Cognos the Congo!!!
February 17, 2016

Cognos the Congo!!!

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used

  • Analysis Studio
  • Query Studio
  • Report Studio

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos is being used as an analytical solution for our company’s enterprise product mainly for dashboards based reporting. The analytics product is being used by our large enterprise customers and it is being used mainly by the executive teams of our customers of our enterprise product. This Cognos based analytical solution is used by a specific group of people (10-20) who support, implement, and maintain the cognos based servers which are being bought by customers of our company.
  • Dashboards (built in cognos workspace) - navigation across cognos workspace seems to be seamless compared to other reporting tools available on the market.
  • Report studio - construction of the complex reports and widgets, filters can be achieved with ease. The support of complex expressions places it at the top of the stack [when] compared to Microsoft and Jasper tools.
  • Query Studio - Really puts [one at an ease whenever any end user can easily pull up the data with out even pulling up the actual report. Really helpful for a reporting developer when trying to check the data sanity / consistency and also report testers.
  • Compatability with IE alone puts the product completely down compared to other reporting product lines where they are providing cross platform support. Report Studio cannot be made operational in all the browsers except in IE.
  • BI model is completely controlled from Framework Manager and cannot be exposed to every cognos administrator. Merge of Cognos Framework manager and report studio in a single framework would become a lot more beneficial as editing BI model and construction of new data-sets becomes an ease compared to Jasper soft.
  • Event studio can be embedded into single platform than being separated into multiple layers like report, query, framework, event, work space etc.
  • Licensing model is very expensive for an SMB units to adopt compared to competitive cutting edge tools available in the market like Jasper, Tableau etc.
  • Trouble shooting an issue is a very complex each time we need to log a IBM support (PMR) and an expensive affair.
  • Audits of IBM are pain staking especially while they audit the users in reporting solution to make sure that companies are not misutilizing the licenses bought. Instead every thing has to be automated something like salesforce etc are doing in establishing a simplified model while selling licenses to customers who are SMB's.
  • Jasper Studio and Microsoft SSRS
1. Dashboards in cognos perform well compared the above reporting product lines.
2. Report Studio can be very well used to form queries from 2 disjoint data sets and still data can be presented as 2 single reports with in a single report.
3. Query studio performs in a better fashion compared to Jasper where displaying full data crashes their editor but query studio can perform better despite being displaying the data in full mode.
This is best feature cognos has, where any one can join two disjoint datasets and still present it as a single report which many of the reporting solutions tend to fail.

Real time solutions can be constructed with an ease where any custom dataset can be created mapping to real time objects (tables, views etc) connecting to any third party database (SQL, Oracle etc) which is a greatest selling point.
This has become a complex in structure while providing admin privileges, report author privileges, report end user privileges in cognos. It should become more simplified in nature than referring to hundreds of pages of documentation for understanding the security model of cognos.
IBM Cognos is:

1. A more intuitive solution when some one needs a reporting solution which can run cross platform for Windows based end users compared to any other platform.

2. Best suited for an organization who runs the business on dashboards, monitors data inflow etc.

3. Very well suited for companies who run in a closed loop and tightly coupled processes like banking, telecom, pharma etc.

It is less appropriate on the following grounds:

1. Very less favourable to SMBs where conditions are in Agile nature of change management processes.
2. Browser independence and cross platform compatibility support for all Cognos modules (workspace, report studio, query studio).

IBM Cognos Analytics Feature Ratings

Pixel Perfect reports
9
Customizable dashboards
10
Report Formatting Templates
7
Drill-down analysis
7
Formatting capabilities
7
Integration with R or other statistical packages
Not Rated
Report sharing and collaboration
5
Publish to Web
8
Publish to PDF
9
Report Delivery Scheduling
7
Multi-User Support (named login)
5
Role-Based Security Model
7
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)
7

Using IBM Cognos

Server teams - who maintains the servers / cloud which is being deployed with Cognos.
Dev team - who develops the BI model - supports them interms of code perspective. Support team - who supports customers who bought the cognos based product. Implementation team - who customizes the BI model based on customers custom requirements/ business needs
Cognos Report Studio
Cognos Query studio
  • In house reporting connecting to Salesforce
  • Also it would be beneficial if you are getting the best of reporting solutions like "Tableau", "Jaspersoft" , "Microsoft SSRS" and develop a more intuitive solution for the reporting world at a more affordable cost and very easy to use.
  • Analytical solution for our customers.
  • Dashboard reporting solutions.

Evaluating IBM Cognos and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
There is an existing analytical product brought by our company in the past where they had the IBM license and later this license was re-used to create a new product.
1. Based on the flexibility of the product.
2. Affordable licensing model/ per user. Instead of paying per user would like it to based on the usage.

IBM Cognos Implementation

Cognos is a great dashboarding product but implementation needed some key brains with past experience with Cognos implementations/roll outs.
Yes - 1. Cognos installation
2. Cognos admin configuration
3. Configuring web sites
4. Configuring load balancers
5. Deploying BI model 6. Configuring permissions
7. Configuring customer specific roles and permissions
8. Testing by internal / customer groups
9. Final Sign off - GO-live
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - Managing roles and permissions between the folders, reports, roles created an initial havoc and tensions between the groups. Once the product went live then system was very well adopted by every one.
  • Concurrency of the system - especially cognos occupying a lot of CPU, RAM and with limited set of licensing model provided by IBM initial there are a lot of challenges with in our internal groups on how the product can be scaled up as a finished product to our customers. (Vs Jaspersoft, Vs SSRS)

IBM Cognos Support

There are certain scenarios where the resolution has been not being offered as a new service pack was available.
ProsCons
Knowledgeable team
Support cares about my success
Escalation required
No - Even though there is a vast knowledge base available for Cognos reports, I think there is a still lot of room for development of documentation in the similar lines of help.sap.com or help.jaspersoft.com
During a server down issue IBM support provided an exceptional support in resolving the issue.

Using IBM Cognos

Development of reports is really complex and should have professional reporting authoring experience in the past for any user to ace the Cognos application.
ProsCons
Well integrated
Unnecessarily complex
Requires technical support
Cumbersome
Lots to learn
  • Pulling up simple reports on the report studio based on the existing BI model.
  • Pulling up reports, exporting of the reports vs. Jaspersoft.
  • Pulling up reports data in query studio vs. Jasper soft.
  • Writing complex expressions, generating drill down, navigating between layouts has to be done with complex right clicks and left clicks
  • Navigation is not even easy at all for a new Bee adopting to the system.