IBM Cognos Review

Each staff member receives feedback regarding their own duty shifts. New functions do not work as smoothly as they should.

Valuable Features

  • Scheduling options
  • Bursting (each staff member gets feedback regarding their own duty shifts): We might have hundreds of report recipients who need to have their own data (and only their own data). Doing similar work manually would take very long time, or could be impossible. I guess Cognos Burst was originally designed for large sales organisations, having a need to send sales figures for certain sales reps. For example: sales rep in Asia needs his/her figures (Asia), Europe rep European figures, etc. This functionality can be used for, e.g., staff performance, as long as the data can be joined with staff IDs. In other words, with Cognos Burst, we are able to provide personalised reporting / analytics, without manual work.
  • Possibility to save report output history to the Cognos portal
  • Possibility to use the same report object for various outputs (e-mail, Cognos workspace = dashboard, screens)

Improvements to My Organization

It results in less manual work, process performance improvement and improved real-time data availability.

It is also possible to check the report utilisation via Cognos audit reports.

Room for Improvement

The tool is complex, and I would not recommend it to small companies, because you need to have expertise for Framework Model development, access rights issues, licensing, etc.

New functions, e.g., external data import, do not work as smoothly as they should. New visualisations using RAVE take a long time.

Unfortunately statistics are not available for Cognos 10.2 (as in 10.1), and that has been a disappointment, when Lean Six Sigma-type calculations are done.

Additionally, even after four years of using Cognos, it is sometimes difficult to understand how the tool works, e.g., which calculations are processed locally, etc.

Use of Solution

I have used Cognos 10.2 for one year and Cognos 8.4 for three years.

Stability Issues

We encountered stability issues, but most likely related to our network and AD issues.

Scalability Issues

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

Customer Service and Technical Support

From IBM, technical support is OK; other domestic service providers also work OK, but their hourly rates are high!

Previous Solutions

Finnair has been using IBM tools for a long time, but I personally have used other SQL tools.

Initial Setup

Our IT department has taken care of this, thus I do not know.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

If you need to send scheduled reports to third parties, you need to have a PVU server.

Other Solutions Considered

We have had PoCs regarding QlikView, SAS Visual Statistics, Tableau, etc.

Other Advice

Appropriate data modelling is a must, if you want to increase self-service.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: IBM is my company's guardian vendor.
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