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344 Ratings
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677 Ratings
344 Ratings
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Score 7.6 out of 101

Microsoft BI

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677 Ratings
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Score 8 out of 101

Likelihood to Recommend

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos is well suited when you are implementing with compatible software like Costpoint and other Deltek products, this will lead to great integration and result in the wonderful presentation of data for your reporting requirement. However, IBM Cognos is not well suited when being implemented with non-Deltek software as this will lead to challenges in integration and will not produce ideal reporting.
Nabeel Chohan profile photo

Microsoft BI

Visualization of business data: it's good, fast, and cheap. What more can you ask? With more specialized visualization needs, use Tableau or write code. For complex scientific visualizations, write code.It's also so much easier communicating about the tool and its visuals to other people who don't spend their lives analyzing complex data. "It's Excel for Big Data!" is really quite simple.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

IBM Cognos
7.9
Microsoft BI
8.0
Pixel Perfect reports
IBM Cognos
7.7
Microsoft BI
7.8
Customizable dashboards
IBM Cognos
7.6
Microsoft BI
7.9
Report Formatting Templates
IBM Cognos
8.2
Microsoft BI
8.2

Ad-hoc Reporting

IBM Cognos
8.2
Microsoft BI
8.4
Drill-down analysis
IBM Cognos
8.8
Microsoft BI
8.2
Formatting capabilities
IBM Cognos
7.3
Microsoft BI
8.4
Integration with R or other statistical packages
IBM Cognos
7.7
Microsoft BI
8.2
Report sharing and collaboration
IBM Cognos
8.9
Microsoft BI
8.9

Report Output and Scheduling

IBM Cognos
8.4
Microsoft BI
8.2
Publish to Web
IBM Cognos
8.4
Microsoft BI
8.3
Publish to PDF
IBM Cognos
8.9
Microsoft BI
8.8
Report Versioning
IBM Cognos
8.5
Microsoft BI
8.1
Report Delivery Scheduling
IBM Cognos
8.6
Microsoft BI
7.5
Delivery to Remote Servers
IBM Cognos
7.9
Microsoft BI
8.2

Data Discovery and Visualization

IBM Cognos
7.3
Microsoft BI
8.1
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
IBM Cognos
7.3
Microsoft BI
8.4
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
IBM Cognos
6.8
Microsoft BI
7.9
Predictive Analytics
IBM Cognos
7.8
Microsoft BI
8.1

Access Control and Security

IBM Cognos
9.1
Microsoft BI
8.3
Multi-User Support (named login)
IBM Cognos
9.2
Microsoft BI
8.4
Role-Based Security Model
IBM Cognos
9.2
Microsoft BI
8.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
IBM Cognos
8.8
Microsoft BI
8.5
Single Sign-On (SSO)
IBM Cognos
9.2
Microsoft BI
8.4

Mobile Capabilities

IBM Cognos
7.5
Microsoft BI
8.2
Responsive Design for Web Access
IBM Cognos
7.9
Microsoft BI
8.2
Dedicated iOS Application
IBM Cognos
7.2
Microsoft BI
8.4
Dedicated Android Application
IBM Cognos
7.3
Microsoft BI
8.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
IBM Cognos
7.6
Microsoft BI
8.2

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

IBM Cognos
7.7
Microsoft BI
7.8
REST API
IBM Cognos
7.6
Microsoft BI
7.9
Javascript API
IBM Cognos
8.0
Microsoft BI
8.3
iFrames
IBM Cognos
7.8
Microsoft BI
7.7
Java API
IBM Cognos
7.1
Microsoft BI
7.6
Themeable User Interface (UI)
IBM Cognos
8.3
Microsoft BI
7.8
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
IBM Cognos
7.5
Microsoft BI
7.5

Pros

IBM Cognos

  • What IBM Cognos does really well is provide precise data that may otherwise be hard to retrieve from your primary accounting software. While doing so, it organizes this data such that it becomes much more meaningful to analyze.
  • IBM Cognos also does a fantastic job through the Query Studio module to give certain users the ability to create simple reports and modify existing reports, this allows the flexibility a user needs in getting the intended data.
  • IBM Cognos also provides the ability to utilize a BI tool for complicated reporting requirements or in cases when there are many data dependencies that exist. This BI tool enables Cognos to tackle many organizational and data challenges that companies face in the industry.
Nabeel Chohan profile photo

Microsoft BI

  • EASY visualization of business data. Excel is the killer app so anybody remotely good at basic office tools knows how to make PivotTables and PivotCharts. If you don't, it's really easy to learn; give it a try... People think big data visualization is hard but it's not for most business use cases.
  • FAST visualization of business data. There are BI/Analytics tools out there, some of them beginning with the letter S, that are slooow. I do my taxes waiting for them to run basic queries/filters/charts. Microsoft BI (and Tableau, etc.) create compact data models to allow for pretty fast data loading and slicery.
  • FREE or at least REALLY CHEAP visualization of business data. Who has MS Office on their business computer? Oh, everybody. If you don't have Office Pro, pony up for that or get the monthly license. The bigness of data you can run on your own machine is fairly big; don't use cloud if you don't need it. By comparison, who enjoys throwing thousands of dollars away on bloated legacy BI software? Well, too many companies, apparently.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Cons

IBM Cognos

  • IBM Cognos can improve on the way certain modules like Query Studio work where pulling various data feilds and merging them together is not as simple as it seems. In order to effectively use Query Studio, a user needs to be well trained and it's not a module that simply anyone can pick up.
  • IBM Cognos can also improve on the way it interfaces with other non-IBM software. It struggles to offer the same level of efficiency that it offers when interfacing with CostPoint, Deltek T&E when compared to non-IBM software like Unanet.
  • IBM Cognos needs to develop other modules further and need to offer greater applicability to these modules for those to be as widely used as the popularly used modules.
Nabeel Chohan profile photo

Microsoft BI

  • Parallel Sequential job Processing within the SSIS GUI, not using DTS
  • More Options for non-SharePoint portal Integration
  • Reporting Services performance browser rendering time for reports
Lee Cullom profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 7.9
Based on 23 answers
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.
Sachin Karkun profile photo

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.0
Based on 25 answers
Microsoft BI is fundamental to our suite of BI applications. That being said, Northcraft Analytics is focused on delighting our customers, so if the underlying factors of our decision change, we would choose to re-write our BI applications on a different stack. Luckily, mathematics are the fundamental IP of our technology... and is portable across all BI platforms for the foreseeable future.
Lee Cullom profile photo

Usability

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 7.5
Based on 6 answers
It's decently good at things, just tricky in some places.
Jonathan Kyrlach profile photo

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
Based on 5 answers
It's a good rating for people willing to learn and get used to it, but it's not inherently user friendly, especially to people who are not Excel power users.
Alexander Lubyansky profile photo

Reliability and Availability

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 8.6
Based on 4 answers
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
Gerrit Goewey profile photo

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Performance

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 9.0
Based on 5 answers
Even when running on my demo VM (5GB of ram, 8 cores, 256MB video) on my laptop , the render time of basic reports is snappy. As long as a reasonable amount of items is being displayed, it can handle any number of pages efficiently. The further off the beaten path a developer gets with ODBC/JDBC drivers and underlying model designs, the more performance will tend to suffer, but as long as reasonable hardware resources are being dedicated to the system, a well designed system should not have any problem
Gerrit Goewey profile photo

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.0
Based on 2 answers
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) can drag at times. We created two report servers and placed them under an F5 load balancer. This configuration has worked well. We have seen sluggish performance at times due to the Windows Firewall.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Support

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 7.0
Based on 7 answers
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.
Jonathan Kyrlach profile photo

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 7.1
Based on 6 answers
I am basing this rating not on Microsoft's paid premium support, but rather on the resources available (both from Microsoft and 3rd parties) to BI consumers. There is such a huge community working with and building solutions with the Microsoft BI stack (SQL Server) that I have always been able to find a solution (or at least a workaround) to any problems that have come up.
Sean Brady profile photo

In-Person Training

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 8.7
Based on 4 answers
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.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice profile photo

Online Training

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 8.0
Based on 4 answers
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
Gerrit Goewey profile photo

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 8.5
Based on 2 answers
I have used on-line training from Microsoft and from Pragmatic Works. I would recommend Pragmatic Works as the best way to get up to speed quickly, and then use the Microsoft on-line training to deep dive into specific features that you need to get depth with.
Sean Brady profile photo

Implementation

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 7.0
Based on 7 answers
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.
Toni McKee profile photo

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI 9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.
Boris Skylar profile photo

Alternatives Considered

IBM Cognos

We considered several major commercial visualization and dashboarding tools and decided to adopt Tableau and Cognos. We're a healthcare delivery organization and security and privacy of patient data are a critical feature. For that reason, we preferred a well recognized and already proven products rather than a non-guaranteed brand/new product. Congos is not the richest functioned tool but provided stable performance with great business support.
No photo available

Microsoft BI

-Tableau is clearly more cutting edge when it comes to data visualization and connecting to multiple data sources (support for MongoDB, Hadoop, etc).-Assuming your data is not that sophisticated, Microsoft BI is a great product. I would say its a good "all around" BI tool. It does a good job in building operational reports. The reports run very fast on the report server. Most IT folks and alot of business folks can get comfortable with this product and build their own reports. You can create a semantic layer for the business users to pull their own data from (and its drag and drop).-Microsoft BI pretty much smokes Crystal Reports, SAP Business Objects and even IBM Cognos (I have limited experience with Cognos but from what I saw, it was pretty horrible to use). When I say "smokes" I mean that Crystal Reports, SAP Business Objects IBM Cognos are like using Internet Explorer 6.0 and Microsoft BI is like using Firefox 2013. Why would you bother using such old products that haven't kept up with the needs of today's analysts? It's not so much about functionality as it is about UI design and a certain level of intuitiveness
Mashhood Syed profile photo

Scalability

IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos 10.0
Based on 1 answer
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.
Robert Goodman profile photo

Microsoft BI

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Return on Investment

IBM Cognos

  • (+) increased efficiency: Less time trying to figure out how to do something w/ another BI tool that may seem impossible -- Cognos will be able to do it 99% of the time
  • (-) increased training required: Training for Cognos had to be longer and more intensive than other BI tools. For example, my team members go through a week long 8-hour/day class and it was just enough to scratch the surface. A good base if required, but real world experience is the only way to become a Cognos pro.
  • (-) more end-user training: We do mostly canned reports with Cognos, so out end-users must be trainied. It is much harder to train them with Cognos than other BI tools. This is why I only turn to Cognos if I cannot accomplish my goal in another tool.
No photo available

Microsoft BI

  • Greatly reduced reporting project development time (and associated costs).
  • Significantly larger pool of experts to assist on large / ad-hoc projects.
  • Faster availability of critical business data to our users (due to decreased development time as well as performance of overall system - we are able to keep the data very fresh).
  • Significantly increased ETL / data integration capabilities means that more legacy and external system data is making it into the data warehouse.
Sean Brady profile photo

Pricing Details

IBM Cognos

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

IBM Cognos Editions & Modules

IBM Cognos
Additional Pricing Details

Microsoft BI

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Microsoft BI Editions & Modules

Microsoft BI
Edition
Power BI
$0
Power BI Pro
$102
2. per user per month
Additional Pricing Details

Add comparison