Compare IBM Cognos vs. SQL Server

IBM Cognos is ranked 8th in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 11 reviews while SQL Server is ranked 1st in Relational Databases with 18 reviews. IBM Cognos is rated 8.0, while SQL Server is rated 8.6. The top reviewer of IBM Cognos writes "Flexibility: It offers a variety of technical solutions to better satisfy each customer’s needs and scenarios". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SQL Server writes "Gives me the ability to mold a process flow or modularly add in new structures". IBM Cognos is most compared with Tableau, Microsoft BI and Oracle OBIEE, whereas SQL Server is most compared with Oracle Database, SAP HANA and Teradata.
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IBM Cognos Logo
16,583 views|12,570 comparisons
SQL Server Logo
21,431 views|18,686 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
GhamdanAl-Anesi
Find out what your peers are saying about Tableau, Microsoft, MicroStrategy and others in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools. Updated: September 2019.
371,917 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
The most valuable features are Report Development (Functionality) and Information Distribution (Flexibility).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.​

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The most valuable feature is replication because we had several replicas of the SQL Server database in different geographical locations.It is one of the most stable relational databases out there.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.

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Cons
This product could use improvement in terms of usability for those with less technical know how.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.

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I would like to have more replication scenarios.I would like to see native plugins built for other platforms versus having to buy third-party plugins to tap into S3 buckets and AWS Cloud. Right now, it does not have those built-in plugins.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.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
IBM Cognos offers competitive pricing similar to other BI vendors in the market.

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It is expensive, but you get what you pay for.Since we are a cloud-based company, there is AWS pricing on top of the SQL Server pricing. The Enterprise Edition can typically sell from around $1000 dollars a month, which is not cheap. Then, there is an additional one-time Windows cost, based on the code, which can go anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 for the license.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.​

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371,917 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Ranking
Views
16,583
Comparisons
12,570
Reviews
11
Average Words per Review
343
Avg. Rating
8.0
1st
Views
21,431
Comparisons
18,686
Reviews
17
Average Words per Review
358
Avg. Rating
8.4
Top Comparisons
Compared 24% of the time.
Compared 19% of the time.
Compared 8% of the time.
Compared 19% of the time.
Compared 17% of the time.
Compared 16% 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 Firm9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company24%
Financial Services Firm13%
Government8%
Manufacturing Company8%
REVIEWERS
Software R&D Company9%
Retailer9%
Comms Service Provider9%
Logistics Company9%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Software R&D Company22%
Comms Service Provider18%
Financial Services Firm10%
Insurance Company6%
Company Size
REVIEWERS
Small Business27%
Midsize Enterprise19%
Large Enterprise54%
VISITORS READING REVIEWS
Small Business22%
Midsize Enterprise6%
Large Enterprise72%
REVIEWERS
Small Business33%
Midsize Enterprise32%
Large Enterprise35%
Find out what your peers are saying about Tableau, Microsoft, MicroStrategy and others in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools. Updated: September 2019.
371,917 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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