IBM Cognos Overview

IBM Cognos is the #7 ranked solution in our list of top Reporting Tools. It is most often compared to Tableau: IBM Cognos vs Tableau

What is IBM Cognos?

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.

IBM Cognos is also known as Cognos, Cognos Analytics, IBM Cognos Analytics.

IBM Cognos Buyer's Guide

Download the IBM Cognos Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: February 2021

IBM Cognos 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.

IBM Cognos Video

IBM Cognos Archived Reviews (More than two years old)

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Pål Risa Zachariassen
Manager / BI Architect at Rav Norge AS
Real User
Jan 17, 2019
Has the possibility of integrating third parties through HTML and Java code in a supported way

What is our primary use case?

I am an architect who builds solutions. I have 20 years of experience with translating business needs for BI and data warehouse solutions.
Harmeet Singh
Senior Business Analyst - Reporting at Great-West Life
Real User
Jan 16, 2019
Ability to connect to a number of databases but the dashboard interface needs tremendous improvement

What is our primary use case?

We use it as our main reporting tool for implementing BI solutions. We have been using the whole Cognos suite for a while now.

How has it helped my organization?

The upgraded visualizations and more user-friendly interface have increased the acceptance rate of this tool.

What is most valuable?

Ability to connect to a number of databases Framework manager modelling Data modules Building ad hoc reports from CSV files.

What needs improvement?

The latest visualization doesn't give much flexibility to the users in terms of what can be changed. For example, there are fixed palettes. The dashboard interface needs tremendous improvement as it's not very fast as compared to Tableau and the likes.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five…
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Ayman Alshabani
Financial Performance Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Nov 20, 2018
It is very user-friendly. You can easily create cubes, reports and dashboards.

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for this solution is for analytics and monitoring event metrics.

Pros and Cons

  • "For planning, forecasting, in-boxing, modeling in general and for predicting numbers and doing work analysis, they are excellent."
  • "The charts and graphics are weak."

What other advice do I have?

For planning, forecasting, in-boxing, modeling in general and for predicting numbers and doing work analysis, they are excellent.
BIMan297500
‎Manager BI Manufacturing at a paper AND forest products with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Aug 1, 2018
We create beautiful, complex reports in Report Studio

What is our primary use case?

We use it for standard reporting in the platform, and we are satisfied with the product.

Pros and Cons

  • "A positive feature is Report Studio, where we create beautiful, complex reports."
  • "We need more predictive analytical functions, not only diagnostic or decryptic analytics."

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution as a nine out of 10, because of the support. Other than support, everything works. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: When we search for a vendor, we always make comparisons between them. In France, we were surprised by the product, what it delivers, and what is included in the package. There are a lot of different tools on the market that deliver on some points, but not all. Cognos Analytics gives us a lot of possibilities, including dashboarding, which you would have to purchase additionally from other providers. Every three or four years, we do some…
Managem299005
Developer at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Jul 29, 2018
Allows us to develop reports from different data sources, increasing reliability of the data

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is developing reports from different data sources, making it a reliable data source."
  • "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."

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking into BI tools, you need to go through how scalable and dynamic the tool will be, and how you're going to actually use it, how the users are going to use the tool in the end. There are various tools on the market. One can do one thing and another can do the other thing. There is not much of a comparison. If you look at Cognos, or if you look at other tools, Cognos is really good when you're looking for credibility of data. But if you're looking at other aspects of usability, then it's not that great. Investigate thoroughly is my advice. Cognos is an eight out of 10 because…
it_user835635
IT Manager Information Communication Technology with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Apr 9, 2018
Enables us to remove inefficiencies, produce very complex reports

What is our primary use case?

It's performed very, very well. Its primary use is reporting from all our systems.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "I think the GIS pieces maybe not as good as we would like."

What other advice do I have?

I would certainly give it a nine out of 10, and I could be persuaded to give them a 10. It's very good. Done lots of things we needed it to do, some very, very complex reports. It's been able to develop them. It's delivered them. Very impressed. Make sure you understand what you want to do with the tool, and make sure you have a good budget to make sure it's successfully implemented.
it_user823539
Sr. Director with 1-10 employees
Real User
Mar 14, 2018
Needs to be more user-friendly, although it's compatible with all our apps

What is our primary use case?

We use it for financial purposes, and simple reporting.

How has it helped my organization?

It's compatible with the whatever applications we have. That's why we got it.

What is most valuable?

The scheduling and reports.

What needs improvement?

It should be more user-friendly. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is okay.

How is customer service and technical support?

Not very good because we didn't get a deep, back-end partner fit.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criteria when choosing a vendor would be that the product is the very user-friendly and that we can upload the files into the system for reporting…
it_user831210
Senior Consultant
User
Mar 6, 2018
Self-service is possible through the use of dashboards, which are very intuitive

What is our primary use case?

New project to leverage enterprise-wide reporting and analytics. Serving as a standard report and application needs as well as any self-service BI needs. Numerous large data sets (more than 150 MIO records) are in the data warehouse, self-service BI required (self-serve analysis), Netezza as back-end and Cognos Analytics 11 as front-end.

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "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."

What other advice do I have?

Response times should fall in seconds, not minutes. Visualizations should be strong. System should be capable of guiding users in their data exploration.
Lou Zunin
Senior Consultant with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Dec 18, 2017
Allows developers to manipulate data and create reporting applications.

What is our primary use case?

Cognos Business Intelligence (BI) 10.x is a web-based, integrated BI software suite owned by IBM. It provides a toolset for reporting, analysis, scorecarding and the monitoring of events and metrics. The software consists of several components which are designed to meet the different information requirements in a company.

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the strong suits of Cognos is its robust corporate reporting capability."
  • "One key area for improvement is the need to improve the self-service nature and functionality of the product in terms of visual analytics."

What other advice do I have?

I would give the same advice as I would with implementing any BI tool/solution. Focus on building a stable and scalable foundation that’s built to last and also intuitive to the end-user. Place an emphasis on data governance/quality, change management and continuous product training for developers and consumers. This is extremely important when implementing any new BI/Analytics technology.
Pietro Noli
Founder, Owner and CEO at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Dec 2, 2017
Flexibility: It offers a variety of technical solutions to better satisfy each customer’s needs and scenarios.

What is our primary use case?

I primary use IBM Cognos BI as the preferred tool for my consultancy activity. I use it since 1999, and I've worked with IBM Cognos suite since its version 5.5 until the current version 11.

Pros and Cons

  • "Report Studio: This is the most powerful and sophisticated tool for professional reporting."
  • "Chart quality: many other competitors have charts and graphics that look much better and that provide dynamic effects. Cognos doesn't."

What other advice do I have?

Be sure you have an expert Cognos consultant before starting.
Pavan Kumar Maddali
Senior Cognos Developer at ADP
Consultant
Sep 20, 2017
The Report Studio supports complex analytics features such as advanced filtering and conditional formatting/rendering.

Pros and Cons

  • "Cognos is the best application with dashboards,batch reporting, jobs, events and ad-hoc reporting for business users."
  • "The visualization aspect needs to be improved and I believe, this is being resolved in upcoming versions."

What other advice do I have?

It is a BI tool that covers concepts namely BI, visualization, mobile, cube and all modern concepts.
it_user84468
Consultant
Vendor
Sep 12, 2017
It has a very powerful edit feature allowing users to back out of changes without forcing them to recreate reports

Pros and Cons

  • "It has a very powerful edit feature which allows users to back out of changes (undo) without forcing them to recreate entire reports."
  • "It would be better if it is was easier to implement without extensive training for it."

What other advice do I have?

Learn the overview of the product first before the investing time and effort on features which you may not use.
it_user547329
Cognos Developer at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Sep 7, 2017
It provides dashboard visualizations for executives to see what's going on.

Pros and Cons

  • "The Report Studio that is aimed at professional report writers."
  • "Cognos charts are not as fast as those of the other tools, even with DQM (dynamic query mode)."

What other advice do I have?

This product is easy to install and you can start reporting off. However, it needs a lot of tweaking according to the different setups and also has a lot of components that need different skill sets. It's all consolidated in one solution, so it doesn't have a few things that the other small tools do better. Cognos is easy to learn and I see a lot of the new consultants in this field, more than in any other BI tool. However, becoming an expert takes a lot of time.
Artour Aslanian
BI Architect/Cognos Solution Architect/ETL Design Architect at a media company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Jul 31, 2017
Query subjects sorting in a model are absent

What other advice do I have?

If you choose a Cognos product, be aware to wait until at least the second or third fixpack appears.
Asha Shankar Lakshumanan
DWH/Cognos Project Lead at Syntel Inc @ Mercedes Benz USA
MSP
Top 10
Jun 27, 2017
Automating Cube Build and Deployment on Windows Environment.

Pros and Cons

  • "Even while a user is using a cube for reporting, there will not be a situation as ' Cube file locked; unable to build or deploy'."
  • "Need improvement towards Visualization."
it_user689556
Cognos Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Jun 27, 2017
Framework Manager allows you to build relationships between physical database tables. Transformer works extremely well.

Pros and Cons

  • "The basic platform comes with several meta-modelling tools."
  • "IBM Support can be slow at times, but they can usually deliver in a timely manner."

What other advice do I have?

The best piece of advice I can give to companies considering Cognos is to factor in the cost of training or consultants. Cognos, despite what some sales people may say, is not an easy tool to start with. It requires a hefty amount of investment to implement. But with proper training, and working with the tool's strengths, the return is well worth the price.
it_user267465
BI Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Apr 20, 2017
Gave our organisation more insight in its data, and also in the gaps which were there (and still are).

What other advice do I have?

* Consider carefully if you want a Kimball architecture with datamarts for your datawarehouse. If so, the Cognos Data Manager is a good option. If not, I think you should reconsider * Consider what exactly you want to achieve with your datawarehouse. For having a historical database, it can be quite effective. For daily control, in most cases a datawarehouse architecture is unsuitable and unwieldy. Direct reports on source systems are than a better option * If your organisation has issues with data qualities, a datawarehouse won’t solve these. It can only make these visible (and there are…
it_user551511
Team Lead, BI and Analytics at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Apr 13, 2017
Enables data warehousing and reporting. It provides a managed IT environment.

What other advice do I have?

If implementing on-site, you will need to have skilled administrators and developers who are experienced with this solution. They are in demand, so they will command a high salary.
it_user505704
Senior Technical Consultant - Analytics at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Mar 22, 2017
Workspace Advanced is a hybrid of the Query, Report and Analysis studios.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good product for reporting, not necessarily for dashboards.
it_user504744
Cognos Consultant at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Mar 22, 2017
Has allowed our product to become open ended as far as the client data is concerned.

What other advice do I have?

There is a huge cost up front to purchase and get it off the ground, but once you have it, you won’t regret it. To have access to all of your data at your fingertips is impressive and I think it’s a must have for medium and large companies (+500 employees).
it_user505653
Principal Consultant at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Mar 22, 2017
Reporting and dashboard capabilities are the product’s most valuable features.

What is most valuable?

Reporting and dashboard capabilities are the product’s most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides enterprise-level reporting across all departments.

What needs improvement?

ETL features have room for improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When we have more than 1000 users logged in to the system, we can see slowdown in terms of performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is 8/10.

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

I did not previously use a different…
it_user505671
Senior Consultant - IBM SPM Cognos Solution Specialist at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Mar 22, 2017
The product’s most valuable feature is the open environment where we can build from scratch without too many constraints on calculations.

What other advice do I have?

The product is as good as the team implementing it.
it_user502383
Senior BI Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Mar 21, 2017
Transformer allows you to pull large amounts of data together.

What other advice do I have?

Hire an experienced business partner, who can provide ongoing support and training.
it_user561699
Database application specialist at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Mar 21, 2017
Provides multiple tools to help create reports.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great product. It is very simple to use and easy to monitor and maintain.
it_user560289
Cognos Consultant (Contract) at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Mar 13, 2017
Allows me to control how my reports look and behave.

What other advice do I have?

* Resourcing: Don't underestimate the resources required to build good business intelligence reporting and analytics. For example, if you skimp on training, you'll have a great tool set that is going to be used poorly by its user community. Businesses implementing IBM Cognos need to get the balance right in terms of who carries out what activity, especially who and where report authoring takes place. One of the companies I've consulted for gave little training to people in the business outside of IT. As a result, poor quality and slow executing reports were the result. * Culture: Use these…
Jay Bockstoce
Cognos BI Developer at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Mar 8, 2017
We can distribute interactive reports. Simple tweaks to some of the tools would increase productivity and development.

What other advice do I have?

Cognos provides a multitude of reporting options and I love working with it. I would recommend it as a reporting one-size-fits-all solution. If a simple reporting tool is all that’s required, other solutions might be more suitable.
it_user544752
Business Intelligence Consultant at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Mar 5, 2017
Allows authors to adapt and elaborate dashboards. I would like to see a more centralized environment.

What other advice do I have?

If you have the budget to implement, then do it.
it_user555990
IBM Cognos Consultant at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Feb 28, 2017
Allows our company to manage the data we generate.

What other advice do I have?

It is a very complete product that keeps getting better and better. It is complex software and you need a good level of expertise.
it_user561858
BI Cognos Developer II at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Feb 27, 2017
Roles and permissions can be created to give specified access to reports.
it_user538227
Business Reporting Engineer (Contracter) with 10,001+ employees
MSP
Feb 27, 2017
You can switch between analysis on a high-level, aggregated data and detailed data.

What other advice do I have?

First look at what you need, before buying a BI tool and implementing it.
it_user34830
Business Intelligence Specialist at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Feb 27, 2017
I like the metadata modeling and the online report studio. I would like to see better data visualization.

What other advice do I have?

Always plan for a scalable implementation that allows for a growing user base. Bump the server memory and processors up as much as you can so you're over and above what is suggested for each version. Look at the IBM documentation on the server setup and organize the step by step guides for each server in a distributed environment. Ensure that the security setup and groups are well thought out before starting.
it_user551517
Sr Cognos BI Developer at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Feb 26, 2017
The solution identifies data trends and anomalies.

What other advice do I have?

Clearly define the levels of access and user groups to give access to tools and data. It is hard to change once something is in place.
it_user560208
Business Technology Associate Consultant at a consultancy with 5,001-10,000 employees
Consultant
Feb 26, 2017
We use it as the main reporting tool for our clients.

What other advice do I have?

The product is very strong for an online reporting based solution. However, if someone is looking for complex mobile based reporting, they might want to weigh other options for their organization.
it_user569925
Senior Cognos Analyst Developer at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Feb 26, 2017
Report Studio is most valuable to me, mainly for the active reporting feature as our CEO loves the instant reporting.

What other advice do I have?

If you are new to the product and want to implement a reporting tool that will be free from issues, get an experienced consultant.
it_user550095
Sr Cognos Developer at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Feb 25, 2017
Provides data reporting and visualization.

What other advice do I have?

The product has a wide range of data presentation options. If an organization has too much reporting to do, then I would definitely suggest this product.
it_user534747
Cognos - BI Consultant / Tech Lead at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Feb 24, 2017
A reporting tool that allows the building of ad-hoc reports.

What other advice do I have?

You need to know the details of the product to love it. This product caters to all sizes of companies and easily accommodates growing companies. It can be used across an enterprise.
it_user552831
Business Intelligence Specialist / Information - Business Analyst / Cognos BI Specialist at a local government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Feb 23, 2017
Connects to data sources to create business decision reports.

What other advice do I have?

Check all BI products, such as Microsoft, Oracle, and Cognos. Check the pros and cons before making the choice.
it_user551508
Continuous Auditing Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Feb 23, 2017
Enables activity reports and visualization. I would like to see better functionality in the report studio.

What other advice do I have?

There are plenty of other cost effective and efficient solutions available, such as Tableau, cloud based solutions, and big data options.
it_user168417
Associate Consultant at a university with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Feb 23, 2017
The dashboards that are created, are simple for data representation. The reporting output/UI is quite old-fashioned.
it_user544740
Senior Business Intelligence consultant, freelance at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Feb 23, 2017
It provides us with a wide range of professional report types through the central report designer tool, Report Studio.

What other advice do I have?

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.
it_user286518
Data Strategist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Feb 23, 2017
​The ability to quickly get an engaging view of my data, with no scripting or SQL knowledge is a winner.

What other advice do I have?

Cognos Analytics allows for many ‘styles’ of deployment, and can be done simply ‘out-of-the-box’. To get the most from the product, explore the different features. Some creativity and thought should be applied on how to engage your audience in most interesting and intuitive ways.
DataWarehouseMgr798
Data Warehouse Manager at a university with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Feb 23, 2017
The burst ability allows us to control the prompting activity and automate monthly reporting to our end users.

What other advice do I have?

Investigate the cloud option for savings in maintenance and patching.
it_user507993
Business Analytics Coach at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Feb 7, 2017
Departmental users can bring in their own external data, explore it, and even merge it with corporately governed data. It could use better mapping capabilities.

What other advice do I have?

Ensure your specific requirements are defined and that your data sources are clean. If you are not sure how to do this, work with a partner like Lodestar Solutions, who are experts in working with you to create an analytics roadmap.
it_user552825
Analytics Specialist at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Dec 4, 2016
It offers advanced, enterprise-level data modelling. It is struggling to compete with the front-end ease of use and visual appeal of QlikView and Tableau.

What other advice do I have?

It provides value for larger enterprises.
it_user139509
Solutions Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Nov 24, 2016
Transformer enables consolidating millions of rows of detailed data into multi-dimensional cubes. It requires IT to model unstructured data, and has limited features for charts and graphs.

What other advice do I have?

Plan your reporting strategy. Do you intended to implement self-service reporting so that end users are creating reports? Do you need structured operational and management reporting? Cognos often requires IT resources for metadata modelling. Will you have the bandwidth and time to move at the speed your business requires?
Bob Edis
Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Top 10Leaderboard
Nov 21, 2016
The dashboarding feature combines shared and local data.

What other advice do I have?

If you go with Cognos Analytics, install at least version 11.0.4. It has backwards capability for old reports and dashboards, and includes the new JavaScript API.
it_user549354
Cognos Consultant at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Nov 20, 2016
The Report Studio has customized functionalities to create reports and analysis. Quicker technical support response time is needed.

What other advice do I have?

If your organization requires features like more stability and customization of reports, then the IBM Cognos Suite is your one stop choice as a good BI tool.
it_user544590
Cognos BI Architect/ Developer at a real estate/law firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Nov 20, 2016
Power users can use Excel functionalities for data analysis and reporting.

What other advice do I have?

I believe it is important to evaluate similar products. I also advise to have a resident expert in-house to support and maintain the platform.
Carlos Mardinotto Junior
BI Expert at Business Intelligence | DW Consultant | Data Science | Scrum
Consultant
Top 5
Oct 14, 2016
Flexible and very usable but support is expensive

What other advice do I have?

2. Draw up a clear and effective communication with both the technical part and the internal and external staff
it_user79140
Manager, Business Intelligence at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Oct 11, 2016
It provides flexibility in exposing data from a single model to diverse users.

What other advice do I have?

Understand your current and future BI needs. Understand the information/insight you are looking to get from your BI application. Understand how you would calculate your ROI on your BI investment. Tool selection should be the last step in the development and deployment of any BI environment.
it_user416913
Group Reporting Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Oct 11, 2016
We use it for consolidation. It should be easier to access consolidation rules and logic and they should be more flexible.

What other advice do I have?

If one has a complex consolidation structure, regular M&A activity (and hence changes in structures and rules), unusual transactions and a large user base, then I would think twice about Controller. If not, it'll probably work fine.
it_user259185
Prinicipal Software Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Oct 5, 2016
It offers metadata modelling and dashboard visualizations.

What other advice do I have?

Please evaluate other BI vendors available in the market to make sure that you pick the right tool for your use cases.
it_user190104
Managing Partner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Oct 5, 2016
Stories developed with Visual Storytelling provide descriptions over time and are actionable in nature.

What other advice do I have?

I am a strong believer in having the right tool to do the right job. I believe IBM Cognos BI has been and continues to be a solution that I have seen great results in and continue to recommend. However, I recognize that there are strengths that other vendors bring to the table and solutions that could be a better fit in some circumstances. It does a fantastic job of promoting true self service and allowing line of business users the ability to load their data without the need for IT involvement. Non-technical people can easily upload their data and start to perform analyses of their business…
it_user142380
Managing Partner, Lead Business Intelligence Consultant at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Oct 5, 2016
We use TM1 for planning, plans vs actuals analysis, and what-if analysis. We use SPSS for predictive analysis and other type of analytics.

What other advice do I have?

Look for a good implementation expert who can help you make it a success. And don't spare on trainings; it's a complex, enterprise BI product.
it_user453288
Project Leader at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Oct 5, 2016
We have over 400+ reports going out every day based on different conditions.

What other advice do I have?

This is a best-in-class reporting platform. But keeping in mind the high price of this tool, it is better to evaluate it before going for it. You might not need all the features provided by this tool, in which case you end up paying more. Also, it might not be suitable for small firms.
it_user235326
Sales Specialist with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Sep 29, 2016
We can simply create a dashboard. The data module lets you create data models.

What other advice do I have?

It can do anything; you just have to study it a bit.
it_user8061
Business Analytics Cognos Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Sep 29, 2016
The workspace features are intuitive and simple to use.
it_user193824
Business System Analyst at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Sep 28, 2016
We use it for customized reports. It has features we are constantly learning how to use.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you realize the scope of the product. It is not easily maintained by one or two people. It involves more than just Cognos for report writing; you also need to use Framework to create the data models/packages to use with it. I have done IT for 30 years; it is one of the more complex report writing tools I have used. Also, make sure you are in it for the long haul with the costs that are associated with maintaining the software.
it_user73401
MIS & Development Manager at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Sep 28, 2016
It delivers self-service BI to our end users, in different types of output formats.

What other advice do I have?

Get a good local partner or take on an experienced Cognos contractor to help get your local team up to speed and be productive.
it_user5220
Senior Manager of IT at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Sep 27, 2016
The dashboards and visualizations are valuable. The UI has changed, and some of the functionality is different.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you have good IBM support in place before installing, and read all associated documentation. Third-party or IBM installation would be recommended.
it_user217470
Partner, CTO, CBIP, BI Solutions Arhitect with 11-50 employees
Vendor
Sep 27, 2016
Common definitions for attributes or metrics are stored as metadata. The user experience could be better in places.
it_user156465
Head of Business Analytics, Operations at a aerospace/defense firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Sep 27, 2016
Each staff member receives feedback regarding their own duty shifts. New functions do not work as smoothly as they should.

What other advice do I have?

Appropriate data modelling is a must, if you want to increase self-service.
it_user123936
Sr Programmer Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Sep 27, 2016
You get KPIs out of the box about the usage of your environment. The metadata tool needs to go cloud-based.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you try this product well before implementation. Accommodate resources. Also make sure your users and internal assets (administrators, developers, and architects) get formal training. Hiring professional services is always a plus during implementation and the first wave of development.
it_user148620
Associate Director at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Sep 27, 2016
It can create canned reports with some ad-hoc capability. It cannot get down to the lowest level of grain in our data.

What other advice do I have?

Understand what level of granularity the users need and the speed of reporting. There may be other solutions that are better. Also, be aware that Cognos is not able to integrate with tools such as Tableau and many reporting solutions that would improve the product. So, you are pretty much stuck with the tools IBM provides.
it_user507990
Cognos & OBIEE Business Intelligence Consultant at a pharma/biotech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Sep 26, 2016
It can integrate with IBM FileNet, WebSphere, Cognos Data Manager, and MS SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

What other advice do I have?

This product is very useful and good to implement, but you must know that you need good support from IBM, if you face any particular problem.
it_user86730
Senior Development Manager - Innovation - ERP Protheus with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Sep 25, 2016
ETL support is important to our clients with big data. You must have technical skills to build reports.

What other advice do I have?

You need an IT team to support the users. It is not a BI-as-a-service app.
it_user514284
Sr Consultant at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Sep 18, 2016
Our staffing department is able to review staff assignment and quickly adjust resources in near real time.

What other advice do I have?

* Understand your needs first. * Bring in good experts for initial implementation. * Gradually grow internal resources to be able to do self-support.
it_user503625
Business Intelligence Manager at Mspark
Vendor
Sep 12, 2016
Cognos BI is fairly easy to use provided you have a good data structure/framework under the hood.
it_user509850
Cognos Consultant at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Sep 12, 2016
I can build prompt pages for on-demand reporting.

What other advice do I have?

Spend a lot of time on your data model and then the Framework Manager model before starting any reporting. Also, before starting any reporting, set up report templates both for the prompt page and for the report page. Adding in a table, hidden with a conditional style, to track report changes is a good idea.
it_user504741
IBM Cognos Instructor and Consultant at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Aug 31, 2016
It has the ability to model OLTP data sources with Framework Mgr. in weeks instead of building a data warehouse over a year or two.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure your CFO understands the investment required for a successful BI installation that will give you one version of the truth, whether it's Cognos or another vendor. The investment is not only in software and hardware, but in the people who use it.
it_user504054
Senior Business Intelligence Consultant at Aspen Associates
Consultant
Aug 31, 2016
It provides surprising results reporting a mixture of cost drivers, as opposed to only activity-based costs.

What other advice do I have?

Take time to understand your data. Decide which reporting must be from live data and what data could be taken from a data repository. Prioritize your reporting needs. Add proper time for validation and training.
it_user267465
BI Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Jun 30, 2016
The jobstreams makes grouping steps fairly easy, but lookup stability needs to be improved.

What other advice do I have?

The most effective way to get a sturdy result in the Cognos Datamanager, is to leave out the fancy stuff. Only use the jobs and jobstreams (and of course the scheduler to run them). Guard referential integrity by making the correct joins in the queries which are in the jobs (and putting these of course in the right order). Then, Cognos Datamanager can be very useful, sturdy, and flexible. I understand from fellow forum user that the Cognos Datamanager will not have technical support from IBM anymore starting from 30th September 2015. If you haven’t made a choice yet for a datawarehouse…
Bob Edis
Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Top 10Leaderboard
Aug 24, 2015
It offers good back end delivery and end user device options, but it needs more graphic options and an updated UI.

Valuable Features

Data modeling Back end delivery options End user device options Report designer Scalability

Improvements to My Organization

There've been no improvements since implementation.

Room for Improvement

More graphic options Its UI needs to be more 21st century

Use of Solution

I've used it for 10 years in various versions.

Deployment Issues

No issues encountered.

Stability Issues

No issues encountered.

Scalability Issues

No issues encountered.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service: It's poor. Technical Support: It's fair.

Initial Setup

It was straightforward.

Implementation Team

We used an IBM partner who were good.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Look at the TCO not just the sticker price.

Other Solutions

it_user250983
Bi Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Jun 14, 2015
Cognos is the most stable BI environment, but it gets far too complex for advanced setup.

What other advice do I have?

Before you start, request advice so you can select the most suitable option for you. You should do this because there are too many options in this product and you may pay for features that you will never use.
it_user221220
Analyst in XBRL Projects at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Apr 22, 2015
Good product with bad performance. We had licenses for all the features but users almost exclusively used the molap cube file.

What other advice do I have?

Quality of data, flexibility and the performance of the tool(s) are the critical aspects of BI. Test the critical aspects by doing a proof of concept using a huge amount of data.
it_user191655
BI (Cognos) Developer at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Feb 9, 2015
​Report Studio is a valuable feature but would be better with the ability to audit the SQL

What other advice do I have?

It's not as good a MicroStrategy for data analysis, but better for static reporting.
it_user185781
Solution Architect with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Jan 26, 2015
A ​good mix of abilities for reporting but ability to manage source code & environment deployment needs work

What other advice do I have?

If you don't have staff with previous experience in this product, it's worth engaging a partner you help you with installation and configuration options, training and early implementation.
it_user174621
Cognos Consultant at a insurance company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Jan 15, 2015
The Dashboards feature is almost a challenge to other BI tools
In the market, there are new cutting edge technologies that analyze data in a better way. Cognos is a tool where we can view the data in a more understanding way. In the new version, Cognos 10.2.1, there are new features to analyze the data, and this enables you to take better business decisions. Active reports are available to see the data offline and can be integrated to view the report outputs on an iPhone as well in an animated feature Visualization feature is in the new version, 10.2.1, and can be compared with other BI tools such as Tibco, Spotfire, and Tabulae. Dashboards feature is almost a challenge to other BI tools to show the reports in the same way, i.e. a summary analysis. Other reporting options are almost complete compared to the other BI…
it_user176946
BI Architect at a wellness & fitness company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Dec 31, 2014
Initial setup can be straightforward but expertise is needed to fully benefit from the capabilities of Cognos. ​

What is most valuable?

Report Studio (ability to make pixel perfect reports and interactive dashboards) Framework Manager (the layer between the database and the user)

How has it helped my organization?

With Cognos we are able to present and analyze the KPI's and outcomes our hospital needs to take decisions.

What needs improvement?

Adding workflow functions to the reports could close the PDCA cycle Speed of report-execution.

For how long have I used the solution?

7 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer…
it_user174690
BI Senior Consultant at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Dec 23, 2014
Framework Manager is the best Metadata Modeling Tool but we have to restart the mobile server everyday

What other advice do I have?

Framework Manager is the best Metadata Modeling Tool and also Report Studio.
it_user174678
Corporate BI Developer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Dec 22, 2014
Despite IIS configuration being more complex than it should be you will not regret implementing Cognos

What is most valuable?

Report Studio.

How has it helped my organization?

Any area for which developer has requirements can be improved, streamlined e.g. Marketing, Compliance, Surveillance, Hotel Accounting, Casino Accounting .

What needs improvement?

-Pulling images directly from database with Report Studio Graceful ways to consume / report on XML or JSON structure received as a result of API call Timely bug fixes

For how long have I used the solution?

13 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I would say IIS configuration is more complex than expected

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Possibly but there could be multiple reasons for the environment being unstable especially on virtual servers.

What do I think about the

it_user171960
Assistant Manager - Technology at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Dec 14, 2014
Go for it but get training first

What other advice do I have?

Go for it but it will require training.
it_user164865
BI Expert at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Dec 4, 2014
Highly visual and interactive control without long waits; allows us to use the tool in an interactive and easy way.

What other advice do I have?

IBM Cognos is a good tool for viewing reports, allows us to use the tool in an interactive and easy way, with the option to display it on various mobile devices.
it_user165297
Cognos Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Nov 25, 2014
It succeeds as a complete solution, however specific offerings, such as interactive dashboards, are still lagging.

What other advice do I have?

Hire experts to come in and do the initial setup and meta-model. Learn from them. Get training. Training is invaluable when it comes to using the various tools.
it_user164019
Business Intelligence Analyst at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Nov 23, 2014
Great for Fast KPI tracking. Performance and Versatility Need Improvement.

Valuable Features

Cognos Reports, Dashboards

Improvements to My Organization

Fast KPI tracking, Complex data analysis for decision making.

Room for Improvement

Versatility, Performance (speed)

Use of Solution

5 years

Deployment Issues

It's hard to change built-in options.

Stability Issues

Rarely had issues with stability.

Scalability Issues

No issues with scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service: Depends on the support structure. Technical Support: Depends on the support structure.

Implementation Team

In-house team
it_user98526
Consultant IT at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Mar 24, 2014
Standard and High Quality Reports but it's an Expensive BI Tool

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for an all integrated, scalable and high quality reporting tool, Cognos is a solution to consider. But, the price is a factor too. You need to define well your needs for reporting, chose the right component you want to start first and start small.
it_user86397
Vice President at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Mar 2, 2014
Cognos needs better data visualization. Good value in drill through reporting, ease of use and design.

What other advice do I have?

There are many BI tools out there to choose from. Cognos might be the right solution for you but this decision needs to take into consideration the size of your user group, the cost per license, the functionality needed for your reporting infrastructure, and the in-house BI knowledge of the BI tool that you choose.
it_user73137
Project Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Feb 19, 2014
Consider other alternatives. Corporate decided to replace this application with Oracle OBIEE.

What is most valuable?

Graphical interface is good

How has it helped my organization?

Ad hoc reporting

What needs improvement?

Basically, our support to enhancement was our corporate team. Where the Oracle Quality module has more flexibility to develop internal tables to gather data. The Cognos BI team doesn’t have this dynamic approach to do the enhancements. So, Corporate decided to replace this application with Oracle OBIEE.

For how long have I used the solution?

5 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, When it’s integrated with Oracle for Quality reports

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 9…
it_user80244
Head of Data Analytics at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Jan 20, 2014
Report Studio is a bit complicated but very powerful for complex reports

What other advice do I have?

You need the resources and the budget but it's a great set of tools that can bring value to your business.
it_user7623
BI Expert with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Jul 8, 2013
Difference between IBM Cognos and SAP Business Objects(BO)
-- IBM Cognos -- - Divided into many tools like Analysis Studio, Query Studio, Report Studio - Appropriate integration between all the tools - Metadata is common to all tools, which offers performance and scalability - Separately Structured Interfaces - Very clear and service oriented Business Intelligence - Can be done even with the basic End Users - Loss of Performance while scaling up the hardware - No proper tool available to store the documents - Customers feel Cognos is Complex - Impromptu is relatively weaker - Cognos ROLAP Tools and MOLAP Cubes - Inbox drill through from one report to other - Learning is exhaustive because of many separate tools -- SAP Business Objects (BO) -- - All in one package- Web Intelligence - Many tools and no Proper Integration…
it_user6855
CEO with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Top Reviewer
Jul 7, 2013
No compelling reasons to choose Cognos unless the suite of products offers a particularly good fit with needs, or the organization has an existing heavy commitment to IBM products and services
IBM Cognos is a sprawling set of products aimed at providing a complete BI solution for organizations of all sizes, but specifically large organizations. Unlike some other offerings that incorporate data mining and predictive analytics capability, Cognos is targeted specifically at the traditional reporting and analysis tasks using a variety of presentation techniques. These include dashboards, graphs, charts, reports, tables and so on. For organizations that have not yet implemented an organization wide solution to this need Cognos is a prime candidate. Perhaps the strongest feature is the ability of offer an enterprise wide, integrated BI environment. And you wouldn’t expect anything less from IBM, it does major on infrastructure after all. Having said this Cognos provides a necessary…
it_user7437
Director of Data Analytics at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Jul 1, 2013
Great tool, I absolutely love Cognos
Great tool, I absolutely love Cognos. Made for sitting on top of a DW, but it addition to that, in some cases we needed to build views where we would summarize things to be able to provide reports with some level of performance. Need to be careful. They provide a semantic layer which If built properly can get quite a bit of functionality out of it. But still need to be careful with volumes for specific reports.
Ariel Lindenfeld
Director of Community Management at IT Central Station
Community Manager
Jun 5, 2013
Gartner found that Cognos users are concerned with difficulty of use. Do you agree?
In the February 2013 Magic Quadrant report, Gartner says that some of the top reasons why customers choose Cognos are IBM's road map and future vision. However, a high percentage of users are concerned with poor performance and difficulty of use. What are some of the reasons you chose Cognos? What are your main concerns with IBM's product? If you are a user or are evaluating IBM Cognos, add your comment below or write your own review. Share your opinion with our community!
it_user5220
Senior Manager of IT at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Apr 30, 2013
We previously used Hyperion and SQL Reporting Services however we moved to Cognos because we need an integrated solution
For how long have you used this product? - 12 Years Which features of this product are most valuable to you? - Quick query ability Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions? - We use it against our enterprise data warehouse for enterprise views of data and material flow What areas of this product have room for improvement? - Visualization Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability? - Scalability only due to source data issues Did you previously use a different solution and if so, why did you switch? - Hyperion and SQL Reporting Services. We need an integrated solution. Before choosing this product, did you evaluate other options? If so, which ones? - Essbase, Oracle, SAP How…
it_user5802
BI Expert at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Apr 9, 2013
Comparison of Business Objects & Cognos
Most of my experience is with Business Objects. I have done a little with Cognos Elite also. Comparatively I find Business Objects much easier to work with when it comes to customizing the presentation of the data. Neither of the two products does a drill-down as well as you can in Crystal Reports, but they both allow you to create multiple views of the data on one page. Business Object WEBI reports allow you to use multiple universes and multiple report pages in one WEBI document. Both system will force you to use another layer between the presentation and data layers. In Cognos it is called Framework Manager. In WEBI it is called Universes. Both Universes and Framework Manager define the structure and connections the are usable to the presentation layer. Both middle layers can…
it_user5601
Business Analyst at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Apr 2, 2013
Very powerful toolset with many options. But complex to learn and use

Valuable Features:

Very powerful toolset with many products and options. Has various ways to present data to meet requirements.

Room for Improvement:

Complex to learn and use. Need technical team to build solutions.
it_user5472
VP of IT at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Mar 27, 2013
Great support with broad set of analytic capabilities, but needs improvement with integration of Data Discovery capabilities

Valuable Features:

IBM support, suite of tools covering broad set of analytic capabilities, and ability to integrate with multitude of platforms

Room for Improvement:

Need to integrate Data Discovery capabilities
it_user5319
Director of IT at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Mar 21, 2013
Can do most things we need it do and we like the scheduler. But visualization is poor.

Valuable Features:

Can do most things we need it do. We like the scheduler.

Room for Improvement:

Visualization is not as good as some others.
it_user5220
Senior Manager of IT at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Mar 19, 2013
Excellent new functionality. Trying to connect to SAP Function Modules is tricky.

Valuable Features:

Excellent new functionality.

Room for Improvement:

Replacement for VVM is still giving us issues. Trying to connect to SAP Function Modules is tricky.
it_user3372
Senior Manager of IT at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Jan 12, 2013
Provides us with "a single version of the truth."
Human Resources Management (HRM) plays an essential role in developing a company's strategy as well as handling the employee-centered activities and the strategic management of the employees, who individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of the organization. IBM Cognos is a flexible, database-driven Human Resources Management, forecasting and project planning tool, which is fully integrated with all core IBM Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) modules - replacing the use of multiple, diverse, unlinked spreadsheets. Cognos provides invaluable support for all participants in the HR and project planning cycles, of even the largest, most complex or fast-changing businesses. It supports a rich Web enabled planning and modeling framework that…