IBM Cognos Review

Standard and High Quality Reports but it's an Expensive BI Tool

Valuable Features

Well, I liked the split Cognos- used to have 2 differents products for reporting. One very friendly for user (query studio) and other one more for super user or tech user (Report studio).
The AdHoc reporting (query studio) are very easy with query studio but this happens only if the package is well done by the modeler. The most valuable feature in query studio is Develop/ Reduce group in a list. For Report Studio, the possibility to create report from SQL Query direct, easy, simple and efficient :)

Improvements to My Organization

We reduced IT requests for reporting and improved reports standards. High quality reports.
We used templates and reuse components so it's easy to change lots of report quickly.

Room for Improvement

Administration and security.

Use of Solution

I'm with Cognos's products since 1997. (First products I used was Impromptu, Transformer and Power Play). Last version I have used is 10.1 (Query and Report Studio).

Deployment Issues

Well, developing packages makes deployment a bit long in case of emergency.
Also, for performance issues, avoid to connect the package's data on OLTP databases. Always use de-normalised databases, (ODS) or OLAP databases.

Stability Issues

Server not responding some times

Scalability Issues


Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

With IBM it is too complicated, I used a partner.

Technical Support:

With IBM it is too complicated, I used a partner.

Previous Solutions


Initial Setup

Not too complex.

Implementation Team

At that time I was implementing with the Cognos team and in-house. People from Cognos were very experienced.

Other Solutions Considered

I can't remember. But now I'm looking to go around looking at BI Tools to advise my customers which ones are best according to theirs needs. I will go deeper in Microsoft (for the price), Tableau for the visualisation and easy deploy and of course Cognos because it can do all BI needs (but it's expensive).
PS. Cognos Express is welcome with lower licensing price.

Other Advice

If you are looking for an all integrated, scalable and high quality reporting tool, Cognos is a solution to consider. But, the price is a factor too.
You need to define well your needs for reporting, chose the right component you want to start first and start small.

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