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IBM Cognos Review
It provides us with a wide range of professional report types through the central report designer tool, Report Studio.


Valuable Features:

The most valuable feature is scalability. It works perfectly for companies from 100 users to companies with several thousand users.

Improvements to My Organization:

It provides us with a wide range of professional report types through the central report designer tool, Report Studio. Standard reports, used through the whole international organization, have been made with user security to personalize the report output.

Room for Improvement:

The Cognos BI suite is missing a user-friendly tool/functionality that makes it possible for regular BI users (not report developers) to make personalized reports. Generally, Cognos is not easy to use for non-experienced BI users who need to make their own reports.

Use of Solution:

We have been using this product for ten years.

Stability Issues:

There have been no stability issues. If the installation was done properly, it is a stable system.

Scalability Issues:

There have been no scalability issues. The product is perfectly designed for smaller companies to multi-national companies. The server architecture must be designed accordingly, but it's easy to upscale by adding servers.

Technical Support:

Technical support is good. The IBM Cognos support is usually dedicated and competent. Their reaction time is fast enough according to the support case priority.

Previous Solutions:

I have worked in migration projects from BusinessObjects to Cognos, as the customer had bought a global IBM solution.

Initial Setup:

The initial Cognos setup requires experienced people. Besides a correct software installation on a multi-server architecture, it is important to design an adapted Framework Manager architecture. Furthermore, it requires experience to make some professional standard reports or other advanced reports, such as Active Reports.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Licensing is expensive and can be an issue to expand the number of users within a company or to get new customers. Only large companies invest in Cognos.

Cognos is not a very common BI product in Denmark, even though it's one of the best on the market with a broad palette of tools.

More creative licensing policies should be made by IBM in order to win market shares in the BI market.

Other Advice:

Employ some experts with a lot of experience, or hire consultants with documented experience if it's difficult to recruit.

Be sure to give the right training to the developers/advanced users at the right time. In other words, don’t do it too early in the implementation phase before the product is used within the organization.

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

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