IBM Cognos Review

It can create canned reports with some ad-hoc capability. It cannot get down to the lowest level of grain in our data.

Valuable Features

Ability to create canned reports with some ad-hoc capability: Canned reports are important because users are able to get the data they need on a daily basis with minimal effort. However, I have found most people have been downloading the canned reports into Excel and manipulating and adding data. So the ability to have ad-hoc reporting would enable users to get at the information easier, as well as have control over what information they pull. We can provide data quality and integrity on their data sources which they would not get from pulling data randomly.

Improvements to My Organization

We are able to launch Cognos reporting across thousands of stores and have them access the status of their stores and products.

Room for Improvement

I would like to have the ability to drill down to the lowest level of granularity and still do it with speed. Cognos is unable to get down to the lowest level of grain in our data. The solution slows down to an unreasonable level or completely comes to a halt. So if the lowest level of grain is a single customer order or serial number level amongst millions of data points, we are forced to use other solutions to get at that data.

Also, Cognos has no ability to integrate with other reporting solutions.

Use of Solution

I have used it for three years.

Stability Issues

We have encountered stability issues; every so often, Cognos will hang and needs to be reset.

Scalability Issues

We have encountered scalability issues, depending on the hardware that the system runs on.

Customer Service and Technical Support

IBM’s technical support is fine.

Previous Solutions

I did not previously use a different solution; we have been using Cognos.

Initial Setup

The complexity of initial setup depends on the hardware platform used and the level of skill of IT.

Other Solutions Considered

Before choosing this product, we evaluated Tableau, SAP BOBJ, Qlik, and OBIEE.

Other Advice

Understand what level of granularity the users need and the speed of reporting. There may be other solutions that are better. Also, be aware that Cognos is not able to integrate with tools such as Tableau and many reporting solutions that would improve the product. So, you are pretty much stuck with the tools IBM provides.

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