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About the Reviewer

HR Systems Analyst II at First Horizon Corp.
6 years experience with the product
Authenticated Reviewer

"IBM Cognos 8.4.1 - A user review"

4 out of 0 - 5

TrustRadius Review Summary

FInancial institution uses Cognos Report Studio to provide audit and standard reports for human resources related data for managers and payroll and also vendor data file exports. Report formatting and automatic report scheduling are excellent. Access to the software is provided via SaaS by HR vendor, so no direct access to IBM support.

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cognos

Overall IBM Cognos Rating : 8 of 10

Cognos Average: 7.5
I have worked with several reporting software products, and Cognos has a lot of flexibility and is very usable. It will perform most any task that you would need.  I think it is a great product. 

Cognos Pros

  • There are a variety of formats available for producing data (HTML, PDF, Excel (several versions), .csv, XML.
  • They have a very good method of report scheduling and email delivery. You can set a report up on a schedule to be delivered, then forget about it. It takes care of itself.
  • You can access SQL views and queries within Cognos Report Studio to report on fields that may or may not be available in the provided packages.

Cognos Cons

  • There are some ineffeciencies when creating reports, such data grouping. You have to click and group each data column separately.
  • The security features tend to slow processing times down significantly. However these features may only be an issue due to our SAS provider controlling them. May not be an issue if you own the Cognos software.

ROI on Cognos purchase

  • Cognos can be used for very complicated reports, which reduces the need for some programmers, therefore reducing salary expenses.
  • Once reports are created and scheduled for delivery, there is no need for human intervention. This makes for more effecient use of time.

Likelihood to Renew Cognos : 9 of 10

Cognos Average: 8.3
This software is a part of the package that comes with our Human Resources software, therefore we will continue use of Cognos.  However I am not disappointed in the product.  I would not hesitate to use it even if we had to own it outright.

Using IBM Cognos

Key Cognos Use Cases

  • Used to provide audit and standard reports for Human Resources related data for managers and payroll.
  • We also use the product to produce vendor data file exports.

Evaluating Cognos and Competitors

Products Replaced by Cognos

Cognos Impromptu. - No longer supported by our software as a service provider. 

Cognos Implementation

Cognos Implementation Rating and Lessons : 7 of 10

Cognos Average: 8.3
Make sure that any custom tables that you have, are built into your metadata packages.  You can still access them via SQL queries in Cognos, but it is much easier to have them as a part of the available metadata packages.

Cognos Implementation Details / Implementation Partner

Vendor implemented
Our SAS provider did the implementation.

Cognos Training

Methods Used for Cognos Training


Ease of Cognos Training

If you have used any reporting software before (such as PeopleSoft or Crystal) it is not too difficult to figure your way around in Cognos.  However if you are totally new to BI software, you should go for formal training. One-on-one is ideal, but classroom training is also very good.
I purchased IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence: The Official Guide: 1st Edition, which I used to get a lot of my information.  We also utilize the internet when we are not quite sure about how to do something.  YouTube has some good training videos, and also there are a couple of blog sites that are very helpful ( and

Cognos Support

Cognos Premium Support

No - Our support is exclusively through our SAS provider.  It would probably be better if we did have direct access to IBM support, but that is not an option for us. 
This review was published on August 27, 2013

Questions and Comments About This Review

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