IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM® is one of the world’s largest vendors of IT hardware, software, cloud and services. The company has a global workforce of approximately 288,000 employees and is active in over 170 countries. In 2007, IBM purchased the BI vendor Cognos and made its software the center of its BI and analytics product offerings.
IBM offers a broad portfolio of on-premises and cloud analytics, performance management and advanced analytics solutions. Major offerings include IBM Cognos Analytics, IBM Planning Analytics, IBM Watson Studio and IBM Cloud Pak for Data. IBM also supports a broad range of deployment requirements by offering both cloud and on-premises options as well as containerized applications and allows for transition from on-premises to cloud by providing agnostic licenses.
Cognos Analytics is IBM’s primary enterprise BI and analytics platform. It combines ease of use with elaborate governance features in an end-to-end platform. The product can be used in large-scale scenarios supporting the needs of many concurrent users as well as large data volumes. Cognos Analytics provides functionality for dashboards, pixel-perfect reports, data stories, data modeling and ML powered analysis in a unified web-based interface. A mobile app gives better access to created content.
IBM wants Cognos Analytics to be every user’s analytics co-pilot when navigating data. The vendor has infused NLQ, automated insights and intent-driven modeling and has invested in automation and ML capabilities across data modeling, dashboards, data exploration (‘Exploration’) and an analytics chat assistant. The AI assistant, now massively improved with the release of Cognos Analytics 12.0, allows users to explore data by asking natural language questions and by receiving insightful answers with a presentation-ready dashboard or report. Cognos’ AI capabilities can also identify trends and forecast results, helping companies to identify relevant influencers and correlations and calculate quick predictions.
IBM also extends the advanced and predictive analytics capabilities of Cognos Analytics to bring business analyst and data scientist workloads together. For instance, Jupyter Notebooks has been incorporated in the user interface to provide greater flexibility in data preparation, statistical analysis and ML. The product also connects with IBM Watson Studio, the vendor’s advanced analytics platform targeted at data scientists. Besides its widely known SPSS capabilities, Watson Studio includes data science modules based on Jupyter Notebooks for development in R and Python, AutoML and embedded decision management. Cognos Analytics can also be deployed as part of IBM Cloud Pak for Data to enable many types of analytics use cases.
User & Use Cases
Almost all customers use IBM Cognos Analytics for standard and enterprise reporting (93 percent) and dashboards and analytics applications (75 percent). This is followed by analysis (68 percent) in the list of current application types deployed, clearly showing its heritage and strengths of providing standardized insights in governed environments.
The most common competitors of IBM Cognos Analytics are Power BI and Tableau, highlighting the difficulty IBM goes through with its offering. Competing against specialized data visualization-oriented products with a fully-fledged enterprise BI and analytics platform requires IBM to emphasize the virtues and value of a compelling platform.
IBM Cognos Analytics targets large corporations and mid-sized companies across all industries. 46 percent of our sample of Cognos Analytics customers came from large companies. The median of 125 users and mean of 1,995 users show that there are many large-scale implementations.
Want to see the whole picture?
BARC’s Vendor Performance Summary contains an overview of The BI Survey results based on feedback from IBM Cognos Analytics users, accompanied by expert analyst commentary.Contact us to purchase the Vendor Performance Summary