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IBM Cognos Room for Improvement

Barry Morris - PeerSpot reviewer
BI Cognos Expert at Pilmark LTD

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.

That would be nicer if you'd have more charts, the ability to add charts easily. That would be a big improvement. However, the maps have been improved immensely which I am happy with.

Once you put a few requests into IBM for changes, it might take six to 12 months. A lot of the requests are responded to and they upgrade or change the feature. When you make a report and you plan it in advance and you want to have smart dates in your planning, this is a bit limited. It is a small issue and you can work around it quite easily but it would be something they can improve.

If you want to see the new feature in someone else's product it takes time, and for IBM Cognos it is approximately six to 12 months for it to be implemented. The other cloud competitors will have it. 

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Carlos Larrad Salgado - PeerSpot reviewer
Deputy Director Operations Management Control at Mapfre

I don't like that when we use Colab packages, we get less functionality. For example, you can make groups of data with Excel or with the data sets from the packages, but when you use the Colab packages directly, you can only group the data when you analyze it with Analysis Studio. I think Cognos needs to improve more on this functionality.

The user experience is also very important. Cognos is not very easy to understand sometimes, especially when they change the layout but keep the functionality the same. The help is not very graphic and they have no examples. Cognos has to make a big effort to help with understanding the functionality by improving the documentation. There is a lot of documentation, but the examples are hard to find and they should make their help section easier to understand for non-technical users.

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SusheelA - PeerSpot reviewer
Director - Metrics & Analytics with 5,001-10,000 employees

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.

In the next release of the solution, It would be a great addition to the analytical tool pack if there were histograms on the fly it would be a benefit. I know there is a workaround on IBM Cognos and I've used that workaround to develop the histograms, but not everyone is that tech-savvy. It would be a great help if we had some of these features, such as histogram, box plots, on the fly.

Lastly, the solution could improve by adding some of the user-friendly statistical calculations, such as percentile calculations, median, mode, for calculations.

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Buyer's Guide
IBM Cognos
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about IBM Cognos. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
634,590 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Sr. Data Warehouse Architect at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees

In terms of what could be improved with this product, the speed could be better.

The second thing I feel is lacking in Cognos 11 is usability - ease of use. I find Tableau much easier to use.

I have not used stories and dashboards extensively, but 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 other thing that should be included in Cognos is Landing Pages. It would be good for the Dashboard Landing Page, if they could make it as easily and attractively as Tableau, that's the only other tool I've used, and theirs is completely visually appealing. The client should want to click and open the Cognos portal to get their data. We have our own product and Cognos is integrated with it. If they're able to get similar data, even if it is not as detailed in our product, they don't have any motivation to go to Cognos. They need to polish their product a little bit to make it more user-friendly and customizable - that would help.

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Business Intelligence Data Warehouse Architect

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.

In order for IBM Cognos to survive, they need to keep up with dashboarding. I know they're becoming more agile as far as being able to move away from a framework manager and use modules, which is great in order to build the models. They need to be able to compete with Microsoft B because Microsoft BI has beaten them up as far as reporting and dashboarding. They need to improve to better compete with other solutions.

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Barry Morris - PeerSpot reviewer
BI Cognos Expert at Pilmark LTD

In terms of what could be improved, I would say, monitoring, monitoring, monitoring. Some improvements in monitoring would be helpful.

I'd like to see more monitoring of specific reports and fields. The way the auditing is now is very limited, so I'd like to see more of that - of the monitoring.

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RPA Architect & RPA Product Owner at Francisco Sosa

The online documentation is good, but it could be better. If the documentation could provide more examples, it would be nice.

It would be nice to offer free online training on the tool for end-users.

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Senior Software Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

As we get new requirements, we need to see if they fit into Cognos. As of right now, it fits our needs, however, that can change.

We've had issues in the past that the solution is still working to resolve.

The solution seems to slow down the servers. We're working with IBM to see if this can be resolved. 

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Paulius Bistrickis - PeerSpot reviewer
CFO at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees

We started working with Power BI, which we feel will be number one in a couple of years. Even though it still has some improvement, it's a promising tool. All BI tools have similar issues to IBM Cognos.

Regarding additional features, it would be good if the solution had conditional formatting similar to Excel, where you can conditionally format based on colour. For example, colour scales like green, yellow, and red make it easier to categorize tables, rows or columns by colour. Unfortunately, this feature does not exist in any BI tool.

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Hardik  Parashar - PeerSpot reviewer
Associate Data Engineer at Digit Insurance

I don't manage much in the backend, however, we see a lot of issues in Cognos in terms of storage as well as a lot of failures on a daily basis. 

There are separate people managing all these things. It's my understanding that these issues are very frequent. There are some gaps in Cognos. For example, our data volume is huge. Whenever our users try to download reports, the main user used to avoid data extraction requests so that users could actually go into Cognos and download the reports. When it comes to the size, long reports take a lot of time and the performance is not that so good. Finance or marketing reports, for example, are longer and take longer to download. 

When it comes to analytics, we'd like to see some manual data capabilities. 

The scalability could be better.

They should provide improved visual reporting. 

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Director at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees

In IBM Cognos it always takes too long to build enterprise reporting, but I don't think that making another product can be solved.

Tableau and PowerBI is a tool, but enterprise reporting is a platform where you put all kinds of information together.

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.

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Manager - Metrics & Analytics at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees

Overall, there aren't any features that are lacking in the product.

The AI-based features could be further enhanced by the solution.

I'd like to see more predictive analytics enhancements in future releases.

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Partha-DWBI Analytics Expert - PeerSpot reviewer
Principal Co-founder at Enterprise BIDI Solutions

The performance is a bottleneck and something that can be improved. The way they have designed the framework, the framework manager is a critical part. If you have a properly-designed framework manager then whatever stories you generate through the Report Studio or Query Studio will give you better results. However, if the modeling is incorrect then it will kill your free memory and detract from the performance.

You have to have complete control of the data model, including the hierarchy and the relationships. There are still a lot of loose ends. The way that a many-to-many relationship can be defined within the framework should be brought into the Report Studio and Query Studio. This would be an improvement. 

There can be a recursive effect, where you are pulling resources away from the users. This will eat away the resources and cause them a lot of lag time in their reporting.

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Director at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees

I would like for the platform to become more standard. If we make development on our report and our dashboard, it will not be used in another solution. That means there is no portability for the developers.

It would also be nice to be able to export the dashboard. Some dashboards can be deployed and seen by everyone. But the problem is, I have to go through the Cognos server to define each user. There is no flexibility to do it as a report that can be published as a web report or something like that for many users.

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Owner at a consultancy with 1-10 employees

The version I last worked on "IBM Analytics" required you to build your own queries and reports for statistical reasons, which should be out of the box rather than requiring users to build them. A nice dashboard showing uptime, runtime per report/user/ query ... usage per report ... for direct publication would be nice to promote the tool at the end users without investing a lot of time in it as an administrator

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Miroslav Kosecek - PeerSpot reviewer
Consultant at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees

I would like them to reinclude PowerPlay. One thing that I am missing in the current Cognos is what was formally named PowerPlay. They have basically removed PowerPlay from it, which is something that I fail to understand because it was the most wonderful tool for business intelligence that I've ever used. As far as I know, they don't provide this functionality anymore, so this is one thing that I dislike about Cognos.

It is also quite pricey.

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Lead Technical Consultant at Perficient

There are some problems with how Cognos handles huge data sets and when connecting with multiple sources and searching the data. In the next release, Cognos should include artificial intelligence features.

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Associate at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

Tableau and Power BI are faster than Cognos.

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Database Administrator at American Savings Bank

We would like to see development of the product's UI function, to make it more of a UI tool that can be configured as required.

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Head of Data Architecture at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

I would like to see the introduction of mapbooks for supporting some geographical information. IBM Cognos could be improved with some analytical solutions that could help us make predictions.

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Buyer's Guide
IBM Cognos
September 2022
Learn what your peers think about IBM Cognos. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
634,590 professionals have used our research since 2012.