SharePoint Review

Replaces our reliance on voluminous reports which took several weeks to produce, with a dashboard which is maintained on a daily basis.

What is most valuable?

From my perspective as a developer I would say that the most valuable features are :

  • the wide variety of data source connections
  • completeness of features
  • strong query possibilities (customisation, SQL, MDX, macros)

How has it helped my organization?

Each year, managers have to take important decisions about the future based on voluminous reports which took several weeks to produce. Now, these reports have been replaced by a dashboard which is maintained on a daily basis.

What needs improvement?

  • The suite is complicated to set up, complicated to maintain, complicated to work with. Cognos requires a bigger and more skilled centralized BI team.
  • Cognos Insight, the self-service, desktop dashboarding and analysis tool designed is not quite at the same level of the competition like Tableau or Qlikview.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for 19 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues. The version 10.2 we use is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues. The contract between IBM and the organisation covers all the needs we have.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support at 8/10. I had very few technical support needs but they answer correctly when required.

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

I am not aware of any previous solutions. I always use Cognos solutions for my BI needs.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was complex. As I work for a large financial organisation, the security matters are very important. For that reason, we had to deploy the different components on many servers in different zones, separated by firewalls. We also had to support the needs for several tens of users for data analysis and a few hundred more users for data consumption.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's not the least expensive solution in the market but if your needs are great in terms of functionality, number of users and amount of data, it is worth purchasing it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated the solutions available at the time. Among others, these were Micro-Level, Business Objects and Hyperion.

What other advice do I have?

I do not think it is possible to implement a solution to the scale of the one we had without the help of knowledgeable Cognos BI resources. Ideally, it is best to hire an expert or one or more good Cognos consultants.

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