What users are saying about

Microsoft BI

594 Ratings

IBM Cognos

306 Ratings

Microsoft BI

594 Ratings
Score 7.8 out of 101

IBM Cognos

306 Ratings
Score 7.3 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Microsoft BI

Flexibility, engagement, training resources, updates, cost, implementation, ease of use, support; these are the reasons why I would recommend Power BI. Power BI is best suited for situations where collaboration is needed among several different groups who are working concurrently on different activities. Where there are multiple levels of data that need to be parsed through. It's difficult to think of a scenario where it wouldn't be beneficial other than the obvious.
Jason Leidig profile photo

IBM Cognos

For non-technical users like managers or directors, IBM Cognos is beautiful, easy to learn and use. But if you want complex cubes or data analysis outside the box, you could prefer Tableau or Microsoft Power BI. QlikView is also good for non-technical users but the decision can be made according to the experience and use of IBM products. In general, if your client is familiar with the IBM ecosystem, Cognos will be very well seen for directors and managers.
Miguel Angel Merino Vega profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.2
IBM Cognos
8.4
Pixel Perfect reports
Microsoft BI
8.1
IBM Cognos
8.6
Customizable dashboards
Microsoft BI
8.1
IBM Cognos
8.5
Report Formatting Templates
Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
8.0

Ad-hoc Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
7.8
Drill-down analysis
Microsoft BI
8.6
IBM Cognos
9.1
Formatting capabilities
Microsoft BI
8.3
IBM Cognos
7.7
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Microsoft BI
8.3
IBM Cognos
6.7
Report sharing and collaboration
Microsoft BI
8.8
IBM Cognos
7.6

Report Output and Scheduling

Microsoft BI
8.7
IBM Cognos
8.7
Publish to Web
Microsoft BI
8.7
IBM Cognos
8.9
Publish to PDF
Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
9.3
Report Versioning
Microsoft BI
8.8
IBM Cognos
8.9
Report Delivery Scheduling
Microsoft BI
8.8
IBM Cognos
8.2
Delivery to Remote Servers
Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
8.2

Data Discovery and Visualization

Microsoft BI
8.8
IBM Cognos
7.3
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Microsoft BI
9.0
IBM Cognos
8.0
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Microsoft BI
8.8
IBM Cognos
6.6
Predictive Analytics
Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
7.3

Access Control and Security

Microsoft BI
8.7
IBM Cognos
9.0
Multi-User Support (named login)
Microsoft BI
8.8
IBM Cognos
9.0
Role-Based Security Model
Microsoft BI
8.6
IBM Cognos
9.1
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Microsoft BI
9.0
IBM Cognos
9.1
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
8.7

Mobile Capabilities

Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
8.0
Responsive Design for Web Access
Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
7.5
Dedicated iOS Application
Microsoft BI
8.7
IBM Cognos
7.9
Dedicated Android Application
Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
8.2
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
8.2

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
7.9
REST API
Microsoft BI
8.6
IBM Cognos
7.0
Javascript API
Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
8.0
iFrames
Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
7.7
Java API
Microsoft BI
8.3
IBM Cognos
7.7
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Microsoft BI
8.7
IBM Cognos
8.3
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Microsoft BI
8.0
IBM Cognos
8.5

Pros

  • One Stop Shopping: Single solution provider provides tight integration between data storage, data manipulation, data processing and presentation. Instead of buying an RDBMS from one provider, data processing tools from another vendor, and presentation tools from yet another, the entire application stack is provided by Microsoft.
  • Value: Compared to other RDBMS vendors, Microsoft BI tools are more cost-effective because all the tools needed are included in the purchase of Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint and Office. SQL Server even has a Business Intelligence Edition!
  • Performance: The SQL Server RDBMS is a top-tier data management solution. Ancillary tools like Integration Services (SSIS), Analysis Services (SSAS), Reporting Services (SSRS), PerformancePoint are mature, full featured and include lots of performance monitoring and high availability options. The newer Power BI tools have made tremendous strides in stability and usability since their introduction last year.
  • HDInsight and Azure BLOB storage offer a new paradigm for storing and querying data sets of all sizes. Flat files are stored in inexpensive storage, and HDInsight Hive allows "schema over file" table structures and near-ANSI SQL queries. This provides an inexpensive, very fast way to process data from web logs, large call center logs, and other large data volume data sets without importing into a database. Once the processing is complete, the HDInsight cluster (up to 64 nodes) is dropped, leaving the data intact.
  • Azure Hybrid Scenarios: Microsoft is rapidly migrating their business offerings to Azure. Business Intelligence is no exception.
  • Many new features in SQL Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014 are designed to allow seamless management of both on-premise and cloud-based data,From Infrastructure As a Service (IaaS) options like virtual servers for development and test to Power BI for Office 365 sites that revolutionize how data is shared and accessed, Microsoft is making significant investments in the next generation of cloud-based solutions.
Chris Utter profile photo
  • No coding skills to build reports
  • Easily integrates multiple data sources
  • Powerful report capabilities
  • Analysis, reporting, dashboarding and score carding support
Gonzalo Angeleri profile photo

Cons

  • The report authoring solutions in Reporting Services could be better, especially on the Report Builder (end-user oriented) side.
Sean Brady profile photo
  • The learning curve for Cognos is fairly high due to the high level of functionality available. It would be helpful to have some less expensive training options available.
  • Instructions for using Cognos could be more robust, but I realize that's partially dependent on how it's used and documentation writers would not necessarily be able to anticipate all uses.
  • Instructions for creating a cross tab report with formatting and subtotals could be better.
Lori Lambert profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft BI8.0
Based on 25 answers
As Microsoft Gold partners, we had access to the software already and have enjoyed success with a very small implementation. As this grows we may look toward additional delivery options but not the base data warehouse system.
Stephanie Grice profile photo
IBM Cognos7.9
Based on 23 answers
It took my BI team one year to become productive at developing useful content on the IBM Cognos platform. After this year, the reports being developed for a client were stale and no longer relative to the ever changing needs of the business client. Given the same opportunity, I would select a platform that allows the team to quickly produce BI content. Fail fast and recover quickly!
Dwight Taylor profile photo

Usability

Microsoft BI7.0
Based on 5 answers
The product is very usable compared to competitive solutions. I didn't give it a full 10 because Microsoft needs to improve their Report Builder module.
Robert Goodman profile photo
IBM Cognos7.5
Based on 6 answers
There are some bugs that occur occasionally in the software.
Harold Leemaster profile photo

Reliability and Availability

Microsoft BI9.5
Based on 2 answers
The product has been reliable.
Robert Goodman profile photo
IBM Cognos8.6
Based on 4 answers
Environments are pretty stable.
Harold Leemaster profile photo

Performance

Microsoft BI7.0
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
IBM Cognos9.0
Based on 5 answers
You have to really design the product well to get the best performance.
Harold Leemaster profile photo

Support

Microsoft BI7.1
Based on 6 answers
Microsoft support in general is good, did not have any issues.
Boris Skylar profile photo
IBM Cognos7.0
Based on 7 answers
Haven't worked too much with regular customer support, since we tend to go to the experts who are there to help partners with their questions. Generally the questions that we need to ask are far more advanced than the average end user would call about, so we haven't had much luck in getting answers when we actually do try to call them
Gerrit Goewey profile photo

In-Person Training

Microsoft BI6.9
Based on 3 answers
This training was more directed toward what the product was capable of rather than actual programming.
Stephanie Grice profile photo
IBM Cognos8.7
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

Online Training

Microsoft BI8.5
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
IBM Cognos8.0
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

Implementation

Microsoft BI9.6
Based on 7 answers
Thorough project planning and requirements gathering ensured project's success.
Boris Skylar profile photo
IBM Cognos7.0
Based on 7 answers
No real problems with the implementations. Most of the issues we have are a matter of the limited resources of the smaller VMs and only keeping the services that we need for a specific demo turned on. This should not be a problem on a standard production server
Gerrit Goewey profile photo

Breadth of Deployment

I have implemented Microsoft BI in small departments with less than 10 people all the way up to full enterprise deployments with multiple IT groups and 1000's of users. The only difference will be what of the provided Microsoft BI tools will you use and how many servers will it all be installed on. Once it is setup it is very easy to keep up-to-date and even expand in the future. Some of the tools do need more IT involvement to get up and running, but once it is setup and working it can easily go into a hands-off setup and just works. I have been oncall support for an enterprise SSRS deployment that was on multiple servers across multiple data centers and only received calls of issues once or month or less and most of time those were cause by human error and not following the procedures that were established.
Steve Wake profile photo
It really depends on what you mean by adopted. If you mean report recipients, which is usually how adoption is measured, then it was widely adopted. However, if by adopted you mean productive content producers, it was not widely adopted. Maybe less than 1% of business intelligence content producers.
Dwight Taylor profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Microsoft BI is mainly based on Microsoft SQL Server, so it is perfectly integrated. Many of the Microsoft BI components require using SQL Server as the database engine. Generally, the functionalities that are achieved when using SQL Server as a database engine are greater than when using any other engine.
Gonzalo Angeleri profile photo
We used to use Crystal Reports but transitioned our reports to Cognos when Crystal was no longer supported in conjunction with PeopleSoft. Crystal is a more flexible report-building tool for unique needs, but Cognos has better prompts and is a better server-style report repository for many users.
No photo available

Collaboration and Sharing

Microsoft BI8.2
Based on 27 answers
You can publish dashboards or reports from the web or desktop versions in many ways. From the web side, you can distribute dashboards or reports over roll based, user based or user group. From the desktop side, you can distribute dashboards or reports by file (MS BI report file, MS Excel, MS Access, and other formats).
Celil ÇİYNEKLİ profile photo
IBM Cognos7.4
Based on 27 answers
The access control capabilities work well, and it's easy to share data across teams (commonly accessible reports). Report formatting is more complicated than it needs to be.
No photo available

Data Integration

Microsoft BI8.7
Based on 26 answers
It has been really simple to connect data sources, both offline and online
Micah Jones profile photo
IBM Cognos7.1
Based on 26 answers
We have struggled to merge data from our PeopleSoft data into a star schema data warehouse in Cognos. It is nice to easily choose whether a report draws data from our warehouse or real-time date.
No photo available

Scalability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
IBM Cognos10.0
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

Return on Investment

  • My organization uses Microsoft BI for nearly all of our development. We would not be able to integrate with our clients to deliver our solutions easily without it.
Megan Juell profile photo
  • 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.
Toni McKee profile photo

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

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