IBM Cognos Review

Provides us with "a single version of the truth."

Human Resources Management (HRM) plays an essential role in developing a company's strategy as well as handling the employee-centered activities and the strategic management of the employees, who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the

IBM Cognos is a flexible, database-driven Human Resources Management, forecasting and project planning tool, which is fully integrated with all core IBM Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) modules - replacing the use of multiple, diverse, unlinked spreadsheets.

Cognos provides invaluable support for all participants in the HR and project planning cycles, of even the largest, most complex or fast-changing businesses. It supports a rich Web enabled planning and modeling framework that supports driver based planning to help connect HR assumptions to operational outcomes.

I’ve used Cognos for more than 10 years, from multiple global locations and platforms and it has allowed me to bring together information from across the organization and key systems to provide a "single version of the truth", from which to plan and make decisions. For example, it:

• Provides the core platform services of centerpiece capabilities (Talent Profiles, Employee Records, Competencies, Job Profiles, and Reports) enables planning departments to create forecasts and perform "what-if" analysis

• With Cognos’s combination of self-service facilities (allowing access from disparate locations) and workflow (to tightly control the data flow into the budgeting process), you can easily move from centralized to devolved project planning.

Cognos automatically generates supporting transactions that contains all employee records, giving you easy access to the information you need to reduce errors, enforce policies consistently, and build your business, to support more complete day-to-day operational reporting. So, for instance, a management entry may trigger an automatic compensation entry, which gives rise to changes in the employee's future compensation and reward decisions.

Cognos can integrate data: from existing spreadsheets (thanks to dynamic links into Excel); from external programs; or from end users (via user-defined, web-based input screens). This enables several business divisions or data sources to contribute to the planning and forecasting process, while keeping track of the changes and control over all the data inputs.

Sharing core ERP system administration and security infrastructure ensures that Cognos user permissions, audit controls, validation and security features are tightly managed and consistent throughout.

• Controlled user access, even when data is entered via Excel, to ensure accuracy and security of the underlying database. Complete audit trail for all data changes, user name and time of the change.

• Ultimately, IBM’s Cognos Enterprise offers a unique architecture, which delivers true "Post- Implementation Agility", allows changes to your system long after initial installation - in response to changing requirements, and without depending on expensive external consultants or constrained IT resources. This makes Cognos the ideal choice for service-based organizations that are affected by frequent and dynamic business change.

Underpinned by IBM technology, Cognos is the only planning tool that can efficiently adapt to major business change without re-implementation. You can start with native integrations from HR Management to other core talent management processes in order to support a holistic, end-to-end cloud talent management strategy.

IBM Cognos Enterprise Software offers customers the industry’s most flexible delivery and deployment options, including IBM smarter cloud solutions.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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