Understanding IBM Cognos Reporting Tool Simplified

Syeda Famita Amber • Last Modified: December 29th, 2022

Understanding IBM Cognos Reporting

Data Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) are two fundamental techniques that drive the growth of any modern business. One of the most significant advantages of leveraging Data Analytics and Business Intelligence techniques for any business is that it significantly improves their decision-making process. Today, companies are increasingly relying on data for decision-making rather than implementing new strategies based on intuition alone.

Big Data, along with advanced techniques such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Mining, etc., makes companies even more equipped to make accurate predictions. For example, various Association Mining techniques helped brands understand what products customers usually buy together. Like customers buying products X and Y are likely to purchase product Z. This allowed businesses to introduce offers on combined sales or place them together in stores.

There are various tools available in the market that are leveraged by businesses to implement numerous Data Analytics and Business Intelligence techniques. One of the most well-known tools is IBM Cognos Reporting. This article will help you understand what IBM Cognos Reporting is, its features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Table of Contents

Introduction to IBM Cognos Reporting Tool

IBM Cognos Reporting Logo
Image Source: https://newintelligence.ca/news/ibm-releases-cognos-analytics-11-1-7-final-release-of-the-11-1-x-version/

Alan Rushforth and Peter Glenister started Cognos Inc. in 1969 and were later joined by Michael U. Potter in 1972 to offer consulting services. The headquarters of the company was located in Ontario, Canada. Although the original name of the firm was Quasar Systems limited, it became Cognos in 1982, which means ‘‘knowledge from experience’’. 

Cognos started its journey as a consulting firm for the federal government of Canada; however, it started putting more emphasis on software services in 1979 and released QUIZ software in the same year. After the exertion of 6-years, Cognos Inc. became an independent and public company.   

But Cognos Inc. ended its independent presence in 2008 as it was acquired by IBM. In 2009, IBM announced Cognos BI (Business Intelligence) and FPM (Financial Performance Management). IBM began its Business Intelligence route in 2010 and designed the business analytics division by acquiring SPSS software. IBM created an upgraded version of Cognos BI software, changed its name to IBM Cognos Analytics in 2015, and launched version 12 in 2018.

Being an International Business Machine Corporation, IBM designed a web-based reporting tool by integrating Reporting, Processing, Scrutiny, and Score Carding functionalities all in one place. IBM Cognos Reporting tool is used by professionals, experts, writers, creators, programmers, and developers to design intuitive, manifold-query, multiple-page reports against the various databases. 

For instance, it enables you to make Invoices, Monthly Statements, Daily Sales Reports, and Inventory Files. The amalgamation of Files, Documents, Worksheets, and invoices at a single position permits the business users to visualize organization data effectively and makes a convenient decision.  

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Understanding the Key Features of IBM Cognos Reporting Tool

With the IBM Cognos Reporting tool, organizations receive valuable visualization of data that helps them understand existing business strategy and allows them to take future decisions more accurately. The tool also comes with the Cognos Reporting Mobile application through which business owners can get instant notifications and analyze everything in real-time. 

IBM Cognos Reporting Features

The key features of IBM Cognos Reporting tool are as follows:

  • Easy Connection to Data Sources: Along with the ability to import your data stored in Spreadsheets or CSV files, the IBM Cognos Reporting tool has the potential to support different types of data sources, such as XML (Extensible Markup Language), OLAP (Online Analytical Processing), and Relational Databases. Similarly, SQL Databases, Google BigQuery, Redshift, and Amazon can also be connected depending upon the business use case and data requirements.  
  • Data Cleaning with AI Assistance: IBM Cognos Reporting tool prepares, cleans, and unifies your business data automatically. It determines related tables, highlights fields, and creates a relationship between these tables. The automatic process of Cognos Reporting saves a tremendous amount of time by discovering the relationship between tables and fields.
  • Dynamic Visualizations: Another surprising feature of Cognos Reporting is the ability to build dynamic visualizations. You can produce interactive, eye-catching, and winning dashboards through the drag and drop feature. By clicking anywhere on the dashboard charts, you’ll get different properties to filter up the data. The dashboards of the Cognos Reporting tool are embedded with Advanced AI Forecasting Assets and can be enabled by clickable buttons. Teams can share these reports through Slack or email to understand business ups and downs.
  • Unveil Hidden Patterns: Since the IBM Cognos Reporting tool has AI Assistance, you can ask anything at any time to discover what’s present under the rock. Ask questions in simple language about hidden patterns, and the AI Assistance will reveal all required information to you. By having these hidden truths and stories of your data, you can sharpen your business strategies, leading to more profits and revenues. 
  • Make Everything Personalized: Every business is different and has different needs. It is essential to understand what’s imperative for your business and what’s not. IBM Cognos Reporting tool helps you to prepare reports according to your business needs. With a personalized and customized approach, a business can achieve goals. You can build multi-page reports according to the taste of stakeholders in the IBM Cognos Reporting tool. There’s no need to send reports after every month or week because IBM Cognos Reporting allows users to set automatic options. The tool automatically generates monthly or weekly reports in required formats and shares them with your team.
  • Acquire Useful Insights: IBM Cognos Reporting tool is for everyone, even for those who don’t have a Data Science background. The interface of this tool is powerful yet user-friendly, helping you to acquire useful insights. The tool makes everything super-fast and easy to identify what you don’t get through advanced charts. You can design Predictive Analytics Models in these advanced charts to unveil deep-rooted details of your data, empowering you to make confident business decisions.
  • Stay Connected All the Time: The new IBM Cognos Reporting Mobile application, available on both iOS and Android, delivers the desired information to you whenever it is required. By taking control of IBM Cognos Reporting in the palm of your hand, you’re monitoring everything from your phone. For example, the IBM Cognos Reporting Mobile application has a pinboards feature, which are the shortcuts of your most used data. Pin the data ranging from raw data to Visuals, Maps, Charts, or Reports and share with your Team Members, Stakeholders, and Executives. Users can drill down deeper by zooming in and out functionality. Thus, everyone can pay attention to relevant data. The notification feature alerts you immediately, meaning that you can make decisions to resolve queries quickly. In a nutshell, the IBM Cognos Reporting Mobile application ensures everyone stays in the loop. Like the desktop platform, the mobile application is integrated with AI Assistance in which you can use voice note functionality instead of the keypad typing method to get your answers.
  • Sales Analytics: The long-term goals of sales organizations can be achieved by adopting the changing and trending demands of the market. IBM Cognos Reporting contains AI Algorithms that understand sales patterns or metrics in real-time and notify you to adjust according to market needs. For example, ECCO Ireland deployed the IBM Cognos Analytics tool to obtain a vibrant map of their best-selling products and to monitor sales performance across all business stores. Read the complete business case study here
  • Marketing Analytics: Every business wants a clear picture of their data, and the IBM Cognos Reporting tool is the perfect tool to do this. AI Assistance works as a trustworthy friend to help you to get better insights from data. It allows you to turn marketing decisions into actions, understand customer needs and drive customer engagement. For example, the All England Lawn Tennis Club is using the IBM Cognos Reporting tool to get accurate and timely statistics, along with useful insights. Read the complete business case study here.
  • Operational Analytics: When you’re operating a large and multifaceted organization, then you get a large amount of data. It is, therefore, not easy to understand, clean, and prepare data to procure practical insights. Nonetheless, IBM Cognos Reporting explains this issue by stimulating continuous improvement from massive datasets in operation. For example, WestJet leverages the IBM Cognos Reporting tool to generate visual dashboards for exhibiting operational trends in real-time. Read the complete business case study here.

Understanding the Advantages of Using IBM Cognos Reporting Tool

IBM Cognos Reporting tool delivers the following advantages:

  • It maintains both Cloud and On-premise Deployments.
  • IBM Cognos Reporting tool conveys transparency to your business.
  • It sustains leading databases and multiple data source options that allow you to make effective Content Management and Reporting strategies. 
  • IBM Cognos Reporting tool not only connects your data but also cleans your data to ensure that you attain better insights. 
  • Businesses can assemble and integrate multiple-page reports easily.
  • It is infused with an AI Assistant tool to ensure that you uncover hidden patterns, and gain all necessary business insights.
  • With the IBM Cognos Reporting tool, you can share relevant data with Stakeholders, and Executives.
  • It grows the potency of the business through advanced charts supporting AI Predictive Analytics Models.
  • IBM Cognos Reporting Mobile application facilitates everyone to stay connected in the loop. 
  • You can address every Chart, File, Map, Report, etc. according to your business use case and data requirements.

Understanding the Disadvantages of Using IBM Cognos Reporting Tool

The disadvantage of using the IBM Cognos Reporting tool are as follows:

  • It is not considered a cost-effective solution for small companies because of the high-priced implementation and annual licenses. 
  • The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of IBM Cognos Reporting is not very User-Friendly compared to its competitors.
  • The speed of the IBM Cognos Reporting tool is a major upshot.

IBM Cognos Reporting Pricing

IBM Cognos Analytics Reporting tool offers three pricing options i.e Standard, Plus, and Premium. You can also try the IBM Cognos Analytics Reporting tool at no cost for 30-days. An in-depth comparison of the features offered in each pricing option are as follows:

IBM Cognos Reporting Pricing
Image Source: https://www.ibm.com/products/cognos-analytics

More information on IBM Cognos Analytics Pricing can be found here.


This article explored the potential of the IBM Cognos Analytics Reporting tool by reviewing its features, advantages, disadvantages, and pricing options. IBM Cognos Analytics Reporting tool is a web-based reporting tool that integrates Processing, Analytics, Stories, Events, Modules, Content Management, and Reporting in a single architecture. The tool allows you to create pixel-perfect Reports, Charts, Maps, and engaging Dashboards for your business data. It also houses BI powers to analyze business insights and solve business-related challenges spontaneously.

One of the most significant criteria that almost all businesses have to take into consideration while choosing an Analytics and Reporting tool is whether their data sources can be integrated with the tool or not. It leads to an extremely challenging situation if the data sources of that business cannot be integrated with the preferred tool. In that case, data from all these sources has to be integrated first and then stored in a centralized location. This situation can be handled easily by using automated data integration platforms like Hevo. Businesses can easily integrate data from all their sources and store it in a Data Warehouse that supports easy connection with IBM Cognos Analytics tools.

Hevo helps you directly transfer data from a source of your choice to a Data Warehouse, or desired destination in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write the code. It will make your life easier and make data migration hassle-free. It is User-Friendly, Reliable, and Secure.

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