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IBM Cognos vs Tableau comparison

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Buyer's Guide
IBM Cognos vs. Tableau
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM Cognos vs. Tableau and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"If they want dashboarding, storytelling, and analyzing why KPIs are met or not, then Cognos is a better candidate than Qlik Sense.""We are able to generate quality reports easily which allows us to decrease response time.""In terms of stability, I think that Cognos is more stable than Tableau and Power Bi because of its framework manager concept that allows us to import metadata and store it in the framework manager.""IBM Cognos improves the effectiveness of the sales team.""A drag-and-drop interface for selecting creating ad hoc reports makes this product very easy to use.""The initial setup is quite straightforward.""Comparing IBM Cognos to other applications, once a person is trained on it or they have developed a skill set to operate the application, it is best in its category.""The initial setup is very straightforward."

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"The solution has great features which nobody can beat, you can do a lot of customizations, such as use different dimensions and colorize them. Additionally, you can use the numeric values for the customization, which is an exceptional feature.""Any feature I am looking for usually is part of the next upgrade within a few months. They have a very good dynamic evolution.""Business insights are shared across various departments.""I have found Tableau easy to use and the features are superb.""Easy to create graphs and visualizations.""When compared to Power BI, Tableau has more readily available resources.""Although Tableau isn't the best for us when it comes to processing and working on live data, it is very good at extracting data for analysis.""It is very easy to create dashboards, charts, and graphs."

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Cons
"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.""The data uploads that we do, such as Excel files, have a lot of restrictions. If we can make it a bit more user-friendly, allowing us to have more flexibility it would be a great help.""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 were lacking in the initial phases of development in the area of big data, and they still need to improve that aspect of the product.""Cognos is quite slow - it's missing the performance of the PowerPlay cubes.""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.""The high cost of a license makes it hard to scale up on a budget.""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."

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"The user story model is the most deceptive part of Tableau. It is a big marketing option, however, the reality is that it is not enough.""When it comes to visualizations, Tableau has a limitation as compared to Power BI. It has a limited set of visualizations. Power BI has the entire marketplace, so you can connect and import many visualizations and use them, whereas Tableau has only 10 or 15 visualizations. There should be more visualizations, and there should also be data integration with more cloud providers.""The data entered into Tableau must be clean. Otherwise, it won't work properly.""The Hyper Extract functionality is not as strong as that provided by Microsoft SQL.""The data preparation/blending options are very basic. They could be improved.""We need big servers to perform the operations that we are doing. They should probably relook at its architecture.""An area needing improvement involves the complexity of the product should you need to alter a lot of parameters. If you have technical servers, much interface, different providers and more serious processes, that will be time consuming.""In the cloud sometimes the performance is a little bit slow."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Pricing should be improved."
  • "The pricing of this product is meant for medium to large-scale enterprises."
  • "It is my understanding that the cost is very low. It's not very expensive."
  • "Cognos is super expensive compared to Tableau ($70/month) and Power BI ($20/month) — I think Cognos is roughly $200 a month."
  • "It is quite pricy. I think Microsoft BI is cheaper. Tableau might also be cheaper, but it also depends on the usage. If you have very many users, Cognos can be a problem. It could be cheaper than Tableau but not for so many users. If you have a few thousand users, Tableau, which is generally quite expensive, can be cheaper than Cognos."
  • "It's more expensive than similar solutions like Tableau and Power BI."
  • "There is a standard license required to use this solution. There are some additional tools but I am not sure if they are an extra cost."
  • "IBM Cognos price is on the higher side of the spectrum. However, with the features that it brings, such as correlation analysis, it's worth the money. They should look at the pricing more clearly because it's a little on the higher side."
  • More IBM Cognos Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The company chose to purchase a creator license for me, which was $70. With that license, you can also be an administrator. We also have 20-25 extra licenses and they cost around $20-$35 each. Those are for normal users who will be viewing the dashboards. Those are monthly charges."
  • "The cost of the solution should be improved."
  • "It is reasonable and cheap as compared to other major tools. It has a good price, and people go for it because of its pricing."
  • "Pricing is not bad. It's competitive."
  • "At $70 per month, I think the price is a bit scary. I have a small consulting firm in Ghana, working in about 15 different African countries, and when it comes to our part of the world, $70 a month is a lot of money for software."
  • "The professional version of Tableau is quite expensive."
  • "It is a bit difficult for some people when they hear $70.00 per month, as some solutions are available for less than $10.00 or for free."
  • "The solution is very expensive. If you have many users then it is going to cost your company a lot of money."
  • More Tableau Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Comparison Review
    Guillermo (Bill) Cabiro
    I do use both Tableau and QlikView. Although very different, I really like both solutions. They belong to the new BI generation known as Interactive Visual Analytics. In my opinion, QlikView has a more intuitive interface for regular users or executives that are not technical experts but the development side is a little more complex. Up to version 12 QlikView did not provide drag & drop features. If a user wanted to see something not included in the application the new object had to be created by a power user or developer because Qlikview's scripting has somewhat of a learning curve. On the positive side, QlikView's scripting is a great asset as it functions as an ETL allowing the integration of hundreds of different data sources into the same visual app. Another feature that’s extremely useful is Qlik’s proprietary Associative Model that allows the users to visualize data relationships that exist as well as those that do not. Tableau on the other hand is a lot easier to use for developers, analysts or power users who need to connect, manipulate and visualize data rather quickly. While this makes Tableau a better fit for the more analytical crowd, it may not be as appealing or intuitive to the regular or casual business users as QlikView is. Tableau has full pivot, drag & drop and drill down capabilities that are great for developers or power users. They can rotate measures and dimensions and graph them instantly using visualization best practices as suggested by… Read more →
    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:It depends on the Data architecture and the complexity of your requirement. Some great tools in the market are Qlik Sense, Power BI, OBIEE, Tableau, etc. I have recently started using Cognos… more »
    Top Answer:Comparing IBM Cognos to other applications, once a person is trained on it or they have developed a skill set to operate the application, it is best in its category.
    Top Answer:There is some additional licensing that we needed to purchase because we were touching data outside of our core data platform. The cost was approximately $25,000 for the additional licenses, which… more »
    Top Answer:Tableau is easy to set up and maintain. In about a day it is possible for the entire platform to be deployed for use. This relatively short amount of time can make all the difference for companies… more »
    Top Answer:I consider Tableau to be the best analytical tool available. It's really handy to use and can be used by non-technical people.
    Top Answer:For me, for right now, the price is reasonable. Tableau is free.
    Ranking
    4th
    out of 49 in Reporting Tools
    Views
    12,694
    Comparisons
    9,952
    Reviews
    16
    Average Words per Review
    573
    Rating
    8.1
    2nd
    out of 49 in Reporting Tools
    Views
    40,799
    Comparisons
    32,389
    Reviews
    101
    Average Words per Review
    585
    Rating
    8.1
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Cognos, Cognos Analytics, IBM Cognos Analytics
    Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Online
    Learn More
    Overview

    Cognos Software is IBM's Business Intelligence and Performance Management solution, offering BI, strategy management, financial performance, and data analytics applications. Cognos caters to all levels in an organization with products designed for individuals, workgroups, departments, mid-size companies, and big enterprises.

    Tableau helps people and organizations become more data-driven as the trusted leader in analytics.

    The Tableau platform provides the breadth and depth of capabilities to serve the needs of even the largest global enterprises in a seamless, integrated experience. Tableau is designed to fit, not dictate your data strategy, and adapts to your environment with unmatched flexibility and choice, while meeting the toughest governance and security requirements.

    People love using Tableau because it is both powerful and intuitive—and offers a fundamentally different user experience by empowering people of all skill levels to explore and analyze data using visuals and natural language. Tableau has become the standard language of analytics for modern business users and continues to lead the industry with the most passionate and engaged user community in analytics, a customer base with millions of users at more than 80,000 organizations, and a deep commitment to customer-focused innovation

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    Sample Customers
    More than 23,000 leading organizations across multiple industries use Cognos. Some examples of Cognos customers include BMW Financial Services, Quinte Health Care, Troy Corporation, Michigan State University, and GKN Land System.
    Accenture, Adobe, Amazon.com, Bank of America, Charles Schwab Corp, Citigroup, Coca-Cola Company, Cornell University, Dell, Deloitte, Duke University, eBay, Exxon Mobil, Fannie Mae, Ferrari, French Red Cross, Goldman Sachs, Google, Government of Canada, HP, Intel, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Macy's, Merck, The New York Times, PayPal, Pfizer, US Army, US Air Force, Skype, and Walmart.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Insurance Company9%
    Healthcare Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company22%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Government7%
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm13%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Healthcare Company8%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company23%
    Comms Service Provider12%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Government7%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise58%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business16%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise69%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise51%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise71%
    Buyer's Guide
    IBM Cognos vs. Tableau
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM Cognos vs. Tableau and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    607,127 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM Cognos is ranked 4th in Reporting Tools with 17 reviews while Tableau is ranked 2nd in Reporting Tools with 105 reviews. IBM Cognos is rated 8.0, while Tableau is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of IBM Cognos writes "Helpful online community, highly reliable, and secure". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Tableau writes "Lets me train new users quickly, easily, and intuitively". IBM Cognos is most compared with Microsoft BI, Qlik Sense, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, MicroStrategy and Oracle OBIEE, whereas Tableau is most compared with Microsoft BI, SAP Analytics Cloud, Amazon QuickSight, MicroStrategy and Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. See our IBM Cognos vs. Tableau report.

    See our list of best Reporting Tools vendors and best Business Intelligence (BI) 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.