Cognos Tutorial: Getting Started with IBM Cognos Analytics Reporting Tool


IBM Cognos is a business intelligence tool for web-based reporting and analytics. This business-based software offers several features to perform data aggregation and generate user-friendly detailed reports. These reports contain different tabs, graphs, interactive prompts, and multiple pages. They can be viewed on handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets, or web browsers.

Cognos provides a way to present and view reports in PDF or XML format. IBM Cognos is used for medium and large businesses. It fulfills the need of company executives, business managers, analysts, and power users. Executives wish to see summarized data in cross tabs, dashboard styles, and visualizations. Analysts and power users wish to generate ad-hoc reports and multiple views of the same data. IBM Cognos enables both options for every user.

Understanding IBM Cognos

  1. IBM Cognos Analytics: Cognos Analytics is a BI tool that empowers its users through AI-based self-service capabilities which accelerate data preparation, modeling, reporting, dashboards, analysis, event management, and stories. Cognos makes it easier for a user to understand organizational data by visualizing it and sharing actionable insights strengthening the decision-making process.

    Based on the work you do; you use distinction sections of the user interface. IBM Cognos Analytics functions to control access to the several sections of the interface, and you can access only those sections that you work with.

  2. IBM Planning Analytics: In today’s changing and competitive business environment, companies need agility, speed, and foresight in their operational and financial performance management. It helps to automate forecasting, planning, analysis, and budgeting processes. It allows finance and line of companies’ customers to manage their planning, coordinating companies’ drivers to financial KPIs.

  3. IBM Predictive Analytics: It helps companies to take data-driven actions in significant areas of profitability and revenue. By managing risks, capitalizing on new opportunities, and implementing more efficient strategies, you can see patterns and trends and link data to operational action. Applying insights throughout your business can result in improved performance and a competitive edge in the market. Organizations that employ predictive analytics have experienced positive outcomes.

IBM Cognos Features

Cognos has made working easy for businesses and enterprises, and here are some features of how it does so.

  • Its ability to make interactive dashboards in several formats as per the business requirements is what makes it stand out as compared to any other reporting tool. It helps company stakeholders in the decision-making process.

  • Natural language processing is the technique used for extracting insights from raw text and making smart predictions. Cognos uses AP-powered natural processing which helps people to seek smart answers to questions asked them.

  • It is supported by machine learning and artificial intelligence, which allows Cognos to create intelligent dashboards and make future predictions.

  • Cognos reduces the time and effort required for manual tasks by automating the data-preparation procedure via its built-in intelligence system.

  • To find a hidden pattern in the data Cognos software uses detection property that can be left unheard in normal circumstances.

Some other common Cognos and planning analytics features involve panels, insights in visualization using analytics panels, explorations in Cognos analytics, planning analytics for Excel, data models and data sets, dashboards, and so on.

Insight into Cognos Component

Insight into Cognos Component
  • Cognos connection: It is a web portal that enables users to access Cognos studios and 10. Depending upon the work you do, you can use this Cognos element to manage, publish, view, retrieve, and organize business reports, agents, and scoreboards.

  • Cognos business insight: It enables users to generate their dashboard through any object. All content will be represented as an object the user can view. Business insights are used in offices to develop a fully customized dashboard.

  • Cognos query studio: It helps companies to get answers to business-linked doubts faster and easily. Also, helping companies to stay ahead of the market by supporting organizations to effectively understand the consumer, product, and its needs.

  • Cognos analysis studio: It helps businesses to compare data, know about the latest trends, and conduct multidimensional analysis by conducting business performance. It supports businesses by helping them to focus on things that are significant for their growth.

  • Cognos report studio: Through Cognos reporting, you can make pixel-perfect reports for any company. It enables you to make lists, maps, charts, or any other form of the report through multidimensional or relational data sources.

  • Cognos metric studio: It helps you to check and analyze the business strategies of companies by creating a scorecard environment. It helps you to build criteria and then analyze how the organization is responding to the changes made.

IBM Cognos Analytics Report Types

You can work in three different methods when you’re using data from IBM Cognos Analytics reports. These are lists, exploration views, and custom reports. You can switch between the three methods, which have their pros and cons.

  1. Lists: To create a list of items, you can use columns or a single drop zone. The latter refers to an area where you can include items in the report by dragging them. In a list, every column indicates all the values for a data item in the database. Common benefits of lists are:
  • It offers drag-and-drop features
  • The drop zone in the overview area offers visual cues
  • You can see all the items on a table easily and quickly

2. Exploration views: A drop zone refers to an area wherein you can drag items to include in a report. You can add objects from the sources tree using drop zones to the context, measures, columns, and rows of the report. It offers automatic formatting depending on the underlying data. You can use the exploration view method:

  • When you are not worried about formatting
  • To find solutions to queries that can be found in data sources

3. Custom reports: You can drag and drop objects instantly over the worksheet cells. Common benefits of custom reports are:

  • The potential to utilize several packages in the same worksheet
  • The potential to move columns, rows, and cells
  • The potential to perform formatting, add charts, and excel calculations
  • The ability to create a detailed report

Top IBM Cognos Analytics Competitors

To find the best service or software for your company, look at what Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms IBM Cognos Analytics users also consider while making the purchase. Major features to compare include service and support, integration and deployment, evaluation and contracting, and product capabilities. Some of the main important Cognos Analytics Alternatives and Competitors are:

  • Tableau
  • Qlik Sense
  • Sisense Fusion Analytics
  • TIBCO Spotfire
  • Microsoft Power Bi
  • SAP Business Objects BI Suite
  • MicroStrategy
  • Looker

Which one is better: IBM Cognos or any other Reporting Tool?

  1. IBM Cognos: Cognos is an analytics and data monitoring tool that is powered by IBM. It is a robust BI platform that provides insightful information through a range of reports and dashboards. The tool can distribute reports in PDF or XML format and can seamlessly integrate with third-party tools to facilitate communication.

    Cognos offers smart and self-service analytical solutions that enable users to effectively manage business information and gain valuable insights. Its web-based interface allows users to query, monitor, and process analytical data, while its attractive visualizations, graphics, and dashboards provide an exceptional user experience. Cognos is also user-friendly, with intuitive features, ease of use, and forecasting capabilities that make it accessible even to new users.

  2. Power Bi: Power BI is a collection of software services, connectors, and apps designed to transform disparate data sources into visually engaging and interactive insights. Whether your data is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or stored across various hybrid data warehouses, Power BI can help you seamlessly connect to your sources, uncover key insights, and share your findings with your desired audience.

    It has pre-built models which support the data analysis process. Moreover, you can even customize your model through the Azure cloud system. Power Bi’s similarities with Microsoft Excel make it user-friendly as you can easily understand its functions. It can work seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Moreover, Power Bi consolidates easily with other SQL, R, and Microsoft products. For other data sources, it offers several APIs and connectors.

  3. Tableau: It is a visualization tool used for BI that streamlines data into an easy and understandable format. Using its drag-and-drop features, it can create any type of data such as structured, unstructured, and semi-structured. Tableau can manage vast amounts of data, create complex and different visualizations, and then switch between different representations.

    Tableau has revolutionized data-driven decision-making by offering an integrated approach that can cater to the data models of various organizations. Its powerful and intuitive features have empowered users at all levels to make smarter business decisions. The tool allows for the easy sharing of reports and dashboards, making collaboration effective. Even novice users can quickly learn to use Tableau, making it a highly demanding BI tool globally.

  4. Exact Business Analytics: It is known as “feature-rich” software as it offers several noteworthy features which empower business users to make an effective decision affecting business growth. Some of the key features are Automatic Scheduled Reporting, Customizable Features, Graphic Benchmark, Ad-Hoc Reporting, Dashboarding, Ad-Hoc Analysis, Customizable Dashboard, Budgeting, and Forecasting.

Exact business analytics is developed to put functionality and power in business managers’ hands. With its ability to combine and compare data from various sources or different business functions, it provides the power to build information views rapidly and effortlessly.

Common IBM Cognos Analytics Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Cognos

  • Provides accountability and transparency to drive consensus and alignment
  • Provides several BI abilities such as analysis, reporting and query, and score carding through a single architecture
  • Helps you to link and integrate analytics into business workflow processes and solutions
  • Improves productivity via proactive workflow and real-time notifications

Disadvantages of Cognos

  • It is not user-friendly and does not provide enough connections
  • Does not offer support for multidimensional analysis
  • Cognos Analytics has not been accepted in various divisional or departmental deployments

IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson

It is a complete BI tool that connects data from all departments of an organization and uses artificial intelligence to enable users to easily manage data, conduct analysis, and report findings about their valuable insights. IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson helps to create a data visualization that not only helps companies to know about their performance but also helps them to know what will happen in the future. Some of the main benefits of IBM Cognos Analytics are:

  • Flexible deployment
  • Secure environment
  • Collaborate across all levels
  • Full-service capabilities
  • Fast answers and insights
  • Intuitive user experience

Advantages of IBM Cognos Predictive Analytics

A company that knows what to expect depending upon their past behavior gets a significant business benefit in handling marketing campaigns, workforce, inventories, and other aspects of the operation.

  • Security: Data security is one of the main concerns of every modern company. Integration of predictive analytics and automation enhances security. Patterns linked with unusual and suspicious end-user activity can activate particular security mechanisms.

  • Operational efficiency: Improved profits can be achieved through operational efficiency, which can be seen as the ability to predict the maintenance needs of a delivery fleet vehicle. This ensures timely deliveries and eliminates the extra expenses associated with towing the vehicle and hiring additional personnel to complete the delivery.

  • Risk reduction: Most modern companies are working to reduce their risk profiles. For instance, an organization can use data analytics to understand if a user poses a higher-than-average risk of defaulting.

  • Improved decision-making: Decision-making is crucial for the success of any business, particularly when it comes to making calculated choices about expansion or introducing new products. Predictive analytics can provide valuable insights to minimize risks and maximize opportunities, giving companies a competitive edge.


IBM Cognos BI tool for web-based analytics and reporting tool. It offers real-time alerts, events, and notifications. Cognos components allow its users to access Cognos studios and Cognos 10. Moreover, it can help you create pixel-perfect reports for your organization and make effective business decisions. IBM Cognos analytics capabilities offer you to control access as per the area of work you need among various areas of the user interface.

What are the skills required for Cognos?

Cognos is a business intelligence tool and hence, any novice can use it without technical prerequisites. However, you need to know data intuition and know about the data properly to ensure the right data is being used to make business decisions.  

Why should you use IBM Cognos Analytics?

It is used to make intelligent and interactive dashboards, analyze data by plotting the correct report, and automate the data preparation process for a specific business problem.

What is the scope of Cognos?

Its scope is based on the scalability of its usage. It has three choices: The trial version, for the premium edition The premium edition, which offers full functions of Cognos The enterprise edition, which is commonly applied in big companies to meet their requirements in a specific environment

Why do you need Cognos?

Any individual or company can use IBM Cognos Analytics to visualize tasks and automate data analysis. It helps to predict future trends that help to make business decisions effectively.

What is Predictive Analytics?

It is a branch of advanced analytics that makes future predictions through historical data integrated with machine learning, data mining strategies, and statistical modeling. Organizations use predictive analytics to find patterns in their data to find opportunities and risks. Predictive analytics is sometimes linked with data science and big data.

What is Big Data Technology?

It is a software tool that helps to analyze, process, and interpret a vast amount of data of any type such as structured, unstructured, or semi-structured which cannot process manually otherwise. Big data technology helps to form conclusions and make predictions for the future so that any suspected risk can be managed by companies or any individual. Operational and analytical are the two common types of operational technologies.

Team Eela

TechEela, the Bedrock of MarTech and Innovation, is a Digital Media Publication Website. We see a lot around us that needs to be told, shared, and experienced, and that is exactly what we offer to you as shots. As we like to say, “Here’s to everything you ever thought you knew. To everything, you never thought you knew”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *