IBM Cognos Analytics Review

IBM
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Cognos
IBM
1911
Armonk, NY
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Public
26,000
Cloud, On-Premise
Yes
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Cognos At A Glance

Good: AI Assistant that learns users’ data and suggests new data joins and visualizations; drag-and-drop capabilities to create new dashboards and reports; data integration from two to many sources
Bad: Steep learning curve as software can be robust.
Bottom Line: IBM Cognos Analytics offers users access to a wide range of business analytics functionality to help them make well-informed decisions faster.

Product Overview

IBM Cognos Analytics is a cloud and on-premise-based business intelligence solution that offers users access to a wide range of business analytics functionality to help them make well-informed decisions, faster. It offers a full complement of essential analytics functions, including advanced dashboarding, data integration, reporting, exploration and data modeling.

Cognos Analytics has an augmented intelligence-infused AI Assistant that allows users to ask questions and get answers in natural language. It also recommends new visualizations and joins in data allowing users to unearth connections they might not anticipate.

Representing a new level of depth and clarity combined with ease of use, Cognos Analytics is accessible to businesses of every size.

Features

Some of the IBM Cognos key features include:

  • An AI Assistant that learns users’ data and suggests new data joins and visualizations
  • Natural language generation that allows users to ask questions and get answers in plain English
  • Drag-and-drop capabilities to create new dashboards and reports
  • Data cleansing and enhanced data modeling
  • Data integration with cloud and on-premise sources (e.g., SQL, Google BigQuery, Amazon, Redshift)
  • The ability to customize reports with company colors, fonts and logos
  • Burst capability that lets users distribute reports via email or Slack
  • An interface that is simple enough for novices, but powerful enough for data scientists

We also want to note the Cognos mobile app that lets users see their dashboards while on the go. They can see at-a-glance insights (called “pinboards”), set up and receive notifications for specific alerts and ask the AI assistant a question using their voice.

Target Market

IBM services over 26,000 companies from a broad cross-section of industries including aerospace, defense, banking, education, healthcare and many more. Below are some of their clients:

  • Nike
  • GKN Land System
  • Spain's Ministry of Defense
  • British Airways
  • Chemring
  • Quinte Health Care
  • Troy Corporation
  • Michigan State University
  • Lufthansa Cargo
  • Jabil

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Implementation/Integration

New clients with up to 200 users and want to deploy Cognos Analytics in the cloud can sign up for a 30-day free trial and begin using the software in minutes.

For companies with more complex needs, IBM has an implementation methodology that’s tailored to the company’s needs and requirements. Typical components include:

  • Discuss requirements and goals of the company using the solution
  • Install server and client components for Cognos Analytics
  • Install database and ETL configuration
  • Load master data and configure historical data loads
  • Deploy other pre-built applications, such as the Framework Manager models, reports, and dashboards
  • End-to-end testing of the solution
  • Deliver installation documentation to users
  • Transfer information to users
  • Remote support up to two days after implementation is done

Customer Service & Support

IBM has a comprehensive customer support system that includes training and certification courses, and customer service available for users of their Business Intelligence programs, such as Cognos.

They offer training that can be individualized based on specific roles within a company, and can be implemented both online and in-person. They also offer private courses, and specialized certifications to reflect expertise that aid in career advancement.

Online tech support provides customers with access to IBM specialists that can address questions or potential problems with software.

Pricing

IBM Cognos has a free trial where users get the full product capacity for 30 days. Then, there are three types of deployment options: On Demand (cloud deployment for up to 200 users), On Cloud Hosted (supports up to 10,000 users) and Client Hosted (on-premise solution).

The On Demand deployment has two pricing plans: Standard and Premium.

Standard – This plan costs $10 per user, per month and includes:

  • Dashboards, storytelling and collaboration
  • Up to 10 on-premise and cloud data connections
  • Cognos mobile app

Premium – The Premium plan costs $40 per user, per month and includes the features of the Standard plan, plus AI Assistant and Watson Insights, data exploration, smart data discovery and AI exploration and enterprise reporting and managed report distribution.

The On Cloud Hosted option has three pricing plans: Mobile, Viewer and User.

Mobile – The Mobile plan costs $5 per user, per month and only includes access to the Cognos mobile app, where users can see dashboards and explorations, create pin boards and use the AI assistant and get proactive alerts.

Viewer – The Viewer plan costs $40 per user, per month and includes:

  • The ability to view reports
  • The ability to interact with dashboards, storytelling and collaboration
  • Cognos mobile app features
  • The ability to perofrm and receive promoted reports

User – The User plan costs $80 per user, per month and includes all of the features of the Viewer plan, plus

  • Data preparation and connection to on-premise and cloud sources
  • Smart data discovery and AI exploration
  • The ability to create reports, dashboards and open source visualizations
  • Managed report distribution
  • Integration with IBM Watson Studio (requires a separate subscription)

The Client Hosted (or hybrid) deployment has five pricing plans: Mobile, Viewer, User, Explorer and Admin

Mobile – The Mobile plan costs $5 per user, per month and only includes access to the Cognos mobile app, where users can see dashboards and explorations, create pin boards and use the AI assistant and get proactive alerts.

Viewer – The Viewer plan costs $12 per user, per month and includes the ability to view reports and interact with dashboards, storytelling and collaboration.

User – The User plan costs $40 per user, per month and adds on:

  • The ability to perform and receive promoted reports
  • Data connection to on-premise and cloud sources
  • Smart data discovery and AI exploration
  • The ability to create reports, dashboards and open source visualizations
  • Managed report distribution

Explorer – The Explorer plan costs $75 per user, per month and includes all of the features of the User plan, plus advanced pattern detection and the ability to work with Jupyter Notebooks and Python applications.

Admin – The Admin plan costs $450 per user, per month and includes all of the features of the Explorer plan, plus security and user management and Cognos SDK.

Shortcomings

Some users have reported that IBM Cognos Analytics tends to have a steep learning curve as the software is robust.

Screenshots

IBM Screenshot 1
IBM Screenshot 2
IBM Screenshot 3

About

IBM World Trade Corporation, a company of over 345,000 employees globally, is based in Armonk, New York. It specializes in the creation and marketing of computer hardware and software around the world. It also offers general consulting services in areas such as mainframe computers and nanotechnology.

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