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IBM Cognos OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Cognos is #6 ranked solution in top Reporting Tools and #8 ranked solution in top Business Intelligence Tools. IT Central Station users give IBM Cognos an average rating of 8 out of 10. IBM Cognos is most commonly compared to Tableau:IBM Cognos vs Tableau. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 26% of all views.
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: November 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

Archived IBM Cognos Reviews (more than two years old)

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WE
Senior Data Warehouse Consultant at CHRIST Jueweliere und Uhrmacher seit 1863 GmbH
Real User
Valuable reporting and information distribution features, but the interface needs to be improved for less technical users

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is reporting and analytics.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has helped us in the distribution of reporting content to one hundred and fifty users. It has also helped in the management of self-service BI.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are Report Development (Functionality) and Information Distribution (Flexibility).

What needs improvement?

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

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is reporting and analytics.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has helped us in the distribution of reporting content to one hundred and fifty users. It has also helped in the management of self-service BI.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are Report Development (Functionality) and Information Distribution (Flexibility).

What needs improvement?

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

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PZ
Manager / BI Architect at Rav Norge AS
Real User
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.

How has it helped my organization?

We get to create customized solutions for many users. In our organization, we reach 40% of the employees with information from the data warehouse.

What is most valuable?

  • The ability to build solutions that can be changed so that the solution is up to date. The possibility of integrating third parties through HTML and Java code in a supported way. 
  • It's possible to add to the role management and security that can be maintained.

What needs improvement?

  • Continue to develop the AI assistant so we can add business logic to the metadata. 
  • Ability to insert own graphs in D3 through supported API. 
  • Prompting should be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about IBM Cognos. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,027 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Harmeet Singh
Senior Business Analyst - Reporting at Great-West Life
Real User
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…

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 years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AA
Financial Performance Manager at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It is very user-friendly. You can easily create cubes, reports and dashboards.

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 is our primary use case?

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

How has it helped my organization?

It's very easy to use. You can use cubes, you can create reports and you can create dashboards in it. It's all in one. Also, the integration on Cognos Analytics with Cognos IT Analytics also is better. 

What is most valuable?

We have found this solution evolve over the years, it is now very user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

The charts and graphics are very weak. You can find some dashboards, but it is very rigid. It is not as fancy as what you find in another solution, like Microsoft BI.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered Microsoft BI.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
WF
‎Manager BI Manufacturing at a paper AND forest products with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We create beautiful, complex reports in Report Studio

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 is our primary use case?

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

How has it helped my organization?

  1. It helps us deliver information to people in different functions. 
  2. It is possible to have people make their own reports, so they have service functionality.

What is most valuable?

A positive feature is Report Studio, where we create beautiful, complex reports. 

What needs improvement?

We need more predictive analytical functions, not only diagnostic or decryptic analytics.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The latest version is very stable. We have not had any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have found no problems with scalability. With a good server, everything works.

How is customer service and technical support?

IBM Cognos can improve in this area. Both IBM and our company do research to find solutions, and we are sometimes faster than they are in providing the solution that works, usually by studying documents. 

We can use the normal routines sufficiently to solve problems. However, if we try to add components which are not streamlined or well-known, we have to work it out without the technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not involved in this process. The product was chosen 18 years ago.

We always return to the same vendors, such as IBM, SAP, and Tableau. If there is an existing environment where a lot of reports are outdated, changes need to be made. If we have a running system that is up with no technical problems and the price is not changing drastically, then no change is necessary.

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 benchmarking to analyze the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PS
Developer at a aerospace/defense firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
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."

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved things in a lot of areas, such as in better decision making for the company. People are relying more on the reports coming out of Cognos, or a BI tool, rather than their own spec sheets. It gives them time to invest in other activities.

What is most valuable?

Developing reports from different data sources, making it a reliable data source.

What needs improvement?

What we have noticed is that it's lacking a few things which we want, especially on the visualization side of things. We want Cognos to improve, IBM to improve. But functionally, it has been working fine.

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a quite stable environment. I have used technical support with the 10.1 version of Cognos, but not with the latest version. Anything after 10.1, it has become a quite stable environment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is okay.

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

We were not using anything previously. We have been with Cognos for a long period of time.

But with the inquiries and the market requirements and the new tools coming into the picture, and the customers who see all these beautiful presentations, they want those tools to be implemented in the company. That's how we started looking into other opportunities.

Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor are that the product is scalable, provides ease of use requiring less dependency on IT, and is user-friendly, providing end-users the power to actually create their own dashboards, reports, or any kind of analysis of the fly.

How was the initial setup?

I was hands-on in setting up the environment for our company. It was pretty straightforward. It's a bit fiddly on a few things, if you want some extra components installed, but overall, the basic installation is pretty straightforward.

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's still lagging behind in some of the capabilities which other BI tools in the market are providing. Images are one of those things. Otherwise, it's really good, it does the job. Still, people have the impression that Cognos still has that dependency on IT.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user835635
IT Manager Information Communication Technology with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Enables us to remove inefficiencies, produce very complex reports

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 is our primary use case?

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

How has it helped my organization?

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.

What is most valuable?

Reliability and strength of product. It's proven to be very robust. It's been great.

What needs improvement?

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

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very good. It's very reliable. Very stable. Gives us very little trouble.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Very good. We've been able to add more systems to it and it has no performance problems. We've recently got some guys to rejig it and we've got a lot more performance out of it. We're very pleased. It's clearly an enterprise product.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used it but the team has. I think they found it very helpful, and got back to them in a reasonable period of time.

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

We were previously using three or four different solutions. We've had Cognos for 10, 12 years, so it's going back quite a bit of history. But yes, we had different solutions. We're a government organization, so we went out to tender and got Cognos and we're very pleased with the results.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user823539
Sr. Director with 1-10 employees
Real User
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…

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 purposes.

I give this solution a rating of five out of 10 because it's not very user friendly.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user831210
Senior Consultant
User
Self-service is possible through the use of dashboards, which are very intuitive

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 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.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Extremely fast solution using IBM Cognos Dynamic Cubes. Aggregate aware querying providing a fast-on-fast solution (in combo with Netezza). In addition, the interactive viewer of Cognos Analytics and dashboards provide for a unprecedented experience of key users with their data, enabling them to change visualizations on the fly, applying different sorts, filters, etc. This enables them to do further analysis than what is possible with a predefined application.
  • Using custom controls, it is possible to extend the application with even more functionality and make the application intuitive and attractive.
  • Integration with Office can enable the 'download' mode of storytelling.
  • 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.

What is most valuable?

  • Dynamic Cubes provide fast analytics through aggregate awareness querying on aggregate, fact tables.
  • Dashboards providing an easy interface to build interactive dashboards. 
  • Watson Analytics suggests visualizations, which helps users to build visualizations for data exploration.
  • Mapbox integration for geospatial analytics down to longitude/latitude layers.
  • Interactive viewer enabling live interaction with standard reports, filtering, sorting, changing visualizations, etc.

What needs improvement?

  • 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 (also being aggregate aware).

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
LZ
Managing Consultant at Adaptive USA
Consultant
Allows developers to manipulate data and create reporting applications.

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 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.

How has it helped my organization?

I have many clients using Cognos for their ad-hoc query and standardized reporting needs. It fits the category of an “enterprise” business intelligence platform very well. It also integrates seamlessly with IBM’s Cognos TM1 financial performance management solution for corporate planning, budgeting, and forecasting needs.

What is most valuable?

One of the strong suits of Cognos is its robust corporate reporting capability. Its flagship Report Studio component allows BI developers to transform data in many ways, create pixel perfect objects and standard reporting applications.

What needs improvement?

One key area for improvement is the need to improve the self-service nature and functionality of the product in terms of visual analytics. This is something IBM has recognized and addressed in order to more effectively compete against other leading visualization products like Qlik Sense and Tableau. They have made major improvements in their latest release of the Cognos v11 platform also known as “Cognos Analytics”. This version of the product has been redesigned with a more intuitive interface and offers complete guided and business self-service capabilities designed to quickly identify and gain insights from your data.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not experienced many issues in terms of stability. The product is fairly stable, especially if you are keeping up with the latest releases of upgrades and fix packs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With the proper end-user training and internal support, the product seems to scale well. As stated before, it fits the category/need of an “enterprise” business intelligence platform very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

If you pay for IBM software technical support and work with a “supported” version of the product, then support is usually very helpful. Depending on how business critical the case is, they are fast in their response times.

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

I work with customers who have multiple BI solutions in-house. I position Cognos where I see fit, utilizing the application for its strongest assets and where I see the most value-add.

How was the initial setup?

Depending on customer needs, complexity and size of the BI environment, the initial setup can be tailored to either being very straightforward or robust/complex.

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

If you are going to invest in a reputable quality BI solution, be prepared to not be frugal in terms of pricing/licensing. IBM Cognos offers competitive pricing similar to other BI vendors in the market.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Many organizations are using a blend of different BI solutions and there are many products/solutions on the market today. I encourage my customers to evaluate different products. Based on their business/project needs, they can then choose the best solution that fits their criteria and culture.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM business partner.
Pietro Noli
Founder, Owner and CEO at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Flexibility: It offers a variety of technical solutions to better satisfy each customer’s needs and scenarios.

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 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.


What is most valuable?

Flexibility: It offers a variety of technical solutions to better satisfy each customer’s needs and scenarios.

IBM Cognos BI (version 10) is a suite of different modules for reporting and analysis:

  • Report Studio: This is the most powerful and sophisticated tool for professional reporting.
  • Workspace Advanced: A mid-powerful tool, to create reports of medium complexity.
  • Query Studio: An easy tool to quickly create ad-hoc queries (with a simple list, or crosstab, or chart).
  • Analysis Studio: A simple tool to create analysis (like pivot-tables in Excel).
  • Workspace: A very basic tool to build and show dashboards using other reports components.
  • Metric Studio: A tool to create scorecards showing trends for corporate KPI and metrics.
  • Event Studio: A tool that notifies the user of events happening in corporate data.

Each of them is perfect for a specific need.

For the metadata modeling activity, as well, Cognos offers several modeling tools:

  • Framework Manager: The most flexible and used tool for metadata modeling.
  • Transformer: The tool to create multi-dimensional cubes (MOLAP cubes).
  • Cube Designer: The tool to create dynamic cubes (ROLAP cubes).
  • Metric Designer: The tool to create data packages to be used by Metric Studio to create scorecards.

Depending on how much data has to be analyzed (or other factors), the modeler will decide which modeling tool to use.

How has it helped my organization?

I’m a freelancer; I am a consultant. I’ve helped hundreds of customers to better understand their business and to make better decisions.

What needs improvement?

I think IBM Cognos BI solution needs improvements in:

1) chart quality: many other competitors have charts and graphics that look much better and that provide dynamic effects. Cognos doesn't.

2) data source connections: many other competitors support connections to cloud and innovative data sources (Google Analytics, Facebook, Microsoft Azure, MongoDb, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SharePoint and so on), that IBM Cognos BI cannot connect to.

3) maps: IBM Cognos BI have only 35 predefined maps. If you need a map of a particular area, you need to buy it (in MapInfo or Esri formats) and convert it in Cognos format, and this is pretty a long way. Furthermore, it's very inconvenient to use Google Maps maps, since this kind of integration is not native.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I sometimes encounter stability issues, but they’re rarely really issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have never encountered any scalability issues. The product easily scales very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support between 2 and 3 our of 10. Several times in the past, I have needed the help of IBM official technical support, and there was more lost time than any actual contribution received. The IBM technical support people often know IBM products less than I do. So, nowadays, I no longer make use of technical support; it’s almost always useless. This means I do not waste a lot of time for no reason.

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

I’ve always used this solution.

How was the initial setup?

When I initially studied the IBM Cognos software, it was not so easy to fully understand, but now all in all it’s not so complex.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other options before choosing IBM Cognos.

In the last weeks I'm having a look to Tableau Software.

What other advice do I have?

Be sure you have an expert Cognos consultant before starting.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Pavan Kumar Maddali
Senior Cognos Developer at ADP
Consultant
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 is most valuable?

Cognos is a MOLAP BI tool which covers cubes, dimensional and relational reports, along with different types of complex functions across all databases available in the market. It is a complete analytical solution including all BI combinations. Within it, Report Studio is one single powerful tool which works across all concepts like slicing and dicing, drill through, drill up and down, advanced filtering/prompts, master-detail, report bursting, and conditional formatting/rendering. Also, the advanced visualizations from versions 10.2.2 and 11 are valuable. The Report Studio feature supports all types of complex and analytical reporting, making it a useful tool.

Cognos is the best application with dashboards,batch reporting, jobs, events and ad-hoc reporting for business users.

How has it helped my organization?

Risk analytical reporting has become easy as there is more compatibility. Also, in the future, a Cognos analytic version will be launched that works well with advanced features like cloud, big data and machine learning (Watson analytics).

What needs improvement?

The visualization aspect needs to be improved and I believe, this is being resolved in upcoming versions.

In Cognos version 10.2.1 RAVE visualizations are still coping to become an easy user interface for developing advanced charts compared to Tableau/QlikView (as it is a BI tool) . As of now, only active reports are available. In Cognos version 10.2.2. and 11, the analytics feature seems to be upgraded and on par with other competitive tools in the market.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

deployment and migrations can be easily handled using clipboard or import/export method

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In regards to stability, the performance aspect needs to have more enhancements.no

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

4/5

Technical Support:

I would give their technical support a 6/10 rating (actually, it varies from 6-8 level).

IBM or any other vendor resolves documented errors but ultimately the application development / admin team should be able to identify the root cause of the issue and resolve it. IBM can only suggest best practices, so in general a 6-8 rating is quite good for any vendor. IBM has a good PMR system and a decent support reference available online.

IBM also has deals on client partnerships based on the organization licenses where they will be on field at times to help their customers (this is service may require additional payments).

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

We have consistently made use of the same solution with older versions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was quite straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

in-house

What was our ROI?

60-70%

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

The pricing and licensing policies are comparatively cheaper than other products in the market .

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate any other options prior to choosing this product.

What other advice do I have?

It is a BI tool that covers concepts namely BI, visualization, mobile, cube and all modern concepts.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user84468
Consultant
Vendor
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 is most valuable?

It has a very powerful edit feature which allows users to back out of changes (undo) without forcing them to recreate entire reports.

How has it helped my organization?

It forced us to look into the data warehousing of our entire existing products that we were using to better evaluate data retrieval.

What needs improvement?

It takes a very long time to learn the product. It requires specialization for different functions. It would be better if it is was easier to implement without extensive training for it.

For how long have I used the solution?

Eight years using different versions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How is customer service and technical support?

Not applicable.

How was the initial setup?

It was quite complex.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user547329
Cognos Developer at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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 is most valuable?

This is an all-in-one solution that provides reporting for a lot of different reports and visualizations. It provides one tool that works for 90% of situations.

Cognos has a lot of tools such as:

  • The Report Studio that is aimed at professional report writers.
  • The Query Studio that is aimed at business users.
  • The Event Studio that is used to check conditions before triggering an action.
  • The PowerPlay transformer to build cubes.
  • The Analysis Studio to report against cubes and others such as planning.

So it covers a lot of the areas that are required for reporting. As far as visualization is concerned, Cognos is trying to keep up with the others. Cognos version 11 has a lot of new charts but still not as good as the other tools that are dedicated for visualization like Tableau, Spotfire etc.

How has it helped my organization?

This product has helped to provide basic reporting for reducing manual work as well as some dashboard visualizations for executives to see what's going on in one glance.

What needs improvement?

Performance and visualizations are aspects which need to be improved. Cognos doesn't have all the charts that are available in the other tools such as Tableau, Spotfire etc. Cognos is trying to keep up with the others and Cognos version 11 has a lot of new charts but still it has a lot of room for improvement.

Cognos charts are not as fast as those of the other tools, even with DQM (dynamic query mode). I think these are the two main reasons why a lot of companies are using Tableau/OBI/ Spotfire even when they have Cognos.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for eleven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cognos is very stable, after tweaking server settings.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cognos has different licensing models. PVU license limits CPU and there is need to add that for more users.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's a mix. Some support agents are very good while some don't have a clue of what's going on.

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

We did not use any other solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. The basic installation is very easy and you can start reporting.

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

Make sure to assess the number of concurrent users and the type of users, i.e., studio vs viewers. Also, there is need to assess the purchase license accordingly so as to avoid audit penalties.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Artour Aslanian
BI Architect/Cognos Solution Architect/ETL Design Architect at a media company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Query subjects sorting in a model are absent

What is most valuable?

FM – though it lacks some of the previous version's features: dimensional and sorting.

How has it helped my organization?

We're thinking about a different product.

What needs improvement?

There are a number of things, but I would start with just a few...

Framework Manager:

  1. Query subjects sorting in a model are absent.
  2. DMR model in FM is currently decommissioned, but basically needed.
  3. Cubes – requires my time to explain, but cannot work properly with a big dimensions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes.

How are customer service and technical support?

Bad.

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

Not applicable.

How was the initial setup?

Some issues, though not many.

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

Not matching the product quality.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Started working with what was used by the organization.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Asha Shankar Lakshumanan
DWH/Cognos Project Lead at Syntel Inc @ Mercedes Benz USA
Real User
Top 20
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."

What is most valuable?

There are several valuable features of Cognos. In this review, I will be concentrate more on the Automating Cube Building and Deployment without any manual intervention.. 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'.

How has it helped my organization?

IBM Cognos Transformer cubes are one of the widely used OLAP data sources. Normally, a PowerCube contains calculated and aggregated data that is organized as dimensions and measures, which can be viewed and analyzed in Analysis Studio and Report Studio (versions 10). Users find it easy to use and quick to access aggregated summary data which help in better analysis. IBM Cognos PowerCube data is static, and building a PowerCube naturally becomes a repetitive process. At my work place, cube data is refreshed on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Since the data volume and the number of dimensions and measures in the cube are big, the build process takes 3-4 hours to complete. In order to ensure the most benefit from the cube, having a scheduled and automated cube build is essential.

Deployment and Activation a new feature which was introduced in version 8.4 that allows the cube file to be automatically copied over to a specified local or network location, activated and/or archived depending on the requirements.

Basically one needs to set the Deploy properties on the .mdl file using Transformer.

Deployment Strategy: select the “Copy to available locations, then activate” option. This will copy the cube .mdc file to target server location.

After building the cube: select “Automatically copy and active”.

Deployment location: add a path for production and/or a place that .mdc file should be deployed too. You can select multiple locations. For instance, the same cube may be deployed to both the Development and Production servers.

– Check “Enable automatic PowerCubes deletion”

Once the changes are made, we need to use the Cognos Transformer command line is capable of performing certain modeling and cube-building tasks on the Windows, UNIX or Linux platforms.

The general syntax for using windows command line is as follows:

cogtr -n -lcognostr10=

Notice that after the cube build completes, Transformer automatically deploys and activates the newly generated cube. It doesn’t require any changes to the data source connection. The live cube swap is effective immediately.

Just a few more steps (on Windows environment), you can now schedule the cube build via a job scheduler application, such as Windows Scheduled Tasks. Here once the ETL process is complete, a Flag file would be sent to Transformer box to trigger the cube builds. You will not need to manually rebuild or deploy the cube any more as everything will be done automatically on schedule.

What needs improvement?

- Need improvement towards Visualization.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used Cognos in some form or the other past 10+ years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, since we were implementing VB Script batch file process on the Transformer server. We had to do some testing to ensure success. Later worked like a charm.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cognos is extremely stable... Unless someone develops and tries to run a huge data set.. Its all about educating users.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer Service is good and quick answering.

Technical Support:

Yes, Technical Support is very good to some extent.. They would try the initial knowledgebase solutions ( which we would have already tried) .. but they do work along with us to solve issues... sometimes it is quick, some time it takes time reproducing the issue and solving..

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

Always been using different versions of Cognos - right from the Impromptu.

How was the initial setup?

It was a mix of both.

What about the implementation team?

In-house. I have implemented most of the solution specific to user requirements.. One of them is the automate cube build and deployment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user689556
Cognos Solutions Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
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 is most valuable?

Cognos Analytics, or CA for short, is an enterprise level reporting platform. At the most basic level you can use it to build reports. But taking a broader look allows you to see that it covers a vast amount of ground through many different modules.

The basic platform comes with several meta-modelling tools.

Framework Manager allows you to build relationships between physical database tables, and even a ROLAP solution. Great for detailed or minor aggregation.

Transformer is a basic cube modeling software. Best for building dimensional models over smaller datasets (a few dozen GB), it works extremely well.
Dynamic Cubes is a more advanced ROLAP solution that has intelligent aggregate, query, data, and result set caching. In my experience this works best with larger data, in the TB or PB ranges.

Data Modules. This is an advanced user level modelling. It allows end users to build and cache datasets which they can then use in ad-hoc dashboards and reports.

On the reporting side it, again, has a few tools.

Report Studio is the professional reporting environment. This allows BI Developers to create advanced reports, dashboards, analytical applications. While it does take some training, the effort is well worth it.

Dashboards work against the data modules. T allows advanced users to work with the data modules they've built previously to build dashboards. Users can quickly drag in fields directly onto the canvas to make graphs, prompts, data grids. Interactivity is automatically defined (but can be defined manually) to allow users to filter one group of objects by clicking on another.

Story is a tool used to create presentations. You can use elements from other reports to make a slide show or "guided journey".

There are a few other tools, like Event Studio which can be set to automatically perform actions based on query outputs. There is a graph building tool that allows you to build graphs that developers can use in their reports.

How has it helped my organization?

As a consultant, I've had the pleasure of working with a very wide range of clients with very specific needs. So far, Cognos has not failed to meet their needs, and surpass their expectations. The beautiful thing about Cognos is its flexibility.

One client, a government research organization, uses the tool to track specific incidents. When certain criteria occur, specific reports should be emailed. An SMS should be delivered. The researchers needed to be able to view the incidents from as many different perspectives as possible, and quickly go from one perspective to another without losing the context. Dynamic filtering and linking prevailed here.

Another client wanted to expose Cognos to the general public, embedding report outputs in their own portal system. This required a heavy security presence, with redundant levels of data and object security. Even if a report developer did leave a hole in the report, malicious end-users would never be able to get any data they weren't permitted to see. Cognos withstood the probing of professional pen-testers with admirable results.

What needs improvement?

As with all products, I have run into bugs; some severe enough to derail the project until IBM provided a patch. IBM Support can be slow at times, but they can usually deliver in a timely manner. Fortunately, show-stopping bugs are few and far between.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with IBM Cognos for many years, across several different product versions. The most recent being IBM Cognos Analytics 11.6.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cognos presents interesting scaling opportunities. Additional servers can be loaded and unloaded as needed, and there are many ways of routing report runs. For larger organizations, it's possible to optimize report runs by having one branch of an organization always run reports from a single server.

How is customer service and technical support?

Support is not cheap, and consultants (hello!) generally charge a few appendages. This is, of course, a matter of getting what you pay for.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
BI Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Gave our organisation more insight in its data, and also in the gaps which were there (and still are).

What is most valuable?

The jobstreams and the ways SQL-scripts can be effectively organized behind icons.

How has it helped my organization?

  • It gave the organization a better insight in the quality of the data, which in many ways was poor.
  • It gave the call center the possibility to monitor its effectiveness and efficiency a lot better.

What needs improvement?

  • The Cognos Data Manager is very datamart/Kimball oriented, and it should be made more flexible, so that it can be used for architectures like Inmon’s or a data vault.
  • Some of its components are not very stable (for instance the lookups).
  • The prescribed working order (dimensions and hierarchies, then fact-tables) makes implementing design adaptations a complex and risky operation: loosen one thread, and a lot more go with it, and this should me made more flexible.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it roughly for more than a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the Cognos Data Manager is quite good. It doesn’t crash very often, but of course making daily backups of your work is a wise thing to do, as with any tool.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We only had a company provide digital training. Their communication was poor, and they worked with a call center which was totally uneffective.

Technical Support:

I had to make do with what could be found on websites and the internet. The information IBM gives here is solid, but very technical and hard to read. Other websites have to be handled with care as many contributions are more enthusiastic then useful.

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

I started using Cognos Data Manager because the company I worked for already used it.

To start with SSIS:

  • SSIS is a lot more flexible than the Cognos Data Manager. In the latter, the user is pushed into the direction of a Kimball datamart architecture (data marts, which in a later stage are to be integrated into a integrated solution). SSIS leaves a lot more room to the user to make his or her own decisions (and suffer the consequences of these)
  • The user interface is a lot more user friendly in SSIS, while Cognos Data Manager is somewhat outdated (but can in capable hands still be used very effectively)

In comparison with large scripts in Oracle and SQL Server:

  • The Cognos Data Manager provides a comparison of large scripts for a real and substantial improvement. The icons and jobstreams provide a lot of structure, and are a lot easier to read and interpret than large scripts which can be hundreds of pages long
  • Functions like lookups are very nice, but not always enterily stable (which is a serious drawback in their use)
  • Combining Oracle and SQL Server databases with each other is a definite strong point of the Cognos Data Manager (although no longer a unique selling point)
  • The SQL-scripts are pasted behind the icons. It makes tracing errors and the logic of processes a lot easier

What about the implementation team?

It had already been installed, and I got a lot of support from other people in the company. I have no experience with a vendor team.

What was our ROI?

The company I worked for got a better understanding of its poor data quality, and many inefficiences in its operations. But in their mindset, speed is everything, and precision is often regarded as something of a luxury. They got more insights, made a lot of noise about it, but made no structural efforts for improvement.

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 probably a lot of cheaper ways to do that)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user551511
Team Lead, BI and Analytics at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Enables data warehousing and reporting. It provides a managed IT environment.

What is most valuable?

  • The solution is very flexible, but IT oriented.
  • It is an enterprise level solution for BI that holds value in a traditional BI sense.
  • It is a full platform that is designed for the full cycle (data warehousing to pixel perfect reporting).
  • It provides a managed IT environment.
  • It does not excel in any one specific area, such as in visualization. However, there appears to be a lot of development with complementary products such as Watson Analytics and TM1.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to provide managed data sources and packages to end users. They can use this content to do their own reporting without IT assistance.

It is similar to a competency center, in which IT will help resolve or work on complex requirements or projects.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the following improvements:

  • Tools: Dashboards, visualizations, and the simplification of the available tools
  • Licensing: It is very difficult to know which studio needs to be passed to which users or projects. This is because licensing and tools are confusing and they overlap with one another. Even for OLAP, there are issues with transformers, TM1, dynamic cubes, and compatibility with other vendors’ cubes.
  • Simplicity: There are CQM and DQM modes, so it can become very technical.
  • Consistency: They made a decision to deprecate Query Studio and migrate to Workspace Advanced. However, that did not happen. They wanted to push the new version which will deprecate Workspace Advanced as well.

Basically, Cognos has been a traditional BI platform. Lately, there has been a trending push for more of a modern BI approach that is heavier on the self service side. This approach does not care for the whole cycle of waiting on a request to go through the IT development chain in order to make it happen for the end user.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for about nine years. My company has been using it for about six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are on Linux, so we rarely have stability issues. We could run into resource issues, but that would be space or hardware related.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability. Cognos is very good at scaling.

How are customer service and technical support?

Vendor technical support could be improved. It used to be really great. However, it seems like the focus now is on newer development. The support may not be that good for the more difficult issues.

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

When I came here, they did not have another solution. In my past environment, they had Business Objects, but ended up switching to Cognos for the flexibility it provides.

How was the initial setup?

If you are doing a standalone installation, then the initial setup is easy.

However, if you get into a distributed environment and load balancing, then it requires you to really know the application well. You need to know about the server level for all of the configurations.

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

Licensing has been simplified over the years. However, we do not like their Processor Value Unit (PVU) model and prefer the named user licensing route.

Pricing can be expensive depending on the number of administrators or developers. Regular consumer licenses do not cost as much. They also have a cloud solution.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user505704
Senior Technical Consultant - Analytics at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Workspace Advanced is a hybrid of the Query, Report and Analysis studios.

What is most valuable?

Reporting, which includes building reports out of relational schema.

How has it helped my organization?

This product has made enhancements in building dashboards, incorporated changes to make it easier for the business users to import and use their metadata to do analysis. That is included in Cognos Analytics version 11. It is more user friendly and in some areas, you do not necessarily depend upon IT to build reports. There is one tool like Cognos Workspace Advanced, which is the hybrid of Query, Report and Analysis Studio.

What needs improvement?

Dashboarding: Actually right now in Cognos 10.2.2, Cognos Workspace is the dashboarding studio to build dashboards. But I believe some work still needs to be done in order to compete with other tools like Tableau, etc.

Tableau has in-memory capabilities and a lot of depth in visualizations. It can analyze and display a lot of intuitive data quicker. Also, Cognos Dashboard requires more IT skill to create and maintain as compared to Tableau. However, the new version, Cognos 11, is a big step in that direction to make it more user friendly.

Dimensional Modeling Reporting: Dimensional Modeling is used for reporting where the reports can be drilled down to a detail level. It works on the same concept as cubes, except it is live. Performance is a big factor, so it requires lot of expertise to build the right kind of model with the proper aggregation level; otherwise, the performance is impacted. Plus, it requires MDX knowledge to enhance/maintain the model, because SQL doesn’t work in dimensional modeling.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I encountered scalability issues when different users are querying at the same time or if one user is running a big report involving large query (SQL).

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is 8/10.

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

Pricing and licensing is high. It can be lowered.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn't make the decision to choose this product.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good product for reporting, not necessarily for dashboards.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user504744
Cognos Consultant at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Has allowed our product to become open ended as far as the client data is concerned.

What is most valuable?

The ability to interface with multiple server types (databases) to retrieve data and report on that data in an all-inclusive environment is beyond a doubt the best feature. The reporting interface takes getting used to, but once you familiarize yourself with it, you can create some truly amazing graphical and informational reports.

How has it helped my organization?

BI has allowed our product to become open ended as far as the client data is concerned. We have proprietary reporting that is standardized but doesn’t capture everything. BI expands that functionality to include any and all customization a client may have and still get their data.

What needs improvement?

The GUI for reporting isn’t very user friendly, so beginners struggle with feeling overwhelmed when seeing it for the first few times. I spent my first two years just getting used to where everything was and how to script simple things without looking them up. A better dictionary of examples for functions would have gone a long way with helping me.

They’ve improved it and it’s much better than it was, as well as the tooltips on the page, so I’m thinking they had similar feedback in the past. When I engage new clients on the product, though, they are almost always overwhelmed by the interface and I don’t have a good solution other than redesign. They could create a secondary Page Design pane that is simpler for beginners. They could even merge Query Studio with Report Studio, and as you familiarize yourself with the Query pane and need a little more functionality, you can flip to the Report Studio pane. I would prefer a secondary pane option over an entire redesign since I’m familiar with the current structure.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve used Cognos BI for over seven years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I personally have had no problems with IBM tech support, though my experience is from a reporting standpoint not an implementation standpoint.

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

I did not previously use a different solution.

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

The only advice I can give here is that there are several third-party companies that will handle implementation as well as provide continued support post-production. I recommend doing your homework and hiring one of them to take care of implementation and support, if you don’t have a dedicated team to do so internally.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.

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).

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: It’s my understanding my company has partnered with IBM regarding Cognos BI, but I’m not privy to the details. I know we do some testing and experimentation with them but don’t know to what extent.
it_user505653
Principal Consultant at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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…

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 solution. We have always used IBM Cognos product suites.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was pretty much straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We certainly looked at other BI products such as SAP BusinessObjects, OBIEE, Oracle Discoverer, WebFOCUS, Argos, and MicroStrategy but Cognos was our unanimous choice.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user505671
Senior Consultant - IBM SPM Cognos Solution Specialist at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
The product’s most valuable feature is the open environment where we can build from scratch without too many constraints on calculations.

What is most valuable?

The product’s most valuable feature is the open environment where we can build from scratch without too many constraints on calculations because that allows us to have extensive customization.

How has it helped my organization?

I implement projects using the product, and every time we implement we end up discovering a lot of unaccounted cash that was either being paid to the wrong person or extra money being paid which was unaccounted for. This helps auditing the sales personnel's incentives and also analyzing what incentives show a correlation to an improved performance.

What needs improvement?

  • DBMS scalability
  • Debugging
  • UX for admins who are developing on the software

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 4+ years. I am certified in this tool and I primarily work on implementing this tool (among others) for various organizations’ ICM needs.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I've encountered issues where calculation runs took upwards of six hours because of data storage and build issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent.

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

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

It's simple enough to install because IBM takes care of initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Callidus is usually this product’s competitor.

What other advice do I have?

The product is as good as the team implementing it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user502383
Senior BI Architect at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Transformer allows you to pull large amounts of data together.

What is most valuable?

Cognos contains many components that make up the entire Cognos suite.

The starting point is the meta data designer, which is Framework Manager.

Framework manager allows you to pull in database tables from any type of database, this is referred to as the ‘Database Layer’. Then you create the Business Layer where you update the column names with ‘business names’ and remove the geek speak or database names. You can also include data transformations and table joins in this layer. Finally you create the Presentation Layer that points to the Business Layer. The presentation layer is usually the only layer that is published in the Cognos package.

Cubes contain data hierarchies and time dimensions to allow a report consumer to ‘click and drag’ the data elements that they want to analyze to their reports.

Transformer is the product that allows you to pull large amounts of data together, to allow clients to slice and dice their data any way that they want. Report Studio allows for sophisticated reporting. Each of these is valuable; there is not just one that is more valuable than the other.

How has it helped my organization?

We developed sophisticated reports in the fundraising area, which pulls in data from many different databases and presents graphs, charts and summary financial information over any time period that the person wants to see. This set of reports are run or used on average 15,000 times per month by hundreds of end users.

Another example is building financial data using cubes. The cubes contain 11+ years of financial data and we have the add-in for Microsoft Excel, which allows end users to build their own ad-hoc reports for trending and analysis.

What needs improvement?

Right now, we are in the midst of implementing a brand new version of Cognos, named Cognos Analytics. This version is very, very different from prior versions. We are finding ‘undocumented features’ on a daily basis and reporting issues to IBM. We are working thru the issues, but it is very stressful on us, finding out functionality that was in the previous release but is missing now in Cognos Analytics version 11.

Here are just a few examples of issues that we are facing as of today! We have identified other issues, which have been resolved or we have workarounds.

- In our CA production environment, we imported reporting content that included saved output of financial reports. The saved output did NOT import and therefore users will not be able to pull up the reports in production! This works in our other CA environments, but failing in production!

When you have a saved output report that contains links to drill thru reports and you want to open them in a new browser window, it fails! You have to go in and modify the reports to open in the same window, so now the user cannot see the original report that they clicked on.

You also lose the ability to export reports to Excel or PDF when you have drill thrus to a new window.

If you run a report, have it emailed out and you attach a link to the report in the email, it fails only in our production environment.

The Search and Select prompt fails on the prompt page.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since 2005, so 11 years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is stable, but we continue to find issues due to the product’s newness.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is very scalable and can support thousands of end users. HUGE companies are using this product.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support with a 8-9/10. We occasionally need to escalate issues to senior technical support.

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

I was an independent consultant and have used competing products; they all have their quirks. Here at the university, we for the most part use Cognos.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup can be complex for large organizations; for smaller companies, it is easier.

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

For the university, Cognos is very competitive, because IBM offers huge discounts to higher education. My advice would be to work with an IBM business partner.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Cognos was already installed here when I was hired. The university hired me for my experience.

What other advice do I have?

Hire an experienced business partner, who can provide ongoing support and training.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user561699
Database application specialist at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Provides multiple tools to help create reports.

What is most valuable?

I really appreciated Report Studio, because it can create complex reports fast!

How has it helped my organization?

Report readiness has really improved! Cognos provides multiple tools to help create reports. That helps provide clients with what they need ASAP!

What needs improvement?

Data Manager, InfoSphere, and Framework manager can be a little more user-friendly. But we are able to manage and learn from it. We can create data sources in order for the other data tools to function.

I would like to see a more user-friendly interface. Sometimes it can be confusing to navigate through it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had any stability issues. It is great software with great tools!

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not had any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been great. IBM has a wonderful support portal where you can submit tickets for issues that are way too complex to understand or control on your own. The fix central portal will get back to you ASAP and provide solutions to fix your problems.

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

The company has always used Cognos, as far as I know. Personally, I transitioned into this post when they were working with Cognos. I found the transition into Cognos to be easy.

How was the initial setup?

I never encountered this issue, as it was already set up. We are currently in the maintenance and monitoring phase.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great product. It is very simple to use and easy to monitor and maintain.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user560289
Cognos Consultant (Contract) at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Allows me to control how my reports look and behave.

What is most valuable?

Various studios vary in the level of control they give you in putting together a report. As an example, I spend most of my development time in Report Studio. I have always been impressed by the level of control I have in how my reports look, behave, and allow interaction.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Allowed the organizations I've worked for to standardize the information they deliver to hundreds of decision makers.
  • Allowed insight into the operations and trends of the business with speed and accuracy.
  • The toolset allows you to create a framework to deliver a range of BI solutions. These scale from high level strategic dashboards with key performance indicators to tactical and operational reporting for the day-to-day running of business activities.

What needs improvement?

Metadata documentation could be improved. While IBM Cognos tools allow you to document most aspects of the metadata layer, the way this information is stored and exposed for metadata management is too basic.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Cognos for 17 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have had no issues at all with stability. Cognos is one of the most robust products out there.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no issues with scaling this product to a large number of users. The technical architecture is such that scaling is handled easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

Most technical support issues that I had were revolved in a prompt manner. The amount of information on the IBM knowledge base is impressive. The user community online is full of some brilliant ideas and solutions that I have used many times.

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

Most companies that I have consulted for had IBM Cognos in place for several years.

How was the initial setup?

A lot of companies that I've worked with outsource the set up activity to IBM or a second-tier consulting firm.

In every case, it has proven to be a wise move. I've never seen the choice of machines or configurations become an issue later down the track.

My advice is to outsource what you are not in the business of doing every day.

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

Do your homework on the licensing that you require. The penalties and costs involved if you are audited for licensing can be expensive.

IBM does not allow you to trade or swap licenses. Most companies don't allow this either. The definitions of what each license holder is and requires should be clearly understood before entering into any agreements.

Some of their requirements around user licensing for those who were only consumers of reports (e.g., they have output sent to them by email) used to be fairly onerous.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

When I've been involved with a software selection, the contenders were BusinessObjects, Cognos, and Oracle. Cognos won due to its broad coverage of features and solutions that it covers as well as the product maturity.

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 tools to promote the right culture. A lot of the benefit of using IBM Cognos will depend on your organization's maturity level with regards to its use and implementation of these tools and how you integrate their usage into your business processes and decision making. The culture has to be present to allow any BI tool to be successful.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Jay Bockstoce
Cognos BI Developer at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
We can distribute interactive reports. Simple tweaks to some of the tools would increase productivity and development.

What is most valuable?

  • Ability to produce reporting solutions which are accessible on other devices (iPads, iPhones and Android).
  • Ability to distribute interactive reports (Active Reports) to over 1400 recipients. It became too difficult to create reports on a portal page and have people access the portal to download their report, especially on devices like iPads and iPhones. Getting a consensus on the data that these “portal reports” had to display was also difficult for security reasons. The active reports allowed easier access to data (email distribution) and the ability to display more data without security concerns. Each report was tailored to its audience.
  • Ability to produce self-service models and utilize self-service tools is a big advantage. I’ve successfully converted report-only data models into dual purpose, reporting, and self-service models without too many headaches. I’ve had success in training managers to use Workspace Advanced to generate their own reports. Some of the less computer savvy users had some difficulty at first.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Active Reports: More detailed data is available to sales reps and management. The reports are configured for the rep/manager role with a focus on their own territory/market data. The reports are delivered to email, so there is no difficult and lengthy navigation to get the data to the recipient. The ease of use and access meant that more of the audience was utilizing the reports. The amount of inquiries, issues, and complaints was greatly reduced. We received a great response from everyone involved.
  • Self Service: The demand for reports was much greater than our resources could provide. Being able to produce self-service models and deliver tools such as Workspace and Workspace Advanced was a huge benefit to my team and to the company as a whole. The fact that we could modify the current models with self-service style packages helped us to provide consistent, dependable solutions without having to “reinvent the wheel”.

What needs improvement?

When bursting a low volume report using a burst key, I would like the ability to copy myself on the reports. The Carbon Copy (CC) field disappears on the ‘Run with Options’ email option when a burst key is used.

Simple tweaks to some of the tools would increase productivity/development such as the following:

  • Ability to control how reports generate queries to the server without having to use custom SQL.
  • Ability to make changes to a calculation or column in Workspace Advanced without automatic validation.
  • Allowing any object in Workspace Advanced to be moved/deleted. Lists become locked into place once placed on the page.
  • Conditional formatting limitations in Report Studio resulted in more report versions for different audiences (Active Reports). We could reduce our 24 report versions down to 8 report versions with a more versatile formatting function.
  • Formats are linked to specific data items within a specific query. Queries sharing the same data items should be able to share conditional formats.
  • It would be beneficial to have prompts or other (render) variables to control formatting.
  • Ability to ‘scroll lock’ in Report Studio: You create a list within a block and set the block to a specific size. The block allows the list to be scrollable within the report. This is useful when the report will be displayed on smaller devices like phones and tablets. When editing the list within this block, after every change is made, the focus returns to the top left of the block. This makes it time consuming to make simple changes to the list and ultimately making it difficult to keep focused on the changes.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used Version 10.2.1 for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We encountered some minor issues. With Active Reports, we have a recurring HAL error that is being investigated by IBM at this time. It only affects 0.01% of our 1500+ outputs.

Other reporting tools such as Report Studio (standard reports), Event Studio, Workspace, and Workspace Advanced work well with no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We encountered a scalability issue, but it has been addressed.

With Active Reports, the size of the data and complexity of our model combined with the size of our audience led to an additional month of development.

Ultimately, the Active Reports were generating far more queries than expected when bursting. In some cases, they produced temp space issues. Most of these issues were mitigated through aggregation, indexing, and partitioning.

We were able to streamline the Active Reports in the process which helped to a degree. The biggest gain, from what we understand, will be seen when we are enabling DQM. This is planned for 2017.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 7/10. Response time tended to be a little slow, but their support team seemed to be very knowledgeable about the tools and best practices.

Some issues were resolved with “quick fixes”, not long term solutions which I didn’t like, but it worked.

Too many questions were answered with “upgrading to 10.2.2 will solve the problem”. This seemed to be IBM’s knee jerk reaction to uncommon, but known issues.

I would award them one point for their upsell tactic, one for their response time, and one for quick fixes versus long term solutions.

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

I am not aware of any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

I don't know about the initial setup as I was hired after it. Upgrades seem to take some time and some fine-tuning with IBM's assistance. There has been nothing out of the ordinary.

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

The standard user licensing is straightforward. It seems like they are expanding these licenses now to cover more of the tools so there is less complexity there. PVU licensing must be researched and understood before committing. The terms of PVU licensing seemed to be a little vague and confusing.

We discovered a great deal more by asking IBM some detailed questions. This will save us some headaches in the future.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated OBIEE and QlikView to the best of my knowledge.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user544752
Business Intelligence Consultant at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Allows authors to adapt and elaborate dashboards. I would like to see a more centralized environment.

What is most valuable?

  • Report design
  • Very flexible
  • Intuitive
  • Prompts capabilities, variables, and calculations
  • Easy for authors to adapt and elaborate professional dashboards

How has it helped my organization?

It includes a dashboard developed for use in all branches across the country. This has improved their time to acquire the proper information to make decisions on a daily basis.

What needs improvement?

Nowadays, the finance team doesn't use Cognos as they should. They extract a bunch of data and create their spreadsheets all over the place.

With TM1 coming on board next year, this dirty job is going to be replaced by a centralized environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for four years in my current job.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

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

I am not aware of any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is a little bit complex with regard to the IT procedures, but the installation is quite easy.

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

The price is a bit expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am not aware of any other evaluated solutions.

What other advice do I have?

If you have the budget to implement, then do it.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an IBM partner.
ITCS user
IBM Cognos Consultant at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Allows our company to manage the data we generate.

What is most valuable?

As per the technology itself, it is a very powerful tool with a lot of options depending on the necessities. It is also scalable to the business needs.

How has it helped my organization?

IBM Cognos has allowed our company to manage all the data we generate and helped us improve the results.

What needs improvement?

The product user interface is already being remodeled to fit today's market. There is also room for improvement. IBM is trying to have a more mobile touch. I guess this is OK, if you are using tablets. But if you are using a PC, why should you have a mobile look?

I'm just thinking about a scenario on Microsoft Windows: With Windows 8, everything had the mobile look and feel. Now, with version 10, it has the same look as it always had before version 8, but it improved and I like it!

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this technology for the past three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not find any stability issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not find any scalability issues so far.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give the level of technical support a rating of 9/10. I also think the support that IBM offers is very good. When we have an issue with the software, IBM has good resources to get the issue solved. There is a lot of positive information over the internet.

One thing that can be improved is the time for troubleshooting and finding the root cause of the issues. Sometimes it takes only one day or a week, which is fine. However, sometimes it can take up to one or two months. End-users are not happy when they have to wait this long for a solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. You only have to follow the installation wizard screens, indicate where you want to have it installed, and click "Next".

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

You need to have a good idea of how many people will be using the product. It helps knowing how many of them should have full permission (admins), how many will be developers, and how many will be "just" consumers.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user561858
BI Cognos Developer II at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Roles and permissions can be created to give specified access to reports.

What is most valuable?

  • Robust framework manager tool for querying
  • Retrieving data from disparate sources into one model
  • Can be used for creating views and SQL scripts.
  • IBM administration for scheduling reports through multiple outputs
  • Cognos roles and permissions can be created to give specified access to reports

How has it helped my organization?

  • We have used this tool to retrieve data from the SQL Server, SSIS packages, and Oracle tables/views.
  • We have built the FM model by creating views or query subjects as needed. Different reports can come from one model. This was used for relational and dimensional reports.
  • We have created cubes which were built in Cognos transformer and then used as a data source in the model. This was used for creating dimensional reports using Kimball methodology (dimensional and fact tables). The surrogate keys were built by another developer using the IBM data modeler or SQL/Oracle. The dimensional model was used to create robust dashboards using the advanced workspace.
  • We have used IBM Cognos Administration to deploy the reports/packages from one environment to another. Drilling through reports was used to go down to granular reports. Reports were given access per their Cognos role or LDAP access. (MS Active Directory was set up by another developer.) Different packages, such as the audit package, can give detailed information about the metadata.
  • The entire process can be created in the IBM tool from source, to reporting, to administration.

What needs improvement?

  • Report Studio: While using the dimensional model package, the reporting language could be made more user-friendly.
  • Cognos FM could process queries faster
  • IBM configuration errors should be detailed, instead of blanket errors
  • Deployment of report/packages from one environment to another could be simplified

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for more than seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not worked on the server side, so I can't comment about stability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have no experience with technical support.

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

I am not aware of any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup process.

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

I was not involved in the licensing process.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am not aware of any other evaluated solutions.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user538227
Business Reporting Engineer (Contracter) with 10,001+ employees
MSP
You can switch between analysis on a high-level, aggregated data and detailed data.

What is most valuable?

The use of the dimensional and relational data model for drill-down, drill-up and drill-through: This is how you can switch between analysis on a high-level, aggregated data and detailed data.

How has it helped my organization?

I have been a business intelligence and analytics consultant for 15 years and I have always provided value to my customers.

What needs improvement?

The improvement to make is for BI to be extended into analytics; more Watson technology in BI. Watson from IBM is for more predictive and prescriptive analysis (big data) and Cognos BI is for more descriptive (BI). When IBM brings the Watson technique into BI, you will have one platform for reporting over past, present and future.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have never encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have never encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Over the last 10 years, I have never needed to use the customer support.

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

Over these 15 years, I have worked with Oracle BI, Microsoft BI, Qlik and several other tools. Beside Cognos, none were compliant enough with the needs of my customers.

How was the initial setup?

Starting with Cognos wasn't easy before the most recent version 11, Cognos Analytics.

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

Use one of the best BI tools, which Cognos is.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have rolled into it by starting BI within Cognos.

What other advice do I have?

First look at what you need, before buying a BI tool and implementing it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user34830
Business Intelligence Specialist at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
I like the metadata modeling and the online report studio. I would like to see better data visualization.

What is most valuable?

  • Metadata modeling: Easy and efficient
  • Reporting: Generally quick
  • Online report studio: Generally works well

How has it helped my organization?

  • Automating common reports
  • Standardizing metrics and reports utilized through the company
  • Enabling efficiency through reducing manual report creation via Excel
  • Offline data source use

What needs improvement?

Data visualization could use improvement as many competitors offer more robust options for charts. More interactivity could be useful here.

The speed in which reports run can also be a large issue unless servers are very well appointed. Queries must be optimized in some cases.

However, overall speed hasn't been a huge issue since Cognos, Version 10.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used Cognos in general for eleven years, and this version for over a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We encountered some stability issues. Often application servers need to be recycled once a month. Unless report writers are writing very clean queries, database cache cleanups and server recycles are necessary.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 7/10. Usually support is good, but it all depends on the technician you get. I've had great experience with some people, but less than stellar experience with others.

The one thing that has been consistent with IBM Cognos support is if you have a very large issue affecting many users, they are quick to respond and support your issue.

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

At one company, we switched to SAP BI/BO due to wanting an all-encompassing solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not complex. There is great documentation. It has gotten better as Cognos has matured, but some documentation isn't updated as fast as you'd like if you're utilizing one of the latest versions.

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

I don't have any advice about these issues.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Tableau and SAP BI/BO.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user551517
Sr Cognos BI Developer at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The solution identifies data trends and anomalies.

What is most valuable?

It is an enterprise solution. It provides scalability, reliability, security, and performance for large scale organizations. Without these features, it would become a useless tool for large organizations.

How has it helped my organization?

The tool identifies trends and anomalies before it is too late, i.e., before the end-of-the-year results. This prevents customers from getting angry and provides savings opportunities.

What needs improvement?

For versions 8 and 10, I would like to see better visualizations and geo-mapping.
Version 10 has out-of-the-box charts and maps that are very outdated, look old, and are static (not interactive).

There seems to have been major improvements on visualizations in Cognos Analytics (Version 11).

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution since 2001, with versions 6.6.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Sometimes technical support can be hit and miss. However, IBM has some very good technicians.

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

I used a different solution in a prior organization. They switched from Cognos to Business Objects. The decision was made due to the ERP provider (Epic) having some pre-built BI solutions. In order to keep the certification, my organization had to use their reports.

How was the initial setup?

Cognos has come a long way. Fifteen years ago, the installation and setup was very complicated.

It is not difficult nowadays. However, the tune-up is still tricky.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user560208
Business Technology Associate Consultant at a consultancy with 5,001-10,000 employees
Consultant
We use it as the main reporting tool for our clients.

What is most valuable?

The reporting feature is the most valuable feature.

For Cognos, reporting is the widely used feature for both my clients and for most of the US-based banking organizations.

How has it helped my organization?

The product is the main reporting tool for our clients.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improvements in mobile reporting. When it comes to mobile/offline based reporting, Cognos is not really capable of handling medium to heavy data volume.

The above limitation has been hampering its penetration into health care and other industries which are heavily dependent upon mobile devices for day-to-day operations.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for over five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No stability issues. The product is one of more stable reporting solutions.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues. Scaling is fairly straightforward.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is quite satisfactory.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward for a technical person.

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

If you need enterprise grade reporting, Cognos is a very economical solution for organizations.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have never been involved in the decision making for selecting reporting tools. I have been on the report development side using Cognos for multiple 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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user569925
Senior Cognos Analyst Developer at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Report Studio is most valuable to me, mainly for the active reporting feature as our CEO loves the instant reporting.

What is most valuable?

Report Studio is most valuable to me, mainly for the active reporting feature as our CEO loves the instant reporting.

How has it helped my organization?

The product takes away the need for mundane reporting via Excel spreadsheets freeing up the business areas to concentrate on growing the business.

What needs improvement?

Every product on the market can be improved, but I would like IBM to stop trying to compete with the smaller players in the market, rushing out versions that nobody wants to migrate to because the version seems unstable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve been using the Cognos product since 2006; since the old ReportNet days.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any specific stability issues. Like every product, you need to carry some sort of monthly maintenance to make sure that the platform runs smoothly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues. As long as you are following the guidelines set by IBM you should be ok.

How are customer service and technical support?

If you have a contact within IBM then things are great, but some of the IBM partners (in my opinion) don’t offer the same high standard, (there are gaps in their knowledge).

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

We never used another solution.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was quite straight forward. But the webserver setup can be a bit tricky.

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

Recently, IBM have changed the way they package the licensing (which so far seems to give us a better understanding of what we are paying for). The product can seem quite pricey compared to other suitors in the BI arena.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Microsoft SSRS. But on look and feel, it didn’t give us that professional outlook.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user550095
Sr Cognos Developer at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Provides data reporting and visualization.

What is most valuable?

  • Active Reporting: Users can access the reports offline.
  • Visualization: IBM Cognos has a variety of charts. It has options to customize any kind of chart using the JSON editor. This helps clients to visualize and analyze the data in a very effective way.

How has it helped my organization?

This product has a wide variety of options to present data. The solution has improved our organization in the following ways:

  • Builds different kinds of report like lists, crosstabs, and charts.
  • Sends the report output to users.
  • Offers mobile dashboard options. Client executives and directors can pull the reports to their mobile phones. They can view all kinds of data related to their organization.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to reduce the cost of the user licenses.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution for over six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We sometimes have to restart the application.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 8/10.

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

I used the Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. I switched to IBM Cognos because some of the customization options were not available in that tool.

How was the initial setup?

The installation can be a little complex. It depends on the environment. If it is a Windows environment, the setup will be easy. If it is a Linux environment, it will involve scripting.

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

If the organization is big enough, I would recommend this product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options, such as Tableau.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Cognos - BI Consultant / Tech Lead at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
A reporting tool that allows the building of ad-hoc reports.

What is most valuable?

Almost all of the features are valuable. We have users who fit into different stacks of reporting capabilities.

How has it helped my organization?

Every day-to-day decision is driven by data. With this tool, we are able to provide it to relevant parties. They are happy with the data and the way it is presented.

We have users who can build ad-hoc reports on their own. They don't have to reach out to technical teams. This reduces dependencies and eliminates the turn-around time.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more robust scheduling capabilities. Advanced audit information should be readily available, rather than pointing us to use a SDK each time.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for eleven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would give technical support a rating of 4/10. IBM technical support should be improved and their turn-around time should be reduced.

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

We have used in-house tools before. However, we switched to Cognos because we needed something readily available and catered to different user bases.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was pretty straightforward. You just need to follow the documentation that comes with it. It covers everything.

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

It’s an enterprise tool and different stacks of tools are beneficial for small, medium, or large companies.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked into Business Objects, Actuate, and Microsoft SSRS.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user552831
Business Intelligence Specialist / Information - Business Analyst / Cognos BI Specialist at a local government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Connects to data sources to create business decision reports.

What is most valuable?

The solution connects to all data sources easily. There is an express and an enterprise version.

How has it helped my organization?

As a consultant, I build complete business decision reports with Cognos.

What needs improvement?

For the current dashboard, it would be nice to have a better layout and more functions.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for fifteen years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Each product that I have worked with has bugs, and Cognos is no exception. There will be new releases that will fix these bugs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is fine. I never came across any major issues

How is customer service and technical support?

IBM has a complete knowledge base and support setup.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was straightforward.

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

Pricing and licensing have many forms and possibilities. Take a good look at the number of users and the profiles needed. This will increase or decrease the price accordingly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I worked with several BI products. The choice depends on the business size and preferences.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: As consultants, our firm is a partner of IBM
it_user551508
Continuous Auditing Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Enables activity reports and visualization. I would like to see better functionality in the report studio.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are activity reports and visualization. Visualization is fast and very powerful for a quick answer. It provides an interactive user experience.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows manually derived reporting via the DB and excel dumps to automated reports and dashboards.

What needs improvement?

In the report studio, the basic functionality requires more development.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution in different companies for over 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is not very user-friendly with unstructured or direct DB connected data.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues, but the data retrieval times of live data can be horrible.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support was good until IBM took over.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn’t involved with installation directly, but the consulting group set it up for us and supported it, so it was OK.

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

It is very costly, now that IBM has taken over.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Depending on one’s needs, I would push for Tableau more than this solution.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user168417
Associate Consultant at a university with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The dashboards that are created, are simple for data representation. The reporting output/UI is quite old-fashioned.

What is most valuable?

It is a quick solution and has dynamic insights. The features that I liked about the system are:

  • An easy creation of dashboards with insights. The dashboards that are created, are simple for data representation. Thus, the comparisons are quite user-friendly.
  • A user-friendly table structure.
  • Being able to create data drill up and down quite quickly. Drilling data down and up helps to understand the insights quickly. For example, in order to analyze the sales data, we get total sales-> region-wise sales-> country-wise-> district-wise-> and store-wise. Reversely, in order to understand the product performance, we would require a drill up chart, i.e., performance at the zonal level-> country level-> overall performance.

How has it helped my organization?

The organization was able to:

  • Reduce the reporting efforts by 50%.
  • Have more insightful reports.

What needs improvement?

I find areas where some improvements will help are:

  • When the data becomes very voluminous, then handling and representing it becomes clumsy.
  • The type of charts are only two dimensional. Currently, the charts are two dimensional to understand the trend. Also, one needs to compare the time horizon or the volume horizon separately and it will be really helpful, if that dimension could be included.
  • The reporting output/UI is quite old-fashioned.
  • The statistical insights are missing or they cant be created.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for two years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no issues in regards to the scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is average.

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

One of the reasons why we switched solutions was due to the maintenance cost and the cost of ownership.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other solutions, namely SAP and TIBCO Spotfire.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user544740
Senior Business Intelligence consultant, freelance at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It provides us with a wide range of professional report types through the central report designer tool, Report Studio.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is scalability. It works perfectly for companies from 100 users to companies with several thousand users.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides us with a wide range of professional report types through the central report designer tool, Report Studio. Standard reports, used through the whole international organization, have been made with user security to personalize the report output.

What needs improvement?

The Cognos BI suite is missing a user-friendly tool/functionality that makes it possible for regular BI users (not report developers) to make personalized reports. Generally, Cognos is not easy to use for non-experienced BI users who need to make their own reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this product for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no stability issues. If the installation was done properly, it is a stable system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no scalability issues. The product is perfectly designed for smaller companies to multi-national companies. The server architecture must be designed accordingly, but it's easy to upscale by adding servers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. The IBM Cognos support is usually dedicated and competent. Their reaction time is fast enough according to the support case priority.

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

I have worked in migration projects from BusinessObjects to Cognos, as the customer had bought a global IBM solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial Cognos setup requires experienced people. Besides a correct software installation on a multi-server architecture, it is important to design an adapted Framework Manager architecture. Furthermore, it requires experience to make some professional standard reports or other advanced reports, such as Active Reports.

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

Licensing is expensive and can be an issue to expand the number of users within a company or to get new customers. Only large companies invest in Cognos.

Cognos is not a very common BI product in Denmark, even though it's one of the best on the market with a broad palette of tools.

More creative licensing policies should be made by IBM in order to win market shares in the BI market.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user286518
Data Strategist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
​The ability to quickly get an engaging view of my data, with no scripting or SQL knowledge is a winner.

What is most valuable?

This version of Cognos combines a new modern interface and intent-driven data discovery, with the scalable, governed and managed architecture for which it has always been valued. Also:

  • The ability to quickly get an engaging view of my data, with no scripting or SQL knowledge is a winner.
  • The true common modelling layer (Framework Manager) ensures that data objects are re-usable across the business, lineage is easy to track, and reports can be protected from back-end changes.
  • New releases are announced frequently, and it is constantly evolving.

How has it helped my organization?

Cognos Analytics allows our business the freedom of movement and self-sufficiency we require, while keeping the IT team happy that information is secure and easily sharable. A light data modelling tool allows business users to source and analyse their own data in a managed environment. This is the only tool I know of that keeps both business and IT teams happy.

What needs improvement?

As there are new releases every 3 months or so, enhancements to the new dashboards are regular being released. It would be useful though to be able to apply custom palettes, and change the spacing around each object, allowing dashboard objects to fit more snugly with each other.


For how long have I used the solution?

We have used the solution since its launch in Dec 2015. I have been using previous versions of Cognos since 1996.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues. The architecture is scalable via the use of separate gateways and dispatchers, and can be scaled to include many servers across multiple locations.

How are customer service and technical support?

The availability of the new Cognos Analytics community allows for global sharing of problem resolutions. As this version is evolving rapidly, finding in-depth training material can be challenging.

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

We switched from ‘desktop data discovery’ tools to a more stable, scalable, enterprise ready solution, to allow for secured distribution to a broad and varied audience. Cognos Analytics provides a complete toolkit from quick discovery, endless visualisation options to enterprise-scale report delivery, through any medium (e.g. call-centre LCD screens, mobile, executive dashboards, financial reports etc).

How was the initial setup?

The new installation is very simple. Wizard driven installation takes about an hour. It can get more complex to install a distributed architecture, but still not more than a day or two to install it.

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

The initial set-up price is higher than comparative tools, due to the base server component, but can be more cost-effective in the long run for a larger user base (> 100 users). Also, all features come standard, so add-ons are not required for printing, distribution etc.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Qlik, Tableau, Microsoft BI.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an IBM business partner.
ITCS user
Data Warehouse Manager at a construction company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
The burst ability allows us to control the prompting activity and automate monthly reporting to our end users.

What is most valuable?

  • The ability to burst. It allows us to control the prompting activity and automate monthly reporting to our end users as we mass distribute to almost 900 end users.
  • The GUI design interface is intuitive.

How has it helped my organization?

  • We are able to rapidly communicate financial reporting and statements for reconciliation purposes.
  • People are able to self serve with the provided authoring tools.

What needs improvement?

  • The visualization tools have greatly improved but the active reports still need help.
  • The build process of linking the variables can be a bit complex, especially for newbies.
  • The ability to secure on the downloaded dataset that feeds the active report is prohibitive of its widespread use.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used the solution for seven years.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support at about 5/10. We continue to struggle with IBM provided first or second time correct responses to cases we have open. Cases can drag on for months before resolution.

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

I am not aware of any previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was complex. We built scripts to create and configure at a redundant server level.

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

The prodict is expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Oracle OBIEE and Jaspersoft.

What other advice do I have?

Investigate the cloud option for savings in maintenance and patching.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are research partners.
it_user507993
Business Analytics Coach at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
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 is most valuable?

IBM Cognos Analytics is a data discovery and reporting platform for your department or your entire enterprise. But it's much more than just managed reporting: It provides departmental users with the self-sufficiency they need to bring in their own external data, explore it, and even merge it with corporately governed data, all without needing to go to IT. With that ability, they can get fresh perspectives that are simply not available in their existing reporting environment.

How has it helped my organization?

I will provide customer examples:

  • Time savings on report creation and distribution
  • Real-time data analytics to make real-time decisions to make or save money
  • Eliminated silos of information for a true enterprise solution
  • Offline reporting for executives
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Many others

What needs improvement?

IBM Cognos Analytics continues to improve with every release. On the horizon are some major enhancements that include:

  • World-class mapping capabilities (This is now available with release 5. IBM partnered with Mapbox and now offer beautiful geospatial mapping capabilities)
  • Connections to more data sources (with release this is greatly imporved.
  • Storytelling features like Watson Analytics (available with release 4)
  • Connections to Frame Work Manager packages for dashboards (available with release 5)

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used IBM Cognos Analytics (Cognos 11) since it came out late last year (2015). I have used Cognos BI solutions for more than 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability has not been an issue with IBM Cognos Analytics – it is a very solid platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is an extremely scalable product, across all distributed platforms.

How are customer service and technical support?

Different levels of support are offered and level 1 has 24/7 support. On par with any software company.

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

I have always used Cognos BI products.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is very easy. There are three options with this newest product that limit the involvement of a technical install specialist.

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

Work with an IBM partner like Lodestar Solutions to ensure you have the right mix of licenses and you are not over paying in support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As an IBM premier selling partner, we constantly review other products. There are a number of fine products available; however, IBM has hit a home run with IBM Cognos Analytics.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I work for an IBM Premier Partner.
ITCS user
Analytics Specialist at a legal firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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 is most valuable?

  • Advanced, enterprise-level data modelling
  • Reporting
  • Request routing
  • Integrated security
  • Auditing
  • Jobs and scheduling
  • Alerts and agents
  • Content distribution

How has it helped my organization?

Centralised, balanced, scorecard-based dashboards with drill-through to detailed OLAP; datawarehouse; and operational reports keep the organisation focused on KPIs.

What needs improvement?

It is struggling to compete with the front-end ease of use and visual appeal of QlikView and Tableau.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 14 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

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 good (7/10).

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

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

It is a mature, full-featured enterprise product and as such requires detailed configuration/administration knowledge to set up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I also evaluated SQL Server Reporting Services, Tableau, and QlikView.

What other advice do I have?

It provides value for larger enterprises.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Solutions Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
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 is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to quickly build cubes with Cognos Transformer. Transformer has enabled us to consolidate millions of rows of detailed data into multi-dimensional cubes. It enable business users to drill down, and slice and dice data by key business dimensions, such as product, region, customer, and time.

How has it helped my organization?

It has provided visibility into our customers; specifically, it has given us insight into high-value customers.

What needs improvement?

The Cognos Suite needs improvement in a number of areas. First, the products must be made more user friendly for casual users. Next, business users need the ability to quickly pull in data from non-structured sources without the need for IT to model the data. Another area for improvement is advanced charting and graphical elements that you can use in reports and dashboards.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Cognos since 2012.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

PowerCubes has limits and thresholds. Developers need to be aware of these when designing a cube, and take into consideration the cube performance versus the physical size.

Report Studio for operational reporting against relational data sources is very dependent on the underlying database performance and the design of your metadata model in Framework Manager. Report designers and modelers must analyze the generated SQL and tune the Framework Model and reports.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good.

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

I did not use any other solution previously.

How was the initial setup?

Setup for a multi-server environment is of average complexity. Tuning the environment takes time.

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

Negotiate on licensing and support costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have often reviewed the BI landscape. For Enterprise BI, we have looked at Cognos, SAP Business Objects and MicroStrategy. These tools are very similar and leapfrog each other with each release. Newer tools such as QlikView, Tableau, and Spotfire have gained momentum and taken market share from the enterprise BI vendors. You need to analyze your needs and determine whether an enterprise BI suite is right for you, or if you need multiple tools for different capabilities.

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?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Bob Edis
Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
The dashboarding feature combines shared and local data.

What is most valuable?

  • I love the new user interface! Finally, Cognos BI has a new face.
  • New handling of JavaScript.
  • Story board.
  • Dashboarding with combined shared and local data.
  • Backwards compatibility.

How has it helped my organization?

Our client was very unhappy with the v10 and earlier UX. They wanted something "sexy". Our UX team came up with a very pleasing design mock-up of the dashboards using Marvel (www.marvelapp.com/1c19h7d). I despaired that it couldn't be done in v10.2.2. However, we got v11.0.4 installed, and amazingly I was able to get very close to the "sexy" UX the client wanted! This is being done using the reports functionality of Cognos Analytics (Report Studio + Workspace Advanced + Analytics Studio + Query Studio all in one, but with a better UX).

Also, the tool UX is more more easily customised in this version.

What needs improvement?

IBM has stated that Cognos Analytics 11 will include RAVE2/D3 charting support by the end of the year. I am using v11.0.4 and it is not included. V11.0.4 is the latest release TMK.

IBM has stated that Cognos Analytics 11 will include a mapping engine (like esri) by the end of the year. I am using v11.0.4 and it is not included. V11.0.4 is the latest release TMK.

I ported a complex dashboard built in Report Studio v10.2.2 into the v11.0.04 environment. After the embedded HTML items were removed so that Full Interactive Mode could be used, and replacing that HTML functionality with external JavaScript (via Custom Controls), the same report runs slightly slower. Also, after spending a day working in the editor on a report, the UI gets slower and slower. I either have to log off close the browser, then open a new browser and log on again to restore the start of day performance, or restart the BI service to achieve the same result. I was using Firefox 49. I’m now on 45 ESR but haven’t don’t enough work yet to see if this makes a difference.

I have hidden objects (block type “none”) on the page. To edit these I need to set the “show hidden objects” on in the options. This setting sometimes sticks between editing sessions, sometimes not. I opened two separate browsers and open a different version of the same report in each. In one the hidden objects displayed, in the other they didn’t.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for two months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I've done three installs to date (two alone and one where I supported):

  • Stand-alone on a Windows machine - easiest install ever!
  • Concurrent install with C10.2.2 on a Windows machine - smooth with little confusion except around SSO and WebDAV. Used port 9305 as 9300 is for 10.2.2 install.
  • Upgrade on a Linux machine - quick and painless.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have encountered stability issues. I was able to crash the browser a couple of times (Firefox, recent version). I've tested the UI with Firefox (49 & ESR 45), MS 11, Chrome, and Edge (not supported), and all appear to work fine.

The longer I work on a report through the day, the slower the system responds.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good. Given that support is coming from Canada and I'm in New Zealand, a 16 hours time difference, I've usually had a response by the next morning.

Technical Support:

The old Cognos Help Knowledgebase (pre-Rob Ash) was brilliant. The next version was so so. The move to IBM's DeveloperWorks means I struggle to find the information I need now.

We needed to connect to a PI Historian database but IBMCognos BI/CA does not certify the JDBC (Linux) driver. IBM said they would not provide a fix to support the PI drivers. The workaround is now to get PI data via a web service using IBM Integration Bus into a DB2 table, then read the data from there.

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

I previously used CBI10.2.2; upgraded to CA11.0.4 to get a better UX.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was 99% straightforward; only complex in getting ports opened by a third party, implementing SSO, and WebDAV configuration.

What about the implementation team?

An in-house team implemented it.

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

Cognos BI or Cognos Analytics comes bundled with many IBM solutions now. E.g, PMQ, Maximo. Check if your company has this supporting program license first before purchasing a new license. BUT, a bundled license is limited, so check the wording carefully.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user549354
Cognos Consultant at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The Report Studio has customized functionalities to create reports and analysis. Quicker technical support response time is needed.

What is most valuable?

The Report Studio feature has more customized functionalities to create reports and analysis.

How has it helped my organization?

Cube reporting functionality has been simplified for analyzing daily productivity.

What needs improvement?

This product needs to be improvised by:

  • Clearly pointing out the issues/errors in the description to simplify the debugging process.
  • Enabling more GUI based functionality so that creation of dynamic report and dashboards by using Excel/flat file data is easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The overall stability of the product meets expectations.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. We did not encounter any issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is need for a faster resolution and expected time frame to resolve production issues. Whilst working on site and when support is needed for emergency issues, a quicker response time is required.

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

We have not used any other solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was simple and straightforward.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Cognos BI Architect/ Developer at a real estate/law firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Power users can use Excel functionalities for data analysis and reporting.

What is most valuable?

I enjoy the flexibility that the application has with Excel. Power users can use Excel functionalities for data analysis and reporting. Also, I like the integration with Excel (Xcelerator) and the ability to source data from numerous sources. Additionally, the use of Revelwood's Dynamo! allows for quick generation of reports.

How has it helped my organization?

The added power of Excel with Cognos TM1 allows my company to generate dynamic Excel-based reports to our customers much faster with the look and feel of Excel that they are accustomed to.

What needs improvement?

It would be more user friendly with GUI navigation. A lot of expertise is required to be able to navigate and perform simple tasks, as well as to create reports with Cognos TM1. I believe a GUI will make it easier for less technical folks (non-power users) to be able to use the tool effectively.

For how long have I used the solution?

We’ve used Cognos TM1 for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Performance of the product is usually stable and only has issues when there are lots of users during heavy reporting periods.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate the technical support 8/10. IBM has been pretty great with maintenance and technical support.

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

We have had no previous solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup to install is pretty simple. You will need some technical experience to be able to successfully install the software components.

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

Licensing and pricing seems fair as compared to other products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I don't know if the company evaluated other options. They were already using the product before I joined.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Carlos Mardinotto Junior
BI Expert at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Flexible and very usable but support is expensive

What is most valuable?

- We have worked with several reporting software products, and Cognos has a lot of flexibility and is very usable. It will perform most tasks that you would need.

How has it helped my organization?

Cognos software accesses several data sources and runs on major IBM platforms to help your business get the consistent data it needs. Also, Cognos software provides native interfaces to major ERP and legacy systems for fast access.

What needs improvement?

Cognos can improve in some data base basic connections (should be easier) mainly migrations in version 7.x to 8.x 10.x

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No, because the Cognos platform has a number of features that are designed to ease administration and deployment, enhance performance, enable scalability and reduce the complexity of your BI environment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, scalability its very easy

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM support is very expensive. However, there are many online materials to improve your skills, as well as other consultancies beyond IBM.

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

Yes, but these applications should not necessarily be changed. Home applications or simple BI tools can and should be used along with Cognos as most simple applications are not competitors. Many are even complementary.

How was the initial setup?

Not very simple. It's important to get the advice of a qualified professional.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we should always be looking at other solutions in the market and competitors, it is mandatory, like TCO analysis.

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

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I started worked for IBM after I originally wrote this review.
it_user79140
Manager, Business Intelligence at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It provides flexibility in exposing data from a single model to diverse users.

What is most valuable?

  • Data modeling allows for better management and flexibility in exposing data from a single data model to diverse users.
  • Flexibility of customization allows for designing custom solutions with ease.
  • Scalability: It is very easy to add/remove a node in the Cognos cluster.

How has it helped my organization?

We have several reports that users access on a daily basis. We have also created multiple custom solutions to access reports from within an external application, as well as execute and deliver reports in a batch to a network location.

What needs improvement?

I think that IBM has done a great job with regularly improving this product and keeping up with the competing products. A couple of areas of improvement could be made in alerts for the application monitoring. It is hard to set up alerts when a servicer becomes unresponsive. The other improvement would be in improving the audit capabilities (including the database) of the application. The audit database is somewhat complex in developing good system usage reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I encountered stability issues, but it was more a problem in version 8. Starting from version 10, the stability issues have significantly reduced.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. Cognos scales very easily and we have several options for scaling the environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is 6/10, more for the IBM partner from which we purchased the Cognos licenses. The challenge has been that most of the time, when you purchase it through IBM partners, because they are not the developers of the product, they have to go back to the IBM support and get the information and then relay it back to their customers; that adds extra time to solving the problem.

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

We have used this solution from the beginning, as it was part of the ERP purchase option.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward. Cognos was very easy to install and configure and the documentation provided by IBM was very user friendly.

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

Cognos licensing is comparable to other competing products. IBM provides several licensing options such as named vs CPU licenses, and it is better to understand the current and future reporting needs before opting for any licensing option.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

IBM Cognos was part of the ERP bundle that we purchased. Cognos was part of the package and was sold through an IBM partner.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Group Reporting Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
We use it for consolidation. It should be easier to access consolidation rules and logic and they should be more flexible.

What is most valuable?

Consolidation capability; that's really all we use it for.

How has it helped my organization?

Moving away from a manual, Excel-based consolidation to a largely automated one has enabled us to reduce our reporting timelines.

What needs improvement?

Accessibility to and flexibility of consolidation rules / logic: Products like HFM are much easier to work with when one needs to change rules, etc. With Cognos, I find that a regular user needs a much better understanding of the control tables and the E rules than a regular HFM user needs of the rules file. There seem to be more steps involved in Cognos, and the order of those steps are also important. One almost has to tick a few dozen boxes in a particular sequence whereas with HFM, one just has to export the rules and do a Ctrl + Find.

The investment register is also quite painful to work with, but I suspect that's due to configuration issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

All in all, I have used it for about 18 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I encountered stability issues. As with all databases, space management on the server is important; all of our stability issues are related to database size and available space.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

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

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

I can't comment on the implementation; it was completed before I joined.

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

The pricing is good. It's fairly cheap compared to other products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I understand HFM and SAP BPC were also considered before choosing this product. Cost and the relative sophistication of the user community played a big role on choosing Controller.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Prinicipal Software Engineer at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It offers metadata modelling and dashboard visualizations.

What is most valuable?

  • Metadata modelling using Transformer and Framework Manager
  • Visualization using Dashboard

Normally for BI implementations, these are the critical aspects.

How has it helped my organization?

I have not worked for an organization who is a direct beneficiary of the product. I have worked for vendor companies who have implementation expertise or have worked for OEM.

What needs improvement?

  • Data discovery-related features
  • Visualizations
  • Speed of interaction with end-user

There are no problems with these areas. IBM Cognos has been working on them, but they are not yet on par with other vendors who are leaders in data discovery. For example, features like Lasso, dynamic pivoting, etc. are not yet available.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 11 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I encountered scalability issues while reporting across multiple data sources.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good.

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

I previously used a different solution, and switched because of ease of development and the rich set of features for most use cases.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward.

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

I do not have much exposure to pricing. I understand it is on par, in terms of delivered value with respect to price, with other BI vendors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I also evaluated Qlik and PowerBI.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an OEM partner.
ITCS user
Managing Partner at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Stories developed with Visual Storytelling provide descriptions over time and are actionable in nature.

Valuable Features

One of the features I find most valuable in the latest release is the Visual Storytelling functionality and being able to tell stories visually with your data. While stories are similar to dashboards in that they use visualizations to share insights, they differ as they provide a description over time and are actionable in nature.

Improvements to My Organization

This product has improved the way our organization and our customers truly interact with information, really putting the capabilities into the hands of the key decision makers and not having to rely on IT resources that do not have the business knowledge to do this for them; true self-service analytics.

Room for Improvement

The key areas for improvement are the administrative capabilities that are largely the same from the series 8/10 versions and the ability to use Framework Manager packages and models on new dashboards, etc. The introduction of data sets in the latest version demonstrates that this functionality is going to be offered around the corner.

Use of Solution

While IBM Cognos Analytics has been on the market for under a year, I have been using the Cognos platform for nearly 15 years and have seen it continue to grow and mature.

Stability Issues

I have not encountered any stability issues. The IBM Cognos platform has been around a while and with the right people doing the install/configuration/management of the environment, it is pretty rock solid. IBM is coming out with new minor releases every 2-3 months, which is great for customers as you can tell the commitment to excellence with the product is there.

Scalability Issues

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support has been pretty responsive. I run an IBM Cognos professional services organization and we become the front-line support for many of our customers.

Initial Setup

I have been installing/configuring IBM Cognos BI environments for years and I will have to say the documentation for the first iteration of IBM Cognos Analytics 11.0.0 was not complete and created a few challenges. The subsequent releases have been more complete and the latest version is pretty solid.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Pricing and licensing really comes down to what customers are looking to achieve, as there are lots of options out there. IBM Cognos Analytics offers a fully managed SaaS Cognos in the cloud offering, where a customer does not have to deal with infrastructure, maintenance, administration, or provisioning. This is a great option for many SMBs out there. For other larger customers, it comes down to the number of users, what roles they will have, and internal IT capabilities that they have. One of IBM Cognos’ greatest strengths is the ability to cover the whole spectrum of customers at a price point that is acceptable to all.

Other Solutions Considered

I led a large vendor selection process at a former company around 13 years ago where I had 10 vendors come in and do a product demonstration based on our business requirements and from there, I was able to narrow the field down to Information Builders and SAP BusinessObjects. For the flexibility, self-service capabilities, and in-memory OLAP functionality, Cognos was the clear winner for us.

Other Advice

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 creating attractive dashboards and asking key questions based on empirical data.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I run an IBM Cognos professional services organization that is an IBM Business Partner.
it_user142380
Managing Partner, Lead Business Intelligence Consultant at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
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 is most valuable?

  • Good reporting features: TM1 (for planning, plans vs actuals analysis, what-if analysis) and SPSS (for predictive analysis and other type of analytics).
  • Integration capabilities: broad enterprise integration feature set, useful APIs and SDKs.

What needs improvement?

Self-service analysis features have improved a lot, even with new subversions of version 10, but I feel business users can't really utilize these features as they are not too intuitive and they easily find themselves lost among Cognos Studios. Query Studio is easy to use, but you can easily reach its limits. Analysis Studio is for OLAP analysis and it's quite easy to use, but OLAP needs a predefined multi-dimensional data source. Report Studio has lots of power, but it's too complex for a business analyst to use. Cognos Workspace aims to provide some self-service capabilities, but it's good for dashboarding only. Cognos Insight has been designed to close this gap, but it's quite a new solution; therefore, it lacks some complex analysis features.

Another area for improvement is error messaging. When an error occurs, the user has two options: the user gets a message that an error occurred, logged and please contact the admin, OR you get a long Java exception that you don't understand if you are not both a Java developer and a Cognos architecture expert (so there is a big chance that you will never know why the error happened).

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cognos BI version 10 since 2011, and previous versions since 2003.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability depends on many things, e.g., the quality of the Cognos model, the stability of the data source, the stability of the Cognos server environment, the stability of the network between the server and client application, the amount of data in the report/analysis, etc. Stability can be increased with a good initial setup and a thorough stability test of the Cognos BI environment. But it might happen that a user receives a strange and unidentifiable error message due to stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on the scalability of the source database system and the BI system, as well. Cognos BI can be scaled well, but the scalability of the source database system is more important in most cases, especially when a huge amount of data should be reported/analysed.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has two levels: first-level support is provided by an IBM support partner. So the quality of the first level of support depends on the experience and the quality of service of the support partner. Second-level support provided by IBM can be slow, especially when a competent IBM technical expert can't be found in your country.

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

I have seen some cases when an existing BI solution has been replaced by Cognos. It had various reasons but in most of the cases, the existing BI solution was outdated or the customer was disappointed with the existing BI product or simply the IBM salesperson performed well.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of the initial setup depends on the product variant itself (for. ex., Cognos has an Express version, which can be set up really easy), and it depends on the planned BI architecture as well. So it can be really easy and it can be really complex, too.

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

Cognos BI has role-based licensing, so think well about which BI role you really need, and whether you should buy user- or CPU-based licences.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I always advise to use the right product to your specific needs, and evaluate some other options as well. Cognos BI can be a good fit for you in one case, but it might not be the best solution in another one.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Project Leader at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
We have over 400+ reports going out every day based on different conditions.

What is most valuable?

Powerful Report Studio and Event Studio: We have stringent requirements for the reports that go to investors. Report Studio helps us to deliver pixel-perfect reports in both HTML and PDF formats. Event studio is such a powerful tool: We have over 400+ reports going out every day based on different conditions; a few are periodic, a few are based on availability of data, etc. Without Event Studio, it would be a nightmare to maintain these huge jobs.

What needs improvement?

Even though I identified Event Studio as one of the most valuable features, it still has room for improvement. Sometimes events get stuck; we need to restart Cognos services and do clean up in order to clear the queue. Error messages are not that straightforward.

The other area that needs improvement is Cognos Workspace. When we add multiple reports to the workspace, the performance is not up to the mark.

Another area of improvement is ‘interactivity’. Cognos is not even comparable from the interactivity perspective with other reporting tools such as Tableau.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for over 7+ years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. Cognos is very scalable. We could have a distributed installation (which we are already using) with multiple content managers and application tier components; we have never faced scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would say technical support is good, not great. We have contacted support for a number of issues. The main thing tech support needed was to replicate the issue at their end, which is not always possible. We still have issues that tech support is unable to address.

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

We were using Microsoft reporting services as our reporting solution.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was quite complex. We started with a single-server installation, and faced performance issues; then, we tried a distributed installation. A distributed installation is quite complex, especially when the requirements are high, such as AD integration, load balancer support, enabling single sign on, etc.

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

It is a very good product. I feel the price is OK, as it is not just a tool but it is a reporting platform.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we did not evaluate other options. However, we did evaluate a few others recently for some other requirements. We figured out that MicroStrategy is also at par (or even on a bit higher side in some features), but considering the tradeoff between the features, price and effort to migrate, we felt it is better to go with Cognos.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Sales Specialist with 51-200 employees
Vendor
We can simply create a dashboard. The data module lets you create data models.

What is most valuable?

It is very powerful, it is a lot easier to use and the new version has a very nice look and feel.

It also has the ability to simply create a dashboard and the data module lets you easily create many data models.

How has it helped my organization?

We have the ability to create reports that monitor the organization in a very easy way.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

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 solution.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward, especially with the new version.

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

The price is very low for the SaaS edition.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

It can do anything; you just have to study it a bit.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM partner.
ITCS user
Business Analytics Cognos Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The workspace features are intuitive and simple to use.

What is most valuable?

Workspace Advanced and Workspace are very intuitive and simple to use for a basic user.

How has it helped my organization?

It improved sales monitoring, the enterprise business unit performance (costs, revenue, human resources, etc.) and other financial aspects. It also improved the responsibility for the data input into the transactional applications.

What needs improvement?

Report authoring is sometimes difficult for authors without specific computer knowledge with regard to concepts related to database, i.e., join, union, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Cognos BI since version 10.0 in 2012. IBM Cognos BI 10.2.2 was released on December 2014. So, I have been using IBM Cognos 10 for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support 7/10, because the first help response is fast, even if the whole resolution of the problem might be slow. In any case, tech support is good.

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

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was simple. YouTube is a rich way to learn tips & tricks.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm a Cognos consultant. I work using only this solution.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM Premier Business Partner.
it_user193824
Business System Analyst at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We use it for customized reports. It has features we are constantly learning how to use.

What is most valuable?

It is used for customized reports. It is the only tool supported by our IT group for user reports.

Customized reports are valuable because you can probably create any report you could imagine with it. It has features we are constantly learning how to use. It does allow the users to pull their own data, provided they are given a good framework/datasource that has been created with the options they need to use.

How has it helped my organization?

Currently, we just use it for user-requested reports. It has more features that, if we had the manpower, we could better set up the tool so users could do their own reporting. IT here are just getting around to letting users do their own reporting.

What needs improvement?

More flexibility for joining data sources within reports would be nice. It seems to be a feature IBM is slowly developing.

We have several framework/packages created. For example, we have one for sales, one for shipping, one for manufacturing, etc. You go to create a report in sales, but the one table that you need is defined in the manufacturing package. You can’t join the two packages in Cognos. Someone has to create the table on the sales package in Framework; then, it can be used in the report.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

We purchase support from a vendor because support from IBM is more complicated and seems to take longer. Our vendor knows us and can respond faster.

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

My company was using this software at least 10 years prior to me joining.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn’t at my company for initial setup. We have consultants do the upgrades, because they do tend to be complex and we are short on manpower.

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

It is very expensive… You have to determine if the complexity of software you are getting is worth the price you are paying; how many bells and whistles do you need for what price. And if you don’t have the manpower to implement all the features, is it worth the cost?

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I wasn’t at my company when they chose it, but I think it might be beneficial to re-evaluate the options.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
MIS & Development Manager at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
It delivers self-service BI to our end users, in different types of output formats.

What is most valuable?

It is great for delivering self-service BI to our end users. It provides great flexibility in the types of BI output formats that can be delivered.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed end users to explore data without having to copy it into Excel first.

What needs improvement?

The upgrade process is always a challenge, as it is basically a reinstall each time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since 2010.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

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 from our vendor partner is great.

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

We previously used Oracle Discoverer, but it reached end of life.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex in the sense that there were different ways to deliver BI: relational models, DMR, and cubes. When you first start using it, it is difficult to know which is the best.

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

Haggle and buy near the end of IBM’s financial year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we looked at SAP BusinessObjects, OBIEE, Pentaho, Jaspersoft and QlikView; all in 2010.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Manager of IT at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The dashboards and visualizations are valuable. The UI has changed, and some of the functionality is different.

What is most valuable?

Dashboards and visualizations are the product’s most valuable features. Most of my customers are moving from reporting to dashboards and mobile. They are keeping reporting only for daily/weekly/monthly basic reports. All other communication of metrics/KPIs and operational information are moving to dashboards and visualizations and many are looking for mobile solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Better collaboration

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement in the user interface, which might simply be a learning curve issue. It has changed dramatically and some of the functionality is very different. For example, getting a list of reports requires some extra clicks to get the full list and the entire file name is not visible in all views.

Some important bugs still exist in the product, including:

  • Not being able to change packages on a published report
  • Some issues with Framework Manager in Cognos 11 not connecting properly when the 10.2.2 version is still installed

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for two months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

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 good.

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

We previously used Cognos 10.2.2; upgraded for new features.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex. Cognos is a very complex tool to configure.

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

Get bulk licensing if at all possible. IBM has a very structured pricing model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we did not evaluate other options.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Partner, CTO, CBIP, BI Solutions Arhitect with 11-50 employees
Vendor
Common definitions for attributes or metrics are stored as metadata. The user experience could be better in places.

What is most valuable?

  • Common metadata repository: The most valuable feature is a single and integrated view of any number of heterogeneous data sources through a business perspective. In short, for any attribute or metric defined, a common definition is stored as metadata and available for all other components of Cognos.
  • Scalability
  • Stability
  • Performance

What needs improvement?

The Cognos Analysis Studio and Cognos Query Studio user interface has room for improvement in the area of user experience. Some of the functions are hard to find and complicated to use, but we're talking about advanced functions rarely used.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product offers enough capabilities for a proper scalable setup.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is adequate.

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

We previously used Oracle Discoverer. Cognos' HTML user interface was the main reason we switched.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is straightforward, with minor problems in the area of configuring data source connectors. Because the product uses a JDBC data interface, the administrator needs to be familiar with JDBC.

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

The licensing model had changed from the past and currently needs more flexibility in the area of advanced users. Other products make no difference between the user types. The licensing model should be usage based.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

QlikView and Oracle OBIEE were tested.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM partner and implementer.
it_user156465
Head of Business Analytics, Operations at a aerospace/defense firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Each staff member receives feedback regarding their own duty shifts. New functions do not work as smoothly as they should.

What is most valuable?

  • Scheduling options
  • Bursting (each staff member gets feedback regarding their own duty shifts): We might have hundreds of report recipients who need to have their own data (and only their own data). Doing similar work manually would take very long time, or could be impossible. I guess Cognos Burst was originally designed for large sales organisations, having a need to send sales figures for certain sales reps. For example: sales rep in Asia needs his/her figures (Asia), Europe rep European figures, etc. This functionality can be used for, e.g., staff performance, as long as the data can be joined with staff IDs. In other words, with Cognos Burst, we are able to provide personalised reporting / analytics, without manual work.
  • Possibility to save report output history to the Cognos portal
  • Possibility to use the same report object for various outputs (e-mail, Cognos workspace = dashboard, screens)

How has it helped my organization?

It results in less manual work, process performance improvement and improved real-time data availability.

It is also possible to check the report utilisation via Cognos audit reports.

What needs improvement?

The tool is complex, and I would not recommend it to small companies, because you need to have expertise for Framework Model development, access rights issues, licensing, etc.

New functions, e.g., external data import, do not work as smoothly as they should. New visualisations using RAVE take a long time.

Unfortunately statistics are not available for Cognos 10.2 (as in 10.1), and that has been a disappointment, when Lean Six Sigma-type calculations are done.

Additionally, even after four years of using Cognos, it is sometimes difficult to understand how the tool works, e.g., which calculations are processed locally, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Cognos 10.2 for one year and Cognos 8.4 for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We encountered stability issues, but most likely related to our network and AD issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

From IBM, technical support is OK; other domestic service providers also work OK, but their hourly rates are high!

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

Finnair has been using IBM tools for a long time, but I personally have used other SQL tools.

How was the initial setup?

Our IT department has taken care of this, thus I do not know.

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

If you need to send scheduled reports to third parties, you need to have a PVU server.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have had PoCs regarding QlikView, SAS Visual Statistics, Tableau, etc.

What other advice do I have?

Appropriate data modelling is a must, if you want to increase self-service.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: IBM is my company's guardian vendor.
ITCS user
Sr Programmer Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
You get KPIs out of the box about the usage of your environment. The metadata tool needs to go cloud-based.

What is most valuable?

Robustness:

  • The environment is super stable, once you have the right environmental resources (CPU, memory, etc.), the platform will be rock solid.
  • BI on BI: You will get KPIs out of the box in the Cognos administration about the usage of your environment.
  • Audit: plenty of user information regarding running, modifying reports and other objects.
  • Granular security and degree of access control.
  • Lots of logging information, this will help you diagnostic any issues you might encounter.

Scalability:

  • You can size the environment specs and configuration from 10 all the way to thousands of users.
  • You just have to add more resources (CPU, memory, etc.) or another component (Application Server, Content Manager).
  • And if you have the right design and architecture, you can achieve multi-tenancy.

It is a very complete solution: versatile, flexible, robust, and scalable.

How has it helped my organization?

It is serving as the single source of truth, consolidating information from various systems.

What needs improvement?

At the moment ,the metadata tool (Framework Manager) is client based, meaning, you have to install the tool itself in a workstation. You will also need any ODBC/OLDB and database drivers installed on that computer to access data and start modeling. This tool design and the way it works is already outdated. Your models can get corrupted for numerous reasons; that's why it is always good to back up and save your work. The tool does NOT support multi-user development, meaning only one developer per model is allow at any given time. You also rely on the file system all the time. A cloud-based / multi-user solution would be more than welcome.

IBM Cognos and the entire suite does NOT come with any source/version control capabilities out of the box. If you made a change to a report and, for whatever reason, you want to go back to the previous iteration, you will need to restore a backup or an export; if you didn't make a backup, you will be out of luck. Same with every single object in the environment (packages, queries, security, administration, settings, etc).

They also need to take more advantage of new in-memory technology, and have better integration with other visualization tools.

It would be nice if we could use standard XML as a data source.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 11 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

After going to a full distributed environment (Content Manager, App Server, Gateway), we have not encountered any stability issues.

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 good, solid. They gotten better lately.

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

We previously used Crystal Reports; a more powerful platform was needed, plus IBM Cognos is easier for front-end/business users.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up a full-fledged distributed environment is not for the inexperienced administrator. On a scale from 1 to 10, the complexity level is definitely above 7.5. You need to have low to mid-level network knowledge; need a sense of how database connective and security works. Your average system admin might be able to do a single-server installation.

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

Don’t be cheap; try the product and scale accordingly. Pricing is a lot more competitive these days.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It was already in place when I was hired, but I had already have seen various products, such as OBIEE, Crystal, MicroStrategy, Qlik, etc. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user148620
Associate Director at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It can create canned reports with some ad-hoc capability. It cannot get down to the lowest level of grain in our data.

What is most valuable?

Ability to create canned reports with some ad-hoc capability: Canned reports are important because users are able to get the data they need on a daily basis with minimal effort. However, I have found most people have been downloading the canned reports into Excel and manipulating and adding data. So the ability to have ad-hoc reporting would enable users to get at the information easier, as well as have control over what information they pull. We can provide data quality and integrity on their data sources which they would not get from pulling data randomly.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to launch Cognos reporting across thousands of stores and have them access the status of their stores and products.

What needs improvement?

I would like to have the ability to drill down to the lowest level of granularity and still do it with speed. Cognos is unable to get down to the lowest level of grain in our data. The solution slows down to an unreasonable level or completely comes to a halt. So if the lowest level of grain is a single customer order or serial number level amongst millions of data points, we are forced to use other solutions to get at that data.

Also, Cognos has no ability to integrate with other reporting solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have encountered stability issues; every so often, Cognos will hang and needs to be reset.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have encountered scalability issues, depending on the hardware that the system runs on.

How are customer service and technical support?

IBM’s technical support is fine.

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

I did not previously use a different solution; we have been using Cognos.

How was the initial setup?

The complexity of initial setup depends on the hardware platform used and the level of skill of IT.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we evaluated Tableau, SAP BOBJ, Qlik, and OBIEE.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM partner.
it_user507990
Cognos & OBIEE Business Intelligence Consultant at a pharma/biotech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It can integrate with IBM FileNet, WebSphere, Cognos Data Manager, and MS SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

What is most valuable?

Active Reports are valuable for the organization because you can save it with the .mhtm file extension and can open it as an offline report at any time; it does not need an internet connection. Also, it does not need any further customization when you present the report for Cognos mobile, and it's faster.

How has it helped my organization?

Creating dashboards for sales and suppliers for about of 1.4 billion EGP of income and about 55 distribution locations

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement regarding installation of the visualization plugin for Cognos reports to enhance the colours of your dashboards. There are plugin charts from IBM for Cognos to incorporate Web 2.0 colors into charts and also add some animation. For example, feed-in and feed-out animation to add some action to the report when you open it for first time or when you refresh the report page.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues. It’s very stable; more so than Oracle BI.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. You can install other software and this product can integrate with it – for example, Cognos Metrics, Mobile, PowerPlay and Transformer. This product can also integrate with IBM FileNet, WebSphere, Cognos Data Manager, and MS SharePoint 2010 and 2013.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical Support is very expensive and internet resources for many issues are very poor, similar to QlikView and Pentaho. But I think Oracle OBIEE and MS BIare very good in this area.

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

I did not previously use a different solution, because the company bought it before I joined.

How was the initial setup?

Installation is straightforward. Configuration is complex if your database is AS/400, but it’s easy if your DB is Oracle, DB2 or MS SQL Server.

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

I think the price and license cost is very expensive, especially for Oracle BI and IBM Cognos. It’s because here in Arab world, it depends on software houses that work for governmental projects are looking to retain their partnerships with IBM and Oracle.

I think QlikView and SAP BO are better because their licenses are available for about 500$ per user and include two years of support. However, I don’t think the QlikView reporting tool is as good as Oracle and IBM. I don’t know SAP BO because I don’t use it enough to judge it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I use both solutions IBM Cognos and Oracle BIEE. I use either of them, depending on the business needs.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Development Manager - Innovation - ERP Protheus with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
ETL support is important to our clients with big data. You must have technical skills to build reports.

What is most valuable?

  • ETL
  • A lot of features
  • Performance

These are important to big clients with big data.

How has it helped my organization?

For our clients, this product helps them make decisions faster, based on high-quality data.

What needs improvement?

The new version’s web interface isn't easy to use by 'regular' users. You must have technical skills to build reports. The product is not like QlikView or Tableau, where 'regular' users can build their reports on their own.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have encountered a few stability issues.

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 good.

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

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was complex; many servers.

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

It is expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we evaluated MicroStrategy and SQL Analysis Services.

What other advice do I have?

You need an IT team to support the users. It is not a BI-as-a-service app.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM partner.
it_user514284
Sr Consultant at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Our staffing department is able to review staff assignment and quickly adjust resources in near real time.

What is most valuable?

Itis easy to use, and web based.

How has it helped my organization?

With BI in place, our staffing department is able to review staff assignment and quickly adjust resources in near real time.

What needs improvement?

There is room for improvement with the GUI. The product is a web-based application; it is easy to build basic style. However, at a certain level, it lacks support for advanced web programming capabilities, such as JavaScript, Ajax, etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. The product is built to be an enterprise solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is 8 out of 10. The product has quite a few components. When issues arise, it is not very straightforward to identify root cause, thus difficult to find right support resources for help. My personal experiences are, if you know where the issue occurs and ask the right question, IBM tech support typically can get the answer for you very quickly. Otherwise, it might take some time to get things straightened out.

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

Other tools were used before, but Cognos provides better functionalities.

How was the initial setup?

It was easy to set up; good documentation.

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

Cognos offers middle-market and enterprise solutions. The middle market is a great value package for companies with less than 500 users.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we also evaluated OBIEE and SAP Crystal Reports.

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.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is an IBM Cognos premier partner.
ITCS user
Business Intelligence Manager at Mspark
Vendor
Cognos BI is fairly easy to use provided you have a good data structure/framework under the hood.

Valuable Features

We are able to combine data from multiple sources across the organization and report on the information as a single source. This allows us to provide insights we could not easily determine before our BI implementation. It is fairly easy to use provided you have a good data structure/framework under the hood.

Improvements to My Organization

Our company was able to do a profitability analysis previously unavailable to us due to the nature of our data. We were able to save approximately $650k per year after cutting unprofitable areas of business.

Additionally, Cognos BI provides us "one source of the truth." Everyone uses the same data and can access the same reports, so everyone is on the same page.

Room for Improvement

The visualizations are nothing flashy, but they can be customized (with some extra work). I think the new version might help a bit with this. Report authoring can be a bit overwhelming for new users, but the new version helps with this as well.

Our company is currently on version 10.2.2, but there is a new version available called Cognos Analytics (aka version 11). We are in the early stages of upgrading to Cognos Analytics. The newer version has an updated interface that looks and feels much more modern. Charts, graphs and other visualizations are fairly basic in both versions, but you can create custom visualizations using JSON thanks to the Cognos Rapidly Adaptive Visualization Engine (RAVE). I believe Cognos Analytics makes it a bit easier to create and customize RAVE visualizations, but I can’t confirm that because I have not tried it.

In version 10.2.2, Report Studio (used for authoring complex reports) can be a bit overwhelming for new users because of all of the buttons and options available. Cognos Analytics still has all of the buttons and options, but the interface is smarter and more streamlined. You’ll only see relevant options for the part of the report you are developing.

Use of Solution

I've used IBM Cognos BI in some form for over 12 years.

Deployment Issues

The only issues we have ever encountered are in small details like making sure IIS is set up exactly as needed and making sure all of the images/files our company has added or customized are in the correct folder location on the server.

Stability Issues

The product is extremely stable. Unless someone develops and tries to run a "runaway" report, we rarely have any stability issues.

Scalability Issues

We have not had to scale yet.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Customer service has always been responsive and helpful, and most of our tickets have been resolved very quickly.

Technical Support:

They are very perficient in their work.

Initial Setup

It is pretty straightforward, but it needs to be planned out in detail and executed a few times to make sure there are no hiccups.

Implementation Team

I have done both. The original implementation was done by a vendor team (before I was hired), and I have since performed two upgrades myself. The vendor team was capable, but they didn't understand our needs as completely as I have come to know them.

ROI

We were able to save in excess of $650k per year using reports created through Cognos BI. In addition, we have achieved significant time savings from many of our end users. That ROI can't really be measured.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Don't hesitate to ask for a better price, especially on new licenses. The more you buy, the steeper the discount that can be offered. Also, it seems like you can get a better deal by going through a third-party vendor than directly through IBM many times.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user509850
Cognos Consultant at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I can build prompt pages for on-demand reporting.

What is most valuable?

  • Ease of use
  • Reliability of product
  • Ability to build models with Framework Manager
  • Cube build utility
  • Ability to build prompt pages for on-demand reporting
  • Report distribution facilities: ease of providing multiple report outputs and to write those report outputs to the file system

How has it helped my organization?

We use it mainly to augment / replace the reporting deficiencies in the reporting tools that ship with the vendor products.

What needs improvement?

This is an easy one: visualizations. While being able to use them to provide client-side filtering in Active reports is great, they are so far behind the functionality offered in the basic Cognos charts, it is almost laughable that they even offer them in the product. As the legacy charting has all the functionality I need, I know they can see how far behind the visualizations are, but still have done nothing to improve that part of the product. Filtering client side allows me to offer much more data to the client, but without decent charting it is not very useful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 10+ years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues. It pretty much just runs every day. I reboot the report server maybe once every two months, but it is rarely ever necessary. This is one of the big selling points for me.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. I put a lot of thought and effort into report run times. The biggest problems with scalability are usually with concurrency, so I endeavor to limit this.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rarely use technical support.

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

The organization switched from Crystal Reports to Cognos. Crystal Reports is just a poor version of Cognos in my opinion.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was pretty straightforward. Initially, we had the Content Manager and the report server on the same box, but moving the Content Manager to a SQL server box and having the report server on its own box really helped performance.

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

I do not like the PVU licensing model. It is nice to not have to worry about handing out individual licenses, but I feel it is terrible to then be limited to the hardware you licensed at the time. I think it is easier to charge business units for adding new users rather than trying to get a big chunk of money all at once to upgrade the hardware.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user504741
IBM Cognos Instructor and Consultant at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
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 is most valuable?

It has the ability to model OLTP data sources with Framework Mgr. instead of building a data warehouse. Building a Framework metadata model takes weeks, while building a data warehouse takes 12-24 months.

The Framework model won't perform as fast as a properly designed and optimized DW, but it will give you accurate results with a much lower investment. Then, when your company is ready to invest in the DW, it can take the structure of the Framework model and map it to the DW tables, and all of your reports still work.

How has it helped my organization?

We are a Cognos-only training and consulting company so our business depends on Cognos.

What needs improvement?

The one that sticks out in my mind is the ability to search the relational data tree for query items (fields). I believe this functionality has been added in v11 (Cognos Analytics). The user interface in v10 is a little dated and not as tablet-friendly as some of the other viz tools. This has been greatly improved in v11.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are no stability issues as long as the image is properly built and fix packs are installed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Over a few years, we have opened only a couple of tickets with IBM and all have been handled professionally and promptly.

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

We have always used Cognos. We recently demo'd trial versions of Microsoft and Tableau against Cognos v11 and we still think Cognos is the better product for medium and large enterprises.

How was the initial setup?

Building the image for a new version takes several hours. Of course, IBM has cloud options that eliminate the need for keeping your own images.

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

Like any enterprise software product, make sure you negotiate. IBM simplified the licensing in 2014, so I can't suggest any improvements there.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user504054
Senior Business Intelligence Consultant at Aspen Associates
Consultant
It provides surprising results reporting a mixture of cost drivers, as opposed to only activity-based costs.

Valuable Features

We have found this software to be insightful in finding and defining true performance of products and services. The numbers give the details and there is no place to hide.

Improvements to My Organization

This software identifies normal product sales, margins and costing, which are basic key performance indicators. We then use this to identify service of customers and vendors. Recently “COST TO SERVE” reporting has been a “HOT” supply chain tool because this identifies the business activities and overhead costs. This reporting is NOT your (ABC) activity-based costing reporting, but a mixture of costing drivers, which usually provides surprising results.

We have also seen improvements in manufacturing processes because the tool identifies bottlenecks quickly. Most recently, the ability to have mobile reporting to our user site has been very important to drive down information.

Room for Improvement

We are excited about more features for cloud and web analytics:
- Cloud: Companies are really starting to embrace the cloud for running their business intelligence software. There is so much to choose from for supporting and servicing cloud users than 1-2 years ago.
- Web analytics: For me, this is where you see who is searching for your products and services. You can find out where in the country/world and know more about the user too. This gives you insight on your web presence and how your social media and marketing campaigns are performing. Also, who’s talking about your products and services and why? You can see what the issues are and what you are doing well.

Use of Solution

We have used Cognos Project for 20 years.

Stability Issues

I have not encountered any stability issues.

Scalability Issues

Once the users are trained on the product, everyone wants to use it, so it’s best when defining your in-house server or cloud that you incorporate future needs.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support is excellent and very responsive. They have different levels of support for response time that can be purchased in addition to web help.

Initial Setup

We had training but were able to do the install in-house.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Buy the software and licenses that you will need for the next 12-15 months.

Other Solutions Considered

We tried Microsoft’s offerings but found them not as full featured as Cognos.

Other Advice

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a Cognos partner.
ITCS user
BI Engineer at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The jobstreams makes grouping steps fairly easy, but lookup stability needs to be improved.

Valuable Features:

  • The jobs, which can be used easily, to place the right SQL-statement in the required order, makes monitoring them a lot easier
  • The jobstreams, makes it possible to group the jobsteps effectively, and in the right order
  • the scheduler, which makes it easy to run the jobs and jobstreams at any convenient moment
  • The lookups, if working correctly (they can be unstable), provide a good way to ensure referential integrity between fact tables and dimension tables

Improvements to My Organization:

It gave the organisation the possibility to have a closer look a the data in a more organized way. If they would have had the stability to see it through, they probably would have required insights in their (in)efficiencies that greatly would have improved the effectiveness and efficiency of the core activities (it was a callcenter).

Room for Improvement:

The stability of the lookups is not very good, and really needs improvement. The tool forces you in the direction of a datamart/Kimball architecture. If that is not the architecture that you want, it requires a lot of tricks to fold it to your needs. When you use hierarchies and dimensions, you are basically more or less forced into building these first, before building the fact tables. If these dimensions need adjustment or modifications, implementing these is a very complicated delicate and a faultridden operation.

Other Advice:

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 solution, choosing the Cognos Datamanager could give you serious support issues in the not so far future.

In a more general sense, why do you want a datawarehouse? If you want to resolve issues with data quality, a datawarehouse can make these visible, but there are a lot cheaper ways to achieve this. And, of course, knowing about the problem, but taking no steps to tackle these, won't solve anything. If you want a sturdy, reliable, comparable, standardized and well organized data, a datawarehouse is a good option. However, it takes time and effort. However, quite a lot of organisations use the Cognos Datamanager. Migrating to another environment is a costly and potentially risky undertaking. I expect that a lot of Cognos Datamanager applications will probably be in use for many years to come. Some useful dinosaurs, such as COBOL, still survives. I think the Cognos Datamanager can easily go that way too.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Bob Edis
Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
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

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 Considered

No other options evaluated.

Other Advice

  1. Read
  2. Try
  3. Ask
  4. Repeat
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're an IBM partner.
ITCS user
Bi Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Cognos is the most stable BI environment, but it gets far too complex for advanced setup.

What is most valuable?

There are too many features I like in Cognos to mention, but the most valuable one is a tool has a new set of features called Cognos Insight. It need a separate article to talk about.

How has it helped my organization?

As a consultant, I have seen many cases where Cognos has helped organizations to increase business performance, and support managers in decision making.

What needs improvement?

The main improvement required is to help users with the full vision about the product according to their need. Also, the scale of the stuff on their website that is hidden needs to be changed. They also a need technical person who is very interested in the product, and understands it. The technical stuff is improving too fast, and the IBM lab is working too hard.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for more than five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I can't remember any issues I have faced that I have not been able to resolve through their website.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I believe that Cognos is the most stable BI environment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cognos has the most scalable options in the market. It has options for all, from personal users, to the most complex enterprise organizations.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is fair compared with the abilities and size of the product.

Technical Support:

I would rate it as 7/10 as it is rare to find unknown issues that have no resolution, but if you find one, or you did something wrong, and try to get help it will take some time.

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

I used Microsoft BI and I switch to Cognos when I found that I wasn't able to satisfy some customers needs.

How was the initial setup?

The setup now is straightforward. The complexity decreased by time until it reached a very good level, but it gets far too complex for advanced setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Microsoft BI.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
it_user221220
Analyst in XBRL Projects at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Good product with bad performance. We had licenses for all the features but users almost exclusively used the molap cube file.

What is most valuable?

The molap cube file is valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

We shared the molap cube file, which means can do analyses on their desktop.

What needs improvement?

Cognos is a good product with bad performance. We had licenses for all the features but users almost exclusively used the molap cube file.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 12 years, since v7.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It has poor integration with other IBM products. In v7 (not in the IBM family), I overrode their upfront UI to integrate it into a websphere portal. In earlier versions, I still find these kinds of problems.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Almost all the time, we have a problem with Cognos stability and even our maintenance vendor can’t do anything to resolve it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think Cognos have problem with their dispatcher performance. In v7, I overrode their impromptu options, to catch performance requirement, while in v8, again, I had to override their dispatcher management with our code. Finally, in v10, we didn’t make any changes to improve Cognos, and now our users leave it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's good.

Technical Support:

We are more expert than they are.

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

We used Infobeacon and now we are using Cognos and Microsoft BI. We are currently looking for a better product and are evaluating Tableau.

How was the initial setup?

In 2003 It was very complex, and we must survive by ourselves because we can’t find any technical support for us.

What about the implementation team?

We always implemented it through a vendor, but until now, we are more expert than they are.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Microstrategy as another option.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user191655
BI (Cognos) Developer at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
​Report Studio is a valuable feature but would be better with the ability to audit the SQL

What is most valuable?

  • Jobs
  • Schedules
  • Auditing
  • Report Studio

How has it helped my organization?

Cognos gives a consistent single source answer for many users to retrieve easily. It allows for prompted value, so many questions can be answered.

What needs improvement?

Auditing the SQL to determine if there are any particularly slow points. Also allowing jobs to send email notification when complete with links to all the reports within the email.

For how long have I used the solution?

Seven years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There are always some errors, but typically user errors.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable, but bad queries can cause problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

6/10 as they usually get back quickly but rarely have a solution.

Technical Support:

6/10

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

I used MicroStrategy before, but I changed jobs because Cognos is a bigger company and would have more job opportunities.

How was the initial setup?

It is pretty straightforward. It doesn't take an expert to set up, but consultants will try to make it seem more complex than it is.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team. They talked a good game, but I would rate them at a 6/10.

What was our ROI?

Don't know, but it's not cheap.

What other advice do I have?

It's not as good a MicroStrategy for data analysis, but better for static reporting.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user185781
Solution Architect with 51-200 employees
Vendor
A ​good mix of abilities for reporting but ability to manage source code & environment deployment needs work

What is most valuable?

Good mix of abilities for reporting for both technical and non-technical users.

How has it helped my organization?

Dashboarding presentations of key metrics.

What needs improvement?

  • Ability to easily manage source code and environment deployment
  • Pricing model is frequently changing and hard to manage
  • Maintenance fees were based on a percentage of the base cost, not the discounted price we paid which was a surprise the first year

For how long have I used the solution?

Five years - Cognos BI 8 and 10

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Because the configuration options are wide, there are typically minor issues with an installation.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not once it is configured correctly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

6 out of 10.

Technical Support:

6 out of 10.

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

Previous solution was built on an old technology and updates continue to be built over the same engine rather than an updated technology. Caused issues with programming.

How was the initial setup?

Complex, many options and variations available which is both good and bad.

What about the implementation team?

Through a vendor. Very good expertise.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Brief evaluation of other products, selection was based on discounted pricing at year end and high rating from Gartner.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Cognos Consultant at a insurance company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
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…

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 tools and offers more sophisticated performing.

We can say that it’s a very successful BI tool and it has gained acceptance with business users and hopefully will be in the market for a long time.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user176946
BI Architect at a wellness & fitness company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
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…

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 Service:

Moderate,.

Technical Support:

Good.

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

No previous solution used.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup can be straightforward but expertise is needed to fully benefit from the capabilities of Cognos.

What about the implementation team?

One day was needed to implement the product, and this was done by an experienced consultant from the vendor.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other solutions were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

Be willing to build up in-house knowledge of Cognos.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user174690
BI Senior Consultant at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Framework Manager is the best Metadata Modeling Tool but we have to restart the mobile server everyday

What is most valuable?

Framework Manager.

How has it helped my organization?

IBM Cognos is a Decision Supports Tool that draws an organization's picture and gives you a general scene overview of your organization.

For how long have I used the solution?

4 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, Report Studio's charts are not flexible size so you have to give constant size to chart.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, It was the IBM Cognos mobile application server performance issue. We have to restart everyday.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No I did not.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

In Turkey, IBM Customer Service and Sales strategy is very bad. Their level of customer service quality is very very low.

Technical Support:

Their technical support method is wrong because they only give technical support to partners that are consultant firms . The partners' priority is money so it reduces the quality of service.

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

Now, my organization is switching IBM Cognos to OBIEE because of IBM Approaches.

IBM Turkey signed a project that is Legal Reporting with my organization but they could not finish the project. However they wanted to take their money out of the project so my organization decided to never use IBM's products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a complex one that needs an administrator.

What about the implementation team?

Both of them according to the project. We rated their level of expertise with POC.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We compared products with Gartner Reports.

What other advice do I have?

Framework Manager is the best Metadata Modeling Tool and also Report Studio.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user174678
Corporate BI Developer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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

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 scalability of the solution?

Not really.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It depends on sales rep. It may vary. Judging on we experienced it could be 6-8 on scale 1-10 (10 is the best).

Technical Support:

It depends on sales rep. It may vary. Judging on we experienced it could be 6-8 on scale 1-10 (10 is the best).

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

No previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The first time ever setup is always more complex. After that it is pretty much "known road." Again, IIS configuration may be more complex than it should.

What about the implementation team?

It has always been in-house implementation.

What was our ROI?

I do not have answer on this but in some areas it may be very high.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes. Business Objects, Crystal Reports (while back).

What other advice do I have?

Go ahead, you will not regret.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user171960
Assistant Manager - Technology at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Go for it but get training first

What is most valuable?

The Reports and Query Studio functions have been very valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

It enables me to see trends of data we have from different angles and each end-user can run ad-hoc queries themselves.

What needs improvement?

Framework Manager, Map Manager, and Reporting Database Connectivity features should all be free.

For how long have I used the solution?

3 years including previous version

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I was unable to use oracle 64 bit client to connect with oracle 64 bit databases. However, because of Linux I had to use 32 bit anyway.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not much

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had some minor issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

7-8 out of 10

Technical Support:

8 out of 10

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

We changed because of the offer of more features and technical support than our previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

For us it was complex to do it for the first time and too much R&D had to be done. Later on it was easier. It may have been complex as it was our first time setting up the Cognos.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation was done by an In-house team who learned from scratch.

What was our ROI?

Good. It helped the purpose for which we used it.

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

I have little knowledge of this but I think we pay for each report we deploy

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at three other solutions, Netezia, Xplore, and Netcool.

What other advice do I have?

Go for it but it will require training.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
BI Expert at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Highly visual and interactive control without long waits; allows us to use the tool in an interactive and easy way.

What is most valuable?

- The ease of use and ability to create things.

- The security provided by IBM Cognos compared to other tools.

- Reduced time for answers on business panels; highly visual and interactive control without long waits.

How has it helped my organization?

Users used to have to wait long times to see information but can now view their information quickly and easily with IBM Cognos and also given the availability you can create your own reports.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using IBM Cognos for about two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No, deployment is all right.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, no problems were found.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, no problems were found.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We were given good service, fulfilling all the requirements that were requested.

Technical Support:

The technical support provided by IBM is good, helps you with any problems with the tool.

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

No.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user165297
Cognos Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It succeeds as a complete solution, however specific offerings, such as interactive dashboards, are still lagging.

What is most valuable?

The report designer, Report Studio, is incredibly versatile and easy to use. Reports can be served in multiple formats, such as PDF, HTML, Excel, or even as a JSON data source. The meta-modeling tools allows for a complex security system which can automatically filter data, in any report or ad-hoc tool, based on a user's roles or groups.

How has it helped my organization?

The use of ad-hoc tools, like Workspace, has reduced the number of design requests, freeing the reporting team for more pressing and difficult problems.

What needs improvement?

Dashboards are slow compared to other tools currently on the market. Visualizations are improving, but still difficult to get just right. The default mapping solution included is only useful for the most basic requirements.

For how long have I used the solution?

9 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Some users are afraid using adhoc tools. Migration projects which fail to take into account the different strengths of Cognos, demanding 100% pixel perfect migrations, will often fail.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The querying engine occasionally chokes on very large or complex datasets. Poorly designed meta-models can also cause trouble. Cognos will occasionally create dump files that can be larger than a gig each.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

International distributed systems can have latency and consistency issues. The default round-robin load balancing works well, but the admin needs to remember to configure the weighting correctly.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Enhancement requests take a very long time to get into production. IBM works on the "squeaky wheel" principle.

Technical Support:

IBM technical support can usually solve any problems. If it's not something they've run into previously, it can take a long time to get a straight answer. They provide hotfixes for really urgent bugs that are affecting production.

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

Most of my clients are long time Cognos users. Some of them are migrating away from Hyperion Brio because of lack of support.

How was the initial setup?

At the most basic level, Cognos is a "next-next-next" install. While this works for very simple, low usage systems, in order to really get the most out of it it requires a great deal of tuning.

What about the implementation team?

As a consultant, the vast majority of my clients hire out the development team. A few times I've been brought on to provide additional temporary support or training.

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I am a Business Partner with IBM.
it_user164019
Business Intelligence Analyst at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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

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

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consultant IT at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Standard and High Quality Reports but it's an Expensive BI Tool

What is most valuable?

Well, I liked the split Cognos- used to have 2 differents products for reporting. One very friendly for user (query studio) and other one more for super user or tech user (Report studio).
The AdHoc reporting (query studio) are very easy with query studio but this happens only if the package is well done by the modeler. The most valuable feature in query studio is Develop/ Reduce group in a list. For Report Studio, the possibility to create report from SQL Query direct, easy, simple and efficient :)

How has it helped my organization?

We reduced IT requests for reporting and improved reports standards. High quality reports.
We used templates and reuse components so it's easy to change lots of report quickly.

What needs improvement?

Administration and security.

For how long have I used the solution?

I'm with Cognos's products since 1997. (First products I used was Impromptu, Transformer and Power Play). Last version I have used is 10.1 (Query and Report Studio).

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Well, developing packages makes deployment a bit long in case of emergency.
Also, for performance issues, avoid to connect the package's data on OLTP databases. Always use de-normalised databases, (ODS) or OLAP databases.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Server not responding some times

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

With IBM it is too complicated, I used a partner.

Technical Support:

With IBM it is too complicated, I used a partner.

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

No

How was the initial setup?

Not too complex.

What about the implementation team?

At that time I was implementing with the Cognos team and in-house. People from Cognos were very experienced.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I can't remember. But now I'm looking to go around looking at BI Tools to advise my customers which ones are best according to theirs needs. I will go deeper in Microsoft (for the price), Tableau for the visualisation and easy deploy and of course Cognos because it can do all BI needs (but it's expensive).
PS. Cognos Express is welcome with lower licensing price.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Vice President at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Cognos needs better data visualization. Good value in drill through reporting, ease of use and design.

What is most valuable?

Drill through reporting, ease of use, ease of design, and functionality.

How has it helped my organization?

This BI tool helped automate and centralize production reports. It provided intuitive navigation for end users. It helped to positively change the reporting landscape while addressing customer needs

What needs improvement?

It definitely needs better data visualization. I needed to couple Cognos with Tableau to provide a complete reporting environment.

For how long have I used the solution?

2 years for Cognos BI series 10; 2 years for Series 8 and 7 years for Series 7

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, the company I worked for had a Corporate user (many end users) license which enabled license costs to be minimal.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: I did not work directly with Cognos support.Technical Support: I did not work directly with Cognos support.

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

The IT group in my organization was responsible for the set-up. On version 8, Cognos seemed very unstable. Cognos 10 was much improved.

What about the implementation team?

In house

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

IT group handled this aspect.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes. Our company had many BI tools to choose from but Cognos was the most sustainable and scale-able.

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.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Project Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
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…

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 out of 10Technical Support: 9 out of 10

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

Never before.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward

What about the implementation team?

In-house

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No

What other advice do I have?

Consider other alternatives.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Head of Data Analytics at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Report Studio is a bit complicated but very powerful for complex reports

What is most valuable?

Data Manager is a great ETL tool, Query Studio is a great tool for ad-hoc queries, simple but powerful. Report Studio is a bit more complicated but also very powerful for complex reports.

How has it helped my organization?

Dashboards and reports bring all the needed figures to our direction on a daily basis and it's available from various devices (apple, android, windows 8.)

What needs improvement?

The reporting tool can be tricky and you'll need to get used to it but it's worth the effort.

For how long have I used the solution?

4 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, there may be compatibility issues but as long as you read the requirements and do not apply the latest Fix Pack blindly as soon as they are released, it's pretty stable.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, as with many 3-tiers applications you rely on a web server, an application server and a database, so for example- a huge load of connections can bring down the app server when using LifeCycleManager, a great tool for assistance in the upgrade process.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Better, but I must say that it's not as good as my experience with Oracle's.Technical Support: Good.

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

I tried (very briefly) Business Object and QlikView but my company has been running Cognos since the beginning.

How was the initial setup?

As usual it requires a lot of reading and it can get a bit complex since there are a lot of different technology involved (web server IIS or Apache, app server TOMCAT, java and Oracle RDBMS as the content store).

What about the implementation team?

It was a mix, the vendor usually has good skills on the subject. Support can be sometimes be disappointing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we did look at Microstrategy, Qlikview and Oracle BI which may have been good choices if we started from scratch but there was no point in changing the tool we were already using.

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.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user7623
BI Expert with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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…

-- 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 between Queries, Excessive
- Flexible and Scalable
- Integrated Dashboards
- Unclear BI future perspective because of too many tools
- IT professionals needed for every change
- Performance is consistent while Scaling UP
- Business Objects XI Info view is used to store the documents
- Customers complain BO is not fully Business Intelligence yet
- BO's adhoc reporting capability is superior
- BO is primarily ROLAP
- Time Consuming Drill Through feature
- Learning is easy since many tools are merged

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user6855
CEO with 51-200 employees
Vendor
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…

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, but hardly sufficient set of tools to gain commercial advantage. It may satisfy the needs of administrative and planning functions, but provides very little opportunity to employ techniques for embedding intelligence into applications. For this users will need to embrace IBM SPSS as a separate set of capabilities, or some similar set of tools.

IBM has layered the Cognos products so users can start small and grow. The most basic entry level product is the free version of Cognos Insight. This is a personal reporting and analysis tool, which in the free version will access CSV files (nice as a taster, but not really practical). The paid for versions will access a much broader set of data resources. Cognos Express is targeted at workgroups and midsize companies, and Cognos Enterprise is the full-blown BI and performance management toolset. Over thirty other Cognos products are available to support infrastructure requirements, address specific needs, and provide additional means of data visualization.

What IBM Cognos offers is a platform for looking at what has happened, what is happening, and what might happen in your business. Every organization needs this sort of capability and IBM is one of half a dozen traditional suppliers (Microstrategy, SAP, Oracle, SAS) who offer a solution. However there are new kids on the block in the shape of Qlikview, Tibco and Tableau, although they typically do not have the tailored add-ons of the more traditional suppliers.

In summary there are 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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user7437
Director of Data Analytics at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
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.

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ariel Lindenfeld
Director of Content at IT Central Station
Community Manager
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!

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!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Manager of IT at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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…

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 would you rate the level of customer service and technical support?
- Very Good

Was the initial setup straightforward or complex? In what ways?
- Setup for such a complex tool is always difficult

Did you implement through a vendor team or an in-house one? If through a vendor team, how would you rate their level of expertise?
- We used an outside vendor. Good, but needed some more technical understanding

What is your ROI on this product?
- 3-5 years

What was your original setup cost for this product and what is your day-to-day cost of using this product?
- 2 Million to implement. Not sure

What advice would you give to others looking into implementing this product?
- Do your homework on configuration and server architecture

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user5802
BI Expert at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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…

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 connect to any kind of database or even spreadsheets on an accessible drive.

Both products will force you to use their WEB portals as an interface into the presentation layer. Both allow you to schedule and deliver reports in multiple formats and in a variety of means. Links to reports, send the reports via e-mail, only send reports with data the user can see, and send alerts when reports fail are just a few of the common things that can be done.

When it comes to ease of use, Business Objects is a lot more intuitive and straight forward. Cognos seems to make you take a lot more steps to get the same results. Some of those steps are tough to figure out. The term "clunky" comes to mind when I think of working in Cognos.

Both products offer very similar concepts and tools to summarize and chart the data in a report.

Licensing costs and how you want to architect your server infrastructure are going to be the key driver to which product fits your organization better. Business Objects offers the advantage of another more static reporting tool with Crystal Reports.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user5601
Business Analyst at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
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.

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.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user5472
VP of IT at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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

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
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Director of IT at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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.

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.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Manager of IT at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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.

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.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user3372
Senior Manager of IT at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
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…

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 supports driver based planning to help connect HR assumptions to operational outcomes.

I’ve used Cognos for more than 10 years, from multiple global locations and platforms and it has allowed me to bring together information from across the organization and key systems to provide a "single version of the truth", from which to plan and make decisions. For example, it:

• Provides the core platform services of centerpiece capabilities (Talent Profiles, Employee Records, Competencies, Job Profiles, and Reports) enables planning departments to create forecasts and perform "what-if" analysis

• With Cognos’s combination of self-service facilities (allowing access from disparate locations) and workflow (to tightly control the data flow into the budgeting process), you can easily move from centralized to devolved project planning.

Cognos automatically generates supporting transactions that contains all employee records, giving you easy access to the information you need to reduce errors, enforce policies consistently, and build your business, to support more complete day-to-day operational reporting. So, for instance, a management entry may trigger an automatic compensation entry, which gives rise to changes in the employee's future compensation and reward decisions.

Cognos can integrate data: from existing spreadsheets (thanks to dynamic links into Excel); from external programs; or from end users (via user-defined, web-based input screens). This enables several business divisions or data sources to contribute to the planning and forecasting process, while keeping track of the changes and control over all the data inputs.

Sharing core ERP system administration and security infrastructure ensures that Cognos user permissions, audit controls, validation and security features are tightly managed and consistent throughout.

• Controlled user access, even when data is entered via Excel, to ensure accuracy and security of the underlying database. Complete audit trail for all data changes, user name and time of the change.

• Ultimately, IBM’s Cognos Enterprise offers a unique architecture, which delivers true "Post- Implementation Agility", allows changes to your system long after initial installation - in response to changing requirements, and without depending on expensive external consultants or constrained IT resources. This makes Cognos the ideal choice for service-based organizations that are affected by frequent and dynamic business change.

Underpinned by IBM technology, Cognos is the only planning tool that can efficiently adapt to major business change without re-implementation. You can start with native integrations from HR Management to other core talent management processes in order to support a holistic, end-to-end cloud talent management strategy.

IBM Cognos Enterprise Software offers customers the industry’s most flexible delivery and deployment options, including IBM smarter cloud solutions.

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