Benefits and Insights

Why use Cognos Analytics?

Key differentiators & advantages of Cognos Analytics

  • Stay in Control: Provide oversight over user data with built-in data management and data governance features.
  • Flexible Deployment: Deploy either in the cloud or on-premise.
  • Mobile Sharing: Share data reports and monitor analytics via a mobile portal.
  • Out-of-the-Box Capabilities: Allow users to start analyzing almost instantly with numerous preconfigured settings.
  • Visualization: Get automatic recommendations for the best visualizations for particular data templates. Format reports quickly with styles.

Industry Expertise

IBM is over a century old, with a century's worth of experience. They serve customers across the board, in industries such as healthcare, insurance, banking and financial markets, retail and consumer goods, travel and transportation, energy and utilities, among others.

Key Features

  • Components: Boost the feature set of the core platform with components that enhance data modeling, visualization and analytics capabilities. 
  • Powerful Reporting: Create detailed charts, graphs, maps, voiceovers and repeat functions with the robust, professional reporting suite. Simplify reporting for non-technical users with express mode. 
  • Web-based Interface: Access the platform on any hardware via the web.
  • Natural Language-powered AI: Interrogate data and receive natural, consistent responses with a built-in AI, powered by NLP. 
  • Automated Modeling: Verify and combine data via automated modeling, and assess relationships between separate data points. 


Some of the product limitations include:

  • Integration with MS Sharepoint is not supported
  • Lacks write back capability for reports
  • Does not integrate well with OLAP data and IBM Planning Analytics
  • Expensive for start-ups and small organizations

Suite Support

IBM has three ways for a user to get in contact with their support teams; phone, tickets, or training. The company also offers a self-service portal for troubleshooting issues without assistance. If the user can’t troubleshoot the software, they can reach out to IBM through the methods outlined below.

phonePhone: IBM offers a 24/7 support line to answer questions and receive product feedback. Users can call 1-800-IBM-SERV (1-800-426-7378) to receive support.
schoolTraining: Extensive training courses, self-learning and certification courses are offered for IBM Cognos. Trainings are virtual or location based.
local_offerTickets: Submit a ticket via the IBM support community. Assign a severity level to the ticket, from one to four, one being the most critical. For severity one issues, call the Duty Manager at 1-800-IBM-SERV (1-800-426-7378).

Cost of Ownership

License/Subscription Cost
  • Dependent on the type of license – workgroup, standard or enterprise (refer pricing section for more details)
Maintenance Cost
  • Subscription & Support costs are based on a percentage of the license cost (25% of initial license cost)
  • Software Accelerated Value Programs are an incremental charge calculated on a per-case basis, dependent on the specific service that the customer requires. Customers can't purchase Software Accelerated Value Programs without paying standard Subscription & Support cost
Installation/Implementation Cost
  • Included in license/subscription cost
Customization Cost
  • Will vary depending on the functional requirements such as configurable dashboards, complexity of workflows, forms to collect additional data, UI changes, etc.
Data Migration Cost/Change Management/Upfront Switching Cost
  • Dependent on your current software, amount of data to be migrated, availability of migration tools, complexity of data and gaps between the existing system and the new system.
Training Cost
  • Self-service support is available online
  • Native language support consists of live support and unlimited access for all certified IT technical staff within an organization
Recurring/Renewal Costs
  • Renewal fee includes license cost and maintenance fee for the new or next year

Cognos Analytics Reviews

Average customer reviews & user sentiment summary:

940 reviews


of users would recommend this product

Synopsis of User Ratings and Reviews

Based on an aggregate of reviews taken from the sources above, the following pros & cons have been curated by a SelectHub Market Analyst.


  • Data Analysis and Visualization: All users who mention data analysis and presentation unanimously agree that this solution covers the full spectrum of BI analytics capabilities.
  • Data management: All users who mention data preparation praise its data integrations and effective metadata management, which ensure data consistency and accuracy across multiple reporting systems.
  • Functionality: Of users who mentioned this platform’s features, around 90% were satisfied with regular updates and enhancements which allow them to create faster, more responsive dashboards.
  • Reporting: Around 89% of users who mention reporting are satisfied, appreciating its ad-hoc reporting and report-sharing capabilities.
  • Setup: Excellent vendor support coupled with the ease of establishing data connectivity with data sources make installation of this solution a breeze, as approximately 87% of users have mentioned.


  • Cost: Around 87% of users who mention cost feel that its licensing model is expensive when compared to other BI solutions.
  • Training: Approximately 45% of users who reviewed training say that the learning curve can be quite steep and though self-service training is available, they would prefer a formal learning program.

Researcher's Summary:

IBM Cognos Analytics is an excellent BI tool and rates very highly with users on all major counts. Users are unanimous in their praise of its data management and data analysis capabilities to provide a single source of truth. Having ventured into AI-powered tools with the 11.1.3 version in 2018, IBM is making bold strides to incorporate augmented intelligence into the platform. IBM has astutely combined this solution with the capabilities of one of its other offerings, Watson Analytics, for natural language processing - a game-changer for empowering non-technical users to create a vast range of dashboards. With AI-enabled exploration, users can review key drivers of metrics and identify gaps in data, though some users feel that more tools are needed for content store exploration through its relational database. It also rates excellently with users for its data integration and ad-hoc reporting capabilities, efficient metadata management and extensive data modeling features.

Several strong features of this platform, as noted by reviewers, include Jupyter notebooks, regular updates to the platform and enhancements to data modules, though when it comes to integrating with Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) data sources and IBM Planning Analytics in particular, it comes up short. Version 11 of the platform comes with over-the-top installs for upgrades, which reduces time to set up; though some users feel that integrations built with the current SDK solution can be tedious to implement and maintain. Being part of the IBM software suite, it connects seamlessly to other IBM products under the same umbrella. However, integration with MS-Sharepoint is not supported; this can be managed with workarounds, but only for on-premise setups, not cloud-based deployments. The platform has a rich reporting repertoire with report burst capabilities, pivots and Cognos Event Studio for event-driven reports. However, many users feel that Report Studio should provide the write back capability, which is crucial for business. As for the cost, a majority of users feel that its licensing models are restrictive, especially when compared to other BI solutions; though the vendor seems to address pricing and ease of use with version 11.1.3.

In summary, Cognos Analytics is among the best BI solutions in the market today and IBM, with its ear to the ground, is delivering enhanced data analysis and reporting capabilities at scale.

User Sentiment i

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