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IBM Cognos vs Microsoft BI comparison

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13,303 views|10,343 comparisons
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45,863 views|36,567 comparisons
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM Cognos vs. Microsoft BI and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
563,208 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:
"A drag-and-drop interface for selecting creating ad hoc reports makes this product very easy to use.""The product is a very good reporting tool and is very flexible. It allows for the users to get a scheduled report.""The comprehensiveness or broadness of the software functions or business intelligence functions that it provides is valuable. It is also quite easy to use and user-friendly.""The correlation analysis is excellent. It's one of the best that I have used to date.""I have worked on the features like dashboards and stories, and I do like them a lot.""The most valuable features of IBM Cognos are governance and enterprise reporting.""IBM Cognos improves the effectiveness of the sales team.""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."

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"The drag and drop facility to easily change the data correctly is the most valuable feature. I am happy to see visualizations. It's easier to talk about and make people understand what is going on.""The initial setup is pretty straightforward.""The best feature of this solution is the way you can plan, communicate, and visualize all the knowledge you extract from the data for the customers. I like the way you can show or visualize the information a client needs to answer a business question.""I like that I can use Power BI to upload data. That is very important for me. The visualization is also convenient and easy to use.""It's a powerful platform.""Technical support is quite good.""Microsoft BI was very helpful for me because I had a huge variety of connections. It is very convenient to build reports, even if somebody has no experience using BI tools or data visualizations. Additionally, the performance is very good when generating reports.""It integrates with all of the Microsoft tools."

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"The high cost of a license makes it hard to scale up on a budget.""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.""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.""The performance is a bottleneck and something that can be improved.""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.""The AI-based features could be further enhanced by the solution.""Tableau and Power BI are faster than Cognos.""The solution seems to slow down the servers."

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"There is no column-level security in Microsoft BI, and this is a feature that most of our customers are looking for. That is something that should be implemented.""Their technical support can be better. They normally take too long to escalate and resolve a case.""The admin view could be improved by making it more simplified to manage a users' activity and other things.""Most clients have MacBooks. Therefore, they use Tableau as Power BI Desktop is not available for the MacBook right now.""Integration with artificial intelligence would help. Humans take time to review the data and eliminate errors. Artificial intelligence based on machine learning and understanding can bring the same functionality.""They can improve the user interface a little bit to make it more user-friendly. When creating a dashboard, it is not very user-friendly. You have to click on a certain style and use your keyboard keys to move it. You cannot drag and drop it.""It is kept very current, and there is an update literally every month. However, the interface changes quite randomly with no documentation, which is difficult at the domain and architectural level where you're planning things and engaging the business. Things change frequently, and you wonder where has the button for the new report gone. They should provide better documentation on interface changes. It should be better optimized. It is supposed to be a data integration tool, but it is doing relatively simple queries. It has its limitations. For example, you can only pull a number of columns. So, there is room for optimization on its ability to integrate multiple data sources. The desktop tool is very memory-intensive, and again, this is not documented clearly. It requires a heavy CPU and memory use, and it causes your operating systems to become unstable. I would like to see the ability to create datasets within Power BI. Microsoft is promoting Azure as a cloud solution, but it is dependent upon a desktop component, which seems a little bit deceptive. Data set is the basic element that you report from, but it has to be created on the desktop and then published to the cloud. So, you're in the cloud, and you create a data structure or the data flow, but you can't report from that. You have to leave the cloud, go to your desktop, create the data set on your desktop, and publish it to the cloud. You go back to the cloud and create your report by using that published data set, which is very non-intuitive. If you go to the Microsoft Power BI community, this is a common complaint across the entire community.""It's not user-friendly; more tutorials, training, and better documentation would be helpful."

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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 →

  • "We have a premium Power BI license in-house that's quite an expensive license. It's $10 a month for four users and then I think 35,000 at the premium rate."
  • "It is somewhere in the middle in terms of price. Licensing is quite clear."
  • "Its cost seems to be unreasonable if you have many users, but for a lesser number of users, it is reasonable. It is $10 per month. Clients easily accept this option, so they must think it is reasonable. It is quite cheap as compared to other tools, such as Tableau. One of the best things about this solution is that it has a trial version."
  • "Once the trial period for the BI service is over, the cost is approximately $10 USD per user, per month, so it's quite reasonable."
  • "The pricing is very reasonable compared to any other tool."
  • "Microsoft BI is not very cheap. A premium license costs roughly 5,000 euros a month."
  • "This product offers good value for the money."
  • "Microsoft BI is free for the personal edition, but there is also a paid-for professional version."
  • More Microsoft BI Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    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: 
    The product is a very good reporting tool and is very flexible. It allows for the users to get a scheduled report.
    Top Answer: 
    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… more »
    Top Answer: 
    There are many...It would rather depend what System BI architecture or Enterprise legacy you have at your end...I would recommend as follows:  1) If you have legacies of SAP, Oracle  - look for SAP… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Power BI is an advanced visualization tool oriented to big data with a very complete set of widgets to visualize information, control users accessing information, the configuration of governance… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Oracle OBIEE is great in allowing design and creativity per the individual needs of the organization. Dashboards are fully customizable and very user-friendly. This solution is very stable. Oracle… more »
    out of 49 in Reporting Tools
    Average Words per Review
    out of 49 in Reporting Tools
    Average Words per Review
    Also Known As
    Cognos, Cognos Analytics, IBM Cognos Analytics
    SSRS, SSAS, MSBI, MS Reporting Services, Power BI, Microsoft BI Tools, Microsoft Big Data, Power BI Pro, MS BI
    Learn More

    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.

    Microsoft BI is a business intelligence solution that turns data into insightful and useful business information that is relevant to all levels of the business.

    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.

    Learn more about IBM Cognos
    Learn more about Microsoft BI
    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.
    Konica Minolta, Klout, Mahindra Satyam, The Weather Channel, Argus, Credit Suisse, NCR, and Sysmex.
    Top Industries
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Healthcare Company9%
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Energy/Utilities Company11%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Computer Software Company23%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Company Size
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise57%
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise45%
    Small Business15%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise64%
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM Cognos vs. Microsoft BI and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM Cognos is ranked 5th in Reporting Tools with 12 reviews while Microsoft BI is ranked 1st in Reporting Tools with 152 reviews. IBM Cognos is rated 8.0, while Microsoft BI is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of IBM Cognos writes "Excellent correlation analysis, highly scalable, but more features needed". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft BI writes "A complete ecosystem with an builtin ETL tool, good integrations with python and R, and support of DAX and Power Query (M languages)". IBM Cognos is most compared with Tableau, Qlik Sense, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, Oracle OBIEE and MicroStrategy, whereas Microsoft BI is most compared with Tableau, Oracle OBIEE, MicroStrategy, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform and Domo. See our IBM Cognos vs. Microsoft BI 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.