IBM Cognos Analytics Reviews

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Ashwin Marwah | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 22, 2020

IBM Cognos - BI system of choice

Score 9 out of 10
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We use Cognos Analytics across our Sales and Finance to provide reporting across the company and solve all our analytics needs.
  • Self-service report authoring
  • Great visualization for dashboard
  • Data security
  • Enterprise portal
  • Dynamic default prompts
  • Excel + and - options when exporting report for summary view
  • Better data-driven subscription
IBM Cognos is great as an enterprise-level BI reporting solution for the company.
It lacks flexibility at times when putting together specific reports.
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Byron Conner | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 21, 2020

Give me a 60th of an hour and I’ll give you sales!!

Score 8 out of 10
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  • Cognos is used company wide to analyze sales. The convenience it provides for drilling down into different metrics is terrific. It can be used to send out last year sales by department and sub class so the management team can have the ability to plan for future business based off of last year’s numbers.
  • Amount of historical data.
  • Ease of navigation.
  • Ability to run multiple window within a subset.
  • When backtracking data can remain filled from last interaction.
The most useful tool within the Cognos platform is the ability to drill down to sales per hour on specific calander periods. This information coupled with customer traffic as well as sales is immeasurable. This gives the management team the ability to manage micro season especially with a shift in sales.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 04, 2020

IBM Cognos Report Studio works great for distributing data

Score 6 out of 10
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We use Cognos to send PDF, Excel, HTML reports to individuals emails or have users run their reports manually that they would like to have exported as a PDF, Excel, or HTML format. We also utilize Cognos bursting to send individuals their appropriate reports without having to make several reports based on a burst key. We use Cognos to help provide insight into historical data for uses throughout business areas of the company.
  • List/Table Reporting. It is awesome at providing detailed table lists of rows and provides it in multiple pages of a PDF based on the size of the table being exported.
  • Bursting to the appropriate individuals what they want to see/ have privileges to see.
  • Being able to email reports, whether that is HTML, PDF, or Excel formats.
  • With the upgrade from Cognos 10 to Cognos 11, there were a lot of features, like run schedule once, weren't brought over to the newest version of Report Studio.
  • I felt like they were trying to chase Tableau and Qlik with dashboarding rather than focusing on their bread and butter of Report Studio or which other Business Intelligence tools don't do very well.
It's great for
  1. Emailing reports to customers and providing them with their appropriate data.
  2. Providing reports as a PDF, HTML, Excel.
  3. Able to connect to an Oracle Database to create reports.
Overall, we use IBM Cognos for reporting needs, which other tools don't do very well.

We don't use IBM Cognos for creating dashboards, we use Tableau instead. We don't use IBM Cognos for searching dimensional models, we use ThoughtSpot instead.

I wish IBM Cognos didn't cost so much.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 14, 2020

IBM Cognos Analytics: The reporting platform of choice, with growing potential

Score 8 out of 10
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We are a software reseller and consulting company. A few of our clients use IBM Cognos Analytics as their platform of choice for Enterprise reporting and business intelligence. A few of them are cloud users.
  • Single source of truth enterprise-wide
  • Most secure BI platforms available for reporting, dashboards, and analytical analysis
  • Software POD availability across Asia Pacific
  • Seamless integration with other IBM Business Analytics software suite
IBM Cognos Analytics on Cloud is well suited for:
  • Medium and large enterprise, dealing with complexity of scale
  • When user identity, access management, and enterprise information security is a concern
  • Where clients want to do bit more than vanilla reporting like predictive analysis, extrapolation, and analysis
Less appropriate when:
  • Desktop reporting is the need of the hour
  • Client is after self-service reporting only
  • Prediction is the main objective
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 14, 2020

Great product!

Score 10 out of 10
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Our entire organization uses IBM Cognos and we love it. It does have a large learning curve, but it is such a powerful analytics and reporting tool. This tool allows you to manipulate and report off of large amounts of data. Personally, I like being able to extract it to Excel so that you can manipulate the data via pivot tables.
  • Handles big data well.
  • Provides the end-user with the data.
  • Allows for management to get the data they need.
  • Large learning curve.
  • Requires a lot of IT support.
IBM Cognos is a wonderful tool for reporting and analytics. It works best when you are working with large data. We use it as the reporting tool for our ERP system, Banner. Cognos works well to be able to deliver reports that cannot be obtained through Banner. We have several users that never access Banner, they only use Cognos to obtain their data.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 04, 2019

IBM Cognos Review

Score 8 out of 10
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We were looking for a product to give us some great BI information and analytics. We did a POC of several different companies and chose to go with IBM. Their product is streamlined, easy to use and very modular. Several key departments first championed the product and once the reporting architecture was deployed, many other adopters started to use this product.
  • Reporting Analytics - Able to customize our reports depending on the reader and audience.
  • Business Key Intelligence with API - Able to interconnect it with multiple data sources.
  • Structural and maneuverable - The GUI is easy to transition from one screen to another and readable data keys
  • Pricing - You get what you pay for? We wanted to best and therefor you have to pay a little more. But we love it.
  • Structured Support - Tier pricing on support, domestic vs. international.
The ability to receive multiple data sources from multiple vendors is the key to success. Being vendor agnostic has provided us valuable data that we couldn't achieve with just one tool.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
November 16, 2019

Collaborative But Complicated

Score 7 out of 10
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We use Cognos throughout our university. It houses shared frequently used reports for areas such as student records, financial aid, and human resources. Cognos serves as our data warehouse. We have connected it to Tableau Server in order to regularly refresh our Tableau visualizations.
  • The prompts in Report Studio are easy for users to figure out.
  • Cognos allows us to publish reports with a live data connection side-by-side with reports that use day-old data.
  • The layout on the screen for changing the properties of a report is overwhelming. It's hard to remember where certain properties live.
  • It's time-consuming to construct a prompt page and to match the formatting/branding of our previous reports. These types of things should be faster and easier.
Cognos is good for reports that can be built by our data warehouse developers. Since Cognos is a time-consuming piece of software, we use another query tool for quick reporting needs.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 22, 2019

An easy way to report

Score 8 out of 10
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The whole organization utilizes Cognos software in one way or another. I find Cognos software to be a trusted and reliable source of acquiring data. I pretty much use the system each day to gather information which is helpful to myself to perform my job on a day to day basis.
  • Easy to use.
  • Reliable gathering of information.
  • Historic value.
  • Must know what you're doing when inputting the data. It can be tricky at times but usually, it's easy to use.
  • I only use the software for pulling data so my knowledge may not be as vast as others.
I feel the software is easy to use. For my position, I pull a lot of data and I need something which doesn't take a lot of time to do. This is easy. I can print my results. I have the information I need at my finger tips at all times. Something that one can't get from just anywhere.
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John Nguyen | TrustRadius Reviewer
September 06, 2019

IBM Cognos Analytics Review

Score 7 out of 10
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IBM Cognos Analytics was used to make an Interactive dashboard. Wanted to show sales for ATG travel expenses.
  • It is extremely quick!
  • Really accurate!
  • It can be shared with anyone that has access.
  • Visually can be improved.
  • Although easy to use, it does feel slow sometimes when there is a lag.
For making sales revenue within a specific time frame.
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Ray Hirte | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 09, 2019

Cognos today review

Score 8 out of 10
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It is being used as a report engine for an HR and fiance data warehouse. It is also being used for planning and budgeting for all of Hennepin county. It addresses our ability to report on our financial data as well as working to bring our HR data into the warehouse as well. The planning and budgeting has been an efficiency boom for our budgeting.
  • Reporting
  • Drill throughs
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • CAFR book reporting
  • License costs
  • License monitoring
Great for planning and budgeting. It works well to understand both the resource costs and the other budget costs. It would be nice if it were more real time as we need to run a process to sync up people costs with non people costs. Financial reports are ready for users to run and understand.
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Nabeel Chohan | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 17, 2019

IBM Cognos is a powerful tool to have in your organization

Score 9 out of 10
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IBM Cognos is being utilized in our organization to conduct back end corporate reporting tied to our accounting software. It is being used in a wide variety of departments including HR, Finance, IT and many others. By using IBM Cognos, our organization is attempting to achieve work efficiency by getting tailored reports and better organization of our data.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 11, 2018

Cognos is good for a large sized healthcare organization, but it may be a conservative choice

Score 7 out of 10
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My company is a non-profit healthcare delivery institute. We have electronic health records that capture patient data from the clinical field through applications. The clinical data stored in the database is being secondarily used for scientific research and quality improvement. We adopted IBM Cognos as a tool to visualize data and develop web-based deliverable charts. It has been implemented through at enterprise-level in the whole organization.
  • 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.
  • 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.
We adopted Tableau and Cognos for different purposes to report management for clinicians and researchers. Congos is good for a scheduled reporting distribution at an enterprise level. For example, we could create customized reports by care units, facilities, regions and distribute them for targeted user groups. But Cognos is not a good tool for dashboard development, which provides a centralized and summarized view for multiple users. And other competitors like Tableau started adopting distribution or subscription functions which will infringe the traditional strength of Cognos.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 25, 2019

Cognos is a great enterprise tool

Score 10 out of 10
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IBM Cognos is being used by our organization across multiple applications and teams. It is used by the whole organization. We use it to capture customer information, our team performance in handling customers' belongings and performance as a whole across different departments.
  • IBM cognos is great as an enterprise tool.
  • Being able to create cubes and packages that can be used to pull exactly what you want to see specific to your group.
  • IBM Cognos allows multiple users to go in and change the report in a way that they want to see without changing the data that is provided to everyone as a whole.
  • IBM Cognos has room for improvement in its charts and graphs. They are awesome on their own but compared to Tableau fall a little short.
  • The speed of IBM Cognos could run faster, however considering the amount of data it is able to pull without slowing down makes up for the overall slower processing.
  • The ease of setup and usage has a bigger learning curve compared to similar reporting products but once again the return on effort makes it worth that steep curve.
Scenarios where IBM Cognos is well suited, are when you have large amounts of data that need to be pulled and processed as metadata. A time or scenarios where it is less appropriate is when you just want to take an Excel sheet and produce a dashboard off of that information. A desktop tool could be used in that scenario.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 11, 2018

Cognos too Powerful?

Score 5 out of 10
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We use Cognos as the primary business intelligence tool to ongoing and ad-hoc reporting. We are however transitioning to another BI tool
  • Self Service
  • Alerting
  • Scalability
  • Better visuals
  • Lower cost
  • Increased speed and performance
Cognos would be best suited for a large enterprise that can have clear reporting requirements alongside engagement from the end business users. It is a fantastic tool that has most of everything a business user might need. But there is a steep ramp up period.
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Miguel Angel Merino Vega | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 06, 2018

Cognos of the Titan IBM for superb users

Score 8 out of 10
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We provide BI modules for our clients. Sometimes we create the module (if the requirement is not very demanding). Sometimes we leave the work to the experts in the field. And the pioneer and high visionary in the field is without a doubt IBM with IBM Cognos. IBM Cognos provide an immersion to BI for technical users (query studio, report studio) and managers (analysis studio, event studio).
  • All in one Platform, with IBM integration capacities
  • Easy to use for directors and managers
  • Large user base
  • Relativity lower prices than the competition
  • The limited complexity of data analysis
  • Lower customer experience
  • Slow upgrades compared to competitors
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.
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Gonzalo Angeleri | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 02, 2018

Solid reporting tool with some missing capabilities

Score 7 out of 10
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We use Cognos to meet all reporting and analysis needs of our customers. It's normally used across the entire organization, though with some customers, it is used in a particular department. Cognos allows users to create and distribute reports as well as analyze information to find insights and make better decisions.
  • No coding skills to build reports
  • Easily integrates multiple data sources
  • Powerful report capabilities
  • Analysis, reporting, dashboarding and score carding support
  • Self-service capabilities are behind the competition
  • Too many interfaces to build models and reports which are not integrated
  • Visualization capabilities
Cognos is well suited for corporate reporting and analysis where IT department is in charge of building reports and dashboards in batch or near real-time. Cognos is not appropriate for real-time reporting and where you are looking for a self-service tool for end users.
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Monika Ganeva | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 28, 2018

Powerful Data Sharing and Automation Tool

Score 9 out of 10
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We use Cognos Report Studio to meet all of our reporting needs- create and distribute automated reports to internal data users across the entire organization, data integration files sent to other systems and external vendors as well as generate reports with data visualization such as charts and graphs that can also be exported in Excel. We also use event studio to push out a great deal of time sensitive information in a very user-friendly format such as reminder emails and data audit alerts to key stakeholders.
  • The best part about Cognos Report Studio is that you do not need to have access or know how to use the tool in order to be the recipient of the information. Cognos allows you to schedule automated reports that can be sent to any internal or external email address you type in the recipient line. You can use Cognos Report Studio to create customized and automated reports by applying data filters, conditional formatting, formulas, and calculations in a way very similar to Excel. Anything that you could do in Excel you can pretty much build into the parameters of your report in Cognos and manipulate the data before it comes out in the report. This becomes very handy, especially when automating reports that are sent to users who may not be very Excel savvy or when you just want to pass nuggets of information.
  • Cognos Event Studio is definitely my favorite. Amongst many things, I have found it to be a powerful data auditing tool. I use it to set up search engines that check our database for the incorrect combination of values across a set of data fields and thus minimize data entry errors in a time sensitive manner. For example, I can create a search engine that checks for any employees in "Part Time" status who have been assigned a schedule of 40hrs or more. The search engine would send an email to the HRIS team within an hour from the time the incorrect combination of values was entered into the system.
  • Another way to use Cognos Event Studio in a way that your entire organization can benefit from and appreciate is by sending managers email reminders days in advance of their direct reports' birthdays or work anniversaries. In a similar fashion, I am also able to send email alerts to our IT department's ticketing system immediately following an employee termination, which automatically creates a ticket for them to shut off access to email and other systems.
  • There is definitely a lot of room for improvement when it comes to Cognos. Sometimes it can take you a while to find a particular data field that you may want to pull into your report. Unfortunately, there is no option where you can search all tables in order to figure out where a particular data field is located or how pulling the same data field from one table vs another may impact your report results. This makes it a lot harder for new users to adopt the tool and quickly gain proficiency. Eventually, things starts make sense but it just takes a lot of practice.
  • One major challenge for me is the inability to be able to run a report on all the scheduled reports set up in Cognos. If you want to clean up or streamline any of your report schedules or distribution lists, there is no good way to do so except for going into each individual report and checking/modifying the schedule and the recipient list. Granted that Cognos is such a great tool for automating data output, I wish there was a better way to manage all your report schedules and recipient lists.
You can use IBM Cognos report studio to set up reports that you can either manually run on demand or automate to be sent to users on a regular cadence who don't have access to Cognos. For example on the first of every month, I have a number of Headcount reports scheduled to go out to our Finance department for the monthly FPA reconciliation processes.
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Gos Yao | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 07, 2017

IBM Cognos is a Powerful BI Tool

Score 9 out of 10
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Verified User
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IBM Cognos is widely used here as a BI tool to deliver the values to service provider customers with one of our biggest product lines. My company has developed the packages which are more tied to the target market - telecom customers, so they have the visibility to access the data with multiple dimensions. It's powerful and insightful. The Active Reports can offer customers a more interactive way to access the network KPIs. The report studio helps customers to get access to all purpose-built reports so they will have a better understanding towards the network performance.
  • It's powerful. As long as you have all the components setup, you will have the query studio to access more granular data, while using the report studio to set up something for good and deliver them via email or whatsoever fits your environment.
  • We have implemented Cognos for a lot of telco customers and they have attained much insight into network performance by creating the reports based on all different dimensions.
  • The functions are very rich and filters are very powerful and helpful to define all sorts of conditions up to your expectation.
  • It's a little bit cumbersome. Not very friendly to the new users. In particular here in Telco market, the users are not used to the heavy tool. Learning curve takes a little bit more time compared to other tools. However, once you set your foot in and get used to it, it's not difficult to set up the reports or do whatever.
  • The presentation (charts or tables) can be more modernized if possible to make the reports more presentable.
IBM Cognos is very well fit to the system analyst for big markets - Telco, big retailer chains, financial institutions etc. It offers great capability to access the data with multiple dimensions. For the small business, the implementation could be lengthy and cumbersome.
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Olena Sherbinin | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 01, 2017

Experienced Cognos User's Review

Score 10 out of 10
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It used across the university and provides easy access to prospective and current student data.
  • Intuitive interface
  • Dashboards
  • Reporting, analysis and scorecarding
  • Cognos Data Manager
  • Visualizations
  • Performance
While IBM Cognos comes in various shapes and sizes depending on the needs and size of the organization, in reality the BI and analytics platform is best suited to large corporations.
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Lori Lambert | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 12, 2016

Great Reporting with Cognos BI

Score 9 out of 10
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We use Cognos across the university for reporting and some dashboards. This includes student data, financial data, and human resources data. It allows us to create robust reports from a variety of data fields from multiple data packages and provides the reporting we need for both day to day operations as well as for yearly requirements, such as audited financial statements.
  • Very robust functionality that allows for a variety of report types as well as reporting structures.
  • Report prompts make reports easy to run for end users even when reports are very complex.
  • Ability to set up security classes that restrict access to end users based on their need to know and use the data.
  • 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.
If simplified reports are needed - mainly drag and drop fields without much formatting or specific subtotals, then Cognos may be too complicated for that type of reporting. However, if the data requires joins between data sets and views or specific formatting is required, then Cognos is a very robust option for creating such reports. I've rarely found a report that was not possible in Cognos, and when that has happened, it's more due to the data field structure than Cognos itself.
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Sandy Midili | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 23, 2016

IBM Cognos Business Intelligence. Puts back intelligence in the corporate world....

Score 10 out of 10
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My organization, QueBIT, is an IBM Premier Partner and has conducted hundreds of successful implementations of IBM® Cognos® TM1®, IBM Cognos BI and IBM SPSS. We help organizations improve their agility to make intelligent decisions that create value. I also provide internal and external training on IBM Cognos TM1, BI, & SPSS. We provide the critical knowledge transfer to maximize the ROI for each client.
  • Business Intelligence tools provide sophisticated reporting, dashboards and analytical tools for businesses to explore and interact with information from IBM Cognos TM1, corporate ERPs and data warehouses, IBM SPSS, and even third party solutions like QueBIT's FrameWORQ products.
  • The dashboards and visualizations can range from simple to intricate drill-down/up and drill-through reporting, allowing users to interact with the tool with various methodologies such as prompts and filters to assist them in analyzing the data with fast response times.
  • If you integrate the IBM solutions, such as IBM Cognos BI, TM1, and IBM SPSS, you get models to align historical data and examine reasons behind past successes or failures in order to gain insight. Finance, sales, marketing and operations typically rely on this type of analysis for management reporting. You can also add another degree of sophistication by integrating IBM SPSS for statistical and artificial-intelligence rules and mathematical optimization techniques that synthesize the factors identified by predictive analysis to suggest prescriptive decision options and actions.
  • Improving performance on Active Reports. This being said, I am excited to see what will happen with the newest version.
With any business analytics tool, what you must first address is getting your data in a proper state for reporting. Your real investment is cleaning up various silo sources of information and thinking about a data warehouse strategy. Because of its diversity, I would recommend integrating IBM Cognos BI & TM1 minimally so that you can not only analyze operational [data] but also financial performance for your organization.
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Benoit COLAS | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 02, 2016

IBM Cognos - Real BI integrated platform

Score 9 out of 10
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STEF group has been using IBM Cognos since 1999. We are now using version 10.2.1 to address business intelligence of every business need in the group, from Human Resources, Purchase, Controlling to Transportation and Logistics operations and Sales and Marketing.
Our BI information system collects information on every transactional system used in the group: SAP for Back-Office, Salesforce for Sales, Transportation Management System and Warehouse Management System.
  • With Report Studio, you are able to address every business need in terms of rendering complexity.
  • IBM Cognos is a real integrated platform. You develop ONE business model (framework) and it is useable with every tool of the platform.
  • IBM Cognos is easy to install and maintain. We performed an upgrade from version 8 to version 10 internally without the help of IBM or any consulting company.
  • From my point of view, the user interface is a real area for improvement.
Pro Scenario : Corporate BI system

Cons Scenario : Department BI
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Jonathan Kyrlach | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 29, 2016

A solid tool from a bygone era.

Score 4 out of 10
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When I was using IBM Cognos, it was the primary reporting solution for the enterprise, both at HIll-Rom and at Ethicon Endo-Surgery. It was the official tool for users to consume information from the enterprise data warehouse. I've also used it as a third-party integrator.
  • The strength of Cognos has always been their data modeling layer. Both in Framework Manager and in Transformer, very sophisticated data models could be applied to any database-housed source data.
  • Very easy to implement security on data access.
  • The ability to control what queries/operations were handled by Cognos, versus those that would be passed off to the database.
  • Having both the Framework models and the report studio specs be xml documents made third-party integration quite nice.
  • Printing reports is very easy.
  • Drilling up/down/through very easy to do.
  • The data models aren't available to anything besides Cognos Reports. So if a custom application or an analysis tool from another vendor wants to access the data, they can't take advantage of any of the modeling work done in Framework Manager, they have to do it all over again. This is a travesty. The modeling should be presented as a federated database layer that any application can take advantage of.
  • The data modeling environment doesn't lend itself to good development practices: You can't tell easily what the impact will be to making a change (Will this break report? cubes?), there's no built-in version control, only one person can work on a model at a single time, large files become unwieldy.
  • The general level of graphics is behind other vendors. The maps in particular are terrible.
  • The tool is expensive, and locks you in.
  • Working with a performant, dimensional source like a cube requires learning and using archaic mdx, and is very difficult to do in Report Studio.
When money is no object, vendor lock-in isn't a problem, and users don't care how good the reports look -- IBM Cognos is a good fit for that.
Read Jonathan Kyrlach's full review
Lesa Brosch,SHRM-CP, MPA, PHR | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 24, 2016

IBM Cognos Robuts but Easy to Learn and Use

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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CTA utilizes IBM Cognos for payroll and human resources reporting. We complete a lot of custom reports for internal and external use as well as government reporting.
  • The tables in Cognos are easy to navigate.
  • IBM allows for robust reporting in an very user friendly format.
  • Setting up dashboards in Cognos is easy and this makes it easy to provide reports for other users.
  • Setting up schedules for reporting is easy and saves the company time and money.
  • I find IBM Cognos very easy to use so I cannot truly think of improvements that are needed.
If you are not completing robust reports, you may not need IBM Cognos. The functionality in IBM Cognos makes creating user friendly, easy to do reports that are very robust.
Read Lesa Brosch,SHRM-CP, MPA, PHR's full review
Brent Curia | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 19, 2016

COGNOS is a great and vesitile tool.

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

We have over 39 systems for which data packages have been developed so that reports and graphics can be developed and used in COGNOS 10. COGNOS is used in most of the company and will eventually be used in all of the company.

It has enabled us to merge data from several systems and develop reports that can give the whole picture for a given program. It is used to access data from systems such as procurement, employee tracking, manufacturing and travel accounting, just to name a few.

It is solving the problem of having to access multiple systems. It has given us the ability to standardize our reporting structure and will eventually enable us to report up to management and the executive level using the same formats and thus reducing man hours spent on specialized reporting, pivot tables, and creating graphics manually.

  • COGNOS is very good at not only extracting data but it is very versatile in joining data sets. This is very useful when trying to use several different data streams to accomplish a single report out.
  • It is also creating complex formulas/data manipulation. Often the raw data received needs to be put into perspective with other data points. Creating complex case statements, for example, can yield some very interesting results with out further manual manipulation. You can also format it to color code final data outputs based on prescribed standards.
  • If you need data relating to data points that are simply not part of the data source, you can create statements that act as reference tables, e.g. if this data point equals that then this is the result. You can also create direct SQL statements.
  • There is so much more. I haven't even scratched the surface. I learn about more powerful options and methods every time I use it.
  • One big area that needs improvement is the validation option. It is very confusing and not specific enough to actually find a problem. The reports we create can be very complex. If just one item is not validated it often fires off a list that invalidates every field. Even just one item showing up during validation can be hard to find the source. When validating on a field to field basis, it gives you the number of the position of about where the problem is. Some of our case statements, for example can be hundreds of characters and you have to count to find the basic place. It would be nice if it was highlighted instead and offered suggestions.
  • The Tips box for available components, e.g. operators, dimensional functions, etc. on each data item needs to be more specific with actual examples. Some have actual data examples but most don't.
  • The user guide is not user friendly at all. It needs to have a search and be formatted more like the MS Office help modules with very detailed examples.

Honestly I think IBM COGNOS is well suited for any application requiring reporting that uses more up to date languages. There are still companies out there using DOS. I would not think COGNOS would be compatible with that. All in all it is an excellent program. I am big on consolidating data into one source and standardizing reporting. I started long ago with Report Writer. My first use resulted in taking a quarterly report out to the EPA that took 3 weeks and gathered data for multiple sources that took less than 2 hours.

The only challenge I have had is gaining an expert working knowledge of all the methods that can be used to accomplish writing the most complex report. I really needed someone with that kind of knowledge to work with me. But each time I started working with someone like that, they moved on. At this point they will be changing my position out of development work and big layoffs are coming. So I will not be able to continue to develop the skill level I want.

Read Brent Curia's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Pixel Perfect reports (27)
Customizable dashboards (34)
Report Formatting Templates (32)
Drill-down analysis (35)
Formatting capabilities (35)
Integration with R or other statistical packages (18)
Report sharing and collaboration (36)
Publish to Web (27)
Publish to PDF (33)
Report Versioning (25)
Report Delivery Scheduling (35)
Delivery to Remote Servers (13)
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.) (25)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization (24)
Predictive Analytics (23)
Multi-User Support (named login) (33)
Role-Based Security Model (31)
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete) (32)
Single Sign-On (SSO) (15)
Responsive Design for Web Access (18)
Dedicated iOS Application (15)
Dedicated Android Application (13)
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile (20)
Javascript API (10)
iFrames (9)
Java API (11)
Themeable User Interface (UI) (10)
Customizable Platform (Open Source) (7)

About IBM Cognos Analytics

Cognos Analytics is an AI-fueled business intelligence platform that supports the entire analytics cycle, from discovery to operationalization. Cognos Analytics gives every user — whether data scientist, business analyst or non-specialist — more power to perform relevant analysis in a way that ties back to organizational objectives. It shortens each user’s journey from simple to sophisticated analytics, allowing them to harness data to explore the unknown, identify new relationships, get a deeper understanding of outcomes and challenge the status quo. Visualize, analyze and share actionable insights about data with anyone in the organization.

IBM Cognos Analytics Features

BI Platform Features

Has featureAdministration via Web Interface
Has featureLive Connection to External Data
Has featureSnapshot of External Data
Has featureIn-memory data model
Has featureOLAP (Pre-processed cube representation)
Has featureMulti-Data Source Reporting (Blending)
Has featureETL Capability
Has featureETL Scheduler

Supported Data Sources Features

Has featureMS Excel Workbooks
Has featureText Files (CSV, etc)
Has featureOracle
Has featureMS SQL Server
Has featureIBM DB2
Has featureMySQL
Has featureODBC
Has featureCloudera Hadoop
Has featureIBM Netezza
Has featureSAP Hana
Has featureSalesforce
Has featureSAP

BI Standard Reporting Features

Has featurePixel Perfect reports
Has featureCustomizable dashboards
Has featureReport Formatting Templates

Ad-hoc Reporting Features

Has featureDrill-down analysis
Has featureFormatting capabilities
Has featurePredictive modeling
Has featureIntegration with R or other statistical packages
Has featureReport sharing and collaboration

Report Output and Scheduling Features

Has featurePublish to PDF
Has featureOutput Raw Supporting Data
Has featureReport Delivery Scheduling

Data Discovery and Visualization Features

Has featurePre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Has featureLocation Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Has featurePredictive Analytics
Has featureSupport for Machine Learning models
Has featurePattern Recognition and Data Mining
Has featureIntegration with R or other statistical packages

Access Control and Security Features

Has featureMulti-User Support (named login)
Has featureRole-Based Security Model
Has featureMultiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
Has featureReport-Level Access Control
Has featureTable-Level Access Control (BI-layer)
Has featureField-Level Access Control (BI-layer)
Has featureSingle Sign-On (SSO)

Mobile Capabilities Features

Has featureResponsive Design for Web Access
Has featureDedicated iOS Application
Has featureDashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) / Embedding Features

Has featureREST API
Has featureJavascript API
Additional Features
Has featureAI Forecasting

IBM Cognos Analytics Integrations

IBM Planning Analytics, IBM Watson Studio (formerly IBM Data Science Experience)

IBM Cognos Analytics Competitors

IBM Cognos Analytics Pricing

  • Has featureFree Trial Available?Yes
  • Does not have featureFree or Freemium Version Available?No
  • Has featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?Yes
  • Entry-level set up fee?Optional

IBM Cognos Analytics Support Options

 Free VersionPaid Version
Live Chat
Video Tutorials / Webinar

IBM Cognos Analytics Technical Details

Deployment Types:On-premise, SaaS
Operating Systems: Windows, Linux
Mobile Application:Apple iOS, Android
Supported Countries:Global
Supported Languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Hebrew, Urdu, Farsi