IBM Cognos 8.4.1 - A user review
August 27, 2013

IBM Cognos 8.4.1 - A user review

Toni McKee | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.
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.

Product Usage

  • 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.

Evaluation and Selection

Cognos Impromptu.


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.
  • Vendor implemented
Our SAS provider did the implementation.


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


I really cannot honestly rate the technical support of IBM, since we are getting our support through our SAS provider.
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.