IBM Cognos vs. SQL Server

As of February 2019, IBM Cognos is ranked 6th in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 42 reviews vs SQL Server which is ranked 3rd in Relational Databases with 32 reviews. The top reviewer of IBM Cognos writes "We can distribute interactive reports. Simple tweaks to some of the tools would increase productivity and development. ". The top reviewer of SQL Server writes "Just like a Windows PC needs basic defragmentation maintenance to run effectively, SQL Server needs its own regular maintenance". IBM Cognos is most compared with Tableau, Microsoft BI and Oracle OBIEE. SQL Server is most compared with Oracle Database, Teradata and SAP HANA.
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IBM Cognos Logo
37,111 views|10,845 comparisons
SQL Server Logo
23,947 views|12,914 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Anonymous User
Find out what your peers are saying about Tableau, Microsoft, MicroStrategy and others in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools. Updated: January 2019.
317,134 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

Pros
For planning, forecasting, in-boxing, modeling in general and for predicting numbers and doing work analysis, they are excellent.A positive feature is Report Studio, where we create beautiful, complex reports.The most valuable feature is developing reports from different data sources, making it a reliable data source.It's enabled us to report directly from our main application systems. We're removing islands of data and we're removing inefficiencies, where people or small divisions had their own store of information.Using custom controls, it is possible to extend the application with even more functionality and make the application intuitive and attractive.Self-service is possible through the use of dashboards, which are also very intuitive. Stories can be used to pin snapshots, tell the story for meetings, etc.Integration with Office can enable the 'download' mode of storytelling.​Mapbox integration for geospatial analytics down to longitude/latitude layers.

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I have experience with this product for many years. I never have problems with it. It can handle a PC, and it can also handle huge data. It is fast and efficient.This solution has proven stability and operational power.Tuning Advisor suggests where to add indexes and from where to remove them. It works like an adviser.SQL Server Profiler makes finding and debugging easy.I use it to fine tune my procedures and functions.Enables us to convert to bigger DBs and more easily move or upgrade between branches.Without any doubt the Integration Services and Analysis Services are the most widely used. These are the basis for data quality, data gathering, ETL process, as well as collation for the data warehouse, Cube-generation, and ad-hoc processes. The ease in which you may mold a process flow or even modularly add in new structures is something which is much needed in my job.It's a very capable, efficient, price-performant OLAP server.

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Cons
The charts and graphics are weak.We need more predictive analytical functions, not only diagnostic or decryptic analytics.One thing that we really want is the ability to have data portrayed on an image. Cognos is not able to do it at the moment, and that's becoming a requirement from the business side: having an image and then plotting your dataset on top of the image as a map.I think the GIS pieces maybe not as good as we would like.Extending features on dashboards so it becomes a real dashboard building application, not only a data exploration tool.Extending dynamic cubes aggregate awareness with calculated measures.One key area for improvement is the need to improve the self-service nature and functionality of the product in terms of visual analytics.Chart quality: many other competitors have charts and graphics that look much better and that provide dynamic effects. Cognos doesn't.

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It would be nice if there was a feature to search for a specific value across multiple tables. This would save a lot of time for its users.Improvements to the indexing, columnstore indexing, and high availability groups are good improvements for future versions.Third-party services from Redgate should be built-in to it, like SQL Search.Debugging from the debugger tool functionality should be enhanced.From a DB administrator perspective, I would like to see more space requirements and space capacity history, so that we are able to see which DBs are growing, and by how much per day or week.An area for improvement would be the SQL Server process monitoring, which is quite basic and could sustain more information.The only item which I can list is application failure during Integration Services debugging, when restarting a process flow. In a number of instances the solutions fails. I have not given this much thought and simply stop and start the debugging service rather than restarting.The web interface and the command line interface could be better so we could manage and build some things around an API. If we could build our own solution, our own interface, and then manage the solution through that open API, that would be better.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
IBM Cognos offers competitive pricing similar to other BI vendors in the market.The pricing and licensing policies are comparatively cheaper than other products in the market .There is need to assess the purchase license accordingly so as to avoid audit penalties.

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The setup cost is high, but it will return every penny.My advice is quite straightforward. If you know the number of users who really and truly need access to the Server then it is a no-brainer. If you do not know, then get the basic package and minimum licenses and start from there. Needless to say, users can develop/use data structures outside and then deploy onto the Server.The price has been going higher and higher. The market is quite price sensitive.This is a downside of enterprise Microsoft products.Currently, almost all of my machines are in Azure and I think it is the best way of licensing now (VM+software).​We are a Microsoft shop, so we use Active Directory. That integrates well with this product, but we did look at Oracle. We also looked at IBM. This was the best price point for us for what we were getting.​​It has the easiest licensing.The free version is cumbersome to use and maintain. But $5000 for a licence is more expense than the benefit I would get from a licensed version. A licence might be worth the price to simplify management and speed up searches.

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317,134 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Ranking
Views
37,111
Comparisons
10,845
Reviews
43
Followers
655
Avg. Rating
8.1
3rd
Views
23,947
Comparisons
12,914
Reviews
30
Followers
672
Avg. Rating
8.5
Top Comparisons
Compared 23% of the time.
Compared 18% of the time.
Compared 10% of the time.
Compared 17% of the time.
Compared 16% of the time.
Compared 14% of the time.
Also Known As
Cognos, Cognos AnalyticsMicrosoft SQL Server, MSSQL, MS SQL
Learn
IBM
Microsoft
Overview

Cognos Software is IBM's Business Intelligence and Performance Management solution, offering BI, strategy management, financial performance, and data analytics applications. Cognos caters to all levels in an organization with products designed for individuals, workgroups, departments, mid-size companies, and big enterprises.

SQL Server is the Microsoft-driven relational database management system. This system is used to store data as well as retrieve it when necessary; these functions can be supported by individual users or by multiple users within a larger network. The Microsoft SQL Server has warehousing options, quality and integration services, management tools that are simple to implement, as well as robust tools for development.

Looking at the more technical end of things, Microsoft SQL Server uses query languages such as T-SQL and ANSI SQL. Disaster recovery is one of the product's most prominent features, in addition to in-memory performance, scalability, and corporate business intelligence capabilities.

Offer
Learn more about IBM Cognos
Learn more about SQL Server
Sample Customers
More than 23,000 leading organizations across multiple industries use Cognos. Some examples of Cognos customers include BMW Financial Services, Quinte Health Care, Troy Corporation, Michigan State University, and GKN Land System.Microsoft SQL Server is used by businesses in every industry, including Great Western Bank, Aviva, the Volvo Car Corporation, BMW, Samsung, Principality Building Society, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.
Top Industries
REVIEWERS
University11%
Healthcare Company9%
Software R&D Company9%
Financial Services Firm7%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Pharma/Biotech Company21%
Financial Services Firm19%
University9%
Retailer8%
REVIEWERS
Transportation Company10%
Comms Service Provider10%
Software R&D Company10%
Retailer10%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Comms Service Provider24%
Financial Services Firm23%
Transportation Company9%
Non Tech Company7%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business27%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise53%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business29%
Midsize Enterprise11%
Large Enterprise59%
REVIEWERS
Small Business33%
Midsize Enterprise31%
Large Enterprise35%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business25%
Midsize Enterprise13%
Large Enterprise62%
Find out what your peers are saying about Tableau, Microsoft, MicroStrategy and others in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools. Updated: January 2019.
317,134 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We monitor all Business Intelligence (BI) Tools reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.

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