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https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/6Q/Dy/1PH0U2U253I8.PNGCognos of the Titan IBM for superb usersWe 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,8,Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, Tableau Server, Microsoft BI and QlikView,8,8,QlikView, Microsoft BI, Tableau Desktop, Tableau Online, Tableau OnlineSolid reporting tool with some missing capabilitiesWe 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,7,Microstrategy,7,6,MicroStrategy Analytics, IBM InfoSphere Information Server, InfoSphere OptimPowerful Data Sharing and Automation ToolWe 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.,9,Excel,7,9,Culture Amp, Workday Human Capital ManagementBest BI Tool for EnterprisesIBM Cognos used across my whole organization from everything related to operation reporting to financial reporting that gets seen by C-level personnel. The key problem that IBM Cognos addresses is the data or information visibility problem that exists between the boardroom and the factory floor.,IBM Cognos used was used to for automated delivery of reporting for backorders of specialty products that needed special handling by the customer service department. IBM Cognos used was used to for pixel perfect reporting that was part of the month-end or year-end executive board book. IBM Cognos was used to deliver external reporting to customers/vendors/distributors to check on the health of the rented equipment.,IBM Cognos could use an update on the backend side, it does well in the cloud, but a switch to RestAPIs for data access would be nice. IBM Cognos could have better documentation on the proven practice configuration of components on lesser used OSs.,9,,10,9,MicroStrategy Analytics, Microsoft BI, Tableau DesktopCollaborative But ComplicatedWe 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.,5,SAP Crystal,5,6,Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, OnBase by Hyland, BMC FootPrints Service Core, JIRA Service Desk, Smartsheet, Google Forms
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IBM Cognos
293 Ratings
Score 7.3 out of 101
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Cognos Reviews

Cognos
293 Ratings
Score 7.3 out of 101
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April 06, 2018

Review: "Cognos of the Titan IBM for superb users"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Read Miguel Angel Merino Vega's full review
April 02, 2018

Cognos Review: "Solid reporting tool with some missing capabilities"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
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.
Read Gonzalo Angeleri's full review
February 28, 2018

Cognos Review: "Powerful Data Sharing and Automation Tool"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Read Monika Ganeva's full review
March 28, 2018

Cognos Review: "Best BI Tool for Enterprises"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Cognos used across my whole organization from everything related to operation reporting to financial reporting that gets seen by C-level personnel. The key problem that IBM Cognos addresses is the data or information visibility problem that exists between the boardroom and the factory floor.
  • IBM Cognos used was used to for automated delivery of reporting for backorders of specialty products that needed special handling by the customer service department.
  • IBM Cognos used was used to for pixel perfect reporting that was part of the month-end or year-end executive board book.
  • IBM Cognos was used to deliver external reporting to customers/vendors/distributors to check on the health of the rented equipment.
  • IBM Cognos could use an update on the backend side, it does well in the cloud, but a switch to RestAPIs for data access would be nice.
  • IBM Cognos could have better documentation on the proven practice configuration of components on lesser used OSs.
IBM Cognos is well suited to be the delivery system for an enterprise's analytics and the solutions ability to access and model data from a wide range of on-premise and cloud data sources makes it best-of-breed when it comes to implementation flexibility.
Read this authenticated review
May 23, 2018

Cognos Review: "Collaborative But Complicated"

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Read this authenticated review
December 07, 2017

User Review: "IBM Cognos is a Powerful BI Tool"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Read Gos Yao's full review
December 07, 2017

User Review: "Cognos falling behind"

Score 3 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Cognos is used across the whole organization. It funnels down multiple databases to a standardize output and become report generating tool. It allows the editor with minimal sql coding skills to build reports across multiple sources. The downside is they do not provide cross packages report building, which we still ended up using additional tools to create the final reports. The additional tools I use, depending on the scale of the report, from basic Excel, Access, to Brio, SAS, SQL, to merge, integrate, clean data according to our need.
  • Users need minimal coding skills
  • Integrates multiple data sources
  • Standardizes data items
  • More Visual way to generate a report
  • Not user-friendly, it still functions as if from the 90s.
  • Too many odd bugs that users need to go around to avoid, especially now with the Cognos Analytic 10.
  • Cognos does not allow cross packages data sourcing, which is a huge problem.
  • The system functions like an old machine with a new wrapping.
IBM Cognos is an Enterprise software that large entities like more for the legal perspective of the spectrum, since security and legal are always a major concern for large entities. But for smaller entities, there are so many better tools that can do the job with a fraction of the cost. With the same mindset of the security and legal, Cognos upgrades are still very clunky, nothing exciting or with major improvements. In so many ways, Tableau will be taking over the data world at some point.
Read this authenticated review
February 01, 2017

"Experienced Cognos User's Review"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Read Olena Sherbinin's full review
April 14, 2017

User Review: "Cognos rocks!!"

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Cognos was used by the IT infrastructure department at my organization to extract data, analyze and assemble reports.
  • Multidimensional data sources
  • Relational data sources
  • Prompt support
  • Improvisation based on customer feedback
  • Ease of use for users who are not familiar with data extraction mechanisms
  • Difficult to use for those users who are not well versed with using advanced softwares
Best suitable for projects involving a high level of data analysis.
Read this authenticated review
April 12, 2016

User Review: "Great Reporting with Cognos BI"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Read Lori Lambert's full review
February 23, 2016

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

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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.
Read Sandy Midili's full review
May 02, 2016

"IBM Cognos - Real BI integrated platform"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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
Read Benoit COLAS's full review
February 29, 2016

Cognos Review: "A solid tool from a bygone era."

Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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
February 24, 2016

Review: "IBM Cognos Robuts but Easy to Learn and Use"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
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
February 19, 2016

User Review: "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
January 29, 2016

Cognos Review: "I work with it every day and glad that I am doing it"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Cognos is being used in most departments (finance, accountancy, operational). It helps us get operational information and analysis as a whole.
  • It works with different kinds of databases and allows us to join data.
  • It allows us to provide data for internal/external users according to pre-configured Cognos security [settings] for users and data.
  • Has good development tools for building business models and analysis.
  • It has perfect delivery service of data in any formats.
  • There aren't many versions of Cognos. I have worked in most of versions of Cognos, but I can observe how Cognos is improving in each new version.
IBM Cognos is a good solution for companies that wants to get an integral system of business intelligence.
Read Ludmila Honchar's full review
January 27, 2016

User Review: "Cognos works mostly"

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Cognos is being used for operations, business analytics, planning, business improvement, and budget forecasting to name a few.
  • Cognos scheduler works pretty well by sending out reports to groups of users successfully and reliably.
  • Cognos framework is pretty effective for modeling data for us.
  • Report Studio is fairly reliable and works most of the time.
  • There are missing DB2 functions in Cognos that would be useful to have but most of the time I can program around it.
  • Event studio could be better, it takes forever to load and crashes frequently.
  • Error reporting in Cognos is notoriously non descriptive and very useless. I don't even count on them for much of the troubleshooting I do.
Read Andrew Davidson's full review
September 30, 2015

User Review: "God Knows or Cognos"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Cognos BI suite has been deployed across enterprise and end customers, for one of the customers at my previous company. They are at version 10.2.2 which consists of dashboards and daily data snapshots. The target users are mostly mid-level and top-management but external users such as dealers and vendors have access to the environment when it comes to scorecards. It is easily integrated with other websites. It has a good API that allows seamless integration. However, the main challenge includes extensive learning, frequent service restarts and proper documentation of troubleshooting information. Additionally, visualization and query engine still require improvements in terms of creating simpler queries.
It consists of Analysis Studio, Query Studio, Workspace, Workspace Advanced as Adhoc Analysis tools, which provides alternate for OLAP and relational database, but it poses a challenge while educating users to uses the right tool for analysis. Report Studio is widely used for preparing canned reports, but if the components are not structured properly within a report then it can lead to unstable environment. Dynamic Cubes is one of the client tools which allows analysis on large set of data but has a lot of dependency on materialized views created in database. As per IBM's roadmap, dynamic cube would be the future but IBM needs to improve or enhance the tool in terms of supporting aggregate awareness and less dependency on database materialized views.
  • IBM cognos can create reports against transactional as well as data marts. It has the capability of combining results of multiple databases too.
  • Integrating with external websites is easy and seamless. It provides SDK for Java and C# which extends the report functionality.
  • Administrators have easy access to stop/start a particular service through administrator page. It also simplifies the code migration. Modelling tools like framework manager and transformer are quite intutive.
  • Zero footprint architecture allows an end user to author and publish reports through an internet browser.
  • Bursting option eliminates the requirement of storing multiple copies of report which each user or user group.
  • Visualization and charting engines are still elementary. IBM Cognos has introduced RAVE charts but the capabilities are limited and customization is still tricky.
  • Cognos Insight is one of the self-learning BI tools, but it is not at par with the Tableau or Qlik. It needs a lot of improvements.
  • Aggregate awareness has to be extended further to other tools like framework manager or transformer. Similarly, active reports have to be more robust in terms of complying to the wide range of use-cases.
  • Lack of offline reporting puts an unnecessary dependency on the internet.
  • Since, the environment is centralized, a bad query can shutdown development of reports.
  • Client tools such as framework manager, transformer GUI, dynamic cube designer, Cognos Insight are restricted to windows. It would be better if they are extended to Ubuntu, Mac or Linux too.
  • Support for Chrome browser is minimal.
  • Training materials need to be improved.
  • Plugin for R is good to have.
IBM Cognos provides a stack for enterprise-wide reporting. It can be deployed, managed, updated and migrated very easily. Worth an investment for medium and large capital investment companies. Once learned, it has alternatives for most of the report navigation requirements. However, if one is looking for remarkable dashboards, then it Tableau and QlikView are better options at present. Licensing rules are bit tricky. Otherwise, overall a good experience but has a steep learning curve.
Read Sachin Karkun's full review
March 16, 2016

User Review: "IBM Cognos"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM Cognos offers numerous tools called studios which help meet different business information needs and challenges. We use this for one of our customers. The dashboard built on report studio provides a one eye snap to the performance of departments of different business unit and active reports help mobile users to look at the performance as desired on the go. The cubes provides multi-dimensional analysis to make a faster decision and shorten decision making life cycle.
  • Active report dashboard for Tablets and Cell Phones
  • Multi-Dimension Cubes
  • Metric Studio Models to analyse and monitor the metrics across organization
  • Drill from Totals in Analysis Studio
IBM Cognos has evolved as a great tool over a period of time. It needs to work on its visualization side which they introduced on analyticszone.com. They still need to provide a lot of control on that front from Cognos UI rather than customizer.
Read Hirdesh Gupta's full review
February 25, 2015

Cognos Review: "An Analytics Consultant's Perspective"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Dynamic Query Mode with a large number of Relational and OLAP database compatibility such as Oracle and Essbase, Microsoft SQL Server and Analysis Services, SAP BW, IBM DB2, Teradata, etc. makes for efficient backend queries no matter if the front end metadata is relational or multidimensional.
  • Compatibility mode queries allow for custom ODBC and JDBC connection to made, so even if there is no native compatibility other databases can still be used as a source if needed.
  • Dynamic Cubes are capable of querying against millions of rows in seconds when properly set up with sufficient hardware resources.
  • Standard Reports are snappy, returning data and rendering quickly, as long as the pagination is kept to reasonable quantities.
  • Active reports can be run offline and incorporate animation and dynamic filters. Keep in mind that the data doesn't refresh until the report is retrieved from the server again.
  • Great interoperability between the different studios in the suite. Something made in Analysis or Query Studio can be converted to Report Studio easily. Workspace Advanced natively creates and opens Report Studio reports as well.
  • Report Studio can convert a regular report into an active report. The reverse is not possible though.
  • Workspace can take in individual charts or whole reports from other tools as widgets and even customize them for the specific dashboard being built.
  • End users can make their own copies of a pre-built dashboard and adjust things such as changing conditional color labels or adding new calculated members.
  • Interoperability with other IBM Cognos tools allows TM1 and SPSS to be used as data sources for reports, as well as directly used as widgets in Workspace dashboards.
  • Centralized content store allows the different desktop tools to use the same logins and access the same shared resources as the server, such as data sources.
  • Framework Manager is a very powerful tool that can create both dimensional and relational models simultaneously from the same underlying database.
  • Framework Manager can work on any database design, it does not have to be a Kimball star schema.
  • Framework Manager has built in tools for validating a model without having to do a complete publish
  • Security for roles, users, etc. can be built directly into the model without any need for extra programming
  • Framework Manager is a visual tool, and only requires rudimentary SQL knowledge to use effectively.
  • Localization is supported natively and can be added to any model.
  • Dynamic Query Manager can automatically create aggregation for Dynamic Cubes to optimize runtime.
  • Reporting Bursting can be set up to send prefiltered reports via mail or some other means on regular intervals or when triggered by certain events, such as a particular number being too low.
  • Administration for Multi-tenanted environments is built directly into Cognos
  • Connecting multiple LDAP and AD systems simultaneously is supported, allowing users to use their normal company usernames and passwords
  • Mobile support add on allows standard and Active reports to be displayed with a mobile device friendly interface automatically without requiring creating a separate version.
  • Cognos Mashup Service can be used to embed reports in outside applications or provide data for external visualizations and tools.
  • All tool interfaces are designed with the standard IBM patterns, so users already familiar with other IBM tools should be able to pick it up quickly..
  • The server can run in most typical server environments such as Windows, Linux, Solaris, etc.
  • Clustering across multiple machines is supported.
  • Real Time Monitoring add on allows for visualization of up to the second data feeds.
  • Drill down/up can be automatically implemented on reports using a Dimensional data model
  • Drill through definitions can be set up to allow users to find related reports and automatically open them on the highlighted data.
  • Reports and models made for the more lightweight Cognos Express can be fully utilized by the full Cognos server if upgraded later.
  • Cognos Insight can be deployed via the server and individual Insight dashboards can be stored on the server. Insight may even be included as part of the particular licenses purchased.
  • Initial setup isn't as simple as running the installer and turning it on. Adjustments to the server setup may be necessary before it is up and running.
  • Browser support can be touchy. Compatibility is best with Internet Explorer, but certain browser setting changes can cause issues. Other browsers' compatibility can be questionable due to their significantly more regular updates.
  • The technology that allows active reports to be packaged into .mht files is a proprietary Microsoft format, so other browsers cannot natively open them. There are 3rd party extensions for firefox and chrome.
  • Standard reports are rather flat and bland to look at to keep them efficient and clear. It makes it hard to really "Wow" someone when presenting it compared to other products.
  • Due to Active Reports packaging all of the data in the file and prerendering charts, file size can get quite large (easily several megabytes) and the initial load time can be quite long when opening it. It is best used for basic overviews and other times when some "flash" is needed, but not a large amount of data.
  • Configuring the interoperability with TM1 and SPSS is a little more on the technical side than most other tasks.
  • You could call the development process "Front heavy" meaning most of the development will be modeling. This means that it will take longer to end up with visualized data than other tools.
  • It works best with actual databases, and not so well with csv or other file formats. Using an ODBC or JDBC driver can be used to treat files like databases, but native support is rather limited.
  • The desktop tools such as Framework Manager that are part of the suite are all built for 32-bit windows only, despite the availability of 64-bit and other operating systems for the actual server.
  • Using external ODBC drivers can be done with 32-bit drivers only.
  • Because of the way Cognos installs on a system, trying to keep a sandbox environment on a developer's personal machine isn't feasible.
  • Dynamic Cubes are very hardware intensive, so when dealing with large data sets (millions of rows and up) the amount of memory and resources that need to be dedicated to a single cube to keep the query time within seconds can get high (possibly hundreds of GB of memory).
If your company has a steady stream of data and aspires to have a sophisticated analytics infrastructure, the Cognos suite provides an excellent set of tools for handling any amount of data or scenarios at a competitive price.

Of course, smaller companies that don't have heavy reporting needs will probably find the suite to be beyond their current needs, so something more lightweight like Cognos Express might be a better choice, or even the stand-alone Cognos Insight if their needs don't currently go beyond a few users manipulating their spreadsheets.
Read Gerrit Goewey's full review
December 04, 2014

User Review: "Cognos"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Mobile Capabilities: Cognos 10 Mobile supports multiple mobile platforms - iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry. The mobile platform is able to filter and report data based on GPS coordinates.
  • Integrated Search: Both report content and metadata are searchable and this capability is included in the toolset, and available at no additional cost, in version 10.
  • External Data: Data from external sources can be imported, combined with warehouse data, and used in reports without saving the external data in the warehouse.
  • Offline Reports: Active Reports allows users to save interactive dashboards that can be viewed offline. Disconnected use of complex reports is a feature many large organizations ask for.
  • Microsoft Excel Compatibility: Cognos Analysis allows end users to pull in and analyze data into Excel which may then be imported back into standard Cognos reports and dashboards. What’s more, reports and analysis can be directly pulled into other Microsoft Office products such as Word and PowerPoint.
  • Limited options for charts, graphs and other visualizations.
Read Harold Leemaster's full review
September 23, 2014

Review: "Is IBM Cognos 8 ideal for non-technical business users?"

Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
IBM COGNOS 8 and it's suite of products was selected as the Enterprise BI tool. It's main use was a historical static reporting tool.
  • IBM COGNOS consistently delivers static historical reports to users across the Enterprise.
  • IBM COGNOS successfully connects to the majority of Enterprise data storage systems.
  • IBM Cognos is a robust suite of tools that deliver complete life cycle business intelligence capabilities.
  • IBM Cognos is a "VERY" difficult tool for common business users to be productive in. This inevitably creates clogged pipeline of unmet BI needs for business areas.
  • IBM Cognos requires such a specialized set of skills in order to be productive, it's impractical for business users to acquire such skills when it's not their primary job responsibility.
  • IBM Cognos would be a very useful tool if the platform provided a non-technical suite of tools that could be leveraged by non-technical company resources.
Given my in-depth technical knowledge and awareness of constantly changing business user needs, it's hard to imagine a scenario where I would recommend such a complex and expensive platform in light of some of the more inexpensive and business user friendly options like Tableau.
Read Dwight Taylor's full review
March 16, 2015

Cognos Review: "Meghdeep"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Framework Manager (metadata modeling tool) is a pretty flexible tool for any complex data modeling.
  • With use of Report Studio you can handle any business logic for reporting.
  • Event studio is used for event based scheduling.
  • Business Insight advanced is used for ad-hoc reporting.
  • Query studio out-of-the-box is a bit primitive. It is used for ad-hoc reporting, but if something is changed in Query Studio by and end user, it's not possible to see what exactly was changed without going into Report Studio. This is problematic as it means that end users need licenses for Report Studio which is not feasible.
  • Metric studio we have not used at all, and don't know exact purpose of it.
Cognos needs to reduce the number of studios and try to consolidate everything into one or two studios. It's currently very confusing from a licensing standpoint, but it's also a training issue: It's quite difficult to explain which Studio does what and which one people should be using for which task.

Need better performance monitoring tool.
Read Meghdeep Raval, PMP's full review
May 30, 2014

Cognos Review: "First time User, Career Builder!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Here at Performance Food Group (PFG), IBM Cognos is being used very often to reduce the amount of time spent running reports and queries. It is being used by the whole organization, but mainly by those individuals who are in an analytical or business development role within their respective departments. We use the tool primarily at the corporate level in Richmond, VA. While it doesn't necessarily address "business problems", it certainly enables efficiency and a seamless integration between our Foodstar and Gemini hubs that our Operating companies use to conduct their business every single day.
  • Real time Processing. Every parameter you include in the report begins processing it right away--there is virtually no wait time.
  • Ability to download it in various formats, such as PDF, Excel Data format, Excel 2003/2007 Format. This helps if you need to import the data into another sysem such as SQL or Access to further enhance the value of the report.
  • How well it integrates our operating company level systems, which can be much older depending on how much each company has invested into their technologyn development--Cognos has been able to successfully integrate our 35 Operating Companies systems into one hub in Cognos.
  • Perhaps a more modern interface, with some more animation. There is a lot of white space on the page.
  • If one tries to include a lot of parameters, often times just what is needed to successfully carry out the report, sometimes the system will "freeze" or crash. You then have to utilize a package program within your reporting system, which is an interface that helps reduce the amount of bandwidth needed to run a larger report.
  • This may be objective, but if the internet or server is slow, if its on the user side or provider side, Cognos simply will not work or it will spend hours "processing" a report that really isn't being processed.
I think some key questions are: How will this truly help me? Will this reduce the amount of time spent doing research, processing, and formatting the report? How long does it take to set up the Cognos system to merge with our other internal or external corporate systems? Is there a risk for losing or having affected data by attempting to sync everything? What is Cognos support system like? Do we have to dedicate an on site support staff or is there a dedicated 24/7 or immediate call center that we can rely upon?
Read Michael Cedor's full review
September 12, 2014

Review: "IBM Cognos is a mid tier BI solution best suited with great customer service and support"

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cognos is used throughout the organization but under different capacities and for different reasons. There are three tiers: Developers, PowerUsers/Analyst and end users.

Cognos is used to deliver historical reporting through queried data tables and programmable reporting functions. It allows us to get a pulse on how the business is doing and deliver production informatics to our sales and marketing groups.
  • Cognos provides a simple way to view and use dynamic tables to slice and dice data similar to what a pivot table does. Once particular reports or queries have been set, they are easily married with email and pdf functionality allowing us to schedule reporting data deliveries.
  • Cognos doesn't do well when competing with other tools that allow for data mining, digital analytics and also predictive analytics. Its difficult to produce forecasting type dashboards that are dynamic to the end user. Too often you are limited to static views which are not dynamic.
IBM Cognos is scoped specifically for the traditional reporting and analysis tasks using a variety of presentation techniques. These include simple graphs, charts, reports, and tables. For orgs that haven't implemented an organization wide solution, Cognos would be a prime candidate. Probably the strongest feature is the ability to offer a mid tier enterprise wide BI environment solution.
Read Francisco Prieto's full review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Pixel Perfect reports (16)
8.9
Customizable dashboards (22)
8.6
Report Formatting Templates (21)
7.9
Drill-down analysis (21)
8.9
Formatting capabilities (23)
7.8
Integration with R or other statistical packages (10)
6.8
Report sharing and collaboration (22)
7.5
Publish to Web (14)
8.7
Publish to PDF (19)
9.4
Report Versioning (15)
9.3
Report Delivery Scheduling (22)
8.5
Delivery to Remote Servers (3)
8.7
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.) (16)
8.1
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization (13)
6.3
Predictive Analytics (13)
7.3
Multi-User Support (named login) (21)
9.0
Role-Based Security Model (20)
9.0
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete) (20)
8.9
Single Sign-On (SSO) (4)
8.7
Responsive Design for Web Access (9)
7.7
Dedicated iOS Application (8)
8.4
Dedicated Android Application (7)
8.4
Dashboard / Report / Visualization Interactivity on Mobile (10)
8.4
REST API (3)
7.0
Javascript API (3)
8.0
iFrames (3)
7.7
Java API (3)
7.7
Themeable User Interface (UI) (3)
8.3
Customizable Platform (Open Source) (2)
8.5

About Cognos

IBM Cognos is an established product with a large user base. It is a full-featured platform comprising Query Studio, Reporting Studio, Analysis Studio and Event Studio, and Cognos Administration along with some newer tools for Microsoft Office integration, full-text search and dashboards. 

  • Query Studio: Designed for non-technical users to rapidly create simple reports
  • Report Studio: Report Studio is the main report design, creation and distribution tool
  • Analysis Studio: Analysis Studio is for exploring and comparing dimensional data
  • Event Studio: Event Studio is for setting up data monitoring and exception alerts
  • Metric Studio: Metric Studio is for creating KPI dashboards and scorecards
  • Cognos Administration: Central management interface for performing all administrative tasks

This technology is very mature and reliable, and is designed primarily for larger deployments. However, it does requires significant resources to deploy and maintain. 

IBM launched a limited release of its Watson Analytics platform in 2014 as a foray into the data discovery space. This product combines the power of Watson's cognitive computing technology with existing predictive analytics capabilities to produce a natural language query engine. The result is a very powerful analytics engine for ordinary business users 

Cognos Competitors

Cognos Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No