IBM Cognos vs Microsoft BI Comparison 2023


Cognos and Power BI are among the most desired business intelligence and data analytics software. Both tools are in demand heavily, because companies are seeking to tackle huge data repositories- with ever-increasing data.

Whether from overworked enterprise applications, relational databases, social media, or unstructured data, there is ample data connected with data analytics. Today, companies are putting in efforts and enabling employees from sales, marketing, and IT to use analytics to for effective digital transformation.

As both tools are in high demand, users often are compelled to select between Cognos and Power BI. Often, Power BI is considered as the best alternative to IBM Cognos. There is debate, for and against each BI tool. But data analytics platform is the best? Let’s dive in to find out!

Cognos Vs Power BI: Which is Better?

1. Introduction or Key Features:

IBM Cognos: It assists data analytics starting from preparation to visualization and is accessible in enterprise and cloud versions. It can be hosted in the cloud or onsite. It helps users to verify, connect, and integrate data and provides several visualization and dashboard options.

Cognos is significantly great at pulling and analyzing enterprise data, offering detailed reports, and helping in corporate governance. It is constructed on a strong data science foundation and is assisted by the heavy-duty analytics of IBM Watson.

Power BI: Power BI includes numerous applications and platforms. Microsoft provides innumerable sets of features that are far from analytics and business intelligence. Collaboration with Office 365, Azure, Microsoft Office, Teams, and SharePoint which is their key attribute. In context to analytics, Microsoft BI includes data visualization, dashboards, data discovery, and data preparation.

Power BI represents its potential to take visualizations to the next level and help companies to take data-driven decisions, share valuable insights, and collaborate on reports among famous applications. The premium version of Microsoft BI allows multi-geography abilities and to deploy capacity to scores of data centers across the globe. Power BI abilities help with tracking and collaboration with key metrics.

2. Machine learning (ML) Capabilities:

IBM Cognos: It has an AI tool that helps to integrate data from several sources such as XML, Informix, IBM Bd2, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle. It has an extensive group of visualization along with multi-functional dashboards and geospatial mapping.

Power BI: It has several machine learning models. You only must process the data by entering it to get the outcome. In Power BI, some of the predefined ML models are classification, binary, and regression. You can design their ML models through the Azure cloud platform.

3. Ease of use:

IBM Cognos: Cognos has a steep learning curve that demands significant training for end-users and administrators to effectively use it.

Power BI: It is designed to be user-friendly, with a familiar interface that most people are already familiar with. This makes it easier for end-users to use the platform without extensive training.

4. Cloud and on-prem operation:

IBM Cognos: It includes both on-prem as well as cloud versions. Moreover, their most common and developed features are accessible only on the cloud variant.

Power BI: It has a functional SaaS variant that works in the Azure cloud. The on-prem variant functions through the Power BI Reports Server. Power BI cloud variant provides several features such as live customizable dashboards, streaming analytics, and automated alert systems.

5. Data Integration options:

IBM Cognos: Cognos analytics tools offer robust data integration capabilities, including consolidation with various data sources, such as relational databases, big data systems, and cloud-based data sources.

Power BI: Microsoft BI also offers strong data integration capabilities, with various data sources, including SQL Server, Azure, Excel, and other Microsoft tools.

6. CRM Support:

IBM Cognos: IBM Cognos is not developed to get CRM data benefits. However, as an analyst or a user, you can use connectors to combine the visualization tool with other CRM platforms.

Power BI: Customer relationship management and BI always go hand-in-hand. Commonly, Microsoft makes sure that Power BI functions effortlessly with its dynamics CRM.

7. Training modules:

IBM Cognos: One of the significant benefits of IBM Cognos is, it offers its users several demos, interactive content, and report-forming activities. It also provides several online teachings to train users and recruits. They introduce you to Authoring which is the certified training for the software.

Power BI: It provides countless walkthroughs, videos, and live dashboard constructing activities to help know about the significance of the tool. All the sample Ad Hoc reports, templates and customizable dashboards come with elaborated documentation and explanation videos.

8. Pricing:

IBM Cognos: It is regarded to be overly expensive. It is tough for IBM Cognos Analytics to compete with Microsoft BI on price alone. Cognos Analytics pricing begins at $10 per month individually for the on-demand version and at $40 for the premium version. For on-prem and cloud versions pricing begins at $5 per month.

Power BI: It is brilliant at keeping prices low which is helping to cover a great market share. It provides several features significantly at a lower price. For instance, Microsoft BI Pro costs around $10 per month per user. Its premium version costs $20 per month.

9. Security:

IBM Cognos: Cognos has comprehensive security features, including role-based access control and integration with LDAP and Active Directory.

Power BI: It offers strong security features, including integration with Active Directory and support for OAuth2 authentication.


Overall, both IBM Cognos and Microsoft BI are powerful BI solutions that can help organizations make data-driven decisions. While IBM Cognos offers more robust data integration and reporting and analytics capabilities, Microsoft BI is easier to use and offers better collaboration and visualization capabilities. The choice between the two solutions will depend on your organization’s specific needs and priorities.


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