others do not provide the same features and governance of …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
No need to physically share data with developers, users. All we need is to send the server URL.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
This is a BI solution that has versatile and robust capabilities, offers a customized experience and a very easy to use interface.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics can handle larger datasets easily and has better performance than other BI tools.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
They are powerful tools, they are used to handle a large amount of data, create different and complex visualizations. They make it easy for users to run queries using natural language and get automatic feedback on the information. They are powerful, intuitive and allow users of …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics is the only product that provides pixel-perfect reports right out of the box. You do not need third-party tools to implement it. Secondly, other tools require you to create a relation between the tables if you are going to use them in the report. Only in …
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
All these ones are fairly widely used in the business analyst world. There is no significant difference among them apart from the suite of tools that your company is using. If the company is using Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3, Amazon QuickSight is easier to be embedded in the system.
Chose IBM Cognos Analytics
With pre-build predictive analysis tools, its makes it easier for the end-user to analyze data quickly.
Tableau Desktop
Chose Tableau Desktop
The following BI and Data Analytics software were being used in our organization: PowerBI, Cognos, and TIBCO Spotfire. Pricing is one of the key factors for our department to choose Tableau Desktop above these products. The ROI of Tableau Desktop is better than the others based …
Chose Tableau Desktop
Tableau Desktop is the most user-friendly and actionable application we have used in comparison to others. It has the best API connection potential along with easy start-up. They seem to always be updating the platform to solve newer problems which help keep my company up to …
Chose Tableau Desktop
Tableau offers many more tools and features compared to Power BI. The ability to use third-party development languages such as R has been extremely useful in our organization. Other tools such as Power BI can be fast to learn and create simple graphs, but they lack some of the …
Chose Tableau Desktop
Tableau Desktop allows for a lot more customisation then the other products which are more targeted at being easier to use. Tableau is also easy to use for standard analytics and dashboards, but allows advanced users to create more powerful data driven dashboards through its …
Chose Tableau Desktop
More robust graphics and charting capabilities Interactive - easily change and customize parameters.
Chose Tableau Desktop
Tableau is next generation tool where other two are old traditional BI tools
Other tools are very slow and difficult to use, and required lot of technical expertise to use them.
Tableau's look and feel is much nicer than those two.
Chose Tableau Desktop
Tableau is strong at visualization but less strong at data discovery where I find Qlik Sense, SAS, SPSS are stronger.
Chose Tableau Desktop
  • Good drill down capabilities
  • Intuitive and friendly GUI
  • Less dependency on IT
Chose Tableau Desktop
Tableau has a little less learning curve for developers but this is because fewer functions and customization options are available vs. Spotfire. Spotfire is a much more scalable solution, works many times faster with huge databases with over millions of rows. We selected …
Chose Tableau Desktop
My current work environment uses both Tableau Online, MicroStrategy & SSRS in parallel. Tableau is much closer to the SSRS in terms of visualization tool where as MicroStrategy is an enterprise data modeling and reporting tool.

Based on the use case we use different tools. Here …
Chose Tableau Desktop
Tableau Desktop is better than any of its competitors as it is cost effective and user friendly.
Chose Tableau Desktop
I will choose Tableau every time over Cognos because I can do everything myself. I'm not required to go to IT and have them build an ETL process to populate an inflexible cube of data that I then can build a report off of. I have the ability to connect right to the …
Chose Tableau Desktop
QlikView, Cognos, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)
Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
IBM Cognos AnalyticsTableau Desktop
BI Standard Reporting
Comparison of BI Standard Reporting features of Product A and Product B
IBM Cognos Analytics
7.9
100 Ratings
3% below category average
Tableau Desktop
8.5
167 Ratings
4% above category average
Pixel Perfect reports8.591 Ratings8.5139 Ratings
Customizable dashboards7.898 Ratings8.9166 Ratings
Report Formatting Templates7.495 Ratings8.2145 Ratings
Ad-hoc Reporting
Comparison of Ad-hoc Reporting features of Product A and Product B
IBM Cognos Analytics
8.1
102 Ratings
0% above category average
Tableau Desktop
8.9
164 Ratings
10% above category average
Drill-down analysis8.0100 Ratings9.0159 Ratings
Formatting capabilities8.1101 Ratings9.1162 Ratings
Integration with R or other statistical packages7.870 Ratings8.1122 Ratings
Report sharing and collaboration8.498 Ratings9.3157 Ratings
Report Output and Scheduling
Comparison of Report Output and Scheduling features of Product A and Product B
IBM Cognos Analytics
8.3
102 Ratings
0% below category average
Tableau Desktop
8.6
158 Ratings
3% above category average
Publish to Web8.327 Ratings8.7149 Ratings
Publish to PDF8.796 Ratings8.3149 Ratings
Report Versioning8.626 Ratings8.6116 Ratings
Report Delivery Scheduling7.999 Ratings9.2123 Ratings
Delivery to Remote Servers8.112 Ratings8.473 Ratings
Data Discovery and Visualization
Comparison of Data Discovery and Visualization features of Product A and Product B
IBM Cognos Analytics
8.1
92 Ratings
1% above category average
Tableau Desktop
8.6
156 Ratings
7% above category average
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)8.187 Ratings9.0154 Ratings
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization8.284 Ratings8.7149 Ratings
Predictive Analytics8.280 Ratings8.7126 Ratings
Pattern Recognition and Data Mining8.019 Ratings8.02 Ratings
Access Control and Security
Comparison of Access Control and Security features of Product A and Product B
IBM Cognos Analytics
8.3
97 Ratings
3% below category average
Tableau Desktop
8.8
142 Ratings
3% above category average
Multi-User Support (named login)8.494 Ratings8.9139 Ratings
Role-Based Security Model8.393 Ratings8.3119 Ratings
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)8.293 Ratings8.7129 Ratings
Report-Level Access Control8.422 Ratings9.03 Ratings
Single Sign-On (SSO)8.375 Ratings8.977 Ratings
Mobile Capabilities
Comparison of Mobile Capabilities features of Product A and Product B
IBM Cognos Analytics
7.3
80 Ratings
9% below category average
Tableau Desktop
8.4
135 Ratings
6% above category average
Responsive Design for Web Access7.974 Ratings8.5124 Ratings
Mobile Application7.365 Ratings8.097 Ratings
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile8.271 Ratings8.8117 Ratings
Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding
Comparison of Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding features of Product A and Product B
IBM Cognos Analytics
7.5
59 Ratings
5% below category average
Tableau Desktop
8.8
64 Ratings
11% above category average
REST API7.256 Ratings8.856 Ratings
Javascript API7.555 Ratings8.651 Ratings
iFrames8.39 Ratings9.049 Ratings
Java API6.911 Ratings9.346 Ratings
Themeable User Interface (UI)7.110 Ratings8.553 Ratings
Customizable Platform (Open Source)7.87 Ratings8.746 Ratings
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User Ratings
IBM Cognos AnalyticsTableau Desktop
Likelihood to Recommend
8.1
(125 ratings)
8.9
(194 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.7
(27 ratings)
8.9
(39 ratings)
Usability
8.0
(8 ratings)
8.6
(63 ratings)
Availability
8.6
(4 ratings)
8.0
(10 ratings)
Performance
9.0
(5 ratings)
6.1
(9 ratings)
Support Rating
10.0
(8 ratings)
6.9
(56 ratings)
In-Person Training
8.7
(4 ratings)
9.4
(4 ratings)
Online Training
8.0
(4 ratings)
8.0
(4 ratings)
Implementation Rating
7.0
(7 ratings)
8.0
(34 ratings)
Configurability
8.0
(2 ratings)
8.1
(2 ratings)
Ease of integration
7.3
(3 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.3
(3 ratings)
7.0
(3 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
7.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
7.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
IBM Cognos AnalyticsTableau Desktop
Likelihood to Recommend
IBM
Our first and most basic scenario was to automatize the creation and publication/sharing of business reports that used to be created manually by employees throughout our organization. Using Cognos for that first use case worked well. The advanced analytics functionalities we used on the aggregated data were also as expected. However, the user interface is not always intuitive, and there is a steep learning curve, so I would recommend Cognos only to large organizations where there is a need for the most advanced functionalities (AI analysis/prediction).
Read full review
Tableau
Tableau Desktop is one the finest tool available in the market with such a wide range of capabilities in its suite that makes it easy to generate insights. Further, if optimally designed, then its reports are fairly simple to understand, yet capable enough to make changes at the required levels. One can create a variety of visualizations as required by the business or the clients. The data pipelines in the backend are very robust. The tableau desktop also provides options to develop the reports in developer mode, which is one of the finest features to embed and execute even the most complex possible logic. It's easier to operate, simple to navigate, and fluent to understand by the users.
Read full review
Pros
IBM
  • We use the tool for data modeling as it helps in predictive data analysis for complex data, which is very similar to real-life scenarios.
  • Options of customizing & scheduling reports as per our requirements basis.
  • Has mobile application which works seamless.
Read full review
Tableau
  • An excellent tool for data visualization, it presents information in an appealing visual format—an exceptional platform for storing and analyzing data in any size organization.
  • Through interactive parameters, it enables real-time interaction with the user and is easy to learn and get support from the community.
Read full review
Cons
IBM
  • Sometimes there might be performance issues when dealing with large and complex data.
  • Although IBM provides full documentation but sometimes it's difficult to find answers to questions and connect with their customer support.
  • It relies on external tools for data cleaning, transformation and also for some integration tasks. It can also improve on providing wider range of data sources for integration.
Read full review
Tableau
  • Formatting the data to work correctly in graphical presentations can be time consuming
  • Daily data extracts can run slowly depending on how much data is required and the source of the data
  • The desktop version is required for advanced functionality, editing on [the] Tableau server allows only limited features
Read full review
Likelihood to Renew
IBM
For an existing solution, renewing licenses does provide a good return on investment. Additionally, while rolling out scorecards and dashboards with little adhoc capabilities, to end users, cognos is very easily scalable. It also allows to create a solution that has a mix of OLAP and relational data-sources, which is a limitation with other tools. Synchronizing with existing security setup is easy too.
Read full review
Tableau
Our use of Tableau Desktop is still fairly low, and will continue over time. The only real concern is around cost of the licenses, and I have mentioned this to Tableau and fully expect the development of more sensible models for our industry. This will remove any impediment to expansion of our use.
Read full review
Usability
IBM
We have a strong user base (3500 users) that are highly utilizing this tool. Basic users are able to consume content within the applied security model. We have a set of advanced users that really push the limits of Cognos with Report and Query Studio. These users have created a lot of personal content and stored it in 'My Reports'. Users enjoy this flexibility.
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Tableau
Tableau Desktop has proven to be a lifesaver in many situations. Once we've completed the initial setup, it's simple to use. It has all of the features we need to quickly and efficiently synthesize our data. Tableau Desktop has advanced capabilities to improve our company's data structure and enable self-service for our employees.
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Reliability and Availability
IBM
Reports can typically be viewed through any browser that can access the server, so the availability is ultimately up to what the company utilizing it is comfortable with allowing, though report development tends to be more picky about browsers and settings as mentioned above. It also has an optional iPad app and general mobile browsing support, but dashboards lack the mobile compatibility. What keeps it from getting a higher score is the desktop tools that are vital to the development process. The compatibility with only Windows when the server has a wide range of compatibility can be a real sore point for a company that outfits its employees exclusively with Mac or Linux machines. Of course, if they are planning on outsourcing the development anyways, it's a rather moot point
Read full review
Tableau
When used as a stand-alone tool, Tableau Desktop has unlimited uptime, which is always nice. When used in conjunction with Tableau Server, this tool has as much uptime as your server admins are willing to give it. All in all, I've never had an issue with Tableau's availability.
Read full review
Performance
IBM
Overall no major complaints but it doesn't handle DMR (Dimensionally Modeled for Relational) very well. DMR modelling is a capability that IBM Cognos Framework Manager provides allowing you to specify dimensional information for relational metadata and allows for OLAP-style queries. However, the capability is not very efficient and, for example, if I'm using only 2 columns on a 20-column model, the software is not smart enough to exclude 18 columns and the query side gets progressively larger and larger until it's effectively unusable.
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Tableau
Tableau Desktop's performance is solid. You can really dig into a large dataset in the form of a spreadsheet, and it exhibits similarly good performance when accessing a moderately sized Oracle database. I noticed that with Tableau Desktop 9.3, the performance using a spreadsheet started to slow around 75K rows by about 60 columns. This was easily remedied by creating an extract and pushing it to Tableau Server, where performance went to lightning fast
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Support Rating
IBM
Why is their web application not working as fast as you think it should? They never know, and it is always a a bunch of shots in the dark to find out. Trying to download software from them is like trying to find a book at the library before computers were invented.
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Tableau
I have never really used support much, to be honest. I think the support is not as user-friendly to search and use it. I did have an encounter with them once and it required a bit of going back and forth for licensing before reaching a resolution. They did solve my issue though
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In-Person Training
IBM
Onsite training provided by IBM Cognos was effective and as expected. They did not perform training with our data which was a bit difficult for our end-users.
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Tableau
It is admittedly hard to train a group of people with disparate levels of ability coming in, but the software is so easy to use that this is not a huge problem; anyone who can follow simple instructions can catch up pretty quickly.
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Online Training
IBM
The online courses they offer are thorough and presented in such a way that someone who isn't already familiar with the general design methodologies used in this field will be capable of making a good design. The training environments are provided as a fully self contained virtual machine with everything needed already to create the environments. We've had some persisting issues with the environments becoming unavailable, but support has been responsive when these issues arise and straightening them out for us
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Tableau
The training for new users are quite good because it covers topic wise training and the best part was that it also had video tutorials which are very helpful
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Implementation Rating
IBM
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.
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Tableau
Again, training is the key and the company provides a lot of example videos that will help users discover use cases that will greatly assist their creation of original visualizations. As with any new software tool, productivity will decline for a period. In the case of Tableau, the decline period is short and the later gains are well worth it.
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Alternatives Considered
IBM
In the past Management had used Excel and Workiva capabilities to create the reporting dashboards that were being used to make decisions. Since switching to IBM Cognos Analytics the Company has been much more efficient and decision making has been streamlined. IBM Cognos Analytics was chosen due to its reputation and data visualization capabilities and neither have been wrong.
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Tableau
If we do not have legacy tools which have already been set up, I would switch the visualization method to open source software via PyCharm, Atom, and Visual Studio IDE. These IDEs cannot directly help you to visualize the data but you can use many python packages to do so through these IDEs.
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Scalability
IBM
The Cognos architecture is well suited for scalability. However, the architecture must be designed with scalability in mind from day one of the implementation. We recently upgraded from 10.1 to 10.2.1 and took the opportunity to revamp our architecture. It is now poised for future growth and scalability.
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Tableau
Tableau Desktop's scaleability is really limited to the scale of your back-end data systems. If you want to pull down an extract and work quickly in-memory, in my application it scaled to a few tens of millions of rows using the in-memory engine. But it's really only limited by your back-end data store if you have or are willing to invest in an optimized SQL store or purpose-built query engine like Veritca or Netezza or something similar.
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Return on Investment
IBM
  • High ROI with well designed solutions. Supported by scalable deployment, robust security model and ability to create valuable content.
  • High ROI where well designed data models can be deployed with a common metadata layer to a variety of users and use cases.
  • High ROI in an environment that includes a variety of vendors and best of breed products within the overall platform
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Tableau
  • Tableau was acquired years ago, and has provided good value with the content created.
  • Ongoing maintenance costs for the platform, both to maintain desktop and server licensing has made the continuing value questionable when compared to other offerings in the marketplace.
  • Users have largely been satisfied with the content, but not with the overall performance. This is due to a combination of factors including the performance of the Tableau engines as well as development deficiencies.
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ScreenShots