IBM Cognos Vs. SAS: Which Business Intelligence Tool is Right for Your Organization? 

In today’s data-driven world, the ability to extract valuable insights from vast and complex datasets is paramount for business success. This is where BI tools come into play, empowering organizations to make informed decisions, optimize processes, and gain a competitive edge. Let’s explore the features and capabilities of two giants and discover which BI solutions win this IBM Cognos vs. SAS battle.

IBM Cognos vs. SAS: An Overview

IBM Cognos: Cognos was established in 1969 and was acquired by IBM in 2008. It is a robust BI solution that offers dashboard creation, automated visualizations, collaborative tools, report generation, data security measures, predictive analytics, data scrutiny, alerting mechanisms, notifications, and a mobile application. IBM Cognos caters to a diverse range of industries and manages the needs of small enterprises and large corporations. The pricing structure of IBM Cognos is tailored to each business’s specific needs and size.

SAS: SAS, founded in 1972, has a solid background in delivering invaluable BI capabilities for organizations across the globe. Its features include data management, visualization, dashboard capabilities, predictive analytics, statistical analysis, collaborative tools, and a mobile application. SAS is a premium-grade product, making it well-suited for medium to large enterprises.

Comparing IBM Cognos and SAS: Features, Performance, and More

Let’s explore features offered by IBM Cognos and SAS and understand the similarities and differences between the two giant BI solutions.

  1. Dashboards
    • IBM Cognos: You can design dashboards that make data presentation more dynamic. You can tailor the dashboards through widgets such as web pages, media, text, shapes, and images. Users can select from an array of charts such as area, quadrant, pie, line, column, and more. Sharing these dashboards with fellow IBM Cognos users is facilitated using shareable links. 
    • SAS: It provides a range of dashboard types: strategic, analytical, and operational. Strategic dashboards are designed for executives and managers, offering a holistic view of the organization’s performance. Analytical dashboards cater to team members by enabling them to discern trends based on historical, current, and future data. Operational dashboards empower users to monitor the efficiency of their organization’s operations closely. Creating a dashboard is made easier with the availability of predefined layout templates, and users can select from various chart types, such as bar charts, histograms, pie charts, radar charts, KPI charts, and more, for effectively representing data.  
  2. Forecasting
    • IBM Cognos: In IBM Cognos, the forecasting feature enables users to identify business performance trends from historical data without coding. Users can create forecasts for large datasets and adjust them by defining parameters like periods and confidence levels. These forecasts are dynamically updated as controls are modified, and the results can be presented in three visualization types: line, bar, or column charts. 
    • SAS: It offers user-friendly forecasting capabilities with no coding requirements. It shares many similarities with IBM Cognos but also performs large-scale forecasting. Users can configure parameters and business rules through an interactive graphical interface. Notably, the unique forecasting feature of SAS automatically identifies special events or holidays that can impact forecasting. Forecasting results can be printed, published on your company portal, or shared online. 
  3. Ease of use
    • IBM Cognos: Known for its user-friendly interface, Cognos is easier for non-technical users to navigate and create reports and dashboards. 
    • SAS: SAS can be more complex and may require a  deep understanding due to its extensive analytical capabilities. 
  4. Mobile apps
    • IBM Cognos: The IBM Cognos mobile app provides access to active and HTML reports, scheduled content delivery to your mobile device, BI server browsing, and report generation from your mobile device. It offers customization options to match your branding and the ability to set an application passcode for data security. You can download it from Google Play and the App Store. 
    • SAS: It offers a mobile application, the SAS Visual Analytics App, allowing users to access business reports and dashboards from anywhere. This app facilitates report viewing, interaction, data filtering, and collaboration in the office or on the road. It updates in real-time and prioritizes data security by not storing sensitive information locally. The SAS mobile app is available on Google Play and the App Store. 
  5. Integrations
    • IBM Cognos: IBM Cognos extends its integration capabilities to various valuable applications and platforms, enhancing its business intelligence operations. These integrations include digital signage, reporting, forecasting, vendor management, expense management, and employee monitoring. Some significant integrations include Captio Expenses, Limelight, SAP Fieldglass, Workpuls, and CommandCenterHD.
    • SAS: It seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Excel. SAS provides the SAS Integration Technologies tool for additional integrations beyond these Microsoft products. It empowers users to integrate third-party applications and even develop custom applications tailored to their needs.

Which BI Tool is Right for Your Organization?

The decision between IBM Cognos and SAS as your preferred BI tool depends on many factors, each uniquely tailored to your organization’s needs, objectives, and resources.

IBM Cognos shines as a user-friendly platform with quick deployment, real-time analytics, and strong integration capabilities. It is well-suited for organizations seeking efficient reporting, dashboard creation, and accessible business insights.

On the other hand, SAS stands out for its advanced analytics prowess, scalability, and customization options. It excels in complex analytical tasks, making it an ideal choice for industries with large datasets and intricate data analysis requirements.

The ultimate choice comes down to the nature of your business, the depth of your analytics needs, and your team’s expertise. Carefully determining your organization’s unique requirements will lead you to the BI tool that best aligns with your goals and empowers you to unlock the full potential of your data. Whether it’s IBM Cognos or SAS, both tools offer powerful capabilities to drive informed decision-making and fuel your journey toward tremendous business success.


Anjali Goyal

Anjali Goyal is a content writer at TechEela. She helps businesses increase their online presence with optimized and engaging content. Her service includes blog writing, technical writing, and digital marketing.

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