What is our primary use case?
We are a solution provider. We come up with the business requirements for our clients, and then we provide a complete solution for catering to their specific needs.
We come up with a customized BPM or a BA or another analytical solution and we offer them as a package.
What is most valuable?
IBM Cognos offers tools so that you can design and develop your own test queries and reporting solutions. You have Report Studio and Analytics Studio, where they have different tools for designing reports. These include report templates and comping up with canned reports.
What needs improvement?
The performance is a bottleneck and something that can be improved. The way they have designed the framework, the framework manager is a critical part. If you have a properly-designed framework manager then whatever stories you generate through the Report Studio or Query Studio will give you better results. However, if the modeling is incorrect then it will kill your free memory and detract from the performance.
You have to have complete control of the data model, including the hierarchy and the relationships. There are still a lot of loose ends. The way that a many-to-many relationship can be defined within the framework should be brought into the Report Studio and Query Studio. This would be an improvement.
There can be a recursive effect, where you are pulling resources away from the users. This will eat away the resources and cause them a lot of lag time in their reporting.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been working with IBM Cognos for almost 25 years, since 1996 or 1997.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing of this product is meant for medium to large-scale enterprises. These higher licensing costs are why we recommend Pentaho or Talend for the SME segment. For them, they have to minimize the total cost of ownership. This segment is also interested in open-source enterprise solutions, which will reduce their costs to a large extent.
What other advice do I have?
My advice for anybody who is implementing this product is to ensure that they are clear with the business requirements. You have to define the model in the first place, so you want to design the model with all of the business hierarchies and attributes so that there will be no further re-working it, or any re-production of work in the future. This means that you have to plan your model, get a model, and then framework manage your model well in advance. Then your reporting and analytics will be very good.
I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.