Cognos - The "Ace in the Sleeve" BI tool
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
August 08, 2014

Cognos - The "Ace in the Sleeve" BI tool

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used

  • Query Studio
  • Report Studio

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cognos

Used as a front end analytical tool for many organizations. I cannot speak to other organizations but in my organization we develop the reports mostly as canned reports with limited ad-hoc ability. I cannot even begin to say what problems it addresses because it is used so much. One example is a traceability tool for vehicle components.
  • I very rarely find something it cannot do. There is always a way to get around a problem you are facing, it may just take some critical thinking to get there.
  • Framework manager is excellent. I prefer it over Tableau extracts.
  • The exporting options has been used a lot by my team. The business users we deal with are still very much in favor of Excel and this allows the data to be in a familiar format should they chose to do that.
  • Cognos is not the prettiest BI tool. It is very old-school in my opinion. This is not bad for all people, but I think the next generation of users will want something "prettier"
  • Very steep learning curve, but that comes along with the complexity of the tool
  • When developing a report, the way everything (tools, pages, etc) are laid out is confusing. It took me months to get it down. Again, this tool is very complex and good at what it does, so that it to be expected.
  • (+) increased efficiency: Less time trying to figure out how to do something w/ another BI tool that may seem impossible -- Cognos will be able to do it 99% of the time
  • (-) increased training required: Training for Cognos had to be longer and more intensive than other BI tools. For example, my team members go through a week long 8-hour/day class and it was just enough to scratch the surface. A good base if required, but real world experience is the only way to become a Cognos pro.
  • (-) more end-user training: We do mostly canned reports with Cognos, so out end-users must be trainied. It is much harder to train them with Cognos than other BI tools. This is why I only turn to Cognos if I cannot accomplish my goal in another tool.
Tableau is better looking, easier to learn and easier to train with. That being said, it is also very limited when trying to find an "out of the box solution." To me, Tableau is my favorite BI tool, but there is always a place for Cognos because it is exponentially more powerful and has its place in any in-depth analytics organizaton.
N/A - I have no role in deciding which BI tools my organizaiton uses, but I do not see them dropping Cognos anytime soon. Also, if I made the decision, I would keep Cognos around indefinitley.
For non-technical, business oriented users, I only turn to Cognos if other BI tools cannot get the job done. It is definitely the most capable BI tool I use, but others are much more user friendly.