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IBM Cognos Review
It provides surprising results reporting a mixture of cost drivers, as opposed to only activity-based costs.


Valuable Features:

We have found this software to be insightful in finding and defining true performance of products and services. The numbers give the details and there is no place to hide.

Improvements to My Organization:

This software identifies normal product sales, margins and costing, which are basic key performance indicators. We then use this to identify service of customers and vendors. Recently “COST TO SERVE” reporting has been a “HOT” supply chain tool because this identifies the business activities and overhead costs. This reporting is NOT your (ABC) activity-based costing reporting, but a mixture of costing drivers, which usually provides surprising results.

We have also seen improvements in manufacturing processes because the tool identifies bottlenecks quickly. Most recently, the ability to have mobile reporting to our user site has been very important to drive down information.

Room for Improvement:

We are excited about more features for cloud and web analytics:
- Cloud: Companies are really starting to embrace the cloud for running their business intelligence software. There is so much to choose from for supporting and servicing cloud users than 1-2 years ago.
- Web analytics: For me, this is where you see who is searching for your products and services. You can find out where in the country/world and know more about the user too. This gives you insight on your web presence and how your social media and marketing campaigns are performing. Also, who’s talking about your products and services and why? You can see what the issues are and what you are doing well.

Use of Solution:

We have used Cognos Project for 20 years.

Stability Issues:

I have not encountered any stability issues.

Scalability Issues:

Once the users are trained on the product, everyone wants to use it, so it’s best when defining your in-house server or cloud that you incorporate future needs.

Technical Support:

Technical support is excellent and very responsive. They have different levels of support for response time that can be purchased in addition to web help.

Initial Setup:

We had training but were able to do the install in-house.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Buy the software and licenses that you will need for the next 12-15 months.

Other Solutions Considered:

We tried Microsoft’s offerings but found them not as full featured as Cognos.

Other Advice:

Take time to understand your data. Decide which reporting must be from live data and what data could be taken from a data repository. Prioritize your reporting needs. Add proper time for validation and training.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a Cognos partner.

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