IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Standard on Cloud - subscription license (
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IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Standard on Cloud - subscription license ( is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 36.
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by Asha Shankar Lakshumanan from Automating Cube Build and Deployment on Windows Environment.Valuable Features: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'.Improvements to 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=/ -g -m" < cube .mdl path>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.Room for Improvement:- Need improvement towards Visualization.Use of Solution:I've used Cognos in some form or the other past 10+ yearsDeployment Issues: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.Stability Issues:Cognos is extremely stable... Unless someone develops and tries to run a huge data set.. Its all about educating users.Scalability Issues:NoCustomer 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..Previous Solutions:Always been using different versions of Cognos - right from the Impromptu.Initial Setup:It was a mix of both.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.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-07-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by SrCognosDev925 from Report Studio is most valuable to me, mainly for the active reporting feature as our CEO loves the instant reporting.Valuable Features:Report Studio is most valuable to me, mainly for the active reporting feature as our CEO loves the instant reporting.Improvements to 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.Room for 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.Use of Solution:I’ve been using the Cognos product since 2006; since the old ReportNet days.Stability Issues: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.Scalability Issues:We did not encounter any scalability issues. As long as you are following the guidelines set by IBM you should be ok.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).Previous Solutions:We never used another solution.Initial Setup:The installation was quite straight forward. But the webserver setup can be a bit tricky.Cost and Licensing Advice: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.Other Solutions Considered:We looked at Microsoft SSRS. But on look and feel, it didn’t give us that professional outlook.Other Advice:If you are new to the product and want to implement a reporting tool that will be free from issues, get an experienced consultant.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by Suraj Neupane from It provides dashboard visualizations for executives to see what's going on.Valuable Features: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.Improvements to 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.Room for 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.Use of Solution:I have used this solution for eleven years.Stability Issues:Cognos is very stable, after tweaking server settings.Scalability Issues:Cognos has different licensing models. PVU license limits CPU and there is need to add that for more users.Technical Support:It's a mix. Some support agents are very good while some don't have a clue of what's going on.Previous Solutions:We did not use any other solution.Initial Setup:The initial setup is very straightforward. The basic installation is very easy and you can start reporting.Cost and Licensing Advice: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.Other Advice: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.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by Gill Staniland from The ability to quickly get an engaging view of my data, with no scripting or SQL knowledge is a winner.Valuable Features: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.Improvements to 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.Room for Improvement:Allowing more customisation on dashboard objects would be welcomed.Use of Solution:We have used the solution since its launch in Dec 2015. I have been using previous versions of Cognos since 1996.Stability Issues:We have not encountered any stability issues.Scalability Issues: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.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.Previous Solutions: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).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.Cost and Licensing Advice: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.Other Solutions Considered:We evaluated Qlik, Tableau, Microsoft BI.Other Advice: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.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We are an IBM business partner.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by Lou Zunin from Allows developers to manipulate data and create reporting applications.Valuable Features:One of the strong suits of Cognos is its reporting capability. Its flagship Report Studio allows developers to manipulate data and create pixel perfect reporting applications with relative ease.Improvements to 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 planning, budgeting, and forecasting needs.Room for Improvement:One key area for improvement is the needto improve the self-service nature and functionality of the product interms of visual analytics. This is something IBM has recognized and addressedin order to more effectively compete with other leading visualizationtools like Qlik Sense and Tableau. IBM has made major improvements intheir latest release of the Cognos v11 platform also being called “CognosAnalytics”. This version of the product has been redesigned with a moreintuitive interface and offers complete guided and business self-servicecapabilities designed to quickly identify and gain insights from your data.Use of Solution:I’ve been working with the IBM Cognos suite of products for over eight years.Stability Issues: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.Scalability Issues: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.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.Previous Solutions:I work with customers who use a hybrid of different BI technologies. I position Cognos where I see fit, utilizing the application for its strongest assets.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.Cost and Licensing Advice: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.Other Solutions Considered:Many organizations are using a hybrid of 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.Other Advice: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 also intuitive to the end-user and built to last. Place an emphasis on change management and continuous training. That is extremely important when implementing new technology.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:My company is an IBM business partner.
Date published: 2017-03-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by Mike Bernaiche from 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.Valuable Features: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.Improvements to 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 othersRoom for 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 geospcial 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)Use of 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.Stability Issues:Stability has not been an issue with IBM Cognos Analytics – it is a very solid platform.Scalability Issues:It is an extremely scalable product, across all distributed platforms.Technical Support:Different levels of support are offered and level 1 has 24/7 support. On par with any software company.Previous Solutions:I have always used Cognos BI products.Initial Setup:Setup is very easy. There are three options with this newest product that limit the involvement of a technical install specialist.Cost and Licensing Advice: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.Other Solutions Considered:As an IBM premier selling partner, we constantly review other products. There are a number of fine products available; however, IBM ( http://itcentralstation.com/vendors/ibm ) has hit a home run with IBM Cognos Analytics.Other Advice: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.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:I work for an IBM Premier Partner.
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by Paul Desmond from 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.Valuable Features:* Advanced, enterprise-level data modelling* Reporting* Request routing* Integrated security* Auditing* Jobs and scheduling* Alerts and agents* Content distributionImprovements to My Organization:Centralised, balanced, scorecard-based dashboards with drill-through to detailed OLAP; datawarehouse; and operational reports keep the organisation focused on KPIs.Room for Improvement:It is struggling to compete with the front-end ease of use and visual appeal of QlikView and Tableau.Use of Solution:I have used it for 14 years.Stability Issues:I have not encountered any stability issues.Scalability Issues:I have not encountered any scalability issues.Technical Support:Technical support is good (7/10).Previous Solutions:I did not previously use a different solution.Initial Setup:It is a mature, full-featured enterprise product and as such requires detailed configuration/administration knowledge to set up.Other Solutions Considered:Before choosing this product, I also evaluated SQL Server Reporting Services, Tableau, and QlikView.Other Advice:It provides value for larger enterprises.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.