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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft, Tableau, Oracle and others in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools. Updated: November 2021.
552,407 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:

"A drag-and-drop interface for selecting creating ad hoc reports makes this product very easy to use.""The comprehensiveness or broadness of the software functions or business intelligence functions that it provides is valuable. It is also quite easy to use and user-friendly.""The initial setup is quite straightforward.""IBM Cognos improves the effectiveness of the sales team.""Security administration tools are powerful and flexible.""This solution allows you to input a wide range of file formats.""I have worked on the features like dashboards and stories, and I do like them a lot.""The product is a very good reporting tool and is very flexible. It allows for the users to get a scheduled report."

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"The performance is reliable.""The solution is user-friendly, is a robust tool and is always reliable to users.""The performance of the SQL Server is very good.""We like business integration, database, and analysis.""I love the developer version. Microsoft tells you about all the cool things they provided for everybody. You can develop and do anything with it. It's really good to learn. Oracle will not give you that much freedom, and Microsoft really kills it. You don't do anything with it but develop, learn, break, and push it to its limits. If there are problems, you show Microsoft or ask them, "what's going on here?" There is good community support for the developer edition, and that's what I really appreciate. You can teach people about it without limitations. You can have small databases created. You can keep it for a year and then work on it. It's a good thing for learners and developers.""The most valuable features are ease of use and the integration with Single Sign On (SSO), as well as with other Microsoft products.""The solution is very common. It's easy to use.""The interface is user friendly."

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"The solution seems to slow down the servers.""In terms of what could be improved, I would say, monitoring, monitoring, monitoring. Some improvements in monitoring would be helpful. I'd like to see more monitoring of specific reports and fields. The way the auditing is now is very limited, so I'd like to see more of that - of the monitoring.""The performance is a bottleneck and something that can be improved.""I would like them to reinclude PowerPlay. One thing that I am missing in the current Cognos is what was formally named PowerPlay. They have basically removed PowerPlay from it, which is something that I fail to understand because it was the most wonderful tool for business intelligence that I've ever used. As far as I know, they don't provide this functionality anymore, so this is one thing that I dislike about Cognos.""The AI-based features could be further enhanced by the solution.""Tableau and Power BI are faster than Cognos.""They were lacking in the initial phases of development in the area of big data, and they still need to improve that aspect of the product.""I would like to have predictive and forecasting capabilities in Cognos. It's one thing to do reporting, and another thing to easily predict or forecast certain data points, which is very important for all the clients."

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"The user interface and the reporting could also be improved.""The solution could offer better integration with other solutions - specifically Microsoft.""The solution is expensive. The licensing costs are high.""We want to move to Azure, and the solution could be made better to make the process easier for the migration from on-premise to the cloud.""In terms of what could be improved, everything on-premise is now moving to the cloud. Obviously SQL Server has also moved, because Microsoft Excel has its own cloud called Azure Finance. Every solution comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.""SQL Server could improve by providing something similar to an interface or dashboard where a developer can do debugging, this would make a developer's work easier. Additionally, the optimization could be better. If there was an interface showing information needed for the optimization it would help because there can be some data loss making it difficult to optimize the SQL Server.""There should be more tools and documentation for tuning the performance of Microsoft SQL Server. It would be nice to have more tools for tuning because currently, all the tuning that we have to do with our databases is almost manual. We have to read a bunch of knowledge base articles, and this information should be better documented. Its free text search should also be improved. It is quite important for us. Currently, we're developing our own free text search because of the lacking flexibility in Microsoft SQL Server. Therefore, we're kind of using elastic search and making different implementations in order to reach our targets. Using just the native free text search of Microsoft SQL Server is not enough for us. It should have more flexible features as compared to the current version.""They have too many licensing options. They may want to simplify its licensing and bring it down to two, three, or four categories from ten to fifteen categories. Having so many different licensing options makes it difficult to decide which one to choose from. They can club things together. This is an area where they can make things easier for customers."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
"It is my understanding that the cost is very low. It's not very expensive.""Cognos is super expensive compared to Tableau ($70/month) and Power BI ($20/month) — I think Cognos is roughly $200 a month.""Pricing should be improved.""It is quite pricy. I think Microsoft BI is cheaper. Tableau might also be cheaper, but it also depends on the usage. If you have very many users, Cognos can be a problem. It could be cheaper than Tableau but not for so many users. If you have a few thousand users, Tableau, which is generally quite expensive, can be cheaper than Cognos.""The pricing of this product is meant for medium to large-scale enterprises.""It's more expensive than similar solutions like Tableau and Power BI."

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"Their options for concurrency and locking are good, as well as their prices.""There is a license required for this solution.""The areas that need improvement are with regards to the commercial aspect of the solution, the licensing cost could be reduced in order to help customers to adopt it.""It's a bit expensive.""With recent releases, the Standard Edition (cheaper) SKU has some of the earlier version Enterprise features. SQL Express has some limitations.""We have an enterprise license, which we consider to be fine.""It requires the purchase of a license.""The price of the solution could be reduced, it is expensive."

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Questions from the Community
Top Answer: It depends on the Data architecture and the complexity of your requirement. Some great tools in the market are Qlik Sense, Power BI, OBIEE, Tableau, etc. I have recently started using Cognos… more »
Top Answer: The product is a very good reporting tool and is very flexible. It allows for the users to get a scheduled report.
Top Answer: As we get new requirements, we need to see if they fit into Cognos. As of right now, it fits our needs, however, that can change. We've had issues in the past that the solution is still working to… more »
Top Answer: The most valuable feature would most likely be querying. We query a lot, we use a lot of stored procedures. As for other features, such as replication and all other more fancy features we don't use… more »
Top Answer: The pricing is pretty decent. It's less expensive than Oracle. While the solution started out really reasonable, it's gotten a little bit more pricey, as Microsoft keeps changing how they want to… more »
Top Answer: If SQL Server could perhaps run on Linux, that would be good. Most of us prefer Linux and I've used a lot of Linux. I understand that SQL Server is quite powerful, but I'm not sure if the… more »
Average Words per Review
Average Words per Review
Also Known As
Cognos, Cognos Analytics, IBM Cognos Analytics
Microsoft SQL Server, MSSQL, MS SQL
Learn More

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.

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
Financial Services Firm12%
Computer Software Company10%
Healthcare Company9%
Computer Software Company26%
Comms Service Provider15%
Financial Services Firm11%
Financial Services Firm19%
Computer Software Company12%
Manufacturing Company9%
Comms Service Provider5%
Computer Software Company25%
Comms Service Provider21%
Financial Services Firm7%
Company Size
Small Business26%
Midsize Enterprise17%
Large Enterprise56%
Small Business44%
Midsize Enterprise20%
Large Enterprise36%
Small Business17%
Midsize Enterprise9%
Large Enterprise74%
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft, Tableau, Oracle and others in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools. Updated: November 2021.
552,407 professionals have used our research since 2012.

IBM Cognos is ranked 8th in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 10 reviews while SQL Server is ranked 1st in Relational Databases with 131 reviews. IBM Cognos is rated 8.2, while SQL Server is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of IBM Cognos writes "Stable product but low ease of use and time-consuming support". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SQL Server writes "Veteran solution with critical log shipping feature". IBM Cognos is most compared with Tableau, Microsoft BI, Qlik Sense, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services and Oracle Hyperion, whereas SQL Server is most compared with SAP HANA, Oracle Database, IBM Db2 Database, LocalDB and SAP SQL Anywhere.

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.