IBM Cognos Review

Framework Manager is the best Metadata Modeling Tool but we have to restart the mobile server everyday

What is most valuable?

Framework Manager.

How has it helped my organization?

IBM Cognos is a Decision Supports Tool that draws an organization's picture and gives you a general scene overview of your organization.

For how long have I used the solution?

4 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, Report Studio's charts are not flexible size so you have to give constant size to chart.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, It was the IBM Cognos mobile application server performance issue. We have to restart everyday.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No I did not.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

In Turkey, IBM Customer Service and Sales strategy is very bad. Their level of customer service quality is very very low.

Technical Support:

Their technical support method is wrong because they only give technical support to partners that are consultant firms . The partners' priority is money so it reduces the quality of service.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Now, my organization is switching IBM Cognos to OBIEE because of IBM Approaches.

IBM Turkey signed a project that is Legal Reporting with my organization but they could not finish the project. However they wanted to take their money out of the project so my organization decided to never use IBM's products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a complex one that needs an administrator.

What about the implementation team?

Both of them according to the project. We rated their level of expertise with POC.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We compared products with Gartner Reports.

What other advice do I have?

Framework Manager is the best Metadata Modeling Tool and also Report Studio.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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author avatarit_user125418 (Owner/Principal at a tech services company with 51-200 employees)

It looks like you're running into problems that Cognos has always had. First, Cognos' MOLAP arcitecture is not very scalable which results in a multitude of hard-to-manage cubes. Second, Cognos has been built through acquisitions, resulting in metadata integration issues. As for its web capabilities, you've already run into those. My recommendation? Check out MicroStrategy. They recently changed their pricing model and it's very affordable. And their capabilities are second to none. Better yet, you can download and try the whole suite free of charge, although you probably want to bring in a trained consultant to drive at first. Disclaimer: I'm MicroStrategy-certified consultant.

author avatarit_user164874 (Practice Leader)

Can't say that I agree at all Mr Breedlove.

If you are discussing PowerCubes then they have well-known limitations e.g., (recommended parent child relationship count) and best practices. I certainly wouldn't describe these as hard-to-manage. I see people trying to build monster-cubes and throwing every measure and every dimension into a single cube. This is not a recipe for success (using any cubing technology).

If you are discussing the modern Dynamic (in-memory) Cubes ten I would say they are highly scalable. You do have to build and schedule jobs to start the cubes in the right order, so that virtual cubes that depend on base cubes exist before starting the virtual cubes. To some that might seem hard-to-manage, but simple batch jobs and good naming conventions generally solve this problem quite easily.

Then you have TM1 Cubes if you want planning, budgeting, forecasting (PB&F) cubes, with writeback, spreading etc. These are not suitable for really high volumes, but I have yet to see a PBF application that needed this.

Finally, there is the option to use Dimensionally Modeled Relational models directly on top of star/snowflake relational schemas. There are pros and cons to this.

For further discussion and insight it is worth checking out some of the excellent topics on related LinkedIn groups or dedicated forums, such as, but not limited to, COGNOise.

Full transparency: I am a former veteran (IBM) Cognos Product Manager and currently have a business relationship with an IBM Premier Business Partner.

author avatarit_user175269 (Owner at a tech services company)

I meant hard-to-manage in the sense of the need to develop a multitude of cubes in order to perform analysis. When using cubes for analysis I use an analogy to my time in the Army when directed to a location that was off the map sheet (pre-GPS). When that happens, it's back to the IT shop to have a new cube created. This is much more minor issue with MicroStrategy and its ROLAP architecture. Combine that with MicroStrategy's single metadata, focus on analytical empowerment of the user (rather than dedicated designers), create once, use anywhere (desktop, web, mobile) with true browser-based development and editing, and MicroStrategy is a much better analytical environment. I've been a life-long information analyst with experience in MIS/DSS/EIS and for nearly 20 years in BI environments so I'm pretty familiar with many tools and their pros and cons.