What users are saying about

Microsoft BI

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617 Ratings

IBM Cognos

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315 Ratings

Microsoft BI

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617 Ratings
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Score 7.9 out of 101

IBM Cognos

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315 Ratings
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Score 7.3 out of 101

Add comparison

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

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

Feature Rating Comparison

BI Standard Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.0
IBM Cognos
7.7
Pixel Perfect reports
Microsoft BI
7.9
IBM Cognos
7.6
Customizable dashboards
Microsoft BI
7.9
IBM Cognos
7.4
Report Formatting Templates
Microsoft BI
8.2
IBM Cognos
8.1

Ad-hoc Reporting

Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
7.9
Drill-down analysis
Microsoft BI
8.2
IBM Cognos
8.6
Formatting capabilities
Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
7.2
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Microsoft BI
8.1
IBM Cognos
7.2
Report sharing and collaboration
Microsoft BI
8.9
IBM Cognos
8.5

Report Output and Scheduling

Microsoft BI
8.2
IBM Cognos
8.5
Publish to Web
Microsoft BI
8.3
IBM Cognos
8.6
Publish to PDF
Microsoft BI
8.8
IBM Cognos
9.0
Report Versioning
Microsoft BI
8.1
IBM Cognos
8.5
Report Delivery Scheduling
Microsoft BI
7.6
IBM Cognos
8.5
Delivery to Remote Servers
Microsoft BI
8.1
IBM Cognos
7.7

Data Discovery and Visualization

Microsoft BI
8.1
IBM Cognos
6.9
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
7.1
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Microsoft BI
7.9
IBM Cognos
6.4
Predictive Analytics
Microsoft BI
8.0
IBM Cognos
7.3

Access Control and Security

Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
9.1
Multi-User Support (named login)
Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
9.2
Role-Based Security Model
Microsoft BI
8.1
IBM Cognos
9.3
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Microsoft BI
8.6
IBM Cognos
8.7
Single Sign-On (SSO)
Microsoft BI
8.5
IBM Cognos
9.0

Mobile Capabilities

Microsoft BI
8.2
IBM Cognos
7.3
Responsive Design for Web Access
Microsoft BI
8.2
IBM Cognos
7.7
Dedicated iOS Application
Microsoft BI
8.4
IBM Cognos
7.1
Dedicated Android Application
Microsoft BI
8.1
IBM Cognos
7.1
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile
Microsoft BI
8.3
IBM Cognos
7.3

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding

Microsoft BI
7.8
IBM Cognos
7.5
REST API
Microsoft BI
7.9
IBM Cognos
7.0
Javascript API
Microsoft BI
8.3
IBM Cognos
7.8
iFrames
Microsoft BI
7.7
IBM Cognos
7.8
Java API
Microsoft BI
7.5
IBM Cognos
6.8
Themeable User Interface (UI)
Microsoft BI
7.8
IBM Cognos
8.0
Customizable Platform (Open Source)
Microsoft BI
7.4
IBM Cognos
7.6

Pros

  • The layout of Power BI is very intuitive. Someone that is familiar with Excel and working with Charts and Graphs in that environment will find the learning curve a rather short one to start using Power BI.
  • I like the way Power BI fits an assortment of users and how the functionality that you engage is replicated in Excel, that being Power Query and Power Pivot. So what you learn in one tool can be readily applied towards the other which allows you to more effectively apply your training.
  • I appreciate how Microsoft is working to develop tools that go a long ways to empowering the end user. Prior to Power BI I would have had to consult with a "BI" professional to develop a dashboard. With Power BI I don't have to consult with anyone, I can work to put together the dash board I want and using a tool set that is really robust and allows me to engage an enormous amount of data. It's provides a great deal of flexibility and the types of data I can connect to.
  • Updates...Microsoft is working diligently to keep Power BI current with monthly updates. They do a really good job of listening to the end user, if there is functionality not currently present just give them a month or so.
  • Just to be clear, even though it's easy to get going right out of the gate with Power BI it provides plenty of opportunities to create some really sophisticated reporting solutions. With DAX in Power Pivot and M language in Power Query, you are provided with plenty of head room to do some really amazing things in Power BI.
  • Training...there are resources across the web for learning and growing your skills and Power BI. And what's even better is the majority of those resources are free.
  • Data engagement, when presenting the data to the end user Power BI goes a long way to allowing that end user to engage the data and begin to identify root cause by simply interacting with the graph/chart/data set. It allows for really fluid engagement. Prior to Power BI so many times during the presentation of data we often times ended the engagement with that data with more questions than what were answered. With Power BI, more often than not, the end user is able to get answers to the questions by simply clicking on the data in the graph/chart/dataset to see the details. This tool really does have the capacity to make you look like a rock star.
Jason Leidig profile photo
  • It provides a graphic user interface for report authoring, which is easy to learn and straightforward to understand. It is easy to develop a report if authors have good understanding of data.
  • The data pipelining framework is stable. It didn't crash by connection failure, etc.
  • Cognos is designed for a report distribution to multiple analytics consumers. Report authors can set up distribution configurations with detailed conditions.
  • Authoring environment is designed to well adopt complicated formats of data sources.
No photo available

Cons

  • The desktop version is free, monthly updates, free training resources...what's not to love. I'm sure that someone with a higher degree of technical learning will be able to better articulate some negatives for Power BI, I'm just not that guy. I have nothing but appreciation for Power BI.
Jason Leidig profile photo
  • Web-based authoring environment is slow, compared to Desktop based environment. It gets slower if the size of data gets bigger.
  • Congas is best when we create reports using coded data based on relational databases. Since a lot of clinical data are unstructured formatted, it may be required of good data wrangling function to include them into the reports.
  • Chart types and look and feel configuration flexibility are limited, especially compared to competitors such as Tableau. They are not terribly ugly, but not faulty looking with the default setting.
No photo available

Likelihood to Renew

Microsoft BI8.0
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
IBM Cognos7.9
Based on 23 answers
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.
Toni McKee profile photo

Usability

Microsoft BI7.0
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
IBM Cognos7.5
Based on 6 answers
From the Developer side, it can initially seem impenetrable to try to use some of the development tools, such as Framework Manager and the more advanced features of Report Studio. Once familiar with the organization of the interface, the learning curve evens out quickly and it becomes rather straightforward to work with. From the End User side, navigating to a report or dashboard is as simple as clicking through the directory structure. With a little poking around in Cognos Workspace, it shouldn't take long to figure out how to customize a dashboard to their own liking
Gerrit Goewey 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
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

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
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

Support

Microsoft BI7.1
Based on 6 answers
We are not currently utilizing Microsoft's technical support.
Robert Goodman profile photo
IBM Cognos7.0
Based on 7 answers
There are certain scenarios where the resolution has been not being offered as a new service pack was available.
No photo available

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
The training provided was easy to follow and very comprehensive. The instructors were very knowledgeable
No photo available

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 training was good, comprehensive. The individuals who made use of the training found it to be very helpful and clearly articulated. They felt that the training provided immediate benefits to their day-to-day work.
No photo available

Implementation

Microsoft BI9.6
Based on 7 answers
Be prepared to help business users define their data. We found that different campuses had different definitions for the same thing. This took some change management and negotiating to get each team to come to a common understanding.
Robert Goodman profile photo
IBM Cognos7.0
Based on 7 answers
The implementation to IBM Cognos 10 was very easy. Took a few weeks to plan, test, and implement. Relatively painless.
No photo available

Alternatives Considered

I'd rather not say to avoid unnecessary arguments. Thanks.
Haibo Yang profile photo
Cognos allows you to manipulate data in a way very similar to Excel but it is important to keep in mind that all the data filtering and calculations take place on the back end before you receive the report output and if you want to manipulate the data, you have to do so before you run your report.
Monika Ganeva profile photo

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

  • Business users easily learned self service BI with training and what to do and what not to do with self service BI
  • Learning curve for Powerpivot and other office 365 tools for IT team who already knew about data warehousing concepts is steep
No photo available
  • 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