We performed a comparison between IBM Cognos and Microsoft BI based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.
Comparison Results: Microsoft BI has a slight edge in this comparison. According to its reviewers, it is a more lightweight solution than IBM Cognos.
"The most valuable features of IBM Cognos are governance and enterprise reporting."
"The main difference that I like about Cognos compared to other solutions is its data splitting functionality. We have all our company data inside the Cognos environment and so we prefer to split the information Cognos itself. It's more efficient this way."
"The most valuable feature of IBM Cognos is security. The solution has updated features that other competitors' solutions come out with long after IBM Cognos has had them."
"The initial setup is very straightforward."
"The three IBM Cognos features I find the most valuable are Dynamic Cubes, PowerPlay, and Watson."
"If they want dashboarding, storytelling, and analyzing why KPIs are met or not, then Cognos is a better candidate than Qlik Sense."
"Previously, we were doing static reporting. Management would request a report, and it would take staff a week or more to provide it. With Cognos, we have dynamic reporting, and it has reduced both reporting and decision making times significantly. With the solution's dashboard, the company's management team has updated records at their fingertips. This means that they can directly access the data they need to make decisions."
"I have worked on the features like dashboards and stories, and I do like them a lot."
"The solution is easy to set up and implement."
"The visualization and reporting are the most valuable features of this solution."
"It works well with SSAS, which we use to generate all different kinds of trending and analytics reports. Sometimes we use Power Query and DAX to build some aggregations on the Power BI side as well."
"It's a straightforward setup."
"It is really flexible. The charts and reports are really nice. You have the flexibility of self-service."
"Many of my customers already use Microsoft products like Office 365, so I often propose Microsoft Power BI because it integrates well with all the standard Microsoft business tools. And it's the quickest tool to implement and start using daily."
"It is a little easier at buildings charts and graphs than Tableau."
"This product has a lot of features and most of them are user-friendly."
"The high cost of a license makes it hard to scale up on a budget."
"Data modeling needs to be improved. We use the ETL process, and when we get errors, we then need to identify which structural change is required. The error messaging should be better. They should be descriptive rather than semantic."
"IBM Cognos's error messages seem to be a bit ambiguous. An error will be encountered and a message will be sent out very ambiguous and after investigating the error message it could be any number of issues. There was never a direct answer to the question or a direct answer to the error messages. Sometimes it would be a generic error message for 21 different solutions. It wasn't very specific, which required a lot of digging around and trial and error trying to fix the problem. The messaging in their error messaging is something needing improvement."
"There are some small features that are missing. It would be nice if the graphics were better. You can use external sources for charts, but it's quite complex to use and not easy to implement. If you want a new chart, you can download it from multiple tools and implement it into IBM Cognos."
"I would like to see is more easy building, movement in the reports, and dashboard functionality within reporting. Overall more simple elements within reports. If the elements are simple then you don't have to render a full page, but you can move separate parts in the page."
"They should provide improved visual reporting."
"It would be good if the solution had conditional formatting."
"I would like to have predictive and forecasting capabilities in Cognos. It's one thing to do reporting, and another thing to easily predict or forecast certain data points, which is very important for all the clients."
"Microsoft BI lacks some of the scheme features. It would be beneficial if there were a way to show how we move values in a different way."
"My main complaint is that the error messages need to be made more clear. Currently, they are either too generic or outright misleading, and finding the real problem is like searching for a needle in a haystack."
"The orchestration module for refreshing data flows is something that is missing and we have to do it manually."
"Technical support could be a bit better."
"We haven't used it that long and I haven't come across anything that's stood out as needing to be fixed."
"In the future, Microsoft BI can be better by increasing user-friendliness"
"The biggest thing with Microsoft right now is better support. There should be more timely support. We can do 90% of it ourselves by the same token. When we're into the 10%, we do not get timely support via Microsoft's support team."
"The solution could improve by providing more free visuals. A lot of them are very nice but you have to purchase them."
IBM Cognos Business Intelligence provides a wide range of tools to help you analyze your organization's data. IBM Cognos BI allows businesses to monitor events and metrics, create and view business reports, and analyze data to help them make effective business decisions.
IBM Cognos applies techniques to describe, summarize, and compare data, and draw conclusions. This allows users to see trends and discover anomalies or variances that may not be evident by simply reading data. Data sources that contain information from different areas of a business can be stored in separate packages. Users can see only information that they have been granted access to, based on their group or role.
IBM Cognos BI consolidates the following business intelligence functions into a single web-based solution:
Reviews from Real Users
IBM Cognos stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its powerful analysis tool and its reporting capabilities.
Prasad B., a senior software engineer at a financial services firm, notes, “The product is a very good reporting tool and is very flexible. It allows for the users to get a scheduled report. We can receive automated reports as well. They are easy to schedule on a weekly or monthly basis. It is very fast. I mean in means of report output, it's very fast compared to the actual clients involved.”
Microsoft BI is a business intelligence solution that connects to all your data sources and turns your data into insightful and useful business information that is relevant to all levels of the business, ensuring data accuracy, consistency, and security.
Microsoft BI combines familiar Microsoft tools - Office, SharePoint, and SQL server - with extra features for end-users, such as Power View and Power Pivot. This powerful product gives businesses a competitive advantage by allowing end users to better analyze their data, collaborate, and better present their data.
The BI platform empowers members of your organization to make data-driven decisions that drive strategic actions quickly by allowing them to work together easily on the same data, share insights, and collaborate on reports using other Microsoft Office applications.
Microsoft BI Benefits
Some of the benefits of using Microsoft BI include:
Reviews from Real Users
Microsoft BI stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Two major ones are its integration options and its data analytics capabilities.
Tariq R., an operations & BI analyst at American Hospital Dubai, writes, “Power BI is a complete ecosystem. It has an integrated ETL tool and good connectivity with applications such as Office 365 and SQL. Power BI supports the DAX and Power Query M languages. These languages are making Power BI very strong in data analytics, and you can do many types of analysis. ”
IBM Cognos is ranked 4th in Reporting Tools with 18 reviews while Microsoft BI is ranked 1st in Reporting Tools with 130 reviews. IBM Cognos is rated 8.2, while Microsoft BI is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of IBM Cognos writes "Helpful online community, highly reliable, and secure". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft BI writes "User friendly, easy to set up and great for analyzing data". IBM Cognos is most compared with Tableau, Oracle Hyperion, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform, MicroStrategy and SQL Server, whereas Microsoft BI is most compared with Amazon QuickSight, Tableau, KNIME, Domo and MicroStrategy. See our IBM Cognos vs. Microsoft BI report.
See our list of best Reporting Tools vendors and best BI (Business Intelligence) Tools vendors.
We monitor all Reporting Tools reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.