Is IBM Cognos 8 ideal for non-technical business users?
September 23, 2014

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

Dwight Taylor | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Query Studio
  • Report Studio

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cognos

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.
  • Crystal Reports Server, SAP Business Objects and Tableau Server & Desktop
IBM Cognos shines when it comes to setting up slow changing historical reports that need to be delivered on a predefined schedule to a predetermined set of recipients.
It took my BI team one year to become productive at developing useful content on the IBM Cognos platform. After this year, the reports being developed for a client were stale and no longer relative to the ever changing needs of the business client. Given the same opportunity, I would select a platform that allows the team to quickly produce BI content. Fail fast and recover quickly!
It really depends on what you mean by adopted. If you mean report recipients, which is usually how adoption is measured, then it was widely adopted. However, if by adopted you mean productive content producers, it was not widely adopted. Maybe less than 1% of business intelligence content producers.
IBM Cognos is capable of connecting to a very wide variety of data sources; no problem there.
IBM Cognos has strong access control, sharing or report distribution and security capabilities. However, the platform could do much more in the collaboration space. In addition, content formatting is rigid and can benefit from enhancements.
IBM Cognos Insight was in it's first or second release when I used it. Chart types were limited to 6 types. Desktop memory utilization was prohibitive. Dashboard creation was not intuitive and quite difficult without extensive training. Data connections were limited. Visual capabilities were inflexible and presented the user with spreadsheet like visualizations without customization.
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.